Level 1 cert kit recommendations

Discussion in 'Beginners & Educational Programs' started by Brown Lettuce, Apr 6, 2019.

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  1. Apr 6, 2019 #1

    Brown Lettuce

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    Hello everyone, new to model rocketry and seeking recommendations for an easy build and durable level 1 certification kit . After attending a club launch with our estes rocket, i caught the bug .
     
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  2. Apr 6, 2019 #2

    kuririn

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    If you're "new" to model rocketry, I suggest you get some experience with low power kits before trying for an L1.
    Signing up with a club is a good start. Do the launches and see what works and more importantly, what doesn't work. This will be helpful in an L1 attempt. Ask a ton of questions for the veteran members. Seek a mentor if possible.
    Learn and have fun. Good luck!
     
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  3. Apr 6, 2019 #3

    jmuck78

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    The 4'' patriot from Madcow is a good choice: https://www.madcowrocketry.com/4-patriot/

    And you can't go wrong with the LOC IV: https://locprecision.com/product/loc-iv/

    My wife just went through this same search, and I think the key things to look for are something simple to assemble and long enough that the rocket is inherently stable without much noseweight. Bigger rockets (i.e. 4'' diameter) are large enough that you can reach inside to apply fillets and attach recovery harnesses, and also tend to fly lower in altitude making it easier to follow the rocket through its flight and find it after.
     
  4. Apr 6, 2019 #4

    timbucktoo

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    LOC IV is probably the most commonly built rocket for L1. Can’t go wrong.
     
  5. Apr 6, 2019 #5

    jmuck78

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    I would also recommend downloading OpenRocket and familiarizing yourself with running simulations on your rocket. The 4'' diameter rockets that are lighter in weight may also be flown with lower power motors (i.e. G80 and smaller) that are great to test-fly your rocket with before you attempt your certification flight.
     
  6. Apr 6, 2019 #6

    boatgeek

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    First off, get a rocket that tickles your fancy. If you don't like the look of it, you won't want to fly it.

    Second, the size of your launch field will drive your kit choice. Do you have nothing but flat sod in all directions? You could go ahead and get a 54mm rocket and plan to walk a ways for recovery. Do you have a small field ringed with swamps filled with rocket-eating trees and rocketeer-eating alligators? You definitely want a 4" rocket so it doesn't go as high. Personal preference will play a role here as well.

    Third, I'd suggest a 2.6" or 3" diameter heavy wall cardboard rocket with a 29mm motor mount will be a really versatile flyer. It should go well on a G or even possibly a sporty F, but will still be fairly easy to see the full flight on an H. You probably won't fly it on more than a smallish H, but you'll learn a lot for when you want to build something bigger, faster, louder, and higher. My L1 cert was a 54mm rocket with a 29mm motor mount. I think I still fly it more than any of my other rockets.

    LOC, Madcow, and others all have great options in this size range in a variety of styles. And everyone else in the thread has given good advice.
     
  7. Apr 6, 2019 #7

    8thPaladin

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    Welcome to the hobby! There are some great suggestions here. Find a rocket you like, so you want to build and fly it. Enjoy what you learn, ask lots.
     
  8. Apr 6, 2019 #8

    swatkat

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    Seconded on the Loc IV or Forte. Easy.
     
  9. Apr 6, 2019 #9

    Rex R

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    please though be aware that the instructions might not be what you're used to.
    Rex
     
  10. Apr 6, 2019 #10

    OverTheTop

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    Check out Binder Design. You could build something like a Velociraptor and fly it. Once you get your L2 you could then put some bigger motors in it for some great flights. I have one of these and it is my most frequent flyer.

    You can fly a shortened version without the avionics bay and upper airframe section if you want to just do simple single deployment. I flew an I211 for my L1 on one of these. Cardboard airframe is a bit easier to work with than fiberglass. Depends what you want to achieve with the project and certification flight.

    Here is a pic of the shortened configuration.
    DSC01643.JPG
     
  11. Apr 6, 2019 #11

    JohnCoker

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  12. Apr 6, 2019 #12

    tomsteve

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    i always suggest the loc mini magg for an L1
    https://locprecision.com/product/minie-mag/
    its easy to upgrade to a 54mmt. the reason for that is an adapter can be used to adapt down to 38MM.
    then when ready for L2, a section of BT and a couple and viola!-L2 rocket.:D

    its a simple build and quite a robust rocket.
     
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  13. Apr 6, 2019 #13

    8thPaladin

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    Madcow DD Twitch is what I used for my L1.
     
  14. Apr 7, 2019 #14

    mbeels

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    The best recommendation would be one that suits your building and flying style. You've got to get it built well, and enjoy flying it. How much rocket building experience do you have? Do you enjoy building? Do you want a challenge, or the simplest possible option? What do you want to launch? I agree with 8thPaladin, it should be a rocket that you want to keep launching after your cert.

    For an easy build, the Apogee Zephyr would be a good option. Laser cut parts, excellent instructions, and good building resources like videos are available.
     
