What recommendations to folks have for a mid-power rocket that could
also be used as a Level 1 certification rocket? Any pros/cons of your
suggested model would be appreciated.
Since NSL is near me this year, I might do it just to have 'done' it,
but I do mostly mid-power these days.
I modified an aerotech barracuda to have a longer 29mm motor mount with no
thurst ring, and I routinely fly it on anything from an F24 to an H180. I
also have a PML Black Brant VB that I fly on everything from an F40 to an
I211. Overall, I think you have lots of choices for rockets that would fly
on E-H or F-I motors.
Here are some of my personal opinions of the pros and cons:
Aerotech - base rocket is often cheaper. Easy to modify for longer 29mm
motors. Mirage, Sumo and G Force also easy to modify for 38mm motor mount.
Cardboard is a bit thinner, though. I've had lots of problems with the
plastic fins bending. I like the baffle which eliminates the need for
PML - basically a waterproof rocket, which is good if you launch in a field
with a lot of puddles and watering holes. Pistons are nice because they
eliminate the need for wadding/barf/chute protectors. Some people have
trouble with the PML pistons, but I find that if you simply follow the
directions and sand the piston to slide freely at the lowest temperature at
which you launch, it works reliably. I have had some problems with the
fiberglass fins getting a permanent bend in them after a hard landing.
LOC - nice kits, a little bit sturdier tubes and fins than Aerotech (but
also a little heavier).
This very topic has been discussed in great detail by the members of
our club, the Austin Area Rocketry Group. I summed up the findings in
a post to RMR some years ago:
The AARG Quick 'n Easy 10 Step Cert Process!
1) Order an Aerotech "Sumo" kit and H128W motor. Ask about alternate
sources for the motor when told by vendor that it is "temporarily
unavailable." Ignite week-long flame war covering topics as diverse
as "who's fault the fire really was," American-Canadian foreign
relations, and scheduling for DC district federal court judges.
2) Open the kit box. Remove engine hook and directions. Throw
directions away. Save engine hook for later epoxy mixing.
3) Endlessly debate the merits of CA vs. epoxy adhesives, preferably
with folks who have never used one or the other. Purchase selected
adhesive from obscure boating store when discussion thread dies out.
4) Open container(s) of CA or epoxy. Throw entire bottle(s) into
"Sumo" box. Close box.
5) Shake "Sumo" box aggressively in order to spread glue around.
Continue shaking until parts quit rattling, or box becomes too hot to
hold due to glue curing.
6) Choose a color of spray paint that you wish to finish your rocket
with. Throw can into "Sumo" box.
7) Place "Sumo" box in your backyard. Shoot repeatedly with shotgun
until spray paint can inside explodes. (Remember that several light,
even shots are preferable to one intense barrage of gunfire!)
8) Remove finished rocket from box. Remove buckshot from surface of
rocket before paint dries.
9) Steal appropriate motor. Fly rocket. Get certification.
10) Tell endless stories at future launches that begin with "when I
got MY certification..."
(Optional bonus step)
11) Repeat for Level 2 & 3
Hope this helps, or at least provides a chuckle,
I used an Art Applewhite flying saucer for cert 1. His "cert 1" URL is
and he offers a $20 rebate
if you cert with one of his kits.
I then built a BSD Horizon 4"
with dual deployment to gain experience in a more traditional high power
rocket. I've since used that kit for cert 2 and for playing with the
Rouse-Tech CO2 ejection system.
This progression worked well for me. I wanted something simple for my
first high power motor. I didn't have much experience with reloadable
motors and wanted to be able to concentrate on this and not worry about
recovery. The Horizon was a nice progression into a more complex
system. It can be built for motor recovery and that might make an
intermediate step between the tumble recovery saucer and the Dual-deploy
with Defy Gravity Tether system I put together for the Horizon. My
local prefect(s) were quite supportive of this progression. (I wasn't
accused of "cheating" by using the saucer for cert 1. 8)
David Erbas-White wrote:
Well well, finally someone asks so I can post the list once again. Most
of these people have moved on from RMR, but here it is:
Folks, please keep in mind this is supposed to be the list of
recommended rocket/motor combinations for L1 certification...not the
list of who certed with what. If you would not recommend what you used
for certification to a newbie please don't submit it for the list as
they might not know, for example, that a single deployment VB Extreme 38
on an I284 is not really a good cert choice.
Nikita Piankov - PML Small Endeavor
Bill Davenport - PML Pterodactyl Jr
Steve Malin - PML Tethys
Ted Mahler - LOC IV with fin mods
James Marino - PML Small Endeavor
Dwight Brown - LOC EZI-65
Andrew Waddell - PML AMRAAM-4 on H123
Rick Dickinson - RalphCo 4" diameter crayon bank conversion on an H128
Lewis Garrow - Amraam 4 with an I211....yeeehaaa!
Neil Tarasoff - Public Enemy Honest John with an I-357T Med
Bruce Kirchner - PML Pteradactyl Jr on an H242 ( Public Enemy 4" Bullpup
I357 medium also rates a Wahoo! )
Darren Longhorn - PML Arial
Dan Ledenican - PML Arial
Jeffery Potter, Sr. - PML Small Endeavor
Michael Naunton - PML Sudden Rush on an I211
Les Kurz - Binder Excel Plus on H128-S
Kurt Kesler - Binder Excel Plus with 38mm motor mount, H123 motor.
