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The Estes Alpha Model Rocket


The Estes Alpha model rocket is just about the perfect beginner rocket. It is small, fast and easy to assemble. Easy in a way that teaches you all the typical rocket making stuff. And, because it is small and light it flies pretty high. It is rated to fly up to around 1200 feet. If you are looking for a first rocket this one is a good choice. You can assemble it in an hour, paint it and have it ready to launch in no time.


On this page I show you how to build it both as a web based tutorial and as a video here. At the end of the video I also show you the rocket launching. It is available from and you can roll over the image or link below for more information.

The Estes Alpha Rocket

Alpha Flying Model Rocket kit Estes Rockets

The Estes Alpha

This is the package that you get when you purchase the estes alpha. It comes with everything that is needed for the rocket. If you are new to rocketeering there are some other things that you will need when it comes time to launch. These things include a launch pad, engines and wadding. I have a description of all these things on this page here: Getting Started with Model Rockets

You will also need paint (optional) but this package does come with the stickers that are red white and blue and the word "Alpha".

When you open the package this is what you will see inside. The first thing you should do is compare this to the parts list to make sure you have everything.

In addition here are the tools and supplies you will need. Not all of them are absolutely necessary.

Let's Build this Rocket

The instructions that come with the Rocket are very complete and easy to follow. If you are thinking about buying this rocket the instructions I give you here will give you a good idea of how easy/complex of a project it is. It will take you about an hour to make this rocket but this time is extended because of the drying time of the glue.

You start out the assembly by making and installing the engine mount. It is the blue and green cylinder set up shown by the arrow. In the picture the engine mount is assembled and I am putting glue into the rocket tube so the engine mount can be installed.

The engine mount


shock cord assembly

Next you glue the shock cord assembly to the paper end piece. This will be glued into the rocket and the other end of this shock cord is where you will attache the nose cone and the parachute.


Mark the Tube for fins

Next you cut out the fin template, wrap it around the rocket and mark off where the fins and the launch lug go.


Attach the fins to the rocket body

Next you cut out the fins, sand them down just a bit and glue them to the rocket body. This is the hardest part of the whole process, but not really that hard. Just take your time and get the fins glued on as straight and even as possible. If they are uneven it can affect the flight path.

Attach the launch lug

Next you glue the launch lug to the rocket. This is what rides on the vertical bar so the rocket rides up straight into the air.

Glue the shock cord into the rocket

Next you glue the shock cord into the rocket body. Make sure it is at least 1 inch deep inside. This way it doesn't interfere with the nose cone.

Attach the nose cone and the parachute

Next you attach the nose cone and the parachute to the other end of the shock cord.

The assembly is complete you can now put it together and paint it. Once the paint is dry you are ready to launch it!

This is a great rocket for a beginner because it gives you all the standard rocket building stuff like the fins and the engine mount, yet it is pretty easy and pretty durable. It is also small and light which means you can get some pretty good height with it.

The Completed Rocket

Here are two of this rocket. One is unpainted and the other is painted.

This rocket is available on

The Estes Alpha Rocket

Alpha Flying Model Rocket kit Estes Rockets