FAQ

This is a FAQ for frequently asked questions.  In most cases if you read all the instructions and look at the build photos and read all the general instruction information page pulldown it will answer your construction/flight questions.  If not use the contact page and ask.

  • I’ve never flown RC before how can I make sure I don’t crash it.
    • buy an rc trainer, join a club and get some instruction get comfortable with a moderate speed aileron plane and landing dead stick, only then should you consider getting one of my kits.  You can’t turn the motor off once it lights, you need to be able to fly something that goes over 80mph on boost and not destroy it.
  • What sort of radio should I get
    • If you are asking this question you probably don’t have rc experience and shouldn’t be getting a kit.  If you just want to know what particular radio will have the features you need refer to the general instructions page.
  • Can I put a bigger motor in it
    • No, these are designed specifically for the 24mm aerotech E-6 single or reload only because they are not only the most gentle on the airframe, they give you time to react.  You won’t believe me but it’s true.  I’ve done extensive simulations, higher speed/faster burn does not necessarily get you higher or even as high an altitude as the long burn motors so you risk the airframe and your reaction time for zero benefit.
  • Can I use estes 24mm black powder motors
    • No, these have a non zero failure rate and when they do fail they set your model on fire and destroy it, and I’ll do the “I told you so” dance….
  • Why don’t you include decals?
    • Cost, I used to offer decals but only about half of the people were willing to pay extra for them.  I work with a company to offer  quality markings that I use myself.  However they run $15-$25 per set(and are worth it) but that would mean I would have to raise prices of the kits and invest a lot of $$ up front for each kit and half of you wouldn’t care or want to do your own thing anyway.  In a few cases like the Pegasus, I include them because it is a scale model and there is one scheme and you sort of need them to look correct.  They need to be printed and Mark has a minimum order for printed decals that would make them expensive to buy one at a time for customers, so I took the plunge to offer them with the kit.
  • Why don’t you include a manual?
    • I have pages and pages of instructions, clear big photos, and general instructions, at the prices I’m charging and the weight I have to meet to keep shipping reasonable I can’t include a printed manual, plus keeping them live online allows me to fix anything incorrect or improve them for you immediately.
  • Why is the foam not perfectly flat/smooth/dent free
    • Well that’s becuase that’s how I get it from the manufacturer and I have to do some fabrication on the parts, little defects, roughness or dents are just part of modeling with foam, these are designed to fly and look good, but they will never be a glass smooth fiberglass rocket. Some foams have a rougher side as well depending on how it is manufactured, I use three different kinds of foam to have the strength required where needed. I kit them so that the best side is visible from the top.  I could not offer these kits at all if I had to limit the pieces to have perfect foam.
  • can I put an edf or electric motor in them for longer run time.
    • No, you will make the model heavy and it won’t fly well or at all.   These are designed to be nearly perfectly balanced using the components speced and using the recommended motors.
  • Can I put fpv on them
    • yes and no, boost will be looking straight up and boost speed is too high to react correctly on boost, maybe in glide, however any weight you add will reduce altitude and glide.
  • why don’t you use a BEC and 2s battery?
    • spektrum receivers and most servos will run down to 3.5 volts, with two servos and a 500mah 1s pack I’ve never had any issue with brownout even with many launches running it directly to the receiver, the servos run a bit slower but not enough to matter and it’s lighter.
  • why don’t you have a rudder
    • weight in the tail, you don’t need it, you aren’t taking off of a runway and can land into the wind without rudder, roll/pitch is all you need, keep it simple.
  • can I use epoxy, hot glue etc.
    • No, they are heavy, much heavier than the recommended foam safe CA+ don’t do it.
  • Can I use other paints.
    • No, testors enamel and model master enamels don’t melt the foam if you don’t spray too closely, almost everything else may melt the foam, I give you scrap to test, but I’ll do the I told you so dance if you melt your foam….water based paints may be fine, but I have not used them.
  • I have this old radio and nicad batteries can I use them.
    • No for gods sake, please just use the right modern equipment recommended, and not try to save a dollar.
  • can I use a launch rod instead of a rail?
    • Yes, but don’t…These have large wings, in any wind the model will blow and twist and short your igniter leads, even a 6′ rod will whip in any wind with a model this size and you are asking for trouble.  A rail will never whip, will prevent the model twisting and has less friction for boost.
  • I have a 24mm aerotech reload casing so I’m good to go right?
    • NO NO NO, the reloads take a special RC casing without a forward closure, if you try to use the reloads in a standard casing they will not seal and catch on fire .
  • can I put keychain cameras on them?
    • Yes, but they add weight and drag
  • should I paint the model or cover the wings?
    • No, or maybe?   Spraying an entire model with model master flat paint will add approx 1/2 ounce minimum and may require slightly more nose weight.  The foam is designed for the flight loads.  Covering the foam will make them more durable at cost of performance in glide and boost and unless you are landing on rocks or cacti you don’t really need it.  I do put a 2″ wide strip of packing tape or vinyl trim on the bottom of the tube to prevent it from getting dirty or wet when landing on grass.
  • do you ship to country x/y/z
    • I have shipped to canada but every time I check cost for a box 24″ by 12″ by 4″ that weighs 1 lb 15 oz it costs so much no-one will pay it.  I cannot ship motors outside of the US either.
  • The post office destroyed my kit
    • Sorry about that, take good photos of the box, and of the destroyed/damaged parts and send them to me, I’ll file a claim with usps, normally they are good about refunding my $$ and normally I can get the replacement parts to you in a short amount of time.  Keep in mind I’m not a factory with large markups, anything I need to do costs me time and $$, please don’t just complain about a minor blemish or two.  I’ve only had any damage happen 3 times out of 450 kits shipped.
