Hawk Mountain vs Performance Rocketry components

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Well-Known Member
May 10, 2009
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Hey guys. Looking for opinions. I need to buy some fiberglass tubing and a couple nose cones to build some rockets this winter.

Just curious on the quality of the tubing and nosecones from PR and Hawk Mountain. Which is better? Stronger? More durable? etc.

I know there is a little bit of a cost difference between the 2 but I am nor really worried about that. Just want to get the better of the 2 components.

Thanks for your opinions,
With out a doubt Hawk. Especially the nose cones. They are top notch. My L-3 , 6in diameter is all Hawk. The quality of their spiral wound tubes is second to none.
Don't get me wrong I have 6 Pr rockets and value wise they are hard to beat.

If you want a Rolls you will pay for it! Either one will take anything you can throw at it motor wise.

A little more work to finish and get a good fit, PR is the choice to save some money. BUT I would buy through a dealer, not direct to alleviate any delivery and in stock problems.
I agree with Blackjack, particularly about the nose cones. Don't drop a PR nose cone.
My personal preference is PR for the tubing, but definitely Hawk for the nose cones. PR makes good cones, but the tips are somewhat prone to breakage. Hawk cones are absolutely top notch. Honestly though, either should be able to take anything you throw at it.

Oh, and don't order PR directly - make sure you get it from a vendor.
Going to go against the grain and recommend PR over Hawk for tubing. I have seen too many shredded Hawk airframes to convince me to buy their product. When it comes apart it unravels into the individual wraps. If you are pushing the envelope go PR. Better constructed tube. And by envelope I am talking minimum diameter or near minimum diameter.
If I do mix and match manufacturers for some of the parts, do any of you know that the OD and ID for the tubing is the same between the two brands? If I use a Hawk nose cone with PR tubing will it fit?

Thanks again

PS, I will be using the 5" and 6" sizes
I second Blackjack's comment about the extra work to finish. I'm building my L3 project with PR components because Hawk did not have an ogive NC in 7.5 inch diameter. It's taken numerous coats of primer to fill all the pinholes in the airframe tubing. With having to wait for dry days when I can spray primer outside, my progress has been really slow.

I checked the ID and OD of airframe tubing. Hawk and PR IDs match, but the ODs do not, so you would have a step if you mix components. Hawk's ODs are slightly smaller than PR.

To fill the pin holes in PR tubing, or any glassed tubing, brush on a coat of thin finishing epoxy. Cure it, hit it with some 120 grit, then prime it. No holes. :D

Personally, I prefer the PR tubing. Convolute wound fabric, as opposed to the spiral wound tubes, I feel is stronger. Just buy from a stocking dealer, not directly from Curtis.

As for nosecones, any brand will lose it's tip if you drop it on the garage floor. It's gelcoat. Hack off the tip in the chopsaw, and replace that tip with aluminum. All my glass nosecones have an aluminum tip. Crack that. :2:

I go with Hawk over PR, both are nice, but quality of their spiral wound wins.
I,ve gotten those pesky pin holes and sometime not so PIN.:confused2:
Hawk Mountain Extreme II fiberglass for the win! Very, very strong lightweight and free of any surface flaws
My custom fiberglass Binder Design Devastator was done in Hawk Mountain Extreme II tubing, absolutely great!

Performance Rocketrys 's fiberglass tubing is is ok too, I built three PR little Dogs, and like someone else mentioned, the PR tubing can have rather large pinholes.
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I'll agree that the Hawk tubing is finished better, but I think the PR tubing is stronger for the kind of loading it normally sees in HPR.
I'll agree that the Hawk tubing is finished better, but I think the PR tubing is stronger for the kind of loading it normally sees in HPR.

The Hawk tubing is plenty strong. IMHO It's much stiffer than the PR G10 stuff
The Hawk tubing is plenty strong. IMHO It's much stiffer than the PR G10 stuff

I've seen it fail before. It's filament wound such that the majority of the fibers are in the hoop direction. This is great for pressure containers, but for rockets, you want more fibers lengthwise. As for stiffer, it'll be more resistant to compression sideways, but for the stresses that matter (lengthwise compression and bending), the PR should be stiffer.

Now, admittedly, it won't fail unless pushed pretty ridiculously far, but it is weaker.