Alpha III®

(70 customer reviews)

Alpha III®

(70 customer reviews)

A true classic, the Alpha III was the first rocket in the beginner series. Designed with pre-colored parts and self-stick decals, you’ll be ready for liftoff in an hour. Whether you’re a first timer or a long time flyer, the Alpha III should be in everyones’ collection.


Availability: In stock

For This Rocket

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What you need to launch

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Join the hundreds of thousands of people who got their start in model rockets with this classic! The first rocket in the Beginner level series, the high-flying Alpha III was designed with beginners in mind.

Renown for its classic good looks, simple assembly, and excellent performance, the Alpha III is one of the model rocketry’s best-known and most-loved designs. The black body tube, fluorescent orange nose cone and one piece fin unit makes this rocket easy-to-assemble and fun to fly! With nothing needed more then everyday household supplies and some glue, you’ll be ready for liftoff in an hour. Using Estes standard model rocket engines (sold separately), watch as the Alpha III soars to 1150 feet high. Once the rocket reaches its peak altitude, it will gently return to earth on its brightly colored, matching orange 12 inch parachute. Whether you’re a first time rocketeer or a long time flyer, the Alpha III is a true classic that should be in everyones’ collection.

WHAT YOU NEED TO BUILD: Scissors, pencil, ruler, fine sandpaper, carpenter’s glue and hobby knife. (Tools, construction and finishing supplies not included.)

WHAT YOU NEED TO LAUNCH (sold separately): Estes Porta-Pad II Launch Pad and Electron Beam Launch Controller, Estes model rocket engines, starters and recovery wadding. Four 1.5V high quality AA alkaline batteries are also required for launch controller (not included).

Projected Max Altitude

1150 ft. (351 m)

Recovery System

12 in. (30.5 cm) Parachute


12.1 in. (30.7 cm)


0.98 in. (25 mm)

Estimated Weight

1.2 oz. (34 g)

Estimated Assembly Time

1 Hour (painting and glue drying time not included)

Fin Materials


Decal Type


Launch System

Porta-Pad II and Electron Beam Launch Controller

Launch Rod Size


Age Recommendation

Estes model rocketry is recommended for boys and girls ages 10+ with adult supervision for those under 12, and rocketeers of all ages.

70 reviews for Alpha III®

  1. Ryan

    so much fun to build and flly!

    the alpha III is a classic kit that’s been around for at least 30 years. i keep crashing mine and keep buying more! they are just perfect and so much fun.

  2. keith


    I love it

  3. fly high

    nice rocket

    I got this as my first rocket frome michaels easy and fun to assemble.The first time i launched it was fast and went high

  4. John

    Use nothing bigger than B6-4

    Beware, this rocket goes so high, so fast that you may not be able to recover it. Live and learn. B6-4 is the biggest engine I would recommend… I used a C6-5 on the first and only launch. One month later, I think it may orbiting the Earth (or Moon).

  5. millermonster

    Great beginner build

    This is a good rocket. Of course, I have to recommend using a smaller engine. I have been in the hobby for years and figured I could use a C6-5 engine. Luckily, because of experience, I was able to get it back after it made it to a height of 1350′. But I do not suggest using such large engines in it as it is pretty small and fast. A8-3 seems to be perfect for our purposes in this rocket.

  6. Scott

    Good bang for the buck!

    I rejoined this hobby due to my daughters science project and this was the right way to go. Fast assembly and no hassles. Ready to fly in less than 30 minutes with the right glue. Launched the rocket 6 times and it held up to the abuse. It would probably for quite a while! Nice job Estes. Its good to be back!!

  7. ejeeperguy

    loved it. lost it

    Built rockets with the boys.This one was mine. In reading all the other reviews I thought I was the only one to lose it. Now I don’t feel so bad about others doing the same. It flew up great and then it was gone. Boy do I miss my rocket.

  8. Aviyaytor

    Loved it, lost it!

    The Alpha III also comes with a launcher starter kit, and I bought the first one-sucessful launch, no recovery. Second kit we bought- sucessful launch, and again No recovery! Bummed out because it flew so well. I WILL buy another one, and this one WILL be recovered….I hope!

  9. Jerz Mike

    Daughter’s First Rocket

    Easy to build and great looking rocket. The wind took it on its maiden flight and we never recovered. I wish I saw some of these comments before launching it. Daughter was devastated we couldn’t recover. ESTES NOTE: Always use the first flight recommended engine for a greater chance of recovery.

  10. MSA

    Alpha III

    This Rocket should be named Old Reliable. I started my interest in rocketry with the starter kit 15 years ago. I have flown the original twice this year. 30+ flights, It has never disappointed me.

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