Comanche 3

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Jan 17, 2004
Reaction score
Here's a pic of my finished Comanche 3, I'm hoping it comes home with me when I get it out to fly it, it's a pretty cool rocket.


I have a slight downscale Comanche 3 worked out - based on BT20 instead of BT50 and using a C booster to an a10-0T booster to an A3-4T. Works out well on RocSim....... Don't know about staging a C6-0 to an A10-0T though.....
Originally posted by Fore Check
Don't know about staging a C6-0 to an A10-0T though.....

Works like a champ :) I do it all the time in my flying saucers. I put one of my mini-saucers (from the Triple Threat) with an A10 in it, on top of my Pheord X150 (with a C6-0 in it). Have never had a failure.

The wide nozzle in the A10 sure helps! :)
Flying the Comanche 3 fully stacked always makes me cringe. It seems like a game of chance depending on where the winds are. ChrisVG, a local TRFer always seems to fly it fully loaded. He gets it back too! Lucky son of a gun! (Chris, you still owe me a Nomad VS. Comanche 3 drag race!)

Very sweet rocket. If you're timid but want to fly all 3-stages, try a C11-0/B6-0/A8-5. It still manages to get up there in a hurry. Be sure and have spotters on standby.
That turned out really nice!
I have one sitting in the bag on the shelf. Makes me want to do mine now!!
Looks great. Also like the Rainmaker in the corner of the pic. That is a great rocket.

You Motivated me. I broke out the Commanche tonight and got a nice jump on it! Seems like there is Commanche Fever around here lately!
geez, you guys are brave. I have built two Midget clones (13mm, plans at JimZ) and lost both sustainers. Seems to me one launches a Comanche in defiance of the Rocket Gods!;)
Man....the Comanche III is a purdy rocket...I just wish that I could work up the courage to buy one to build and fly it, since the other two I've had a part in building got scrapped for parts at one time or another....:rolleyes:. I don't know...maybe it's just staging an itty bitty rocket (in comparison) D to C to C just doesn't do anything for me...I like to see the rocket up there! :D :D

Vicious - looks great! I love my Commanche, love flying it full tilt D-C-C. Nothing better than the feeling when the second stage sucessfully ignites! Get lotsa spotters, though, to track the boosters for you so you can concentrate on the sustainer. Thank God for tracking

What is it about the Commanche that just makes it so freakin cool? I have rockets that go a lot higher and a lot faster but none of them scare me more on the pad or in the air as much as the Commanche (except maybe my Quest Totally Tubular which has tried to kill me twice).

Estes should have named it the Coronary 3 because I always get this pain in my chest and arm right before I press the launch button. ;)
Very nice looking model!
I can tell you for sure, if you plan on flying it D-C-C make very sure you fly on a windless day. I flew mine on D12-0, B6-0 A8-5 and she was completely out of sight, timed for over 40 seconds on a cloudless, windless day! Time to touch down was 137sec. on 2 6 foot survayer's tape streamers.
I did one of those Mini-manchee's all 13mm tubing A10-0, A10-0 A3-6T that was almost the time, Man do these models MOVE!
hey I like the Mini Manchee! recently I found some "Cobra" A10-0T motors and have been wondering what to do with them.

where did you find an A3-6T? I wonder if I could put an A8-5 in the top stage instead.

I have a Comanche kit but haven't built it. but I have built a Flis Nomad. I thought I would lose some or all of it on the first flight (D12-C6-C6) but surprisingly I got it all back.

Cliff's law of 3-stagers: fly 'em in a desert dry lake and have 4 or 5 dozen boy scouts running around looking for their rockets - they'll find yours too!
I think the chances of getting my Comanche 3 back are slim, it seems that this rocket has been cursed from the start (and im not even superstitious) The first thing that happened was that on the upperstage the moter mount was down just a little too far so the second stage could not slide on, so I tried to pull the 3rd stage motor mount out but it wouldn't budge so I had to cut some of the body tube off and tear apart the cut off area to rescue the motor mount. I had trouble finishing to project for a little while at that point, and when the motor mount was stuck I seconds from using the body tubes for parts. Once I got to the fins everything went a-okay. Painting went okay and it dried, I left in the garage for a day or to until it was accidently stepped on one night when the garage was dark, so I fixed up the tube up (luckily it was the upper part right where the nose-cone goes in so I just stuck the nose cone in to reshape it) and finally it was done. One of the more stressful builds I have had and I took a week long break before starting my Tres. :D What other misfortune this rocket has instore for me I am not sure.
looks good
looks better in person then in the pic.
cant wait to see it fly .

let me know when you do , if i working i'll call in sick.

