# Recent lurker, first time post - Mercury Emgineering 3" School Rocket

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#### jfgesquire

##### New Member
Hi everyone!

My 14 year old son and I have had lots of fun over the last few years with our local hobby store Estes kits including a couple from an all inclusive set, an Alpha and a Big Daddy to name a few. The Big Daddy has had maybe 20 launches on D12-5's with only one burnt shroud line. It has been a great rocket, but I want to retire it before something bad happens!

I recently purchased the new Estes V-2 and, of course, started thinking that a 3" V-2 would be even better than their 2.6", so I started surfing the net to gather intel to scratch build a 3" V-2 and one thing lead to another. I was looking for a 3" nose cone when I came across the Mercury Engineering '3" School Rocket' sold through Balsa Machining Service.

At $14.95 for the whole kit, I could not pass it up. It's a great kit to build with my son. I also broke down and bought another Big Daddy kit for its nose cone and other parts for my V-2 project, but used the Big Daddy fins for this rocket. The fin shape and size is almost identical. The School Rocket fins do not go all the way to the motor mount tube (on the right in the picture) but they do have a flat bottom edge instead of the sharp corner. I can see how that would likely be more durable, but my current Big Daddy fins held up, so I'm not too worried. On the Big Daddy fins 1" was cut from the top of the shoulder, and about an 1/8' was cut from the tube edge side, to fit with the upgraded 29mm MMT. They look like they were made for this kit. The larger MMT was placed on the centering rings and the larger diameter was traced out. A dremel made quick work of grinding out the plywood to 1.2XX inches for the larger MMT. The only other changes will be 1/4" launch lug, Nomex wadding, and an Estes motor retention ring. This thing will be done in no time. Even with the changes, the price was unbeatable. Heck, the nose cone alone sells for$12.00!

Thanks for letting me ramble....

....more ramblings to follow.

#### Cabernut

##### Well-Known Member
Ramble on...

Sounds like a cool build! I may have to look into that 3" rocket from BMS... thanks for the tip.

#### hcmbanjo

##### Well-Known Member
JFGEsquire,
Bill at BMS bought Mercury Engineering. At one time that model was (close) to the ME Invader:

Now sold by BMS, at $14.95 the 3" diameter rocket is the best rocket value out there! The 3" tube is Heavy walled, much thicker than a standard tube. Regarding the fins, for an additional charge Bill has fins with the longer tang that will go all the way through to glue onto the engine mount tube. I drew up the instructions for BMS and did some pre-production testing. There's a build on my blog: https://modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com/search/label/ME 3" School Rocket Last edited: #### dixontj93060 ##### Well-Known Member JFGEsquire, Bill at BMS bought Mercury Engineering. At one time that model was (close) to the ME Invader: https://mercury-rockets.com/Invader_Model_Rocket.html Now sold by BMS, at$14.95 the 3" diameter rocket is the best rocket value out there!
The 3" tube is Heavy walled, much thicker than a standard tube.
Regarding the fins, for an additional charge Bill has fins with the longer tang that will go all the way through to glue onto the engine mount tube.

I drew up the instructions for BMS and did some pre-production testing. There's a build on my blog:
https://modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com/search/label/ME 3" School Rocket
Building a Pigasus right now!

#### jfgesquire

##### New Member

One of the first things I did was googled that rocket and found your build. That is what convinced me to buy it.

In fact if they weren't so inexpensive you should demand a commission!

As for the fins, I did not know longer tabbed fins were available, but the Big Daddy fins were perfect fit with very little adjustment, I wasn't going to use them on my scratch 3" V-2 anyway, and I'm sure I'll find a use for the unused BMS/Mercury fins on another project.

I purchased almost all my parts from BMS for these upcoming projects and was greatly impressed with quality, packaging, and speed of service.

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