This article is from the Model Rockets FAQ, by Wolfram von Kiparski with numerous contributions by others.
Popular rec.models.rockets vote:
From: email@example.com (C. D. Tavares)
AAA Penn. Crude
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bob Kaplow)
- Avoid any kit with plastic fins or internal parts.
- Avoid phenolic tubes, thick cardboard tubes are more familiar
and easy to work with
- For Large Model Rockets, try a LOC Graduator or Rocket R&D/THOY
- For a High Power rocket try a LOC IV or EZI-65, or a Rocket R&D/THOY
From: JCook@Epoch.C (Jim Cook):
LOC kits are a good introduction into high power - they are strong
(banging it several times for emphasis on the table).
From: email@example.com (Buzz McDermott)
If you have never flown anything bigger than an Estes or FSI D
motor, I would recommend building one or more E-G kits before
tackling H power and up. When you go for your NAR or TRA
certification, choose a rocket where G and H motors are the low
end or mid-range power options. Going with a rocket where your
chosen motor is at the high end or above the rocket's recommended
power range is more likely to fail by over-stressing the design.
Bigger, slower high power rockets are less stressed and more likely to
succeed. In the case of NAR certification, this gets you a rocket
good for multiple certification levels. I like the following (any
are good NAR or TRA certification rockets):
LOC Mini Magg, 38mm mount (G-I motors)
LOC EZI-65, 54mm mount (G-I motors)
THOY (Rocket R&D) Falcon, 54mm mount (H-J motors)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mike Forman)
I bought, built, flew and certified on a PML Io. Very nice kit. I
glassed the tube, and would bet it's as close to bulletproof as you
could get and still be legal to fly as a hpr. I posted a review of
the Io here, and you could probably go to dejanews' archive and
retrieve it. Great rocket, great flights, easy to build.
From: email@example.com (Mark U.)
My favorite 4 in. rocket is the THOY/R&D Falcon. In stock configuration
it easily will handle H-J and, if beefed up, a K is not out of the
question. My second choice would be a PML Quasar this will fly nicely
on a H-I motors.