Use of non-glassed phenolic tubing for HPR project

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Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2009
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I'm planning on building an upscale of a Binder Design Dragonfly with a 4 inch 5:1 ogive NC from Performance Rocketry & a 16.5 inch piece 4 Inch diameter tubing. Fins & centering rings are all 1/4 inch birch ply. Haven't got my hands on the tubing yet... A vendor at an upcoming launch carries some flexible phenolic tubing (I believe). This is NOT going to be a high performance rocket--it won't fly on anything greater than a Pro38 H153...and hopefully will be light enough for some G35s & G64s. Aside from PML's phenolic tubing that I've used for motor mounts only, I haven't used phenolic tubes "externally". I really don't want to 'glass any tubes if i can help it (never done it & want to keep it that way for a while...) so I'm looking for opinions as to whether it's OK to use non-glassed phenolic for this application *OR* wait & get my hands on some LOC (paper) or PML QT tubing.

BTW, this is a great rocket among the ladies... I'm actually building it for my wife as an anniversary present--she said it was very thoughtful of me...really!! (Upgrading her engagement ring is her "real" present...but I digress. I ain't THAT crazy! haha)

Let the comments begin...

Thanks for the help!
I have seen one take a hard landing... and the tube was quite a drop,,but no cracking anywhere.
should be fine
I see no problems at all with the phenolic as long as your not flying supersonic. Phenolic seems pretty robust.
should be fine, the stuff is tough. I sat on a 6" peice of Phenolic and it was fine.
The flying is fine but phenolic is brittle. A hard landing and it cracks. I recommend paper such as LOC. It's even lighter and will take a rougher landing before damage. It's also easier to repair, just cut out the damage and replace the section of tube.