Semroc - Launch {Kit} (KN-4)

Contributed by Dick Stafford

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Diameter: 1.34 inches
Length: 16.00 inches
Manufacturer: Semroc
Skill Level: 1
Style: Sport

Brief:
Well, it took me so long to fly this rocket that there are already a couple of good reviews. But since I already had started my review, I might as well offer my opinion too.

Semroc LAUNCH Missile Earlier this year, LAUNCH Magazine commissioned Semroc to produce a kit based on the missile depicted in their logo. The result is the LAUNCH Missile (i.e. The Rocket that Launched a Magazine). The first 300 kits were reserved for LAUNCH subscribers. As you can see, I got one.

The LAUNCH Missile is a 4FNC kit that flies on 18mm motors and is recovered by parachute. The main distinguishing feature is a ribbed tail section and the custom decal set.

Construction:
The kit consists of 1.34" diameter main body and a 0.759" diameter payload. The nose cone and transition are balsa and were very smooth. The balsa fins, centering rings, and tail cone vanes are all precision laser-cut. The nominally 18mm motor mount includes both a spring hook and cardboard block. Recovery is handled with a Kevlar® leader, a elastic cord, and a plastic chute. These are connected to the transition with a hefty screw eye, which undoubtedly also is used for nose weight.

Semroc LAUNCH Missile

The motor mount assembly is assembled like any other mount. The slit for the spring hook was pre-cut in the mount. Semroc instructs you to tie a loop in the Kevlar® cord and hook it under the motor hook. The cardboard block sits in the end of the motor tube and abuts the tab on the motor hook. The motor hook is held down with a pair of centering rings. The rear ring is slotted to mate with tabs on the laser-cut vanes. I am so happy they invented lasers! These tabs fit nicely and made the installation of the vanes a snap. The only 'extra' I did was to wick some thin CA into the thin tips of the vanes once they were attached. Once dry, the mount is easily inserted into the main tube,

The four fins and launch lug are positioned via a marking guide in the instructions. The elastic is then tied to the Kevlar® cord and the screw eye.

Finishing:
I 'painted' mine with white primer covered with a clear coat to make a semi-gloss finish. The kit comes with decals, which I also coated with a clear coat before application. These went on fine except for the inverted-U shaped decals that were to fit over the root of each fin. It appears that I am not alone here. The edge of a couple of these flipped on themselves and it was difficult to straighten them out. As a result, I removed them all.

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

Semroc LAUNCH Missile

Flight:
I used a piece of Quest wadding crumpled into a ball and some dog barf. Unlike many of my models, I decided to use the stock chute. Since the wind was brisk, I decided to fly the Launch Missile on a B6-4. The boost was quick and straight considering the wind.

Recovery:
Eject appeared to be at apogee and the stock chute did its job.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary:
I think this rocket look nice and the quality of the kit is typical Semroc. And I can't beat the price! Given a calmer day, I'll might try a C6 motor...but the B6 is a really good choice for this small rocket.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Other Reviews
  • Semroc - Launch {Kit} (KN-4) By Steven Gill (April 20, 2018)

    This is a kit by Semroc. This was the first time I have assembled a rocket like this. Assembled March 2018. Kit was dated February 2, 2009 Components 1 Balsa Nose Cone BC-720 1 Balsa Reducer BR-713 1 Body Tube ST-760 1 Body Tube ST-1380 1 Body Tube ST-730E 1 Ring Set CR-KN-4 4 Laser Cut Fins FN-4 1 Engine Hook EH-28 1 Chute Pak CP-12RY 1 Screw ...

  • Semroc - Launch {Kit} (KN-4) By Chan Stevens (July 13, 2009)

    Brief: When Launch Magazine when on a roughly 6-month "hiatus" towards the end of 2008, as a gesture of appreciation to their subscriber base they teamed up with Semroc to release a kit version of the rocket depicted within their magazine's logo. When the kit release was announced at NARCON 2009, all current subscribers of Launch Magazine got a free special edition of the ...

  • Semroc - Launch {Kit} (KN-4) By Jewel B. Butler Jr. (April 20, 2009)

    Brief: This is a single stage rocket basically a BT-55 that transitions to a BT-20 with nose cone and four fins. This was a kit from Semroc, one of the best companies that I have ever bought supplies from. Semroc gave these kits as an incentive prior to NARCON. And the best part about this kit it was made in the United States of America Construction: These are Semroc part ...

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