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REV 2.4 - Tue Aug 17 08:38:04 2010

North Coast Rocketry (NCR)
Lance Beta
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SPECS: 43" x 3" - 20 oz
ROCKSIM FILE: Right Click to Download
SpaceCAD FILE: MISSING - please submit here
REC'D MOTORS: Estes: F62-6, G70-7; Pre-Estes(1): F30-6, G50-7; Pre-Estes(2): F10-4, F25-6, F50-6, G25-10, G40-10, G80-10

(Contributed - by Todd Harrison)

43" x 3" - 20 oz

Rocket PicBrief:
This is a scale-like rocket. The Lance Beta uses 8 fins instead of the normal 3 or 4. It is single staged and recovers with a red nylon parachute.

This was my first high powered rocket and the instructions were easy to follow. There were several diagrams to aid me as I built the rocket. This is a very sturdy rocket and can be flown many times. The only problem was the upper set of fins need quite a bit of reinforcement since they are surface mounted. All the parts fit together fine in this rocket. The only part that required sanding besides the fins were the two plastic centering rings.

A few bullets about the kit:

  • One body tube
  • A plastic nose cone, seems to dent easily
  • A Gorilla™ Shock Cord recovery system attached through the upper centering ring
  • Gorilla-Lok™ Motor retention - locked by a plastic screw on cap. It screwed into bottom centering ring.
  • Bottom fins are through-the-wall but the upper weren't
  • Two launch lugs were made of cardboard and attached to the sides of the fins
  • Two plastic centering rings
  • 7 foot (approx) strap nylon shock cord
  • Multiple page instructions - clear with several illustrations

This kit comes with a load of different decals. They vary from orange stripes to US Army decals. Basically you just paint the rocket white and stick the decals you'd like to the body tube. So the decals wouldn't peel as much, I covered with a final coat of Krylon clear spray.

Construction Rating: 4 ½ out of 5

On the first flight of this kit I used a F62-4 Darkstar motor, produced by NCR. The only problem was the motor didn't easily fit into the motor tube. I ended up just peeling off the sticker, so it wasn't a big problem. I used quite a few sheets of Estes wadding to prevent the 'chute from melting. The flight itself was straight and the ejection charge fired as the rocket arced over.

The recovery went well. It descended at a perfect speed into the soft cornfield. Upon examination I noticed the parachute was slightly scorched, but not too badly. For the next flight I plan to add a swivel to the chute to prevent spinning of the shock cord.

Flight Rating: 3 ½ out of 5

This is a great rocket for a person new to mid/high power rocketry. The only major downfall to this kit is you must use NCR motors because the motor mount is 28.5 mm rather than the usual 29 mm, so Aerotech motors won't fit into the tube. Otherwise this is an excellent rocket.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

[Submit your Opinion]

05/04 - "The original review of this bird was much too good. The kit I built had all four of the main fins warped like saucers, they took repeated steaming, and pressing to straighten enough to be useable. The motor tube had to be replaced, with Loc 29mm, for it to fly with todayís motors. I also used a Loc side mount shock cord attachment, as the "gorilla" mount seemed a wee bit fidgety to me. I would have to give construction a 2 out of five, due too it taking a month to press out the fins, then needing to replace the motor tube. My only good thing I liked about this bird, are the fin lock system. However, I didnít like the instructions, they a bit vague, and I can honestly say , if this had been my first build I would have had a mess. The locations of the two rear centering rings is a case in point , it appears to show the lower tab on the fin locking in place, however this is wrong, its the second step that locks in the centering ring, the longer and smaller of the two actually goes to the motor mount tube. I commonsensicaled that out but I almost made the mistake any ways. All in all this is a nice bird with a lot of problems, I recommend it if its a gift, like mine was. Not for a beginner." (A.M.)

01/03 - "For the motor tube I substituted a 29mm Loc I got on an ROL auction with a bunch of other stuff. My kit must be much older as it is not TTW on main fins but surface mounted using a pin hole arrangement that works like rivets on the inside. I had to sand the plywood centering rings to fit the new motor tube but when finished is great. Haven't flown yet but am anxious to see it go." (D.M.)

05/01 - "I just took out one inner layer of the engine tube wrap and installed to T nuts and screws and used 2 screen door braces to hold an AT RMS casting. Other than that, everything was built to stock." (J.C.)

05/00 - "This a very nice bird encumbered by some very stupid shortcomings. The use of the 28.5mm motor tube to limit users only to the hard-to-get NCR motors was a nasty little ploy. The Gorilla Lock is a gadgety, junky retention device that looks as if it will degrade over time. The solution? Use another brand of 29mm tube, you can get this from Totally Tubular as a TA52H for around 3 bucks! Use an after-market retention system or homemade clips and you're in business. Just sand out the NCR centering rings to accept the new tube. This rocket is a MASSIVE performer on Aerotech Blue Thunder motors. I've tried it on F50's as well as F52 reloads. It leaps off the pad and scoots straight up with a roar! The sturdy red nylon chute recovers it without a hitch. I feel as if the Lance Beta is very pricey for a bird this size that will need modification in order fly with commonly available motors. (I got mine as part of a trade!) The materials are nice, it looks very cool, and it sure flies great! If you can get it at a discount and don't mind the extra work, it's a great rocket." (D.S.)

03/00 - "A really nice flying rocket. If you sand out the motor tube you can fly a variety of Aerotech motors. My experiences with this particular model mirror the other reviews. I've recently purchased another Lance Beta and plan to modify it for an altimeter and dual recovery. I'll keep ya posted!" (B.C.)

