- by Tom Bell
The instructions were complete and easy to follow.
Although this is a large rocket, it was not difficult to build. The parts were
well manufactured and fit together without problems. This kit was my first
large rocket, and it is a good starter kit for large rocketry despite its
This kit requires for assembly of the fins and
engine mount. Some instruction on epoxying is included, but it would be a good
idea to do further research on this (web sites, books, talking to experienced
builders) before starting.
Latex gloves are a must. Epoxy can cause an allergic
reaction over time if you use it with your bare hands. I mixed the epoxy in
small batches and put the parts together one step at a time. There are pros and
cons to 5-minute and longer-setting epoxies, so check this out before starting
if you're new to this.
The LOC-4 is a very sturdy rocket. I have flown it a number
of times and it has survived a lot of abuse. The LOC tubing is thick and sturdy
and has never on me yet.
This rocket is rated for the G-80 motor, but I have
successfully used it to certify Level 1 using a H-238 motor. The rocket stood
up to the additional thrust with no problems.
The only problem with this rocket is the fins. They
are sturdy plywood, but the fin tabs only extend the thickness of the body
tube. Ideally, fin tabs should extend through the and down to the
tube, which makes the fins less likely to pop out. I may eventually
cut some new fins with longer tabs to do this. The fins do glue back
easily once they pop out, and I recommend a tube of Liquid Nails for your
box for this eventuality.
If you're interested in using the LOC-4 for high-power
motors, you may want to upgrade the motor mount to a 38 mm tube. You can
get 38mm rings for the 4"
LOC body tube and a 38mm motor mount tube from LOC or your
The package illustration shows a decal, but my rocket
didn't come with any.
This is no big deal, as you can buy all kinds of decals at
hobby stores. I used a checker-pattern model airplane wrap on my LOC-4.
This is a large rocket, so be creative with it. model airplane decals
fit nicely on this big .
This rocket is an excellent flyer and a great crowd-pleaser,
due to its large size.
You can fly it without a waiver, although make sure you
have a FAA notice
for the launch, since it is over 1 pound.
Performance is good with the Aerotech F50-4 (the minimum
I'd recommend) and the G80-4 single-use and F-52 and G-64 reloads. Short
delays are recommended, due to the large size of this rocket. It won't go
very high with these motors, but it will have a slow liftoff and good
I certified with the H238 and have also flown it with the
G75, which is the smallest Black Jack I'd recommend with this rocket(G-33's
will get it off the ground, but it may become a giant lawn ) I also plan to
launch this with a H128 in the near future.
Recovery is good with the large nylon provided, but
you may pop a fin or two as it tends to land hard due to its large size. Be
very careful if you're into midair catches...this rocket is a handful! My LOC-4
got a bad "road rash" on one landing when it was dragged by its chute
down the road, but it still flies great.
I give the LOC-4
points rating. It is a very good rocket, and would be perfect if the
fin tabs were longer. I recommend this to anyone who wants to build their first
(Contributed - by Chris Kiekens - 11/01/00)
An easy to build rocket, built for my first shot with a reloadable motor.
The kit contains a 4" kraft paper body tube, two centering rings (plywood)
included, , 36" chute, elastic shock cord, 3 plywood fins, 29mm
motor mount, and a 1/4" .
This was a really easy kit to build. I spoke to LOC briefly regarding the
fins, as they don't use construction. I was concerned, but was told that
during testing the fins were crushing the motor tube on hard impacts. Who
am I to argue? I have faith in Barry, so I built the fins "stock". I
used an eyebolt for the , and added a couple of feet of strap nylon
to boot. I didn't look too closely at the instructions, so I couldn't testify
as to their accuracy. Having built several kits before, this looked to be a
straightforward construction job. Per typical LOC style, everything fit in its
place, and required no coaxing. I left the rear off till the end
to give the small fin tabs a good once over with epoxy on the inside of the
I used nothing but epoxy for construction, and tried Elmer's
for the first time.
If I were to add anything to this kit, it would be another centering ring (I
added one) and eyebolt for the shock cord.
I am still learning different ways to remove the , and I came mighty
close this time. I expect that my next effort will get rid of them entirely.
