4"Honest John Fiberglass - Madcow Rocketry


The famous Cold War rocket you can launch harmlessly.
A beautiful all fiberglass rocket kit for experienced fliers. High power flights with I to K motors.

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407,74 €

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Data sheet

Length147 cm
Diameter101/140 mm
Weight3500 gr
Motor mount54 mm
Recovery150 cm parachute
Launch padHigh Power rail
Recommended EnginesAerotech and Cesaroni high-end I reloads, J and K reloads

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Why not geting your Level 2 certification with a different style?

The Madcow 4” Honest John is a large, all-fiberglass rocket for HPR Level 2 certified fliers. It is a semi-scale replica of the famous US Army rocket, capable of delivering a small nuclear bomb or a standard one. The real rocket is not in use since a long time, but there have been many kits for it because its shape is really attractive.

If you are going to get your Level 2 high power certification, but you don't want to use a standard, 4 fins or 3 fins plain rocket, the Honest John is for you. It is an extremely rugged rocket with a beautiful fiberglass filament nose cone. It can be finished with unlimited detail if you want, but even if you build it as it comes from the box it will be an attention grabber for sure.

Because of its weight this rocket can be flown with “I” class motors in the high range as a minimum. This means you can fly it also with a Level 1 certification to test it before your Level 2 certification flight.


The 4” Honest John is an all-fiberglass rocket kit. This means it is very strong and durable, practically indestructible. The first thing you notice when you open the box is the nosecone. It is a beautiful manufact, made by resin impregnated fiberglass filament spun over a mandrel. The finished piece obtained with this method has no seams and has a perfectly smooth surface. When a filament is wound over a mandrel the nosecone tip can not be made because the filament slpis off the mandrel. The solution is to cut the tip of the nosecone and replace it with an aluminium part, turned from a bar and glued to the nosecone.

This is exactly what Madcow does with its filament wound nosecones, and the result is so beautiful that it's a pity to paint the aluminium tip to finish the rocket.
The nosecone has a 5.5” (14 cm) diameter in its larger part and because of its “drop” shape it is made of two parts glued together.

The body tube is made with the same procedure. Its smooth surface needs only to be cleaned with some alcohol and water to take the manufacture residues off, and lightly sanded before applying a couple of coats of primer. Fin slots are already cut, as it would be very hard to cut them yourself. Building this rocket will be fast!

Fins are made of thick G10 fiberglass. They are flat, while they were double-wedged in the real rocket. Nobody prohibits you to make them that way, if you are a good builder. You will have to study your way, but is you buy this kit you are not a beginner for sure...
Also the centering rings are made of G10 fiberglass. Needless to say, all the rocket must be assembled using epoxy.

The motor mount is 54 mm in diameter. This is pretty logical as most part of the motors suitable for this rocket are that diameter. You may use an adapter like Public Missiles 54/38 if you want to use a 38 mm motor. The motor retianer is not included, but as you are expert flier you may probably have some already, or you can purchase a retainer base like the Public Missiles HAMR-54 SLV to be used with a Public Missiles HAMR-54 CAP you have already.

The shock cord is a 5 meter long tubular nylon tied on an eyescrew bolted on the upper centering ring. A parachute is not included because this rocket is made for experts who already have many parachutes at home. You have the experience to choose the right parachute, we suggest a Public Missiles PAR-60 or a FruityChutes IFC-48 or CFC-60 but the actual weight of the rocket may vary so the final decision can be only yours.

The kit includes other details like the spin rockets fairings the real one had. To be honest, they could hve been done better. Madcow choose to make them out of thick plywood, and let the builder shape them. If you look at a picture of the real Honest John you will see the shape of these fairings. You have to shape them with a file and finish them with sanding paper, and it will take some time and a very good skill. Do it before glueing them on the nosecone, it will not be possible otherwise.

Do not mistake them for the rail guides stand off! They are similar in shape, and packed in the same plastic bag, but the fairings are 4 pieces, while the standoffs are only two. To avoid confusion we wrapped the standoffs with tape and we wrote the word “standoffs” on it.

For this kind of rockets it's not possible to list the motors suggested. There are so many possibilities and the exact final weight of the rocket cannot be predicted from us. You are an experienced flier, so you know how to choose the right motor. We can only say that a powerful I motor con be used for tests, and a J or a K are the right motors for amazing flights.

Please note this rocket kit does not have an electronic bay so it cannot be used for dual recovery out of the box. You need to design your own electronic bay if you want to use altimeters and dual recovery.

  • Filament Wound Nose Cone
  • Metal Tip Nose Cone
  • High Power Rocket
  • Pre-Slotted Fiberglass Airframe
  • G10 Fins and Centering Rings
  • Rail Buttons
  • Nylon Shock Cord
  • Nose Spin Rockets fairings
  • Self-adhesive vynil decals

This rocket must be launched from an high power launch pad with rail.

Needless to say, motors are not included!




    Honest John 4.0" Assembly Instructions

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