Alpha X
Order: Newest First
Alpha II becomes Alpha X
May 29, 2008

Well, in the process of finishing this rocket, I discovered there actually was an "Alpha II" rocket. It was an educator's version of the Alpha, with a different shock cord mount and pinholes in the fins indicating the root edge. So I decided to call this rocket the "Alpha X" (for Alpha Experimental, of course).

I'm very happy with how this one came out. Click here to visit my Fleet page entry for this rocket.

Alpha II: Sort of an Alpha, but not quite...
February 7, 2008

I have an Alpha, been around for a while, and it's one of my favorite fliers even though it always wants to drift away. So I was sitting at the table surrounded by parts trying to decide what to build, when it came to me to build an Alpha with a difference.

As you can see from the pictures, this rocket breaks just above the fins. In fact, the engine tube protrudes slightly above the lower body tube, but the coupler hides it. I punched a half-circle from the upper body tube and glued it to the coupler as an alignment key, much as I did on my Cyclone, and then attached the launch lug just above it on the upper tube. The plastic nose cone is glued in, of course.

One thing I always found strange is that Estes has an Alpha, and an Alpha III... but no Alpha II. So this is my stab at it.

Simulating the rocket leads to the following suggested engines. This is a much shorter list than the Alpha documentation indicates; the DV values are too high with the other "recommended" engines.

Engine Altitude Deployment Velocity
A8-3 345' 31 fps
A8-5 355' 33 fps
A6-4 316' 3 fps
B6-6 780' 16 fps
C6-7 1500' 18 fps

I have to say, I liked that A6-4 simulation so much, I actually bought a pack of Quest engines to try out. I generally stick with Estes engines as I can pretty much always get them cheaper (and I find myself getting more frugal with every year I live).

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Last Updated 10/08/2015