LOC/Precision - Forte' {Kit} (PK-32)

Contributed by Moira Jean Whitlock

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Diameter: 3.10 inches
Manufacturer: LOC/Precision
Style: Sport

[Rocket Pic]Brief:  Single staged, came with black, 24-inch diameter nylon chute. Has 4 fins.

Construction:All parts were there and in good shape.  I didn't get decals, but that's not a problem for me, as I often customize my rockets. The fins (4) are plywood, precut, and are clipped delta shape. The nose cone is hollow plastic, 11 inches long, fitting the standard LOC body tube of 3 inch diameter by 34 inch length. The tube is preslotted for 4 fins, and is spiral wound lightly glassined paper.  The chute that arrived with the kit is strong, but thin nylon with 24 inch braided nylon shroud lines. Two plywood centering rings are also supplied to center the motor tube, which is 29mm by 24 inches. The shock cord is 3/8 inch wide flat wide elastic, with a length of 80 inches.

Instructions are clear and illustrated. Alignment of the fins is easy with the preslotted tube. After epoxy fillets were added to the fin attachment sites, the model was quite sturdy. 

Finishing:Finishing was unique in this case. Had I gotten decals, I probably would have used them.  Since I didn't, I sprayed the rocket all over with a primer coat of gray to smoothen it and fill spirals. I then painted it white all around.  Then I painted red stripes up the body tube and had the stripes meet in a point at the tip of the nose. Then the fins were painted royal blue, and white Monokote stars were cut out and affixed with epoxy to the blue fields, 5-6 per fin side. As a finishing touch, I supplied my own homemade parachute, a silk red white and blue 8-gore hemisphere.  The eight gores are triangular pieces of silk in alternating red white and blue colors, sewn together by a 4-thread serger. The shroud lines are straight stitched into the serged seams.

Construction Rating: 5 out of 5

Flight:This rocket has had more then 5 successful and colorful flights. It is recommended to use 29 mm F and G types.  If I recall right, the G40-7 is especially mentioned. I have used G35's and G80's as well with great results. Prepping is easy.  I just put in enough worm bedding wadding to fill the tube diameter to a depth of an inch, then the chute loosely fits in after that. The nose cone has on two occasions needed a band of tape to fit snugly.  This may have been due to weather conditions. 

As for motor retention. Yes, that would be nice, but for me that's not important because I make my own using piano wires, masking tape, and even PVC plumbing parts. As an aspiring engineer, I love to invent.  I read on your site that other rocketeers would like it if kits (like the Graduator) had motor blocks, but for me that would prevent future use of longer engines like the H97 after the kit was strengthened for higher power use.  It's easier for me to create a thrust ring on the aft end of the engine using tape or a paper centering ring. Okay, for high power kits, that's a new kind of flying and I would welcome a retention system, as hardware is mucho expensive.  But for kits at G level and lower, I don't fault kits that don't have a supplied system, because judiciously applied tapes are often sufficient.

That being said, the motor on the Forte' is retained with my own system of a loop of piano wire through the aft-most centering ring, bolted and epoxied at the forward end. The loop bends across the motor but not across the nozzle. Masking tape was used to make an aft thrust ring and also served as a redundant retainer band around the engine and motor tube. The model flies straight, noisy, and true every time.  My husband and I joke that this one has a charmed life, working perfectly each time. The brilliant chute wows the observers every time too.

Recovery:The shock cord came with a folded paper mounting, which I mounted flat and flush with the inside of the body tube, 4 inches from the top of the tube. It also came with a braided (possibly nylon and Kevlar®) cord to adhere directly to the mount in the  body tube and to which to tie the elastic. After all its flights, it is still intact and not burnt. Recovery with the supplied chute is slow and graceful, with no harm to the rocket, but after the second flight, one fin was knocked out of its slot when the rocket landed on hard soil. 

Since this rocket was one of the first in my epoxy stage of evolution (you know, we progress from white glue to epoxy to phenolic to electronics...), the fin separation might have been due to my inadequate epoxy fillet technique at the time. And since I had some epoxy in the field, repairs occurred right there and a flight occurred in ten minutes afterward. Since I reinforced the joint, no more separations have occurred. I supplied my own chute only because the supplied black one didn't fit my America theme and my red white and blue silk one did. I made it larger than the original to make it a picturesque descent for July 4. With the homemade chute, descent is slower. That may be partly why no more fin losses have happened.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary:Easy to build and prep, rewarding to fly.  No real cons. Great for someone just discovering G power. That's what it served for me.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Other Reviews
  • LOC/Precision - Forte' {Kit} (PK-32) By Alex Rothchild

    This LOC/ Precision Forte is a simple 3.1 inch kit. It has a 38mm motor mount, and can fly on anything from an F25-4 to a J350 with a lot epoxy and fiberglass. It does not have a payload section, and the fins go all the way to the motor mount (thank you LOC). All the parts that came with this kit fit together perfectly and were very sturdy. The parts included: -One main airframe ...

  • LOC/Precision - Forte' {Kit} (PK-32) By Neil Thompson

    The Forte' is a single staged HPR capable rocket. It can fly on as little as an F up to an H or I, and maybe with a lot of reinforcements, a J350. It is a fairly basic rocket, my second mid-power. I probably could have made it without instructions, it's so easy. It does not have a payload section (Waaaaaaaaahhhhhhh), but I plan on adding one soon. It has a heavy duty cardboard airframe ...

  • LOC/Precision - Forte' {Kit} (PK-32) By Jerry O'Sullivan

    Brief This is a single stage, baffled, glass reinforced model. Construction The kit arrived in a plastic bag containing laser cut 1/8" plywood fins and centering rings, plastic nose cone, elastic shock cord, 24" chute, 29mm motor mount tube, clear concise instructions (on the back of the cardboard label). No decals are included and no paint scheme is suggested, although one can copy the ...

Flights

Comments:

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C.B. (May 1, 2001)
I have built two smaller kits by LOC, Aurora and LIL Nuke, and have used their shock cord mounting. However, on this larger kit, I elected to add an extra CR with an eye bolt and mount the shock cord to this. I used window screen clips with t-nuts for motor retention. First flight on F50-6 was good, ejection was just after apogee.Very pleased with this kit as with the smaller ones!I did also use the LOC baffle system with great results. No burned chute. I will build the EZI-65 next for level one certification. This review is fairly accurate. Easy to build, flies straight, and recovers in good shape!
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G.H. (November 7, 2001)
This is the first Kit I have purchased from LOC/Precision. Was not impressed when i noticed that one of the precut slots was off by 1/3 inch.
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G.H. (January 3, 2002)
The body tube had precut slots, one of them was off noticeably. Went together smooth though. Nose cone is a little loose. I added a 9 inch payload section for a wireless camera. Test launches went great carring 2 rolls of pennies in the payload section. (g-80 motor). Now for the camera....

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