Building the (scratch) Rxiiiab (part 1)

You know things are getting bad when the number of rockets “in progress” gets into double digits. I have 8 rockets in various stages of painting waiting for me to finish them, and 1 about ready to start painting, plus the Fat Boy being assembled. But when the glue is drying and weather doesn’t permit painting…

Yeah, I’ve started another rocket.

The Rxiiiab (pronounced “rxiiiab”) is a scratch build of my own design. In fact it’s a prototype for another rocket, for now called RX, I started designing a couple months ago. I thought about building the RX for this August’s club launch, but I decided that would be too ambitious, so I’m now aiming to build it for August 2016. (The August launch theme is always odd-rocs.)

The RX is odd because it’s a 0FNC: No fins and a nose cone. It’s drag stabilized with a flaring tail cone. So far so much like the Hot Rod Rockets Bell Bottom, the Odd’l Rockets Flare, or the Fliskits Mighty Saturn V. But there’s an additional bit of oddness here, because it’s designed for rear ejection, with the recovery laundry packed up inside the tail cone.

And there are further odd complications as well, which is why I didn’t shoot for this month’s launch, but a few weeks ago I decided it’d be a good idea to test the rear ejection and get a feel for where the center of gravity needs to be by building and flying a downscale prototype. The RX will (I think) use an 18 mm motor mount; the Rxiiiab is 13 mm. It’ll eschew the further odd complications mentioned above. The cone stabilization and rear ejection will be odd enough for now.


The August launch is this Saturday, so it’d be nice to get this put together by then. Not painted, there won’t be time for that, but I think my usual aversion to flying naked rockets doesn’t apply to prototypes. Then again, I’m still working on the Fat Boy and, it being from the 2014 build pile, it gets priority. As does anything needing paint when weather and opportunity permit. I can always fly the Rxiiiab in September or October or May or…


One thought on “Building the (scratch) Rxiiiab (part 1)

  1. Keep ’em comin’. That was my build pattern in the early 2000’s. Then family matters took some of the wind out of my sails (or is that parachutes?) That period contributed the majority of the rockets in my active /in progress fleet, now numbering 244 (and the 144 on the dead/lost/scavenged list too).

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