Level 2

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Red blooded white American male
Oct 30, 2009
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Are there any rockets on the market that can handle a Level 2 certification and be flown on J motors and possibly K. I am not yet advanced in the science of rockets like dual deployment, ect.. I am looking for a rocket that is big enough to handle J motors without doing any other reinforcement like fiberglassing and I only want it to go to about 2500 feet since I do not have a 2 event system. I am familier with LOC rockets and I have seen some rockets like the LOC Magnum, LOC Big Nuke, but I do not know if they are strong enough to handle J motors without doing the extra strengthening. So are there any rocket companies that could possibly help me. I have the Roush Tech 38/720 casing that I can put a J in and all I need is the rocket to get certifyed Level 2. My maximum budget on this rocket kit is $200.00 not including building supplies, motor casing, paint, and motor reload. So if anyone can help me that would be awsome.
I used a LOC rocket kit for both my L1 and L2 - the Phantom. I did use duel deploy for my L2, though. The Phantom held up to a full J motor without any modification. It also held up to an H V-Max load. I have a feeling it could go alot further, but I have since moved on from that rocket.

I like LOC kits alot and recommend them for anyone getting their L1 or L2.
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i'll put a good word in for the LOC Big Nuke. A 54 to 38mm adapter
and you could go L2 on a J350 with your existing hardware and still be able to fly K's later. No fiberglassing necessary.
The 4" https://www.binderdesign.com/ "Excel" series is very like the BSD Horizon I used for my L2. I've flown a "Excel Plus 54mm" on K motors. I built it a little too heavy for H motors, but it really likes the Loki I405. I've built a couple now with carpenter's glue and they seem quite happy. I don't think mine breaks 2000' on an Aerotech J350.
I will 2nd Will's vote for a Binder design Excel rocket..Get the Excel + and you will be ready for when you decide to go dual deploy..I have one, and LOVE IT! It is one of my favorite rockets! Now, I DID fiberglass the tubes on mine, but not necassary. Has flown on a K805 to 6700'.:)
If you consider recovery gear and some AeroPak parts "building supplies", this rocket might interest you. Should fly to that 2k-ish like you want on a J and whatever you can afford after that. You could probably finagle it into dual deploy later on too.


Just throwing my:2: in here from personal experience. If I'd have been a little more aggressive with my L2 budget up front, I actually would have saved quite a bit of money.
I recommend the LOC Magnum with a 54/38 adapter. Built stock except swapping out the elastic for tubular nylon, it will handle a almost any 54mm motor available, including the K1275. The only 54mm motor I wouldn't risk mine on was the original Kosdon L1860. Expect about 2000 feet on a J350.
I did my L2 on a Loc Warloc that was fairly stock. An CTI J285 or AT J350W will stay around 2000'.

Any kit where the manufacturer recommends J or K motors should fly fine when built according to the instructions. No fiberglassing, tip to tip, etc. needed.
I have hammered Binder Designs kits on large 54mm Ks and Ls and they come back just fine. Flew my first Sentinel(no fiberglass, just internal wood glue fillets) to ~10,000' on an L1100ish load. Unfortunately it floated away but the airframe held up just fine all the way to apogee. Have also flown K1100Ts, J1999Ns, J570Ws in other kits and they all do just fine.

So, I third or fourth the recommendation above for Binder Designs kits they will take any 38mm load you can throw at it built bone stock. Forgot to add that any of his 6' or 7' long 4" kits won't break 3000' on a J350. I got 2941' in my Stealth but it is light. That same Sentinel as above went ~2400' if I remember right.
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I can recomend the PML Tethys. Nice easy build, decently sized and the stock motor mount Kwik-Switch system will accomodate an AT J350, which is what I did my L2 on. I also used the rocket for my L1.

I did my Level 1 on a LOC Bullet, and my Level 2 on a LOC I-ROC which I extended 21 inches and used dual deploy. After I lost that project 3 weeks later, I ordered a modified version from Barry, and I handles a K550 just fine. I flown it also with the 54/38mm adapter on a I357 for a great flight. I have pictures of the K550 flight. I am attaching one of them, which was taken by Rockets Magazine at LDRS 28.

OK, enough rambling. I wholeheartedly recommend a LOC kit for your Level 2. The Big Nuke will handle a J and K motor. I will be building my Big Nuke 3E for my Level 3 project. Be on the lookout for pictures when construction begins.

Has to be the LOC MAGNUM .... THE workhorse of High Power, and a classic to boot.

I built my first back in '85 and although it had issues on my certification flight (not my fault ) , it suffered very minimal damage and flew many more flights.
after loss of that one, my new one is still going after many hardcare flights, to include J700, J800, K1100, Kosdon J1000, etc.

have also flown it on as small as an I357 and an I211, or my favorite = one H242 and 2 x H238s :)

NO reinforcment, no extra centering rings, no fiberglass, still running the orignal bungie shock cord.
( note my original one had 1" elastic shock card and was fine at the time - technology moves forward, no point in not upgrading to tubular cords for peace of mind ).

my favorite kit and won't let you down . seen MANY L1 and L2 certs with these, a great performer on a J350 ( and can take it when you are ready to move up.
As you can see there are a lot of great options! A 4" diameter airframe seems to be a common factor in the L1 and L2 selections. It is small enough that it is relatively easy to build in an average workspace, and is also not too expensive. And 4" is large enough that it gives you a feel for working with larger rockets. Plus you can probably get a hand in everywhere you need access during construction and for flight preparation.