Hello, intro & L3 composite on N5800

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

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


New Member
Oct 11, 2023
Reaction score

Figured I'd join this forum & make an intro. I've been building and flying rockets since I was a kid, starting off with my brother and I cobbling together from wrapping paper tubes and cardboard from our Christmas presents and launching in our back yard. Always preferred the process of scratch-building. In college I took some engineering courses on composites & joined a club to compete in the ESRA launch of a 10lb payload to 10k feet. We (UCLA) won the competition in Green River Utah with a carbon-fiber/fiberglass composite rocket (2008).

A few years ago I decided to get back into the hobby now that I have a garage & some cool machines (Lathe, mill, 3-D printer). Recently I got my L3 cert at Balls with a scratch-built rocket using a few techniques that I haven't seen a lot of use, it was all hand-rolled carbon tubes with honeycomb sandwitch including fins, & a DIY fiberglass nosecone using 3D printed inside & exterior molds. I'll post a writeup at some point. The Rocket successfully certified on an N1800 and I then flew on N5800 the next day, to an altitude of 28k feet at a speed of Mach 2.3.

Next interests are 2-stage, and experimental motors. I'm also going to try to build a rocket with no sanding (other than surface prep), I'm sick of dealing with dust from composites.

Luckily I'm not too far from FAR. Also have a left-over O motor that I didn't get to fly at BALLS that I'll be lighting off in November.

On-board video from cert flight: onboard video

Video of flight (N5800) credit Rocket Vlogs: flight video,

photo jim wilkerson
2023-09-23 BALLS Day 2 by Jim Wilkerson-6887-ZF-9249-57316-1-001-002.jpg