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A Streamer Duration

For NARAM-51, the Streamer Duration event is for A engine class.

Streamer Duration combines the challenge of building a light rocket that can fly high (to a good altitude to descend from), with a streamer that can slow the descent as much as possible for a good duration time.

In Streamer Duration, the model has to remain in one piece throughout the flight and cannot be staged.

For the full rules for this event, please see the Streamer Duration Rules on the NAR web page, as well as the multi-round rules (15.12).

Scoring - For Streamer Duration, the scoring is the total of two flights allowed, but at least one of those flights must have one Streamer model returned.

Design considerations - There are trade-offs between the model's performance and the streamer's size. Low-mass and low-drag models may not be strong enough to survive boost. Increasing the size of the streamer means the streamer will need more room inside your rocket. A bigger streamer is also heavier, which could weigh down the model too much.

ASTRE PD/SD model (13mm)

The plan at left is for a BT-5 (13mm) model, designd by Jeff Vincent from the ASTRE NAR section.

Here is a link ink for a PDF version of the plan.

13mm Duration model by Trip Barber

The plan at left is for a BT-5 (13mm) model, by Trip Barber.

Note that the shock cord is mounted on the outside, keeping the inside uncluttered.

Here is a link ink for a PDF version of the plan.

A list of plans and kits is included further down on this page.

Streamers - Streamer choice and preparation is important. Simple crepe paper just doesn't do it. Some people use a certain grade of tracing paper, while others prefer to use 1 mil mylar. The tracing paper can perform well, but also can rip more easily than other materials. So, 1 mil mylar is recommended. For B power, 6" by 60" streamers are a good size.

The trick to good performance out of the streamers is to put folds into them. The folds improve the "whip" action of the streamers. Some people use simple accordion type folds, or pleated folds, with the folds spaced about 3/8" apart or so (3/8" or so for streamers that will fit inside of a 13mm tube). Others roll the streamer up on a 3/16" dowel, slide the rolled streamer off, then squash the rolled streamer flat to give it folds that run the same way, as opposed to zigzag accordion pleats. In any case, just pressing the folds is not good enough for mylar streamers, the folds will not set as well as desired for good performance. Heat from an iron is needed. Either use an old iron or apply some scrap cloth over the iron to protect the iron. Lay the iron over the folded or rolled/flattened streamer and let it heat as deeply as possible for many minutes. After you are done, place the streamer under some heavy object to keep the folds tight while it cools off.

Shock Cords - Kevlar Shock cords of 50 to 100 pound grade are recommended. Use a 3 to 4 feet length from the main body to the streamer. Attach the cord securely to the streamer so that it cannot come off. Many people like to use a 1" wide piece of tape folded across the bottom of the streamer, trapping the shock cord. But the cord could still slip free, so put a few knots into the portion of the cord that will be under the tape. The adhesive tape should be a type that will not rip easily, not scotch tape or masking tape. For extra strength, you can add a piece of 1/2" wide strapping tape as shown.

Tips and info from other sources:

  • A Must-Read Lecture article (.pdf) on building and flying Streamer/Parachute Duration, written by Pavel Pinkas of the WOOSH section. Lots of useful all-around information for flying Streamer Duration and Parachute Duration.
  • Some Notes on Tracing Paper Streamers, by Andy Jackson from the ASP website. The first two paragraphs are useful for any streamer type, regardless of material.

Engine recommendations for A Streamer Duration:

A3-4T (lpretty much any model that uses a 13m mengine mount)


A8-5 (lightweight 18mm model)

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Model Plans & Kits



Streamer (and Parachute) Duration 13mm Model Plan

plan by Trip Barber

PDF of a 13mm SD model that can also be used for PD

ASTRE PD/SD model plan (NAR website)

plan by Jeff Vincent

PDF file of 13mm and 18mm PD & SD models

ASP "Streamer Duration" Kit  #KSDT - 13 (13mm)

ASP (Aerospace Specialty Products), Andy Jackson

Good competitive kit for 13mm engines.

Straight Up - (1/2 A, A) Parachute or Streamer Duration, 13mm (specify type of recover device)

QCR - Qualified Competition Rockets, Ken Brown

Good competitive kit for 13mm engines.
(specify streamer recovery when ordering)

FlisKits - "Cougar 440 (13mm) and Cougar 660 (18mm) Streamer Duration kits

Jim Flis

13mm and 18mm kits for Streamer Duration

Apogee "Blue Streak" sport model kit (18mm)

Apogee Components

Not designed for contest use, but it is a kit that can be entered and flown on an 18mm engine.

Pratt Hobbies "Super Six" kit. (18mm)

Doug Pratt

Not designed for contest use, but it is a kit that can be entered and flown on an 18mm engine.

ESTES- "Wizard" sport model kit. (18mm)

Estes Industries

Not designed for contest use, but it is a kit that can be entered and flown on an 18mm engine.


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 Last Updated   7/3/2009