An unpainted LOC Forte rocket on a workbench. A key at the bottom of the photo indicates the internal sections of the rocket: a larger than normal payload pay for the gliding parachute gear, a baffle, an altimeter bay near the rear of the rocket, and a motor mount. A pull-pin with a "remove before flight" tag extends from the altimeter bay.

Gliding parachute project – “Homer”

My current project is a new rocket to try out the Apogee Gliding Parachute System. This started out as a LOC Forte kit, but I have modified it with a longer forward section and only one in-flight separation point – the nose cone. I have an altimeter bay containing a Featherweight Raven so I can get a precise apogee separation, but it will fire a charge on the forward side of the bay to eject the nose cone and the gliding parachute. I have also added a shortened LOC baffle kit just ahead of the altimeter bay. I plan to use a regular chute protector as well, but the baffle should give the parachute and control electronics some extra protection.

I haven’t updated my sim file with the built weight of the rocket yet, but it should get to around 3,000 feet AGL with a moderate-thrust H motor, which is the neighborhood I want to be in for my test flights. (Actually, I would like it to be a bit lower, but my sims usually come down in altitude once the actual weight of everything gets plugged in.)

Right now the rocket is in primer, just waiting for some wet-sanding and paint, and maybe some vinyl if I think of something.