$5.00 says if you shot it off with ALL 3 stages its in the lake

its is a 1/3 of the lake.
Back when Estes and Apogee actually made motors for MR competition the A3-6T was a favorite "A altitude, A-PD and A-SD motor.
I still have a bunch, it's a fanstatic upperstage 13mm motor motor. Best you'll likely find is an A10-3T or A3-4T's
either will work but watch the balance point on the Mini-Manchee. A8-5's are 18mm motors so they wouldn't fit in the 13mm Mini-manchee.

I'm also doing a Micro-Manchee single stage with 3 sets of fins for micro-maxx, based on the .281" body tube. I thought about making it 3 staged but the seperation between stages would increase so much it wouldn't look like a proper downscale so i'll just stick with the single stage version:)

The real key to recovering the Commanchee-3 is to only fly her all up and full powered on cloudless, windless days, I know that takes a lot of will power, but even out of sight for a couple minutes if you replace the dinky stock streamer with two or more 6 to 9 foot long survayers tape flourescent streamers, the third stage is recoverable. Pick a dark color for the second stage as it will be WAY up there at seperation.. with a C6-7 in the sustainer you will not likely see or hear ejection, even on the clearest of days, but keep scanning the still sky for at least 3 or 4 minutes:D a couple extra pair a eyes on the skys is also a BIG help!
OK guys, I was trying to decide what project to jump on after I put the finishing touches on my Estes Polaris.
I was trying to decide betweeb the 4"Estes V2 & the Comanchee 3. I think you talked me into the Comanchee. Besides, I've had that kit the longest.
Seriously, I was thinking that it would be good for winter launches here because I could launch on a frozen lake.
we're a little short on dry lake beds or dessert up here.
We went out today and flew the Comanche. I flew it on a C6-5 as a single stage first and it flew perfectly. Then I loaded it up with a C6-0 and a B6-4 and again it was a perfect flight except it folded a fin over on landing, I glued it back on with some super glue and let it dry while we flew some other stuff.

Then I loaded it up with a D12-0, a C6-0 and a B6-4, I was scared as hell that I wouldn't see it again. It shot straight up and popped the first booster off flawlessly, I heard it pop the second booster but it was way up there already and I never saw the second booster tumble down. I heard it pop the nose and could barely see the puff of smoke, I can't even tell you how high it was but it was waaayyyyy up there!

It came down on the streamer ok and when it got close to the ground I could see the second booster was still with the rocket. It folded another fin over but the worst damage was that it burned up the second booster tube beyond repair. I can cut the fins off and make a new one pretty easy.

I super glued the other hurt fin back on and flew it one more time with a D12-0 and a C6-7, again it was a picture perfect flight. This rocket ROCKS!!! It was the most fun flying rockets that I've had yet! 4 launches (3 of them staged) and it flew great on every flight.

We took out a bunch of rockets (10 or 12) and with the exception of Corpse's new D motored Bull Pup, everything came home with us. Some of it wounded, but all of it repairable, his Pup is way up in a big tree :(

Sorry to be so long winded, Butch
Not long winded at all :) Your commanche flight sounds identical to Carl's sons (Thomas) Nomad experience on a D12-0, C6-0, A8-3 (I beleive) where everything was perfect until we realized that the 2nd stage never separated and got gutted by the 3rd stage burn...

but it was a good flight, none the less :) Sounds like yours was too! Anytime you can launch a 3 stager, have all 3 stages burn and get it all back is a good launch, damage not withstanding!
Better get the hypodermic needles handy, because there's a strong epidemic of Comanche Fever building in the San Diego area. One of the big projects for this year's Plaster Blaster launch is a swarm of Comanche's. Construction has already started, and the launch isn't until October. I don't recall the details, but it's going to be a lot!

May not be as fun as the 500 mosquito swarm from last year, but it should sound pretty crazy as a fleet of first stages all pop at the same time, and a fleet of second stages pop as the first stages are raining down on the launch site.

Here's a video of the Comanche flying on 3 stages, we're still learning how to use the video camera so please excuse the quality. This was our first 3 stager (D12-0, C6-0, B6-4) and we were all pretty stoked, the 2nd booster stayed with the rocket and got burned up pretty bad. I hope this link works, you might have to copy and paste it.

Since that one worked here's the last fight on 2 stages (D12-0 and B6-4) It burned off most of the streamers and came down very hard. It broke a fin off but otherwise was ok, it's since been fixed and I made a new 2nd stage just needs some paint.

Cool videos, makes me want to build my C3 next!
Flew my Comanche for the first time this past weekend.Went great but did'nt locate the main body untill the next afternoon.

Next project-A Mean Machine customized for 3 stage flight. Basicly an oversized Comanche 3.Will be modeling the engine system after the Comanche but with 3 D's.
Will keep yall' updated.:D