Laser LOC 3.1

This is an interesting kit from LOC Custom, it has 3″ airframe with 54mm mount. It comes with a solid wood nosecone turned from pine as well as a matching wood boat tail. This rocket has now flown nine times:

– AT K1050 to 11,000′

– Kosdon East J280 Skidmark to 4,639′ 

– Grover Composite (GC) J980 to 4,231′

– GC L1100 to 12,300′

– AT J800 to 6,839′

– GC L1200 to over 11,000′

– AT K185 to 7,600′

– GC J418 to 7,000′

– GC L1800 to 12,300′

  1. #1 by Alex on May 8, 2010 - 5:06 am

    James, I’m glad that you’re coming back here to tell us more about this one of your fleet! It’s a beautiful rocket with an excellent performance I suppose. I’ve got one kit laying here and I hesitate building it unless I’m 100% sure how to do it the best way I can. The woodwork is outstanding, the other material of very good quality. I would be happy to see/get some more information about how you did it: it is with dual deployment, right, the length hasn’t been modified? And you just opened the airframe to epoxy (with glas) the fins onto the motor tube. How about the fin surface “lost” concernig the CP-calculation? And you cut slots in the boattail to fix the fins. But how did you close the holes? Just three parts of the airframe tubing inserted? And the motor retention? I intended to use an AeroPack retainer. But weight, recovery system etc. would also find my greatest interest. Since I’m in Germany I’ve got no salt lake around nor wide plains to send it to 10.000 Ft., making all those questions for me perhaps more important than they’re for you.
    Thanks for sharing your pics and reports with us, greetings, Alex

  2. #2 by James on May 9, 2010 - 5:43 pm


    I built this kit many years ago and now I would do a few things differently.The kit is setup for dual deployment with the stock configuration, but after the flight on the K185 with bad ematch i had to replace the payload tubing. Instead of using the same length i extended it for more room and to also help with the CG location.

    Rather than cut the boat tail i notched the fins to allow the through the wall fin mounting. You will loose some fin area, which will shift the CP a bit. I had to add some nose weight, but adding a longer payload bay could work instead by moving the CG forward.

    I used a similar method for the fin fillets like the KestreL ( ), except I did not not use a tip to tip reinforcement. The kit came with LOC’s extra thick tubing which is pretty robust, without fiberglass reinforcement it has gone over mach 1 without any problems.

    Because of the boat tail you are limited in how you provide motor retention, I just stick with the masking tape friction fit method. You might be able to replace the wood boat tail with a slimline tailcone

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3 by Alex on May 16, 2010 - 6:34 am


    thanks a lot, this helps indeed very much. I’ll add some inches to the length with an additional e-bay and will go the way you proposed for the fin mounting.
    And I’m glad to hear from your SpringFest report that the AT K-185 initial thrust ist strong enough. I would like to see the rocket on this motor too.
    And your report from Perchlorathon is in my opinion just another proof of the excellent aerodynamics of this rocket. I don’t see a problem in the first meters of the flight as seen in the video.

    Thanks, Alex

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