Alpha III®

(72 customer reviews)

Alpha III®

(72 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.

72 reviews for Alpha III®

  1. Karl

    The classic rocket I remember the most

    I remember my brother having this rocket so decided to get it. I didn’t like the “new” color design so I painted it like the red, white, and black 80’s version. A classic rocket that should be in everyone’s collection.

  2. Louie

    easy to assemble

    This makes a great addition to the “Alpha” collection. Easy to assemble and flies really high.

  3. Daniel


    It takes a little while to assemble but its fun when you shoot it off. 🙂

  4. zip1005

    Gone with the wind

    This is a great rocket but when you launch it make sure (1) You have a VERY open space and (2) there is very little wind! Otherwise you might spend lots of time looking for your rocket!

  5. Richard L.

    Hooked Again at 50!

    Bought the Alpha III Launch Kit at a flea market, never used. Everything was there but the launcher legs, so drilled a hole in a board and made my own launcher. I made lots of Estes Rockets when I was a kid in the 70’s, including a Scale Honest John. I put it together with my 10 year old son on Sunday and launched it three times on Labor Day. My son was AMAZED and grinning ear to ear on the first launch and recovery, and 35-40 years later, his dad is hooked again. It flew great, but I didn’t realize there was a B4-4 engine in the package for the second launch……….so it went WAY up that time, and ended up in a tree because it drifted MUCH further. Got it down, however, and launched again at an angle with an A8-3, and it drifted down to my yard that time. Now I’m looking to buy more kits. GREAT thing for me to do with my boy!!

  6. Joe

    Easy & Fun

    Super easy to build although the decals where a challange

  7. tedman

    Alpha 3

    Great rocket. I got one when I was 12 in the 70’s. On it’s maiden flight it flew great. The only problem was it made a splash down in my ditch. This completely distroyed it. Later as a young adult (20’s), I purchaced another. Launched it a few times and set it aside. Now as an older adult with kids I have turned my son onto the hobby. He has his rockets and I have my Alpha 3. That Alpha 3 flies better than all of his rockets (not that they are bad). I suggest the A8-3 since it flies plenty high with that one. Great to be back in the Hobby again.

  8. Gstep55054

    Up, Up, And away

    I bought this for my son’s 12 birthday. It was 1 day for build so glue could dry. The next day we went to the park it was a calm day. We launched it and up it went the only thing we could see was the smoke form the engine. Finally the parachute popped out then it just floated away we never found it but it was lot’s of fun.

  9. joseph

    lost it

    This is a good rocket but it is too powerful. I was really excited but I used the c6-5 engine and it just disappeared.

  10. Father’s Day with Daughter

    Out of Sight

    My daughter surprised me on Father’s Day with a model rocket. We went to the park with lots of wide open space. Loaded the Alpha III with the C6-5 (max height) and watched it disappear, never to be seen again! It was fun while it lasted. We had a great laugh about it. Specail time spent with her. Thanks, Dad

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