Fly away guides? Good or Bad?

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
TRF Supporter
Jan 18, 2009
Reaction score
Stafford, VA
So I haven't used any of the flyaway guides for my rockets. Old school buttons here.... I've seen a few used but haven't really talked to the folks using them. The launch seasons is coming up, should I be looking at them?

What's the pros and cons of the flyaway guides? Do they really make much difference in altitude? How big of rocket can you use them with? Weight vs. power?
I like mine. I have the Mayhems via AMWPROX in 29 and both 38's. They make building & painting a touch easier. Haven't used them on any ultra performance flights, for that I'd probably want a tower.

Flyaways + JLCR just make for easy rockets.
I like them and have used the Mayhems successfully on a 38 mm and two 54 mm MD flights. Wish the material were not so brittle though, as they have cracked on every flight.
They are great, and very handy especially for MD rockets. I use Mayhem's on my Go Devil 38, only had three issues in around a dozen flights, first time I'm pretty sure I did everything right yet the guide failed to come off, rode the rocket to apogee, shortened the flight quite a bit from its expected altitude and the guide was lost. Once it came off as expected but broke when it hit the ground. Third time was totally operator error, it again rode the rocket to apogee, but I realized afterwards that I hadn't even looped the rubber band over the clips, so there was no way it was going to spring open. :facepalm: Always ensure the guide pops open on its own before the final clamp around the rocket and feed onto the rail.

Besides the fragility (they come off quickly, but can still end up falling a decent distance, onto potentially hard ground), the fact that there are 3 buttons can sometimes make the fit onto the rail difficult, there was a time that I simply couldn't get it on the 1010 rail and had to move to a different pad. Another time I think the rail channel was a bit wider than usual, and I couldn't get the guide to make a tight-enough grip on the rocket to stay in place (even with an extra rubber band wrapped around each side to make the diameter smaller), had to go back to camp and grab more rubber bands to build it up even more.

I'm building a RW Double Shot (2-stage), and for the sustainer which I want to do a test-flight on its own first to verify the electronics I'll use a 54mm Mayhem set, to avoid having to punch any temporary holes in the airframe.
OK, so far the guides don't look like a long term solution. The fragile nature and issues with slipping seems to indicate that unless you have a MD you want to get absolute maximum altitude with and don't have a tower available for, that rail buttons or guides may be a better long term answer. To me, if I want every last foot of altitude I'll use a tower, if not, I'll use buttons or guides for ease of use.