  • why is the reload casing more expensive than the regular 24/40 casing?
    • It is a single piece machined from aluminum, not a threaded tube. I had to personally order 100 of them at a time to allow me to offer them for 1/2 of retail price just so you can have the same fun I do.
  • how about making a model of “X/Y/Z”
    • good question:)  there are a lot of things to consider, cost of tubes, shipping to me for parts, boxes, ease of manufacture and building, flight performance etc.  I cut these one at a time for you, these are not blow molded things coming from China that I am just reselling at 100% markup.  I think long and hard about how I can make these fit into a box, fly well, meet the target weight with standard components, use the majority of parts I already carry, be easy to build and will have enough interest to recoup my time investment.  I mean it doesn’t hurt to ask….Normally I build and design these because I want one myself….
  • I like your kits you offer but really want this one you used to make can I get that?
    • Probably not, I search the net for good prices on parts that will be cost effective and will work.  In many cases I cannot get the parts any more, or the price went up so much it isn’t worth it, or I have to buy so many I can’t afford to stock everything.  I try to offer the best kits I can at the most reasonable price with what is available today.  It doesn’t hurt to ask but the answer is probably no.
  • Does the kit come with a radio?
    • Oh come on, this is not an arf from hobbyking for gods sake….
  • Why are the kits expensive?
    • These kits include priority shipping which costs $11, parts, boxes etc have to be shipped to me and cost roughly $25 per kit, paypal takes 3%, it takes me about an hour to cut and box your kit, then drive to the post office.  I have a full time job and do this to give something back and enable people to have a fun rc rocket glider experience, if that is not worth paying me some $$ for my skill and time, feel free to find it somewhere else. Unfortunately you won’t because there aren’t any like them anywhere.  If you were buy the parts I use separately it will cost you a lot more not including your time, I order in bulk to reduce costs.
  • Can I just put a rocket motor in this arf I bought from hobby king?
    • No and Yes, you can do whatever you want, but you have to consider thrust line, boost and burnout CG and make sure you don’t hurt anyone.  People have done it.
  • Why don’t your gliders glide very long?
    • That’s all relative.  I design these because I want a cool rear mounted rocket plane that looks like a rocket plane.  They are relatively easy to fly and land and build, that’s my goal.  If I wanted high performance I would take a DLG, put the motor right on the CG location and fly that.  To me those all look the same and I get bored easily.  Do what floats your boat.  You will never save money or be cost effective by flying ANY rocket glider, if you want cheap get an electric glider and fly that on a single charge for several hours.  There is something indescribable about lighting a rocket motor that you can’t turn off, it makes you focus.
  • Can I put landing gear or retracts on them?
    • Yes, but why?  They land so slow you don’t need gear, it will just add weight and drag.
  • Can I make one free flight?
    • No, they aren’t desgined to contain an ejection charge, they are balanced to be perfect at slight tail heaviness for boost with control inputs from you and be nose heavy in glide with up trim provided by you.  They are not designed to be hands off stable on boost and glide, you need to be in the loop.
  • Can they boost hands off?
    • No, there is always some wind on launch, and you need to provide little control inputs to keep them going the direction you want.  Would you fire up a helicopter without control inputs?  No.  By flying the model on the way up you also have your head in the cockpit and know what the orientation of the model is so you don’t get confused for glide.  Learn to fly, it’s a great skill, using stabilizing modules or hands off models don’t teach you anything.
  • Why not put a pop pod in your models so they are hands off boost and lighter for glide?
    • Because I don’t like them.  It’s another thing you have to watch and find before flying again.  They add boost weight so reduce altitude.  For most cases, the tradeoff is marginal.
  • why don’t you use balsa wood?
    • At the sizes, motors,  speeds and styles I design for,  foam is the better choice.  It’s cheaper, lighter, easier to work does not require sealing, painting or covering.
  • why don’t you use XYZ foam?
    • Paper backed foam board is heavier than the special foam I use, if you remove the paper it is less stiff.  I’ve tried many many materials.  Corrugated styrene is too heavy.  Cellfoam 88 is too brittle.  Foam board is too heavy for the way I design these, and the waterproof foam board is difficult to glue to and paint.  Other foams are too soft and require too much expensive carbon fiber reinforcement.
  • Should I turn off my transmitter during launch so I don’t accidentally do something dumb…
    • No, modern spread spektrum radios take time to rebind to the receiver, your model will be dead long before it will reconnect, plus you should be driving it on the way up
  • I’m not really good at building, can you assemble one and ship it to me?
    • No, they are just too big and there is no way they would get to you without being destroyed at a reasonable shipping cost.  I’ve designed these to have most of the steps that people make mistakes on already done.  Literally they should take you 1-2 hours to assemble the airframe and less than an hour to put in the radio.  I know what I’m doing and I can literally open a box, sand the pieces, assemble one, put in the radio and put on some markings and have it at the field for test flights in less than 2 hours, including the 10 minute drive there.  They are very simple to construct.
  • Why don’t you use centering rings?
    • The centering strips I use have a couple of benefits:  The are lighter, I can cut them myself and save you $$, they allow you to hand fit the motor tube, they tie the vertial stab into the motor mount for strength, and they allow you access via the rear if you ever need to replace a rail button or access the servo wires.  The motor thrust isn’t that high, the stress in this area is low, you don’t need to seal any ejection gasses, and the mount/hook really are just there to keep the motor from falling out.
  • Are you having a black friday/cyber monday or any other sale
    • No, I’m providing the best possible product and charge the minimum that I can for my time and parts.  If I was to do a sale that would mean I’ve been charging you more than I should have the rest of the year, think about it.