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MX-774 Rocket

Updated on February 1, 2013

The MX-774 Rocket

The MX-774 was the USA's first attempt at an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). It was fairly small, only 31.40' tall and 2.49' it diameter. Its trim lines and historical significance make it a great subject for a model rocket, but as far as I know the only commercially made kit of the MX-774 was by Centuri Rockets and is long out of production. It's easy to build your own model of the MX-774 though with parts from Semroc (which duplicates the Centuri kit) or by kitbashing an Estes Bull Pup kit. Either way you choose, a model of the MX-774 would make a great high performance addition to your model rocket fleet.

The Centuri MX-774

A high performance model of the MX-774

The Centuri MX-774 Rocket Kit was a small rocket (about 11" tall) with very high performance. With a C6-7 engine, the Centuri MX-774 could achieve altitudes of up to 1600'. I had one of these as a kid and t was the best rocket kit I've ever built. My dad, who wasn't usually interested in my rocketry endeavors, took an interest in this kit for some reason and helped me build it. Instead of just rounding the fins, we shaped them to a teardrop shape for less drag, then filled and sanded the balsa grain until they were as smooth as glass. Before it was painted, I decided to test fly it - stupidly on an overcast day. The only engine I had was a C6-7. I had to sneak it out of the house because my dad didn't think we should fly it until it was painted. On launch, my beautiful little MX-774 shot straight up and out of sight into the low clouds, never to be seen again. When my dad found out, I didn't get punished - just a gentle talking to. I felt so bad about losing "our" project that I rarely disobeyed my parents after that day.

Building A Centuri MX-774

Build your own with parts from Semroc

It's easy to build your own copy of the Centuri MX-774. Semroc sells all the parts you need to build it except for the fins and boat tail, but those are simple enough that you can fabricate them yourself. You won't need decals because the paint job is so simple, but you will need instructions and patterns for the fins. Click this link (or the 1st picture below) for Semroc's MX-774 parts page and here (or the 2nd picture below) for the MX-774 instructions and fin templates. Building the Centuri MX-774 is easy - even from "scratch" - and will give you a great flying rocket.

Kitbashing an MX-774 Rocket - Building a larger MX-774 from the Estes Bull Pup kit

If you'd like to build a larger model of the MX-774, you can buy an Estes Bull Pup kit and use instructions and templates available from Jim Z, a.k.a spacemodeling.org. It's a pretty simple kit bash that results in a model about 16-1/2" tall. A series of blog posts on this build begins here.

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