Finally going full Mid power

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Active Member
Feb 26, 2004
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I have had an Apogee Aspire and flown it several times but I never really felt it was a full fledged mid-power rocket even if you can use the mid power engines with it. It is built like a model rocket and breaks like one.

Today I ordered an Excel Jr. from binder designs, plywood fins that go all the way to the motor mount. Aluminum Engine retainer, Rip stop nylon parachute and a Giant Leap parachute protector and Kevlar shock cord sleeve for protection.

I can hardly wait to build it, I will use 12 min epoxy throughout the construction.

If you guys are interested I will post picture documentation of the kit, its construction all the way to flight.

This will be my first full blown mid-power rocket.
This is great news Dwight! I am glad to hear that you are entering the exciting world of MPR. If you've never heard a MPR motor up close, you are in for a helluva treat! It'll knock your socks off! I'd like to invite you to read about my journey into MPR in this thread. It's a long story, and it's only partially finished, but it is a good read, if I do say so myself! :p :D

I've heard many a good thing about Binder Design and the Excel series. I'm sure it'll make a good first MPR rocket. I'm going to have to order one of their kits before too long! :D

I hope you have fun and wish you luck!

Woo hoo! Make sure you get a 29mm40-120 RMS casing too - you'll definitely love it!
That is the very next thing I am going to buy after flying it on econojet engines.

This is the rocket I want to use to learn the RMS stuff.

I am going to start another thread in a week or so and jsut add to it with a picture or two ever day or so on my progress.
Excel Jr. should be a great little rocket, and it will have you all primed to move up to the full size Excel when you're ready.

Allthough I would have suggested the BSD version, heh heh but then i'm biased.

Heard nothing but good things about the Excels if you do a thread search on here you'll find plenty of reads on them.

Congrats and have fun building and flying it, and I'll definately second the notion to buy the 29/40-120 casing, no need to wait..LOL
After reading Jason's post about his first MPR flight, I decided to tell about mine. It was April 2003 at my first club launch at HARA in Ardmore, AL. I took along many Estes rockets and my Eye in the Sky 1. The Eye in the Sky 1 was my first MPR rocket and my first camera rocket all in one, and it was my first BIG scratchbuild. Before this day, the biggest motor I had flown was a C6. My first flight of the day was my Silver Comet on a D12-5, my first D motor. Flight was PERFECT! Next was the Silver Comet again except this time I drag raced somebody elses BLue Bird Zero. I won. Next, I think I loaded up my modified Gemini DC on a C6 and 2 B6s. Perfect flight. Next was the "big" rocket. The rocket was made from, 3 Estes 2.5" diameter tubes, plywood fins, think balsa handcut CRs, plywood bulkhead, Estes round nosecone, and of course the camera stuff. The camera was remote controlly activated at apogee by a RC servo. The rocket weighed about 1.5 lbs. I chose to fly it on a G38-4FJ for its first flight. Boost was great! Before this, I had never heard a composite motor. Man was it a rush! :D Around apogee, I activated the camera and hoped it took a picture. The ejection carge went off, but the parachute seperated and the rocket came in hard. It landed about 10ft. away from the pad! The only damage was a shattered camera mount made out of 1/8" balsa wood. Go figure. :rolleyes: And a slightly crinkled tube at the seams, but hardly noticeable. The camera took a picture and I was happy. :D My parachute floated away, but a couple months later, someone found it while looking for their rocket. Just recently, I had my first HPR flight on a H128-10W in my BSD 4 inch Horizon. Read about it in the HPR forum. It seems that my first MPR and first HPR flights had mishaps, but a great learning experience. Now, I am getting ready to fly my Horizon again, this time on an "I" motor (a H motor was slightly underpowered for it). After the "I" motor, flight, I will fly my HPR ANDRUS 1 (read the thread called "my first high power rocket" in the HPR forum) on a J540 Redline. After that, my next project is a 2 stage HPR rocket flying on an "I" staging to another "I". After this, who knows where the next rocket will take me. Well, rocketry has been a great hobby and has unlocked many new doors for me. It also has given me an occupation that I dream about taking on which is becoming an engineer for NASA right here in Rocket City (Huntsville, Alabama). Well, I hope you enjoied my story and good luck Dwight on your MPR rocket! :D :D :D
Thanks guys,

I actually sort of have a plan on the next rockets I will build. Of course that may change.

The Excel Jr I hope to use as my workhorse, and the “less than 12oz" rocket I can fly anywhere, any time.

After that I will probably scratch build a couple of Mid power models, including a boost glider. I have a Quest Intrepid that I just love, but I would like to make a much larger version. Not an upscale mind you, but a good boost glider. I want the Glider to use a 29mm body tube, to give you an idea of the size I am thinking about.

Then I plan to buy either the 3" or 4" Horizon, I have had my eye on that rocket for a while now. Which will be my L1 certification rocket. I am about 2 hours away form the launch site for Tripoli Central California.

The reason I am not buying it now is that it cannot be flown on the smaller engines. It is F-G-H only, while the Excel Jr can be flown on the larger E's

I have looked at Loc, Public Missiles, Aerotech, and a host of other suppliers. As you can probably tell, Scott Binder has made a very positive impression on me.

p.s. I am an older beginning rocketeer, Im 48, wife and 4 kids. and I hope I never grow up.
Aspire goes great on mid power motors! Launched one with a G25-10... Have plenty of scratch-built birds that are 1.3" in diameter that fly great on G35s.
I am looking around for that 29mm 40-120 motor.

I sure hope the reloads are easier to come by then the hardware.

Anyone know of a dealer that has this stuff in stock?
I saw several (and bought one) at my local launch. Vendor was What's Up Hobbies. They were out of the 24mm cases, but they had everything else up to the really HUGE cases.

I see quite often on the mid power threads talk about a kevlar sleeve for the shock cord. where do you get these and how do you use it - does it make a difference?
I know of 2 sources, I have not used either yet.

Pratt hobbies makes a Nomex chute protector for various sizes. and a nomex shock cord protector.

Giant Leap Rocketry makes the same in Kevlar.

The only reason I went with Ginat leap is the sizes seemd to be more suited to the specific rocket I was buying them for.

I have seen shock cords burn through, I ahve seen them cursted until they break.

This Excel rocket I am building I am taking great pains to make very very strong, I want this to be my workhorse rockets for Camera, video and other projects I have a mind to try. So I am going full bore on a solid recovery system.

There is also an anti zipper ball out there that looks really interesting for larger rockets.