Vaughn Brothers - Extreme 38 {Kit}

Contributed by Ted Williams

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Manufacturer: Vaughn Brothers


The VB Extreme is a 38mm motor, minimum-diameter, high-performance rocket kit.

The instructions are comprehensive and accurate. The tubes are LOC-style, and the kit includes a 38mm to 29mm adaptor kit. There are three body tubes to make up the motor section which is coupled to the parachute section which is coupled/bulkheaded to the payload section and finally the nose cone. You can use one or two launch lugs, your option (ie. you cut it...) They are standard LOC heavy launch lugs for 1/4 inch rods. The fins are pre-cut G-10 fiberglass. A nice touch is the included altimeter mounting kit and wiring harness.

Construction is fairly simple, with basic HPR skills needed. I mounted the fins as per the "optional" method which is to slot half way through the body tube. The VB Extreme 38 is made from LOC 38mm motor mount tubing - fairly heavy. To slot halfway through you carefully slit through a couple of layers of paper at a time and peel them out of the slot. This method is described in the kit instructions. A little more work, but a very solid way to do surface mount fins.

The included sleeved Kevlar shock cord mount is nice and can survive any stress you might subject it to. It is tied to the coupler between the motor section and the parachute section of the airframe. The other end is tied to the screw eye in the bulkhead on the payload section.

The nose cone is a LOC heavy plastic one, the nose cone and payload section come pre-drilled for the included flat-head, countersunk screw. The plastic nose cone is held on to the payload section by a screw. A very good idea for the speeds and altitudes possible with the VB Extreme series.

Finishing was as expected for LOC-style tubing. A bit of work to fill the spirals, and a little bit of sanding to roughen up the G-10, then primer and paint. I flew this unpainted the first time - couldn't wait to fly it.

Construction Rating: 5 out of 5

Motors Used: F40, H115
Out of sight on the Vulcan H115.
Motor retention is masking tape.

wRASP says 6500 feet on an H300 (summer day at Hartsel, CO), 10,300 feet on a J350. Those who saw my H flights agreed that it topped 6000 feet. On its final flight it caught some wind at that altitude, and drifted into a lake about 3 miles away.

Light enough for "E" motors, maybe even "D"'s, and out of sight on "H" motors. Should be modified for drogue/main recovery if you plan on flying it on "H" or above motors (I lost mine on an "H"). Take advantage of the altimeter mounting kit. Use tracking powder. Bring binoculars. Take pictures before you launch it, they may be the only ones you get. Consider using a streamer in place of the parachute, it is sturdy enough, and won't drift so far.

Flight Rating: 4

Pros: versatile, high performance
Cons: none

Overall Rating: 4



Brian Petersen (September 11, 2017)

one of my favorite kits, just wish they were still made. I added an min diameter retainer from giant leap for positive motor retention.

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