You don’t see a lot of finless rockets like the Rxiiiab, but they’ve been around for ages. Of course there was Centuri’s The Point, and others in a similar vein like the Odd’l Rockets Wedgie and for that matter their Birdie. But I’m thinking more of 0FNCs: Rockets with a nose cone, and a body tube for it to go in, but with an outward flaring cone instead of fins. I previously mentioned the past Hot Rod Rockets Bell Bottom, the present Fliskits Mighty Saturn V, and the future Odd’l Rockets Flare. Since then a comment about the Rxiiiab on YORF led me to dig up several older examples.
The Nov 1969 Model Rocketeer had an article by Warren James describing construction of the Arcturus:It used a balsa transition followed by a short section of body tube.
A year later in the same publication there was Jeff Chandler’s Candlestick:Here we have the paper shroud like the more recent models, though with a rather awkwardly set up external launch lug. Its size and shape are similar to the Rxiiiab, but it’s meant to fly with a 1 ounce payload weight. Yikes. And here I’ve been thinking 8.5 g (0.3 oz) is excessive.
I’m not sure of the date of American Rocketeer Vol. 4. No. 1, but I think it was also 1970, and it showed something imaginatively called Finless Rocket:
That one looks very much like the Rxiiiab in both shape and size. In fact if I hadn’t painted the Rxiiiab already, I’d be tempted to use this paint scheme in homage. The 0.4 ounce nose weight is less than the Candlestick’s but more than Rxiiiab started with — and its laundry’s up front. But of course, it’s built for 18 mm motors.
In the following year’s April–May issue of Model Rocketeer we find the concept’s gone commercial:
There probably are other examples from after this time and before the Bell Bottom. Maybe some from before late 1969 too, but these are the ones I’ve found so far. I assume the Vulcan, like the others, is forward ejection. I’m a little surprised I haven’t yet found a rear ejection example prior to the Rxiiiab.