The booster is parachute recovery and the stack flies best on an 18mm “C” engine.
This is an ADVANCED kit! In the words of the late great Milt Thompson- the first lifting body test
pilot, “flyin’ lifting bodies ain’t easy…” and this kit’s performance is totally dependent on your skills
and ability to follow the instructions… not to mention a bit of luck too. Several years ago, a friend of
mine at NASA Dryden showed one of these lifting body models to Dale Reed, the father of lifting
bodies- he said it was a great shape and “…would make an interesting hypersonic shape…” Not
bad for something designed by a high school kid in mid Michigan.
launched it, however, the tissue paper blew out and the stick frame came tumbling back.
In the spring of 1977 I started work on the lifting body again- this time I made it out of sheet balsa.
Only problem was that no matter how I ballasted it- it wanted to fly upside down! The solution... flip it
over and put the fins on the other side and call the bottom the top! I renamed it the CRV for
Crumman Research Vehicle- (CRV… an acronym stolen by NASA years later *doh*!) I painted it red
and black to resemble the XRV from “Marooned.” On August 15, 1977 this version of the lifting body
was successfully flown. That was the last rocket I flew for the next 25 years, because just a few days
after the flight I packed up and moved away to college to learn how to pilot the real stuff and gave up
Following my years spent strapped into the nose of assorted flying machines, I found myself in the
model rocket business and have been trying to bring back some of my projects from my weird youth
to aid me in being a weird adult. One of the things I wanted to develop most into a kit is the CRV
lifting body, which BTW is the star in my cartoon strip “The Program” found at www.klydemorris.com.
This kit is the result. The external tank is based on a T-55 tube and the whole stack stands 10 inches
tall in display mode and ~15 inches tall with the FlameFins added for flight.
This is a design that I started working on back in 1973. I refined it in 1975 and my first
balsa sticks and tissue paper version flew that year. It took a long time to get the
angles right and get it to fly. Keep in mind that I knew little about aerodynamics at the
time- and almost nothing about how lifting bodies worked. I had seen a photo of an M2-
F2 and perhaps read a paragraph about it, but that was pretty much all. What I
reasoned was that a lifting body would slide along through the air rather than drop
through it… hey… for kid, that was pretty abstract. Once I made the design sail, I
scaled down the tissue paper version and piggy-backed it on a rocket. When I
|Dr Zooch Rockets
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