Backstory

The “Optimistic” is a Yellow Jacket kit from Dynacom I built in 2004. It is an all-filament-wound-fiberglass rocket with precise machining and close tolerances for its fiberglass, aluminum, and stainless steel parts. Dynacom is now long out of business1 and, even at that time, inventory was spotty so I consider myself lucky to have this rocket.

I got this kit in a roundabout way. My dad was at a launch without me and he lost one of my rockets2. He felt really bad and offered to buy me a replacement kit up to $2003. I had been wanting a Dynacom kit for a long time and this one was $199–a match made in heaven. I put it together with a few modifications:

Flights

  1. Aerotech J460 (???), 8300 feet at LDRS 23 in Geneseo, NY (2004)
At the pad at LDRS 23
At the pad at LDRS 23, 2004
After a successful recovery
After a successful recovery at LDRS 23, 2004
Silver aluminum rail guide bonded to a green filament-wound fiberglass airframe
Detail view of the ACME Conformal® Rail guide (54mm offset)

Specifications

Make
Dynacom
Class
Level 2
Configuration
Single motor
Nose cone
Shape
Ogive
Material
Fiberglass
Airframe
Diameter
54mm
Material
Fiberglass
Reinforcement
None
Fins
Count
4
Material
Fiberglass
Airfoil
Double-wedge
Reinforcement
Fiberglass
Carbon fiber
Motor Mount
Diameter
54mm
Centering Rings
none
Recovery
Parachute
Avionics
Altimeter
Tracking beacon
  1. According to the Wayback Machine the last time Dynamic Composites maintained a web presence at dynacom-inc.com was in 2004. I got this kit the last year Eric Haberman was still in the rocket business! These days, you can get fillament-wound fiberglass kits from places like Mach 1 Rocketry and Wildman Rocketry

  2. The lost rocket was a 2.6 diameter kit from Binder Design that I had modified the fin shape. Binder Design has since changed hands and no longer offers any kits below 3” in size. 

  3. I thought this was very generous so I didn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. 

  4. I used the “54mm with fin can” variant so the vertical offset would clear the aluminum motor retainer provided with the Yellow Jacket kit. These were made to pair with the Giant Leap Acme™ Fin Cans but they worked perfectly here.