How to build a fiberglass rocket, part 1: materials

As promised, below is the full bill of materials that I’m using to build the Darkstar Extreme. It’s important to note that, aside from this particular kit, many of the other things in this list are optional, depending on your particular rocket design; frequently, parts or materials can be swapped out and replaced with other similar items.

red fiberglass rocket airframe sections
not pictured: almost everything

Rocket airframe

  • Darkstar Extreme kit from Wildman Rocketry, including:
    • Fiberglass booster (52″ length, 4″ diameter)
    • Fiberglass payload (24″ length, 4″ diameter)
    • Fiberglass coupler (11″ length, 4″ diameter)
    • Fiberglass coupler (6″ length, 4″ diameter)
    • Fiberglass nose cone (4″ diameter) with aluminum tip
    • Fiberglass motor mount (75mm diameter)
    • Fiberglass vent band (1.5″ length, 4″ diameter)
    • Fiberglass centering rings (x4)
    • Plywood centering rings (x2)
    • Fiberglass fins (3/16″ thick)
    • Aluminum bulk plates (stepped, CNC cut) for e-bay and nose cone
    • Misc. hardware (stainless steel nuts, washers, forged eye bolts, quick links)
  • Aluminum motor retainer (75mm) from Aeropack
  • Rail buttons (1/4″) for 1010 rail
  • Sandpaper to sand fiberglass (coarse, 60 grit)
  • Primer and spray paint

Epoxy

  • Resin (West System 105)
  • Hardener (West System 205)
  • Thickener (West System 406, colloidal silica)
  • Hobby epoxy
  • Chopped carbon fiber (1/8″ thick, 1/2 lb)
  • Syringe to inject epoxy

Recovery

  • Kevlar harness (1″ thick, 8 ft length)
  • Kevlar cord (3/8″ thick, 25 ft length, with two loops) from One Bad Hawk, for drogue parachute
  • Kevlar cord (3/8″ thick, 25 ft length, with three loops) from One Bad Hawk, for main parachute
  • Drogue parachute (2 ft diameter) from Rocketman Parachutes
  • Main parachute (8 ft diameter)
  • Fire blanket (18×18″ nomex) x2
  • E-matches
  • Black powder (FFFF)
  • PVC end caps for ejection charges
  • Nylon shear pins (2-56 screws, 3/8″ length)

Electronics bay

  • Fiberglass “sled”
  • TeleMetrum flight computer
  • LiPo rechargeable battery
  • Terminal blocks
  • Button head screws, 2-56
  • Locknuts, 2-56
  • Molex connector kit, 4-pin
  • Molex connector kit, 8-pin
  • A23 battery for buzzer
  • A23 battery holder
  • Piezo buzzer, mountable on bulk plate
  • Terminal block for buzzer circuit
  • Push button switch
  • Wire for connections (20 awg, “bell” wire)

Motor

  • TBD – will probably use a J motor for the initial flight

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