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  15. Apr 7, 2019 #15

    KenRico

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    I would suggest turning it around - instead of buying a rocket for 'Level 1' , pick a rocket you want and see if it can be flown on level one .

    Or buy a fiberglass rocket (no paint , very robust) capable of L2 , and fly on a big L1 motor ..

    For L2 and L3 motor and hardware availability seem to be the priority because of costs and the rocket is secondary.

    Cheapest would be a Balsa Machining Service school rocket with 29mm mmt . You could even buy an additional tube , coupler and bulkheads for a payload section and not be under powered with a small H motor . If you do go with a non fiberglass rocket, don't limit yourself to rods & hooks ..pick up some Acme rail guides and purchase a motor retainer Estes or Aeropack . A fabric chute makes it flier friendly also .

    Fiberglass birds usually don't come with retainers, chutes or rail buttons - but Wildman Rocketry has some Sport rockets that may come with some of that - worth a call to confirm . Punisher SuperSport rocks a 38mm mount , upgraded nose cone and is still under a hundred bux.

    Kenny
     
  16. Apr 8, 2019 #16

    Brown Lettuce

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    All great advice and recommendations, ive decided to stick to the smaller rockets. I plan on attending more club launches ask lots of questions learn as much as possible to keep my mistakes and mishaps to a minimum . I need a better foundation, put in some time launching and learning some build techniques . I think this will increase my chances in sticking around in this hobby and enjoying it.
     
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  17. Apr 8, 2019 #17

    K'Tesh

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    You could always go and scratch something up yourself... I used Binder Design's body tubes, Stickershock decals, and a 3D printed nosecone to make my own.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Apr 8, 2019 #18

    Brown Lettuce

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    Very cool and creative.
     
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  19. Apr 8, 2019 #19

    K'Tesh

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    The secret was the can of Diet Coke in the nosecone. Nothing like getting refreshment on the walk back to the pad.
     
  20. Apr 8, 2019 #20

    dwightr

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    I built an Apogee Zephyr for my L1.
    I did a test flight on an Aerotech G80 that went well.
    Certification flight was on an Aerotech H135 to about 1340'
    I chose the Zephyr because it was 4" diameter so it is easy to see and also for the 38mm motor mount.
    I'm in the process of building an avbay for it to convert it to dual deployment.
    I plan on using it for a L2 certification some time in the future.
    It sims about 3475' on an Aerotech J270.

    IMG_2042.jpg
     
  21. Apr 8, 2019 #21

    Brown Lettuce

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    Nice builds, at the local launches i'll be attending i have to watch the weight and ceiling height. I do plan on building a 4" rocket when I'm ready for L1 certification. I'm fortunate to live close to a LUNAR club launch area.
     
  22. Apr 8, 2019 #22

    mbeels

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    Hmm... if you drink the refreshment before getting your rocket inspected, is it grounds for failing the cert? Is it a part of the rocket, or a consumable? Just some rocketeer fuel... :D
     
  23. Apr 8, 2019 #23

    K'Tesh

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    Solution: Bring your inspector out with you as you recover the rocket.
     
  24. Apr 8, 2019 #24

    OverTheTop

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    Third solution: two lots of refreshments.
     
  25. Apr 8, 2019 #25

    beeblebrox

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    This is a great kit with lots of motor configurable options. 1 x 29mm, 3 x 29mm, 1 x38mm, or 1 x 54mm. Has interchangable host mount system. You can Fly it with a J125, then later when it gets windy, and you know it always does... you can fly it with a G80. Flys to roughly 1000' on a low H-Motor. I used a Redline H180.
    http://v-serv.com/usr/kits/mega-roc.htm
     
  26. Apr 8, 2019 #26

    Scottydog1

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  27. Apr 8, 2019 #27

    Bat-mite

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    I bought an Aerotech Sumo and flew it several times on a G80 SU. Then it was simple to stick an H in it and let it rip. Only difference was that it went a little higher. JLCR would have brought it in closer, but it was still an easy recovery.

    Don't make the mistake of launching to 3000' with single deployment and expect to get it back unless you have a huge field and binoculars.
     
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  28. Apr 8, 2019 #28

    samb

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    I thought this business was suspended because of health issues. I'd try to contact them through their website or Facebook before placing an order. Good choice if available.
     
  29. Apr 8, 2019 #29

    samb

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    I think an Aerotech kit with F and G, 29mm single use or reloads with the 29/40-120 case are a good next step up. Aerotech kits have some unique design features and build fast and strong. As for L1, I chose LOC for my certification flight because I like big cardboard and plywood rockets. Pick any 3 or 4 inch model that strikes you fancy. 38mm with a 29mm adapter for a wide range of motor choices.
     
  30. Apr 8, 2019 #30

    K'Tesh

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    Scott has gotten some help since his heart attack, and has decided not to close the business... The Fusion and Thor are currently in stock (as of my chat with him a couple of days ago).
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
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