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Today's Featured Review

Estes - StrikeFighter


Construction Rating:
Flight Rating:
Overall Rating:

Contributed by Dick Stafford

I built this kit in the late 1980's. This model really looks cool and, despite the number of parts, was not terribly difficult to put together. It is a futuristic space fighter reminiscent of something from Star Wars or maybe Battlestar Galactica.

Old Instructions Graphic

Rocket PicConstruction:
The Strikefighter sports a unique nosecone that gives the appearance of a ramjet engine. The body tube is BT-55 and the fins are die-cut balsa. There are two main fins set 180 degrees from one another. On the tip of each wing is a complex nacelle. I say they are complex only because of the number of parts that went into them. They have a section of BT-5 centered in a BT-50 outer tube by six balsa vanes. The BT-5 tubes have simulated weapons mounted in the front. These were built-up from a small dowel, a section of launch lug, and numerous cardboard components. Three stabilizers are mounted on each nacelle, one as an extension of the main wing and two at an angle slightly greater than +/-45 degrees.

The model is painted solid white, except for the laser cannons that are silver. Trim includes a simulated scoop mounted near the rear, a clear cockpit, cardboard fairings mounted over the structural fin fillets, and a whole bunch of decals. A decal was even provided for the tip of the nosecone to look like turbine blades.

Construction Rating: 5

The recommended engines include the B4-4, B6-4, and C6-3. Since I built this as a display model for my son, it only flew once on a B6-4.

The recovery system included a rubber shock cord and a plastic chute. There was plenty of room to pack these in the BT-55 body tube. The flight was successful except for a few scrapes where the nosecone evidently rebounded into the body tube. If and when I fly it again I will replace the rubber shock cord with light Kevlar line.

Flight Rating: 4

This was a really great looking kit that was relatively easy to build. If you can glue a fin on straight then you could build this one.

Overall Rating: 4

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Today's Featured Flyer

Dale Marshall

AKA: Feyd

Location: San Antonio, TX

Club Memberships: NAR, Semroc SAM

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Wounded Warrior Project
Estes Interceptor Model Rocket Kitshopjonrocket 14$20.50About 2 Days
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
MPC USS Enterprise Model Rocket Kitshopjonrocket 1$0.99About 2 Days
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
Estes Hydrogen Fuel Rocket #1876 - new in original Box ages 10+ncjwla 0$26.00About 2 Days
National Council of Jewish Women Los Angeles

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Today's Featured Photo

ROCK Launches

June 2013 Launch


Photo by Roger Smith

Today's Featured Video

Winter Nationals 2005

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Featured Rocketry Blog Posts

Rocket Dungeon: A new approach to finless
A few days ago, one Dean Black posted a unique finless design on Facebook (members can join the NAR group and look for Dean's name). He describes the design as "induction stabilized." He also has a .pdf describing the rocket (again, you'd have to join and ask for it). There are several criteria which must be met for this to have any chance of working. Thus, I will generally describe the rocket but will not provide details until I've flown one and can personally vouch for it. His design is a two piece body with a central gap and no fins. The motor is in the top section. He claims two things ...
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Model Rocket Building: Vern Estes Original Big Bertha
From a 2005 post by "A Fish Named Wallyum" on YORF - Here's some background on Vern Estes and the original Big Bertha. "Vern built this rocket to use at demonstration launches. It proved to be so popular that they later made it a free plan and then a kit. It became the largest selling rocket Estes ever made. I believe it is now also the "oldest" kit still made." In a recent post Bernard Cawley added: "It, along with many other things that Vern and Gleda have kept or collected, will be housed by the Museum of Flight in Seattle. The Stine archive is already there. Actually the first Big Bertha ...
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Odd'l Rockets: Little Green Man Promo Film Short
Roger Smith put together a great L.G.M. promotional video. You can see a C6-5 flight from a quad copter video perspective. CLICK HERE This was filmed at the July 14, S.T.E.M. launch. The music and Theremin sounds make the perfect soundtrack. Thanks Roger! Great work as always . . .
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Rocketry Deals

Product NameList PriceSale PriceDiscountStore
Estes Partizon PS Rocket$69.99$35.4949.29%
Badger Air-Brush Company Minitaire Color Paint Set with Color Coat/Paint Retarder$271.40$157.1642.09%
50 Model Rocket Projects for the Evil Genius (Book)$30.00$18.1139.63%
Estes Alpha III Launch Set$32.79$20.4237.72%
Estes 302267 18 inches Parachute$7.99$4.9837.67%
SkyRocket HoverBlade$24.99$15.7137.13%
J-B Weld Steel Reinforced Epoxy (10 oz.)$19.60$12.3836.84%
Scientific Explorer's Meteor Rocket Science Kit$21.99$14.0536.11%
Estes Phoenix Bird$21.99$14.1435.70%
Estes Reflector Flying Model Rocket Kit$23.99$15.4335.68%
Estes Argent$69.99$45.4835.02%

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