The Cosmodrome Aerobee-Hi is a 1/6th scale rendition of a scientific research rocket. This kit is based around a 2.6 inch (6.6 cm) diameter tube for the upper stage, and a 2.24 inch (5.68 cm) diameter tube on the booster stage.
The rocket can be flown as a single stage (just the top section), or as a two stage rocket that is controlled with onboard electronics, such as the PerfectFlite timer circuit.
This rocket is classified as a mid-power rocket because is can easily handle F and G size rocket motors. But actually, this kit is more like a high-power rocket kit than it is a "large" Estes-style rocket. You'll notice that almost as soon as you rip open the plastic bag when you get your kit. First of all, it uses thick-wall body tubes. Then, you'll notice the 5-ply plywood fins. These are incredibly strong and can easily handle high-thrust rocket motors.
Finally, you'll find that this kit comes with a hardware pack that includes extra heavy-duty components like a wire-rope shock cord anchor and a quick link for attaching the round bungee shock cord.
The independent reviews on this kit are exceptional: 4 out of 5 stars for construction, and 5 out of 5 stars on flight characteristics! Check it out for yourself.
The Aerobee-Hi is unique because it has a gap between the stages. There are struts that hold the rocket together. Because of this, you'll get a lot of people that will come up to you and study how you were able to hold the stages together.
If you are thinking of moving up to real high-power sometime in your rocketry future, this kit would be a good kit to practice the building techniques you'll find in monster-size rockets. You'll also get to try out electronic staging of composite motors. And the best part is you can do it at a very reasonable price.
Engine Retention - The Aerobee-Hi kit uses a unique method of preventing the motor from slipping out of the mount. As shown here, a threaded rod is glued to the engine mount tube. After the engine is installed, a washer and nut are cinched down tight to hold the motor in. The hardware (threaded rod, washer and nut) are included with the kit.
What Features Make This Kit Worthy To Be In Your Fleet?
Premium Quality Body Tubes - The tubes in the kit are thick-wall for extra strength. They'll easily handle the high-thrust of big motors. The surface is slick and smooth, which makes marking lines on them easy. Finishing is also a breeze, since the spirals are tight and require little filling.
29mm Engine Mount Tubes - This rocket is designed to handle mid-power size engines, like the F, G, and even H size rocket motors.
Large 1/4 inch Launch Lug - Because this is a bigger model, you'll have a larger lug on the side of the rocket. This is used with mid-power size launch rods, to stabilize the rocket so it doesn't sway in the wind prior to launch.
Glossy pressure-sensitive decals - Because the Aerobee-Hi is so large, masking off the multi-color scheme is fairly easy to accomplish. And after that, decoration is just a matter of applying the sticker-like decals. The kit comes with decals for two different versions of the rocket: the NRL 42 round, and USAF 79 round.
Balsa Nose Cone - This is a very long balsa wood nose cone. It would make Pinocchio jealous. From the base of the shoulder to the tip, this cone is nearly 18 inches (45.7 cm) long. Being made from balsa, it is easy to finish and accepts paint well. The lightness of balsa means you'll have a lightweight rocket too.
1/8-inch Thick Plywood fins - No wimpy lite-ply in this kit; these fins are made from 5-layer thick, high-density, premium plywood. You'll never break these babies, and you won't have to worry about fin flutter on high-speed flights. Plus, they are machine-cut! There are no burnt edges from a laser cutter. And finally, the fins have been stacked together and have their edges sanded. This makes them perfectly uniform, and saves you the time of doing the stack-sanding yourself.
Steel Rope Shock Cord Anchors - The Cosmodrome Aerobee-Hi kit uses a steel shock cord anchor system. The wire-rope is attached to the forward engine mount centering ring. This gives a heat-proof anchor that can withstand even the hottest ejection charges. The parachute is attached to the forward loop of the wire-rope.
Bungee Shock Cords - This kit comes with two heavy-duty elastic shock cord designed for high stress deployments. Instead of being flat (like underwear elastic), it has a circular cross section to give it more heat resistance.
Plywood Bulkhead and Centering Rings - Like the fins, the plywood used on the rings is 5-ply to make them extra strong.
Two Nylon® cloth parachutes - You'll receive a 24-inch for the upper stage, and an 18-inch (45.7 cm) chute for the booster stage. These chutes are actual circle shapes (not a hexagon), and have eight shroud lines instead of six to give extra durability for hard openings.
Stout Hardware - One thing you'll notice right away is the quality of the hardware kit that comes with the Cosmodrome Aerobee-Hi kit. You'll come to think of this as a "small" high-power kit, rather than a oversize "Estes-style" kit. Parts like threaded steel rod (for the engine retainer) and the metal quick-link is stuff that is only usually found in high-power kits.
The rocket is packaged nicely so that the small hardware doesn't rattle around and damage any of the other parts.
Staging Coupler - The Aerobee Hi rocket is unique in that there is a gap between the two stages. The are held together using a three-legged milk stool assembly. This kit comes with a balsa wood nose cone for the booster stage that has been pre-drilled for the dowels that make up the legs of the milk stool You'll love the look of the completed rocket because of this feature.
