This is definitely a kit you can build on (and LOC components make mods and upgrades straightforward)!
The RNWS allowed flexibility and plenty of space for an EF GPS as well as the 1kg ballast.
A perfect L1390G flight this past April at Lucerne, 6500ft AGL and 0.77mach.
J --> K --> L
Here, follow-up to my initial review: last Feb at Lucerne, a perfect J350W L2 qual flight! My only additional change for the qual was an upgrade to an 84” TopFlite chute (probably overkill, but I figured better a longer walk than take a risk on the hard lakebed).
And this rocket is a great building block, lots of potential using LOC components. I’ve since inserted the LOC 7.5" E-bay and upgraded to the 54mm MMAS. The RNWS made it trivial to rebalance the rocket for a successful dual-deploy flight on a K550, recovering (in—for Lucerne—remarkable calm) only a few yards NE of the pad at LDRS. LOC’s photographer even kindly sent me photos he took of my rocket and flight!
What’s next? Well, I’m looking at 98mm working up from high K into L. This rocket seems plenty robust, though I probably need to think about putting GPS in the nosecone...
This kit really is close to 5 stars, very close to perfect, and has been updated not to long ago for all the newest tricks that LOC has to offer. It’s also a massive bargain. That, and it already includes pretty much everything that other vendors would sell as separate options.
Typical high quality LOC body tubes, all the laser cut plywood is flawless and building takes minimal fitment to assemble. The MMAS is just a fantastic way to handle motor mounts, and any kit with this system just becomes absurdly versatile, particularly since you can even custom order an MMAS mount with all sorts of wacky motor mount combos. Then throw in the RNWS for being able to control your nose weight based on the motor mounts used, and you’ve got a rocket that has a huge amount of versatility. My RNWS has been updated since the previous reviewer to include vent holes on one of the end plates, so you don’t have to worry about air pressure inside the mount tube. Typical LOC, always working to improve the kits.
The way the kit is designed it includes just about everything you need for a motor deploy setup. The only things you’ll NEED to buy separately is some kind of chute protector, adhesive, and paint. This kit is otherwise totally complete, down to the nuts/bolts/screws/motor retainers/launch lugs…. everything is included. And all with high quality hardware too. I do think a 3-loop recovery harness would be a much better choice though instead of the included 2-loop harness. Since the harness attachment point is recessed into the nosecone with the RNWS, you can’t just tie the chute to the nose, and have to get a bit creative if using the included harness.
The things that knock it from 5 stars to 4 are really minor if you’re building kits at this level. I already mentioned the recovery harness.
Instructions are somewhat vague, a line drawing of the assembled rocket would speak volumes, particularly in assembling the RNWS system. Though if you’re building a 7.5″ kit with a 54mm motor mount as standard, the assumption is you’re going to be an experienced builder, and very likely deviating from any instructions anyway. This is not a kit for rookies. And to be fair, many other fiberglass kits in this size don’t give you any instructions at all. Nor are they anywhere near this complete.
Where this kit can get tricky is if you’re looking to do electronic deployment, as this kit not designed for electronics. There’s a lot of volume to work with, but the MMAS and RNWS take up a lot of the usual locations you’d use for electronics mounting. So expect some creative customization. If you’ve built a stubby rocket before you’re probably already familiar with the issue.
Otherwise, if you’re looking for a chunky rocket, this one is hard to beat. A huge list of pro’s, a very short list of minor con’s. Just buy it already.
This kit is better than the LOC webpage describes!
Yes, the airframe is heavy duty but also has precision cut through wall fin slots.
The really nice precision cut plywood fins and rings look laser-cut to me.
Yes, it includes a big (60″) ripstop parachute and nylon shock cord but also a Y-harness for better deployment and rail buttons.
And the MMAS and RNWS are really clever (I suggest only drilling a couple vent holes in the RNWS tube–the close fit makes it a pneumatic cylinder!).
I liked the instructions. Enough detail to guide you, give you options, and yet still make you think through the assembly (I suggest John Coker’s website for some applicable assembly ideas for fin can and rail button mounting).
It is indeed truly stout. In fact, my only substitution (out of an abundance of overkill) was replacing the standard RNWS eyebolt with a forged closed eyebolt. I L1’d years ago on a MiniMagg, now I’m aiming to fly the Mega for L2 qual at Lucern, 38mm with a J350, hopefully this year. And then (I hope!) on to 54mm….
It’s a great kit. Oh, BTW, LOC customer service is first-class.