The Elmer's Fill 'N Finish was the closest I came to entirely filling the
spiral's yet. The rocket looked great when it was done. Some decals would have
been nice, but I suppose that no decals gives you the opportunity to be
creative in your finish as well. I had planned to get some vinyl cut for it,
but the day after it was built, the conditions were great for a launch, so up
it went! I liked the rocket so much when it was finished that I took it to a
local automotive paint shop for a final finish. They painted it for free, and
did an awesome job! Gloss paint sure does show up a lack of finishing skills!
Construction Rating: 4 out of 5
The only motors I was willing to fly this day were G75 black jack motors. I
sure love the smoke! As I said, this was my first shot with a reloadable, and
never having seen it done, I was concerned that there may be more to it than it
seemed. Especially after seeing sooo many people on suggesting that you get
someone else to show you the first time. No problem, I hope it isn't just luck,
and they continue to be easy for me.
I used cornstarch packing material for , and added some machine
threads to the rear CR for motor retention, along with a bolt, and a washer. I
installed one on either side of the motor tube, but only put one in for the
flight. The rocket went together without issue, and on to the pad. I can count
the number of motors I have burned so far on my fingers, usually I only have
It took what seemed like forever to light the motor, some smoke started to
trickle out of the hole cut in the red cap, and I held my breath... Then it
took off, and up and GAHN! Great flight, slight wind cock, but it was a little
windy. It landed in the worst possible location, with soy fields all around, it
chose the road to land on. It suffered minor fin damage, and lots of scratches
to the beautiful paint job! Hmm, maybe I should ask for a refund on the paint
job! The fins stayed on just fine, and will be easily repaired (only aesthetic
boo-boos anyway). The short (6 seconds) seemed about right, and the chute
popped just after .
The shock cord that was supplied was used in flight. I added 3 feet of strap
nylon to it, which I attached to an eyebolt with a . The eyebolt was
on the forward centering ring, along with 2 washers, and two nuts to hold it
tight. Realizing that I would not be able to get inside to tighten the nut ever
again, I doused it with epoxy prior to installing the centering ring. The corn
starch peanut packing material seemed to do the job, as I used all of the
supplied BP, and there was not a scorch or burn on anything. It drifted for
awhile, and not surprisingly, hit the ground! It ended up about 1000 feet away
from the pad, where it was recovered by the enthusiastic young guy I brought
along for the task of running after it.
Flight Rating: 5 out of 5
The price of this kit was great. I picked it up from Hobbylinc for just over
$50(US), anything I added was on the floor in the basement, so $50 is about
what it cost me. I hate it when $50 becomes $100 during the build! I can't
think of one bad thing to say about this kit, other than I wish it was twins!
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
(Contributed - by Alex Jordan - 12/01/04)
This is a large single staged, simple mid/high power rocket. It uses parachute
recovery and was my first big rocket. Mine came with a 38mm motor mount,
although many websites say it has a 29mm motor mount. Also, the fin tabs extend
all the way to the motor tube.
The components of this kit came in the typical LOC plastic bag. All of the
parts were of the highest quality. Get rid of the provided shock cord mount
though. A listing of the parts are:
- 1 4" nose cone
- 1 4" pre-slotted body tube
- 1 38mm motor mount tube
- 2 4" x 38mm centering rings
- 3 pre-cut 3/32" plywood fins
- 1 36" parachute
- 1 shock cord mount
- 1 1/2" shock cord
- 1 6" x 1/4" launch lug
The construction of this kit is similar to an Estes executioner or fat boy,
or any other simple TTW (through the wall) kit. This is an excellent beginner's
kit. It is big and simple to construct. The fins fit nice and snug into the
slots and extend all the way to the motor tube. There are no cons about
construction. Use 5 or 20 minute epoxy throughout ENTIRE construction.
PROs: Quality of parts, fit of parts, ease of construction, and looks.
I finished the rocket with an orange body and blue fins and nose cone. There
are no decals and none are necessary to have a great looking rocket. Make sure
that excess epoxy is sanded down though.
out of 5
I haven't flown this model yet, but it will fly first to 900 feet on an F50-6.
This rocket will descend under a 3 foot chute, which I think is the right size
for the big rocket.
out of 5
This is a great big, fun rocket for beginners and advanced. It's ease of
construction are great for beginners and makes a great first epoxy rocket. It
was also my first 4-inch kit and the 4-inch tubing is massive! This is an
awesome rocket and it is worth the 60 bucks.
out of 5