bannerbanner

Welcome

Welcome to RocketReviews.com (formerly Essence's Model Rocket Reviews or EMRR). 

RocketReviews.com is the home of almost 5000 reviews of rocketry kits and products. Written by visitors to RocketReviews.com like you, the reviews cover everything from low-power model rocket kits to high-power rocket motors.

The site's Flight Log allows you to record and share your rockets and their flights.  The Builds feature helps you document your rocketry projects. 

At RocketReviews.com, you'll also find a large collection of rocketry resources such as a list of rocketry clubs, a calendar of rocketry events, and large libraries of OpenRocket design files and Rocksim design files. A number of rocketry tools and calculators are available to help you design, build, and fly your rockets.

As you explore RocketReviews.com, you'll also find a number of fun things such as a huge library of rocketry videos and a collection of photo albums.

Mobile RocketReviews.com

The RocketReviews.com mobile site makes it easy to add flights to your Flight log using a smart phone or tablet. Visit:

http://m.rocketreviews.com/

The mobile site allows you to view and enter flights in your Flight Log and to view and add rockets to your Rocket Gallery using simple controls designed for smartphones and tablets. You must have an existing RocketReviews.com account which the mobile site will ask you to log into.

See Also:

Today's Featured Review

Art Applewhite Rockets - Delta Flying Saucer 38mm (18") {Kit}

Manufacturer:Art Applewhite Rockets

Construction Rating:
Flight Rating:
Overall Rating:

Contributed by Matthew McFarland

Brief:
This is a beautiful HPR saucer that wows the crowd with great boosts and long aerobrake recoveries.

Art Applewhite 18inch Delta Saucer

Construction:
This kit comes essentially as three kits. There are the saucer itself and two motor mount kits: one for 54mm motors and one for 38mm motors. The saucer is a single central body tube, a launch lug that mounts inside the body tube, three foam sheets, and some fiberglass. The motor mounts are basically built as simple small rockets. You mark the motor tube with the provided template, cut out the six motor mount basswood fins, glue them in place, and glue on the thrust ring to finish the motor mounts. The motor mounts come bagged separately with their own instructions and templates. I liked this as I could set them aside as I worked on the saucer and not worry about losing any pieces.

I found the instructions easy to follow and quite logical. I never scratched my head for more than about 5 seconds (and then realized any error was mine). There are numerous illustrations and pictures that make the building process really easy and clear.

The saucer comes with all the lines marked and the motor mounts have their own templates so everything is very easy to do. The top and bottom pieces each require 52 grooves be cut to form the cone shape with the provided jig. Art has included a nice little razor jig and blade that cuts to the correct angle so all you have to do is line up a straight edge with the marks and run the jig down it. Easy but time consuming.

The center board is a product called Gatorboard. I found that my fine toothed jeweler's saw gave the best results cutting this stuff. I did several tests with X-Actos, utility knives, and the saw. I found the saw left the best edge by far and cutting went faster.

Once the top and bottom are formed and the center is cut, you can start assembling the pieces. The central tube is glued to the top. I made a really tight fit and then glued it on top of waxed paper so there would not be any problems with any leaks. While this joint dried, I dry fit the center tube in place to assure alignment and a heavy bowl on top to keep the center down and hold the shape of the saucer. I then removed the center tube and epoxied the inside. This is a place to be careful as too much epoxy just adds unnecessary weight. When epoxying the bottom on, do not forget to first epoxy the central tube to the center first! If you forget to do this, you will have a shred! This is the main attachment point of the center foamboard supports the entire saucer. Once the bottom is on and the epoxy is set you are ready for fiberglassing.

The kit comes with what appears to be 1.5-2oz fiberglass and is easy to apply. Just start in the middle and work outward. I think I used about 2oz of epoxy to do the job. The last step is to trim the fiberglass to finish the saucer.

The motor mounts are just as easy to build. Mark them with the provided template, cut the fins, and glue them together. The thrust ring is a 1/2" piece of body tube and I used it to determine when I had a good fit. I had to sand the edge of each fin 125 strokes to get the mount to fit in the body tube on the 54mm mount and 45 strokes on the 38mm mount. The thrust ring is then glued onto the back end of each one and you are done.

