American Alliance Rocketry - M4 Noxious {Kit}

Contributed by Charlaine Cadence Nordin

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
American Alliance M4 NOXIOUS American Alliance M4 NOXIOUS

Brief:
This is a MPR rocket that uses D and E class motors with parachute recovery.

Construction:
Parts list:

  • 3 body tubes
  • one nose cone
  • engine block
  • engine hook
  • 3 centering rings
  • 18" parachute with shroud lines and rip-stop disks
  • 1 1/2" shock cord
  • 1 1/4" inch cord
  • tube coupler
  • bulk head
  • balsa fin stock
  • 2 launch lugs
  • decals
  • 16 fins

The instructions come on a total of 3 pages back to back for six in all (not including the templates). The single page parts list has a complete list all of the parts and has the fin placement guide. All parts are listed clearly with the symbol that will be used in the building process. Tube measurements are listed for each tube giving the ability for future repairs. The instructions have a well thought out story, giving the history of the American Alliance. The main build pages consist of three pages to the point and worded well. The font chosen is good for the read. Comfortable on the eyes. However, I found the instructions for the build cramped making it very easy to skip steps or loose place just working on the build. Steps could be separated by line skips for easy reading. I found one or two spelling errors though I admit there might be more. Very easy to remember after reading through. The launch instructions consist of one page. On the fins templates, there are no grain markings (mainly needed for the smaller fin sets) although the leading edge is marked. Templates should be moved to center of the page for better transferring. Engine block tool is great idea and reusable. Cardstock would be better for the template. Carbon paper could be suggested for pattern transfer. Kevlar® shock cord may be a thought to be added. Construction of this build was a blast. I did not want to stop. Had to pry myself away at times just to let the glue dry. This is not a kit for beginners but not bad for novices. It brings back classic building feel.

Finishing:
I don't want to go overboard with the design but I feel my words say it all: beautiful build, screams for a two-stage variant, innovative design, lug stand off looking like a mounting for a launcher adds to the military-like appearance, and soon to be a timeless classic.

The decals are great even with the white backing though I do feel that something is needed. White backing limits the paint jobs unless you are great at freehand decal placement. The flag could be updated to fit the futuristic feel of the kit. More military style markings should be added (like serial numbers, cradle and lift points, and stock numbers).

The finishing of this rocket is great, just take your time with the fins and use either cheese cloth or model silk for added strength to the joints of the main and mid fins.

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

Flight:
This bird flies better then I expected. I have nothing but praise for it.

Flight 1 on a D12-5. Great slow lift off. A 6 foot rod is best for this bird--do not use a small rod (3 feet or less). Recovery was nice and slow with a soft landing.

Flight 2 on an E9-4. Beautiful lift off. Thrust phase of flight was steady. Recovery was wonderful and there was no damage during recovery.

Recovery:
Shock cord is through the wall style in the almost 3" neck. I feel that a Kevlar® shock cord setup would be better for the weight of the lower fin can.

Flight Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:
This build was one of my best builds ever. I had nothing but fun building and flying her. If you're into military style rockets and other unique designs, then I really suggest you head over to American Alliance Rocketry's website and look at the other beautiful birds. I know for me I will be buying from this vendor more.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Flights

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