03/00 - "Just one thing to comment on. The tube that I got was also too small. I tried to fit my Aerotech motor in it and it got stuck. Anyway I tried a new tube but it wouldn't fit in the plastic centering rings. Here is what I did. I took a x-acto knife and made 7-8 inch cut from the aft of the motor tube straight down the middle. I then put the centering rings on. Then I inserted about 6 or 7 toothpicks to keep the slit open while I epoxied the centering rings. A few important things. Avoid epoxying where the ring meets the cut. Don't let epoxy get in the cut. Once everything is dry you have increased that motor mount diameter by' about 2mm just enough for Aerotech motors. Hope this helps. I know how hard it is to get Estes or NRC motors." (K.H.)

[Enter Rocket Specific Tip]

09/02 - "What supplies are needed to build and fly an NCR Lance Beta? You have a number of choices along the way, so it's hard to give you one solid list. And no doubt this post will start an argument of sorts among r.m.r regulars. Read everybody and do what rings true for you. You will need one or two single use motors, and an F or G Black Max Econojet will give you a good flight. Consult the kit package for delay recommendations. If you can find a Dark Star F62-4, pounce on it. Whatever motor you get, pick up an extra pack of igniters. Eventually you will want a reloadable 29/40-120 motor set, but start out with a single use motor, especially if you're in a hurry to get in the air. You will need epoxy for assembly. I recommend and use Bob Smith 15-minute type for this kind of assembly. NCR kits have a mix of plastic, plywood, and paper parts. Some assembly can be done with yellow glue but epoxy will be needed in places. You will need finishing materials for the plywood (possibly some balsa) parts: sanding sealer, latex filler, or sandable primer, and paint compatible with your sealer, as well as sanding material in various grades from 220 to 400. It goes without saying that you'll need a good hobby knife, too. You may wish to replace the motor mount tube with one from LOC or PML, because Aero-Tech motors are a bit larger in diameter than NCR ones. However, it's possible to solve this by peeling a layer of paper from the inside of the stock tube. You will need a bigger rod than you're used to: probably 1/4" dia. by 6 feet long. Look for that at a building supply store. You can simply anchor it in a sawhorse or big block of wood, or buy a launcher suited to your rocket, depending on your budget and tastes. A clay flowerpot, upside down with the rod through the hole, makes a good blast deflector. You will need a 12v launch system to fire the Copperhead igniters. Be sure you understand how they work so that you can hook them up correctly. For recovery wadding, most people use cellulose blow-in insulation, sold in bales at the building supply store again. And, as with any model rocket launch, good quality 3/4" masking tape will sure come in handy. A final note: NCR kits are really "mid-power," not "high power." They're nice and big but fairly light. Don't overbuild; they're designed to put up a "big" flight on modest power levels. " (P.C. from RMR )

[Enter Flight Log]
Date Name Motor Ejection/
Wind Notes
05-12-2001 Joe Cacciatore AT RMS F40-4 Apogee - Perfect 5-10 mph winds - Nice flight in light wind. Chute got tangled up and landed fast but no damaged. See video on my site
09-08-2001 Joe Cacciatore AT RMS F40-7 Just Past (1-2sec) 5-10 mph winds - Nice, slow take off with this engine but delay was too long. Use 4 instead. Lands within feet of trees and bushes.
08-03-2002 Joe Cacciatore AT RMS G64-M Apogee - NC Down Calm - Great flight on a G64 puts it almost out of sight. Almost lands in a ditch.
07-06-2003 Joe Cacciatore AT RMS G64-7 Apogee - NC Down 5-10 mph winds - Nice boost and recovery with the G64. Seven second delay is good although with the wind it still drifted hundreds of feet away.
11-02-2003 Joe Cacciatore AT RMS G64-4 Apogee - Perfect Calm - Great flight with 4 second delay although 7would have been better.
03-06-2005 Tim Doll AT RMS F40-7 Very Late 0-5 mph winds - Very nice except for the long delay - thankfully I'd used a super long shock cord and the high speed deployment didn't hurt anything.
03-06-2005 Tim Doll AT RMS G64-7 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Absolutely flawless flight.
07-15-1998 Joe Lalli AT EconoJet F21-7 None - Parachute Fail 0-5 mph winds - Info isn't right, but this is my favorite rocket story. My dad and I were racing another guy's Lance Beta, when the parachute failed. Fell from 3000', but we found it with only grass stains, could launch it today. We won the race.
03-30-2004 Joe Magginnis NCR SU F62-4 Apogee - NC Down 0-5 mph winds Event: BlueSkies 1
- Excellent lift off. The dark exhaust was impressive. Nose Cone came down separate from rest of rocket (full chute deployment). Nose Cone damage was due to base separating from wall of nose cone. Defective?
11-12-2000 Tim McAbee AT SU G80-7 Apogee - NC Down 0-5 mph winds - Very quick off the pad. Perfect flight.
12-10-2000 Tim McAbee AT RMS G64-7 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Another nice flight from a good performer.
07-07-2001 Robert Messner AT RMS H180-10 Apogee - NC Up
(2772 ft)
0-5 mph winds - Perfect flight, Launch Altitude 4,800 ft., Apogee 2,772 measured by onboard altimeter, recovery by 36 inch parachute
11-04-2000 Scott Patterson AT SU G40-7 Apogee - NC Down Light winds - Amazing flight to 1615ft. ANZAC Remeberance Day rocket. Beautiful! Design was slightly modified without the top fins.
08-11-1999 Bob Sanford NCR SU F62-6 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds RIPEvent: NARAM-41
- First flight, fast boost, good & stable flight, rocket drifted into trees and was lost. Status: Lost
03-13-1999 Casey Smith NCR SU F62-4 Apogee - NC Up Calm - Great flight, definetly needs more power. This is a kit that needs a 38mm mount. .
07-19-2000 Casey Smith NCR SU F62-6 Just Past (1-2sec) Calm - Nice boost at NASA, good deploy, long walk with the little breeze.

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