Rocket #4 - HobbyLabs SR-71 Blackbird R/C Rocket Glider

  • 33" High, 22" Wide
  • 24 mm Motor Mount (E15-PW)
  • 8 oz unloaded at liftoff; 12 oz with engine

I purchased this HobbyLabs SR-71 Blackbird on EBay for $122.50 before shipping and motors. There wasnt much to do but glue on the fins, attach decals, and put the batteries in. So the rocket was completely uncharted to me when I took it to Ocotillo for it's first flight. I got it down from the first flight, but it crashed pretty bad on the second one. We'll see if I can get it to fly again :)

I could recommend two things anyone should do before shooting this rocket up. First, heed the warnings in the manual ... it is tricky to fly. I was used to dyhedral (angled) wings on beginners r/c gliders. This has flat wings and elevons, and so flies more like a real plane. Specifically, it can easily get into spiral dives :(

Secondly, I'd really suggest painting the plane a different color on the bottom and/or top so that you can see it. Black on black may be great for spy planes, but from 600-700 ft, even with the NASA fin decals, it's really easy to lose perspective about which way the plane is turning. I crashed in a spiral dive, confused about the orientation of the rocket (glider).

Here is the flight log for the SR71.

SR-71 Flight Log
Flight Date Engine Notes
#1 2001-02-17 #12
E15-PW approx 600ft
nice boost
difficult flight
safe landing
#2 2001-02-17 #13
E15-PW approx 600 ft
out of trim boost (spirals)
lost perspective
spiral dive, crash
#3 2001-04-28 #7
SARA Club Launch
Tucson, AZ
E15-PW spent hours rebuilding and painting it
boost to approx 600 ft
made a few controlled turns
lost control while flying left to right in front of me.
fell off the right wing
hit the ground at about a 45' angle
broke the nose cone, spine, etc
would have been a lot of work to fix it
fly-to-fix ratio is too high.
ripped out radio & servos for use in other project
The SR71 is dead! Long live the next rocket!