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Greg’s Giant Leap Firestorm 54

The Firestorm 54 was my choice for launching Skyripper 38mm hybrids. I purchased the dual deployment glass version of the Firestorm from Giant Leap. Ed supplied a 42 inch booster tube so it would work with the H through J Skyripper cases.

The rocket has a Acme fin can which makes the construction go quickly. The kit comes with a Slimline 54mm retainer, metal rail guides, shock cords, drouge and main chutes, chute protectors, and altimeter bay parts. The only extra I added was a 54/38 Slimline adapter. The kit came with a anchor ring for a shock cord. I did not install this item because I used an eye hook screwed into the top of the Skyripper vent bulkhead. I put my Perfectflite MAWD in the altimeter bay. The bay is 6.25 inches long.

I had my first experience building up the Skyripper motor for the flight. I was monitored by Kendall Brent to make sure I did it right. I went with the H case and the H155PP reload. The H was the only choice because the wind was 15 to 20 mph at the field which put a upper limit of 1500 feet on launches. Installing the vent tube did not pan out the first attempt. I believe it came out because the motor case rotated. So the top part of the rocket became presurized during the NOX fill and the top section popped off the rocket. Kendall gave me a length of his vent tube material. It was very stiff and a better choice. It is a speedometer tube found at an auto parts store.

The second attempt was a success. It went higher than I expected 1631 feet. The main was set a 500 feet. However allowing the chute to inflate it was likely 400 feet. I went drougeless and the altimeter data showed it was falling at an average velocity fo 66 feet per second. When the main came out it slowed to 20 feet per second.

I did have a problem with the alt bay. The bulkheads compress against the ends of the coupler which form the altimeter bay. It is held by the allthread running from end to end. However the bulkhead was pulled to the side in flight. This exposes the altimeter. I think a lip on the inside of the bulkhead would be a good idea. Ed at Giant Leap is flying the same rocket this weekend and is going to get back to me. I may have not tightened the nut on the allthread enough.

You may notice the body tube is not painted. It is translucent and shows the components inside the rocket. It gets black from charge reside, but I can hose it out.

I spent a good while building up the hybrid and prepping this rocket. I had to reprep after the top popped off. It was my only shot of the day, but it was a crowd pleaser. I may try an I launch next. Thanks to Kendall Brent and John Stein of SEARS 572 for walking me though my first hybrid launch. Likewise, thanks to Ed of Giant Leap for excellent customer service.

Greg Lane
Panama City, FL

P.S. I put a second all thread between the bulkheads of the altimeter. I believe this will keep the bulkheads in place.

See video by Marty Wiggins at

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