LOC/Precision - LOC IV {Kit} (PK-48) [1985-]

Contributed by Alex Rothchild

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Published: 2010-11-13
Diameter: 4.00 inches
Length: 47.50 inches
Manufacturer: LOC/Precision
Style: Sport
- by Tom Bell 

Instructions:
The instructions were complete and easy to follow.  Although this is a large rocket, it was not difficult to build. The parts were well manufactured and fit together without problems. This kit was my first large rocket, and it is a good starter kit for large rocketry despite its imposing size. 

This kit requires epoxy for assembly of the fins and engine mount. Some instruction on epoxying is included, but it would be a good idea to do further research on this (web sites, books, talking to experienced builders) before starting. 

Latex gloves are a must. Epoxy can cause an allergic reaction over time if you use it with your bare hands. I mixed the epoxy in small batches and put the parts together one step at a time. There are pros and cons to 5-minute and longer-setting epoxies, so check this out before starting if you're new to this. 

[Picture]Quality:
The LOC-4 is a very sturdy rocket. I have flown it a number of times and it has survived a lot of abuse. The LOC tubing is thick and sturdy and has never zippered on me yet. 

This rocket is rated for the G-80 motor, but I have successfully used it to certify Level 1 using a H-238 motor. The rocket stood up to the additional thrust with no problems. 

The only problem with this rocket is the fins.  They are sturdy plywood, but the fin tabs only extend the thickness of the body tube. Ideally, fin tabs should extend through the body tube and down to the motor mount tube, which makes the fins less likely to pop out. I may eventually cut some new fins with longer tabs to do this.  The fins do glue back easily once they pop out, and I recommend a tube of Liquid Nails for your range box for this eventuality. 

If you're interested in using the LOC-4 for high-power motors, you may want to upgrade the motor mount to a 38 mm tube.  You can get 38mm rings for the 4" 
LOC body tube and a 38mm motor mount tube from LOC or your favorite store. 

The package illustration shows a decal, but my rocket didn't come with any. 
This is no big deal, as you can buy all kinds of decals at hobby stores. I used a checker-pattern model airplane mylar wrap on my LOC-4. This is a large rocket, so be creative with it.  RC model airplane decals fit nicely on this big airframe. 

Flying:
This rocket is an excellent flyer and a great crowd-pleaser, due to its large size. 
You can fly it without a FAA waiver, although make sure you have a FAA notice 
for the launch, since it is over 1 pound. 

Performance is good with the Aerotech F50-4 (the minimum I'd recommend) and the G80-4 single-use and F-52 and G-64 reloads.  Short delays are recommended, due to the large size of this rocket.  It won't go very high with these motors, but it will have a slow liftoff and good flight. 

I certified with the H238 and have also flown it with the G75, which is the smallest Black Jack I'd recommend with this rocket(G-33's will get it off the ground, but it may become a giant lawn dart) I also plan to launch this with a H128 in the near future. 

Recovery is good with the large nylon chute provided, but you may pop a fin or two as it tends to land hard due to its large size. Be very careful if you're into midair catches...this rocket is a handful! My LOC-4 got a bad "road rash" on one landing when it was dragged by its chute down the road, but it still flies great. 

My Rating:
I give the LOC-4 4 points rating. It is a very good rocket, and would be perfect if the fin tabs were longer. I recommend this to anyone who wants to build their first LARGE rocket.

Flights

Comments:

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J.S. (November 1, 1999)
This is was my first High Power Rocket and my certification project (Level 1). Loc makes great kits and the transition to HPR is easy. The review is thorough and quite accurate in many respects, as the model will benefit from reinforcing the fin joints w/either with epoxy/FG on the fillet or better yet, extending larger fins thru the BT to the Motor mount. The fins extend below the bottom of the BT and "butt strikes" (even under canopy) tend to crack the fin joint loose. (My LOC IV needed fin reinforcing after each flight). I would like to know if anyone experienced this problem: On my first flight I used an Aerotech G55, which really put it up there, but the ejection heat must have damaged the stock white cardboard motor tube.... I couldn't get the Vulcan H100ss to fit for my next flight (certifiction) as the tube had collapsed somewhere ahead of the G55. So much for certifying that day. I extracted the whole works inside and replaced the stock kit motor tube with much sturdier stronger phenolic tube... no problem now!
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M.K. (April 1, 2000)
Although I enjoy flying this rocket, I am disappointed by the fin design (true of all Loc/Prec models I have built). What would a few more centimeters of wood cost on the fin tabs? My Loc IV has been repaired every time I fly it, it is truly an epoxy sculpture. I guess I could 'glass the fins, but I really don't want to redo my paint job. My advice- if your looking for a 4" model to get into high power, check out Public Missiles instead. Their stuff is virtually indestructible.
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S.F. (January 1, 2001)
The LOC IV was my first attempt into mid power rockets. I assembled the kit as per instructions and it was very easy to build. My rocket landed in a tree on its second flight, and broke a fin at the joint, despite glue fillets. I brought the rocket back home and used 2 oz. fiberglass and finish cure 20 min epoxy to reinforce the fins. This has made the fins extremely durable and the rocket is an outstanding flier on a RMS G64-4. To reinforce the fins, I first epoxied them into place and let them dry. Them I cut a piece of glass cloth slightly bigger than the area to be covered. I went down one fin, over the body tube and up the other fin. Then I repeated this until all fins were glassed.  after the cloth was cut, I mixed enough epoxy to cover all surfaces I was immediately working with. Then I carefully laid the cloth on the fins and rocket and smoothed it out with a squeegee until the cloth followed all contours and flat on the fins. After this has been done to all sided, sand it smooth and apply a second coat of Finish Cure 20 min epoxy. When that is dry add the glue fillets along the fin joints let that dry and sand and paint. This is an excellent rocket for those wanting something bigger then an Estes. It is straight forward and easy to build. It is straight forward and easy to build. If you reinforce the fins the rocket will fly straight and true for a long time. The review was right on the mark. I also found the rocket to be everything the reviewer said.
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R.A.V. (November 4, 2001)
The review was right on the mark. The LOC IV was an easy build and finished up real nice. As the other comments stated the fins could use some work and a heat shield would be nice for the chute. Flew great on low Aerotech G motors and that big red chute made it easy to spot as it slowly floated back down. I launched with zero wind so it didn't drift very far at all but if there was wind it would drift quite a distance I'm sure. Even with that big red chute and slow recovery speed it still popped a fin on landing. Gave it some good epoxy fillets and it should be fine.

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