Sky - Long March Three {Kit}

Contributed by John Lee

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstar_borderstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstarstar_borderstar_border
Manufacturer: Sky

sky LongMarch3 kit cardThe Longmarch 3 is a simple to build semi-scale of the Chinese rocket of the same name. It features a plastic fin can, pre-printed body tube and an unusual nosecone. It is supposed to recover under an 18" parachute. I built this rocket before I found EMRR. Recently, I got an email asking me to review it so I am doing this from memory.

The parts consisted of:

  • Pre-finished body tube about equivalent to a BT-55
  • Plastic fin can
  • 4 plastic fins
  • Parachute kit
  • Plastic nosecone
  • 1/8" launch lug
  • A few crack and peel stickers.

sky long march noseconeThe rocket is produced in China and is different than most kits Americans are familiar with. The body tube is not spiral wound and is slightly bigger than the BT-55. Its quality and that of the plastic parts were good. The chute was oversized and mediocre. The kit goes together easily. The fins are cemented to the fin can, the motor mount is inserted, the BT is glued to the fin can and the shock cord is assembled as per standard Estes trifold. It is all quite easy.

PROS: Easy, probably should be level 1 though it is called a level 2.
CONS: Shock cord mount stinks.

sky long march3 nozzelsThe rocket is almost completely finished. Chinese markings are already applied to the BT. The nosecone was completely free of flashing. I decided to give the nosecone a coat of white spray paint to make it more closely match the BT and get rid of the translucent quality. After that, a sticker of the Chinese flag was put on the nosecone and it was ready to go.

PROS: Practically finished already. Looks good and no plastic flash.
CONS: none

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

The recommended motors are A6-4, B6-4, C6-5, A8-3, D10-7. I launched the Longmarch 3 on its maiden flight with an Estes A8-3. It flew straight up but not very high at all. It is a rather heavy rocket for its size. The chute deployed and I realized that it should just be a 12" instead of an 18". Though it did not go high, it drifted far.

The second flight was an an Estes B6-4. It too was a very straight flight, not high but respectable. Unfortunately, the shock cord burned through and it plummeted to earth. There was no damage. I took the rocket home and used a piece of Kevlar® to form a loop. I then mounted it in the BT with epoxy in the style of the simpler LOC/Precision kits. After tying a piece of elastic to the Kevlar®, it was ready to go again.

sky long march nosecone

The next time it flew was on an Estes C6-5. Again, it had a very straight flight that achieved good altitude but the recovery system failed again. The Kevlar® did just fine but the elastic burned through again. I got to watch the body plummet down and the nosecone drift away forever under the terribly oversized chute. I regret the loss of the distinctive nosecone but the body is in fine shape. I am scavenging it to produce the Longspear 3.

PROS: Flies well.
CONS: Chute too big and lousy shock cord mount.

Flight Rating: 3 out of 5

This was a nice little rocket that looked good. It will be reincarnated as a new one.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5

Use a different method than the trifold shock cord mount. Attach a piece of Kevlar directly to the fin can. Also, trash the supplied chute and use a smaller one, no larger than 14". 12" chute would probably be fine.


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