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.
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.
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.
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.