Finishing:
I flew mine built and unfinished with the exception of sanding the fiberglass edges and seam. I did this because I liked the white saucer and think it looks good as is. You could paint it anyway you want though. I have considered building another one and epoxying a picture of my family under the top fiberglass so we could all go for a flying saucer ride. We will see about that, but the possibilities are endless.

No decals are provided.

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

Flight:
Recommended 54mm motors: Ellis Mountain L330P, Pro54 2- and 3-grain motors, Aerotech J90W, J180T, J275W, J135W, J315R, and K185W.

Recommended 38mm motors: Ellis Mountain I130, J228, J270, Pro38 4-, 5-, and 6-grain motors, Aerotech I154J, I161W, I195J, I211W, I218R, I284W, I285R, I300T, I355R, and J350W.

I have 6 flights on this rocket: AT J90W, J135W, J180T, K185W, H123W, and H148R. I used friction fit with masking tape to retain all motor cases and had no problem with this method.

Every boost was straight with a little weathercocking. The smoke trails are fantastic.

The J90 was my favorite as it maintains the lines of the saucer and flies forever. The crowd applauded this one and the K185. The K185 is awesome, also flys forever, and would be my favorite, but it sticks out the top about a foot. The J180T maintains the saucer's simple lines, but overpowers the saucer and caused it to wobble during flight. You will notice that neither of the H motors I flew is on the recommended motor list and they should not be used. They put the weight too far back in the ship and cause it to recover poorly. (Read more about this in recovery.)

Recovery:
Recover is aerobrake and I never walked more than about 100 feet from the pads. On the H motors that I flew, the first one recovered by aerobraking in reverse with a nice soft landing. I though cool, lets do it again and then broke the saucer. The second H powered flight (on the H123W), tumbled on recovery and never stabilized. It landed edge down and cracked the center Gatorboard.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary:
This is a cool ship. The last time I flew it (on a K185W), I got a lot of applause and cheers from the audience, who were yelling for me to fly it again. The rocket flown just before the saucer was on a N2000. It got a lot of wows but no applause or cheers. Get one and you will probably have the biggest saucer at your launch and have the most questions asked.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Browse our database of about 4,200 reviews of rocketry kits and other products.

Today's Featured Flyer

Marlin Meyer

AKA: Marlin523

Location: Indianapolis

Favorite Rockets: AIM-54 Phoenix

Visit Marlin Meyer's

Visit the RocketReviews.com Who's Who directory.

Today's Featured Photo

TTRA Launches

March 2012 Launch


2011-03-17-13-20-09-003.jpg

Photo by Roger Smith

Rocketry Deals

Product NameList PriceSale PriceDiscountStore
Scientific Explorer's Meteor Rocket Science Kit$23.99$12.9945.85%
50 Model Rocket Projects for the Evil Genius (Book)$32.00$17.8644.19%
Estes 2274 Recovery Wadding$7.99$4.4943.80%
Badger Air-Brush Company Minitaire Color Paint Set with Color Coat/Paint Retarder$271.40$166.0738.81%
D L C Enterprises Full Circle$19.95$12.2638.55%

Click a column header (Product Name ...) to sort the table by the selected column. Click the column header again to sort in the other direction.

Visit the Rocketry Deals Finder to discover more specials.

Other Interesting eBay Items

 Title
Huge LOT of Model Rocket Parts, Tubes, Nose Cones, Parachutes, Fin Stock, MORE!
Heavy Duty Mid-Power Model Rocket Launch Pad, Fade To Black Brand, Tubular Steel
Huge LOT: 38 Estes / Quest / Apogee Model Rocket Parachutes 12" to 32" new/used
LOT of 5 Vintage OOP Estes, Semroc, QCR Model Rocket Parachutes
Brand New Pratt Hobbies GO Box Model Rocket Launch Control System
Model Rocket Design and Consruction - Tim Van Milligan - 3rd Ed, 328 pages, EC
LOT of 4 Vintage Model Rocket Catalogs 1960s - Cox, MPC, Rocket Dev Corp Enerjet
AREOTECH RMS 24/40 ROCKET MOTOR HARDWARE
Estes E2X Series SkyWinder Flying Model Rocket new
Estes 1672 Blast Off Flight Pack Bulk Engine Pack Flying Model Rocket Engines
14 Model Rocket Lot - Built & Flown - Estes & Quest - $5 Shipping Credit
estes "sweet vee" R/C model rocket glider "MIB"!!!!
Vintage ESTES Astron Omega Flying Model Rocket Kit K-52 P #1200 NOS
Vintage ESTES Patriot Flying Model Rocket Kit #0652 NOS
Estes Trident II Model Rocket New in Box
Estes Mercury Atlas Model Rocket Brand New In Box
Estes TOMCAT MODEL ROCKET KIT - BUILT, BALANCED & READY TO FLY - NEVER FLOWN !
Estes Lot of 20 C Size Model Rockets-L15
Estes Lot of 10 C Size Model Rockets-L8
Estes Lot of 12 D Size Model Rockets-L5

