Contributed by Graham Richard
An RTF kit that, with its red BT and silver fins/nose cone, is, IMO, one of the nicest looking rockets out of the box that you can buy.
This kit has a plastic all-in-one fin can that can take a free fall a lot better than balsa fins tend to.
Construction is very easy. Simply tie the parachute and nose cone, to the pre-attached rubber cord.
It's nice to see Estes attaching their shock cords to the motor mount, rather than gluing it inside the lip of the BT, but in my case I doubled the length of the shock cord to help avoid the "Estes Dent" that can occur after ejection when the nose cone bounces back on it's rubber band into the rocket's body tube.
Nothing else to do, assemply was done at the feild, seeing this was a gift to a visitor.
Construction Score: 5
I bought 5 of these and have given them as gifts to my boy's visiting friends over a couple of years. They've all flow well. Great reliable flights on B motors, and even nicer flights on C's, apart from the whole melting thing (more below).
Recovery issues I've had have been due to not using enough wadding (chute burn), and an error with their new owner not tying on the nose cone properly.
I do like how the plastic fin-can assemply can take a harder landing than balsa, again, making these ideal non-perfect landing environments.
Flight Rating: 4
This kit does have one major flaw. Do not use it with a C sized motor. Every time we send one of these up with a C, the heat causes the plastic fin can assemply to warp creating buckles in the lower part of the rocket. The rocket is not destroyed, and will fly again, but was obviously under significant heat stress and is cosmetically ruined. Perhaps some "C's" create more heat than others, so this may not be universal, but this probem has been running at a 100% rate for us (we bought 5 of them, have used 4 so far), as we work though our big batch of C's.
A very nice RTF rocket for "B" sized motors making it ideal for smaller parks. Perhaps Estes have improved their fincan design in other RTF's, or perhaps this whole generation of RTF's suffer the same issue? I can't comment as we don't buy many RTF rockets.
Overall Rating: 2
What You Can Do
Recommended Motors: A8-3, B4-4, B6-4, C6-5