Using our 750+ page step by step assembly manual, building your Radial Rocket becomes a straight forward process.
Click HERE to view sample pages from the Assembly Manual.
The airframe is constructed by joining pre-molded composite skins using a structural adhesive and / or a two-part
epoxy resin. The resin chosen for our kits is the result of extensive experience with composite aircraft construction.
The two-part epoxy resin system dispenses using a pump to minimize contact with the resin and eliminate the
requirement to measure the components by hand. Because of their longer pot life, structural adhesives allow for plenty
of working time when joining the larger airframe parts or closing-out structures.
Because the large pre-molded airframe components are quite rigid, only two simple fixtures are required for
construction of your Radial Rocket - one for the wing assembly, and one for the horizontal tail assembly. These
fixtures are constructed primarily from plywood / particle board and two by fours, and are fully described in the
The Radial Rocket fuselage is composed of left and right halves, which include the vertical fin skins. Pre-molded dorsal
and ventral joggles enable easy alignment for joining the fuselage halves. Accurately molded joggles are recessed into
the fuselage skins helping to insure a perfect flush fit for the cowling and windshield / canopy plexiglass. Molded in
longerons, consisting of unidirectional carbon fiber material, help to insure a stiff, strong fuselage structure.
The Radial Rocket was designed with a fixed windshield to enhance
safety, and a sliding canopy for ease of operation. Stout positioning pins
engage teflon-lined receivers at four locations to ensure canopy retention
in flight, as well as a tight, positive seal. A perfect fit of canopy to
fuselage is achieved by cutting the canopy frame from the fuselage shell
itself. A simple canopy latch, operable with one hand, locks the canopy
closed in flight. The latch is operable from both inside and outside of the
The firewall consists of a honeycomb core panel, bonded in place,
protected by a fire-barrier ceramic fiber layer, which is in turn covered
by stainless steel sheeting. A fire-barrier caulk is used to seal seams,
wire bundle pass-throughs, etc. A very important aspect of material
selection for the Radial Rocket is that of flame resistance - nearly all of
the Radial Rocket airframe materials are fire resistant and self
The instrument panel materials, consisting of aluminum sheet and
aluminum reinforcing angles, are supplied in the kit. The simple process
by which the builder can fabricate custom side consoles (as we did for
our Radial Rocket) is described in the instruction manual. Panel space
and cockpit layout provide room for a full compliment of IFR avionics.
The Radial Rocket one-piece wing incorporates one-piece forward and
aft spars, allowing the wing structure to be strong, light and
uncomplicated. The wing is delivered with both spars complete and
installed. The builder then cuts ribs from the supplied honeycomb flat
panels and bonds the ribs into the lower wing skin (The wing is built
upside down in the wing fixture). Pre-molded flap and aileron skins are
provided in the kit. Assembling the flaps and ailerons in place on the
wing fixture ensures an accurate airfoil shape with perfect alignment of
the wingtips, flaps and ailerons. Following installation of the flap and
aileron actuating hardware, and prior to wing close-out, fuel storage
areas are sealed with a two-part epoxy fuel sealer, applied with a brush.
For safety reasons, all fuel is stored in the wing.
The wing features pre-molded wingtip flanges for flush installation of the
wingtips. Pre-molded leading edge recessed flanges allow for a
laminated leading edge reinforcement to be applied, resulting in a tough,
impact resistant leading edge. This same technique applies to the leading
edges of the vertical tail and horizontal stabilizer as well.
The Radial Rocket uses a conventional 3-axis, dual control stick system
for pitch and roll, and rudder pedals for yaw. A torque-tube assembly is
installed in the wing during wing construction for activation, via push-pull
tubes, of the ailerons and elevators. A hanging rudder pedal system
incorporates cables for rudder control. The pilots' rudder pedal
assembly incorporates the hydraulic brake master cylinders. Spherical
bearings are used throughout the control system to provide smooth,
accurate control inputs. Ailerons, elevator and rudder are 100% mass
The Radial Rocket horizontal stabilizer and elevators are formed in
separate molds, with the elevators incorporating pre-molded mass
balance counterweight arms. The horizontal stabilizer / elevator assembly
is built in a simple wooden fixture, ensuring accuracy and alignment.
Spars and ribs are cut from pre-made flat panels, then bonded to the
lower skins. Because the construction of the Radial Rocket is really a
rather simple process, exotic tools and tooling fixtures are not required.
Most of the work involves the cutting, fitting, laminating, trimming and
drilling of components. Laminating is generally accomplished with a one
or two-inch brush which is used to wet out dry fiberglass cloth. The
cloth is most commonly used in two-inch wide strips that are used as
angle laminates to join ribs to wing skins, etc. An important advantage of
the epoxy system chosen for the Radial Rocket kit is enough working
time to allow for use of the "plastic sandwich" laminating technique. In
this technique multiple layers of dry cloth are saturated with resin,
between clear plastic sheeting, then cut into strips and applied to the
structure to be joined. It is much easier to saturate cloth on a tabletop as
opposed to upside-down or overhead inside the aircraft.
A review of award winning aircraft at various airshows illustrates that
prior aircraft building experience is not a pre-requisite to build a high
quality Radial Rocket. Much more important is your own sense of
craftsmanship, and ability to see the whole as a series of cumulative
production steps. With our Build Support options, we can assist you in
tailoring a customized Radial Rocket build experience.
Building Your Radial Rocket