Through-the-Wall Fin Mounting - Tabs on the base of the fins are slipped through slots in the body tube and mount directly to the engine mount tube. This makes the fins extra strong.
Balsa Wood Conduits - These give the rocket a lot of surface texture that makes the rocket look unique. You're friends will go ga-ga over the appearance of this model.
Flying the 2-Stage Aerobee-Hi
You can launch this rocket in a two-stage configuration! Watch the QuickTime video to get an idea of what staging with electronics will be like. You'll see the first stage burn out, and then the top stage ignite mid-air while the booster stage parachute opens quickly. Imagine the applause you'll get when your model comes back after a successful flight!
Staging this rocket will require modification of the top stage to account for the Staging Electronics (not included). See the pictures below of how this might look on your rocket. The instructions on how to make the modification are not included in the Cosmodrome instructions, but they are included in the FREE pdf manual that we'll include when you order the kit from Apogee Components.
There is even a little bit of detail on this kit that will attract your eye to study it a bit closer. You'll love the respect you'll get when you show up with this model on the launch field. Everyone will want to see it up close.
The threaded rod, used to hold the engine into the motor tube (see the photo above), can be affixed with the Fix-It Epoxy clay. While this image make it look like a lot of epoxy has been used, it is actually a very small amount. The edges can be feathered out so that the epoxy has a very large bonding surface area. This gives it incredible strength without adding a lot of weight.
Likewise, we recommend the Fix-It Epoxy clay to attach the screw eye on the front of the engine mount tube. This screw eye is the anchor point for the elastic shock cord that is used on the booster stage of the Aerobee-Hi kit.
Once the adhesive hardens, this mount is permanent, and is actually one of the strongest parts of the rocket.
The main reason this is a Skill Level 5 rocket is that to launch it in a two-stage configuration you will have to use an onboard ignition system for the upper stage. This is more complicated than using direct staging. We recommend the PerfectFlite Staging Electronics to control the staging of the rocket. It can be launched as a single stage rocket (just the top part alone).
The builder is also required to cut the slots for the through-the-wall fins. This task is considered a skill level 4 technique.
Mounting the metal shock cord anchor to the centering rings and the threaded rod for the engine retainer system will require epoxy adhesive. This can be messy and cause an allergic reaction in some people. Adult supervision and wearing rubber gloves is recommended when working with epoxy.
The Aerobee-Hi is a bigger rocket that uses heavy wall tubes. While the tubes don't make the rocket any harder to assemble, it does require extra safety precautions when flown. Patience and acquired flying skills to know when NOT to fly are just as important as quality construction techniques.
While this kit does include an engine retention system, the kit can easily be modified to use the Aero Pack Engine Retainers. This gives the model a extra professional-looking appearance.
Additional scale data (photos) on the Aerobee-Hi is included in the 12 page booklet on building the electronics bay in the Aerobee-Hi rocket. This pdf document is free when you order your kit from Apogee Components!
Tools needed to assemble the Aerobee-Hi Rocket Kit
Two Cesaroni G motors. Use High thrust on the bottom stage to get it moving fast. Restricted: 18+, L1*
Not Yet Tested
NOTE: Staging of this rocket kit requires an onboard ignition system to ignite the motor in the top stage. We recommend the PerfectFlite timer with G-switch. This kit does not come with mounting instructions for the electronics.
Note: These motors (HAZ) are shipped with a HAZMAT fee of $28 on top of the standard UPS/FedEx ground shipping costs. (Learn More about HAZMAT Fees). These motors are non-returnable due to shipping regulations.
If you are purchasing an age- or certification-restricted motor, please email or fax us a copy of your ID, or NAR or TRA membership card as soon as possible so we can get your order shipped promptly. We will keep not of your status on file, so you only have to do this once. If you are not certified, please see our information page for additional details on membership and high power certification.
YOU MUST BE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OLD TO PURCHASE RELOAD KITS.
18+ - You must be at least 18yrs of age to purchase ths motor.
L1 - This motor is classified as "High Power" and requires a Level 1 certification via the NAR or TRA, or a scheduled attempt, to purchase.
L1* - This motor is classified as "High Power" and due to the propellant type or propellant amount, requires a Level 1 certification via the NAR or TRA to purchase. This motor cannot be used for an L1 attempt.
Rocket motors are sold separately from the kit. For more help in selecting rocket motors, see our video tutorial. If you're unsure, start with the "First Flight" recommendation or the one with the lowest altitude, then go up from there.
For other motors that are not tested or not listed here, download the Aerobee-Hi RockSim file and load it to see if it will work in this rocket kit. See also Technical Publication #28 for guidance on selecting appropriate rocket engines other than those listed in this chart.
The RockSim software gives you a lot of information about the flight characteristics of this rocket: how high, how fast, where it will land, how will it react to wind, etc. The "design file" is intended to save you time. All the parameters (size, shape, weight, fin design, etc.) of this rocket have already been entered into the RockSim program, and saved as an electronic database file. You can just open it up in your copy of RockSim and start loading different rocket motors to run launch simulations. It's fun and educational to see the rocket zoom skyward, even before you built it. For more information about RockSim and to download a FREE 30-day demo version, click here.
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