A 1/3 scale Maverick AGM-65 missile.


At Airfest 16, Bdale spotted an odd-ball nearly hemispherical 98mm nose cone in one of the Giant Leap bins, and bought it for cheap. His original thought was that it might be fun to do an upscale of the Estes Big Bertha. However, the moment Robert spotted it after Bdale returned home, he exclaimed that it looked like a Maverick nose cone... and wouldn't it be cool to build one!

The initial design Robert put together was frustrating, because it would not fly safely on any motor less than an H... and Robert was too young to hold a high power certification. However, with the introduction of the new Tripoli Mentoring Program, Robert decided to celebrate by actually building it!

So, this is Robert's custom design Maverick AGM-65 missile. In 98mm, it works out to be almost exactly 1/3 scale since the real missile is 12 inches in diameter. Safe flights require at least an H motor, which caused him to choose a 38mm motor mount.

Design Details

  • 98mm Giant Leap DynaWind airframe
  • 38mm phenolic motor mount
  • Odd-ball nose cone from a junk box
  • 1/8 inch birch plywood fins, vacuum-bagged with 6oz fiberglass using West Systems epoxy. The aft fins are through the wall to the motor mount, the long strakes are surface mounted to minimize mass forward.
  • 1/4 inch birch plywood centering rings and bulkheads, CNC milled.
  • avionics bay with a TeleMini for apogee-only electronics with motor backup in a bay just behind the nose, that Robert likes to call "the warhead"

OpenRocket Maverick Design File



The first three flights of the Maverick were at the Tripoli Colorado 2012 Fall Frenzy launch. It has flown several times since at Hudson Ranch.

On 2 March 2013 flew it on a Cesaroni I345 at Hudson Ranch, and it was a beautiful flight until it hit the ground. The airframe was swingly wildly and managed to break one of the aft fins and pop off the strake fin on the same side when it hit the ground. It's fixable, but how frustrating!

A collection of photos]( are online.


This is a pretty cool airframe. Putting a TeleMini in the nose cone was a great idea, both because apogee electronic deployment allows Robert to fly "random" motors without having to worry about ejection delays, and because one flight at Hudson Ranch brought the airframe down in the canyon where we never would have found it without the ability to do radio direction finding after landing!