Featured Rocketry Blog Posts

Model Rocket Building: Estes Apollo Little Joe II, Background
Here's the Little Joe I remembered wanting. The BIG 1/45 Scale Little Joe II from the 1969 Centuri catalog. To see the catalog, CLICK HERE But $12.95? All I could afford was the smaller 1/100th scale Little Joe II. The fin fairings and some trim was vacuum formed. They were lightweight but fragile, much like the Centuri Saturn V fins and fairings incorporated into the Estes re-issue Saturn V kits. The "metalized" wrap was pre-installed at the factory. To see the original Centuri instructions: CLICK HERE The body and capsule came down separately on two 24" parachutes. A three engine cluster. ...
[Read More in This Series]

Model Rocket Building: Estes STM-012 Kitbash to the B32-M Spike, Background
Well, I thought it might work! I bought two Estes STM-012 kits on Ebay with the hopes of kit-bashing one of them into an AMRAAM. It never even occurred to me that the STM-012 model would have three through-the-wall fins. The AMRAAM has two sets of four fins. I would have to buy a couple new lengths of BT-60 to do the conversion. That, and the STM-012 nose cone was long! So the kits sat for a few months with me wondering what to do with them. Then I remembered this design from Madcow: The AGM-33 Pike . I've always like the looks of this one, I did the instructions for their 1.6" diameter kit. ...
[Read More in This Series]

Rocket Dungeon: Mini Higgs build, part 1
I dug into the build at the very best place to start - at the very beginning, which in this case is the motor mount. This is not so different than any other LPR mount. It includes rings (squares in this case), a motor clip, motor block, etc. The mount also has two normal round rings to hold the clip securely in place. The Kevlar leader is attached behind the forward square centering ring. Unlike any kit I've had, it also includes a section of shrink tube to protect the lower several inches of the Kevlar. I pretty much built this stock. If I want to put a bigger motor in one, I will have to ...
[Read More in This Series]

Model Rocket Building: Carded Red Max Build, Part 1, Parts
I've seen a few pictures of "Rocket Families" on the forums. The Red Max is a favorite with the Estes Mini Max (BT-50 based), standard Red Max (BT-60 based) and Mega Red Max. Well, how about a smaller BT-5 version for 13mm engines? This one is tiny at just 5 1/4" tall! It performs like a BT-5 Mosquito. At one time I had a little carded Red Max model. It was a BT-5 diameter with a Micro Max engine mount. I lost it somewhere along the way and wanted to make another one. After a few searches I couldn't find it. I thought it might be at Wayne Hill's Rocketry Blog - CLICK HERE There are many ...
[Read More in This Series]

Model Rocket Building: Goony X-15, Part 1, Parts
In the past I bought a few of the Quest X-15 Parts packs. In the pack you get everything except the engine mount, main body tube and parachute. I figured with some BT-60 based parts I could make a good goony version. I raided the spare parts drawers. I found an Alpha style nose cone and a length of BT-60. I think the main reason people buy the X-15 parts pack is for the decal sheet. It is a water slide sheet with lots of white decals on it.
[Read More in This Series]

[View All Featured Posts]

Today's Featured Video

Steve Eve SaturnV

View our collection of about 5,800 rocketry videos.

Latest Blog Posts

Visit the RocketReviews.com Blog for more rocketry news and information.

Latest Reviews

Latest Builds

Web Search

[Configure Your Home Page]

- Link to this Page -