Re: Level 1 certification

Mark Joseph

No shortage of great advice in the preceding replies.

My personal take (and it's all opinion, right?) on choice of L1 rocket kits or scratch designs, is:
a) enjoy what you're building and flying, do it for you - it's yours; (that might make all of the following points irrelevant).
b) keep it relatively simple - limit the use of new techniques and gadgets;
c) consider your present level of building experience and use of specific materials;
d) build for and fly the field(s) you're likely to use: How high will a small H take this rocket? Is there room to fly it on larger motors, too? How about a G motor? There might be a sweet spot in weight that makes it most flexible. Do you care?

With that stuff in mind, I like the idea of 4" cardboard tube, 3/16" or 1/4" plywood fins rockets in the ~3lb (empty) vicinity. 5 or 6 feet tall, 38 or 54mm motor tube. Straightforward construction, you can get your hand in it, very repairable (not that you will ever need to do that). There are many examples of great kits that fit these criteria. Plenty of 3" kits, too, but not all of the above will apply. Though maybe not sexy, a lot of great choices, depending on your tastes.

If fiberglass is your thing, get familiar with the differences in surface preparation, personal protection, and adjust the above for the potential difference in weight. Also many great kits in this range, including some relatively recent thin-wall fiberglass tube that helps keep the weight down. Great Rocketry Forum sticky posts on building fiberglass kits, fiberglass prep, and also good lessons about epoxy.

[and with any material, proper prep for adhesives and paint is always the key]

Great examples (I think) of the 4" paper tube/plywood fin variety:
Binder Excel
Madcow Super DX3
Apogee Zephyr
various LOC kits
several more that I'm not thinking of at the moment - it's not meant to be an exhaustive list, just representative, and vendors with great service.

Fiberglass vendors to consider:
Mach1 Rocketry (good thinwall fiberglass, great parts machining/fit)
Hawk Mountain (although we hear very little about them lately)
Wildman - (kit components are generally limited to the basics, unless specifically stated otherwise)

Kits with other materials:
MAC Performance Rocketry (canvas-phenolic tubing, excellent parts fit/machining, great service)

Enough rambling.

Ohs for PML airframe and epoxy, they have some FAQs on their site about just that: (see the Do's and Don'ts of Quantum Tubing

Enjoy the process - we'll certainly enjoy seeing the results, and everything along the way.



From: <> on behalf of Greg Smith <gregs@...>
Sent: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 3:20 PM
Subject: Re: [cia-rocketry] Level 1 certification

It’s unobtanium. Solvent welding is the only way to attach anything to PVC, but that doesn’t work with porous materials or thermoset plastics like fiberglass resins, so you’re pretty much out of luck. The PML quantum kits stay together only because the tube is mechanically trapped by the fins and motor tube assembly.


From: [] On Behalf Of Gary Slater
Sent: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 3:04 PM
Subject: Re: [cia-rocketry] Level 1 certification

Chris or anyone else, what epoxy does stick to Quantum?

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