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The Alpha III Rocket

The Alpha III is a great beginners rocket from the standpoint of building it. It does away with the balsa wood fins that can be tricky. It replaces them with a plastic piece. This also makes the rocket more durable.

It is available on

Estes Alpha III Rocket (Pack of 2) Materials and tools for this rocket:

Scissors, pencil,, ruler, fine sandpaper, carpenters glue and a hobby knife.


The Alpha III Rocket


It comes with instructions which are pretty easy to understand but here I have pictures and some notes which should make it a breeze to make.


The completed engine mount

The first part of the process is to make the engine mount. The picture here shows the completed mount.

the fin mount

Next you make the fin mount, part of which is installing the engine mount you made in the previous step.

glue the launch lug onto body

Next you attach the launch lug. This is what rides on the launch pad. It guides the rocket.

a look at the launch lug in action

This picture shows you how that launch lug works. Now when the rocket fires it rides right along the steel rod and up.

apply glue

Next we connect the fin section onto the body tube section by applying glue.

glue the fin to body

The two parts are attached.

cut out the tensioner base

All that remains is to make the parachute assembly. This is a piece of cake, easy to do. You cut out a piece from the instruction sheet that comes with the rocket.

shock cord anchor

You glue the rubber band into this piece of paper by making consecutive folds, each with some glue.

insert and glue the parachute anchor

Then you glue this into the tube.

attach parachute to nose cone

Next we prepare the parachute and attach everything together. This includes putting a screw into the nose cone, attaching the rubber band to it and attaching the parachute to it. It goes a specific way so be sure to carefully read the instruction sheet.

Insert recovery wadding

Before you install the parachute and finish the rocket off you should insert some pieces of recovery wadding. It is fire resistant so it protects the rocket from fire when it launches!

install the parachute

Then we insert the parachute into the rocket. There is a specific way to wrap this parachute so follow the instructions! This is so it will open up nicely and deploy properly.

insert the nose cone

That's It! Your rocket is done. Next you would install an engine and igniter. But, do that on the field just before you are going to actually launch it.

apply decals

Ahh! But don't forget to apply the decals!

rocket on the launch pad



Estes recommends these engines: : 1/2A6-2, A8-3 (First Flight), B4-4, B6-4, B6-6, C6-5, C6-7

If you are having trouble deciding I say go with the mid range:


Estes B4-4 Rocket Engine

Estes 2274 Recovery Wadding


You can also get this rocket as a beginner kit which includes the launching pad.

Join the hundreds of thousands of people who got their start in model rockets with this classic. The Estes Alpha III was the very first rocket in the E2X series. E2X (Easy to Assemble) is a rocket series designed with beginners in mind. With all colored rocket parts and easily applied self-stick decals, you're ready for liftoff in minutes. The black body tube, bright orange nose cone and one piece fin unit build quickly into one flashy rocket. With nothing more needed than glue, you can be on the flying field in no time at all. Using standard Estes engines, the Alpha III soars to heights over 1,100' (335 m). Whether you're a first time rocketeer or a long time flyer, this 12.3" (31.1 cm) Alpha III is a true classic that should be in everyones' collection. What more could you ask for than a high performance, high flying, classic rocket. Assembly takes one hour or less. An Estes controller and launch system are included. Requires 4 - AA 1.5V batteries for the launch controller - sold separately. Recommended for ages 10 and up with adult supervision for those under 12. Estes 1427 Alpha III Flying Model Launch Set without Engines


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