Charlotte Potter - PML Bull Puppy on a H238
Jeff Potter - PML Little Lunar Express
Dave Lyle - Rocket R&D 2.6" Sandhawk on an H128-M
Mike DIckinson - 4 inch crayon bank conversion
Peter Khor - Minie-Magg on a H128/H180/H238/H123/H242 (all short delay)
Ted Cochran--LOC IV, all yellow glue, no fin mods, zipperless
construction, H128 for NAR, H180 for TRA
Bill Nelson - Loc Lil' Nuke on an H238
Bill Horner - LOC Forte on H128-M
Paul Smith - NCR Archer on an H128-M
Curtis Scholl - PML Callisto on an H97
Mark Simpson - LOC IV on an H97
Gene Costanza - ARG EV-3 on an H128-S
Connery Carroll - Modified Aerotech Strongarm
Ted Cochran, LOC-IV built with zipperless mod and no epoxy; H-128W-S
Chip Jenkins - Public Enemy 4" Bullpup on H238
Mark Daughtry SR. - Loc Minie Magg w/mods on H220
Ron Johnson - PML Quasar
John Stein - EZI-65 (minor mods) on H128-6
Jeromy ? - PML Callisto on H112J
Mike Toelle - Slightly modified Aerotech Mirage on a H238-10
BJamesSr. - Binder Excel Plus cloned from LOC parts, with H123 reload
John O'Donnell - LOC Caliber ISP, stock, H70 or 90 (can't remember which
- aluminum casing,
Mike Pearson - Binder Design Thug on an H128
John Marvin - Slightly modified Aerotech Mirage on an H180-M
Mark B. Bundick - Phantom 4000 HD with a forgotten Vulcan Systems H
Woody Miller - PML Phobus or X-Caliber, or Rocketman Litl' Kahuna on a
Todd Mullen - LOC Minie Magg H242
Norman Heyen - LOC EZI-65 on H242
Chuck Walden - 3x upscale Centuri Groove Tube on an H238
Norm Dziedzic - PML Small Endeavour H128W-M
Bob Kaplow - LOC IV on a Ravenna H89
Mike Bear - Scratch Built 4" Upscale Mosquito on AT H128-S
Dave Barber - Yank Enterprises 3" IRIS on an H-123
Mark Recktenwald - H97J-S in CR4, scratch-built 4"x46" rocket with
side-looking, auto-winding 35mm camera in payload bay.
Jeff Martin - Rocket R & D 2.6" Army Hawk on an H128W-M
Duane Cole - LOC Minie Magg with H124J-6
Mark Havener - Binder Design Sentinel w/ 54 mm mount on I-161
Sean Guilday - PML 1/4 Patriot on H242
Steve Shannon - PML Explorer on H242
Bill Muth - PML Endeavor H123
Shaun Longhorn - PML Bullpuppy on Aerotech H128W
David Weinshenker - PML X-Calibur on Aerotech H128W
David Wallis - LOC IV on Aerotech H128W
Steve Piette - Modified NCR Phantom 4K on a H128-S
Jane Piette - Modified LOC EZI-65 on a H123-S
Chuck Pierce - BSD Horizon H128-M
Michael Roy Hollihan - LOC Graduator w/ fin tab reinforcement on H97
Ron Hatteberg - BSD Thor I211-M
Rick Polzello - PML 1/4 Patriot on an H128-S
Lance Lickteig - PML Callisto (Stock) on an H128
Dan Gebhardt - BSD Horizon on H123-M
Rob Bazinet - PML Bullpuppy on an H124FJ
Jeff Jones - Rocketman Wahoo on an I211W
Ned Nassif - Thoy Falcon on a Rocketflite H330ss
Rick James - LOC IV with 3rd CR, eye bolt for recovery attachment, TK
Bob Ellis - NCR Interceptor G on an H128-S
Dan Gebhardt - BSD Horizon on H123
Peter Clay - scratchbuilt 2.24" CoStar on H128W-M
John Davies - BSD Horizon on an H123S
Thomas Parson - LOC Minnie Mag on an H123 S
Mike Walsh - NCR Patriot (modified ) on H123-M
Bryan Chuck - LOC IV with an H128
Donald Qualls - Binder Designs Thug (converted to plywood centering
rings, 3 of them) with an H128-M
Kris Piwowarski - RDS Quasar on I284W-M
Mario Perdue - Small Endeavor on H128
Ted Phipps - upscaled Centuri Groove Tube, all yellow glue construction,
Murray Lampert - PML Intruder + Pro38 260H110 motor
Joel Corwith - Binder Design's Excel + on H73-6
I appreciate all the answers folks have given, (and keep 'em comin').
Now that I've (sort of) decided to do this, I have some additional
How are most folks solving the storage requirements of a LEUP? I
started looking at what's necessary to get a LEUP, and it looks like my
1) Become rich enough to buy a huge plot of land on which I can build a
2) Only buy what I use at a launch
Is this correct, or am I misreading it?
If so, I have to admit that it is a BIG disincentive to getting into
high power (as though everyone didn't know it already).
Most do your number #2
however, for most, easy access 29 and 38 motors can be purchased still
without a leup.
many mailorder shops will also sell easy access without leup.
most still do not need it unless they wish to take home a K motor.