Custom Rockets - Redliner {Kit} (10011)

Contributed by Dave Sutter

Diameter: 0.98 inches
Length: 20.75 inches
Manufacturer: Custom Rockets
Skill Level: 1
Style: Sport
(Contributed - by Dave Sutter) 

[Rocket Pic]This is really a pretty basic rocket. I really got it to try something other than an Estes kit, and figured that it would be best to start with something simple. One of the cool things about this rocket (and every other rocket I have from Custom) is the mylar parachute. The rest of the rocket (motor mount, shock cord mount, fins, etc) is all just like Estes stuff. I'm not a big fan of painting and detail-finishing, so a major plus in my book was that it's just two colors of paint, and a few easy decals for a nice looking rocket.

Probably the best thing about this rocket, though, is its performance. It's fairly light for its size, and (at least compared to most of my other rockets) screams off the pad. In fact, on its very first launch, the motor was announced to the bystanders, and got quite a reaction for its lift-off speed. It goes pleasingly high on a B6-4, and goes out of sight on a C6-7.

After the first day of launching, I noticed that the shock cord was nearly burned through just above the shock cord mount. This and other, similar experiences have led me to believe that this is a weak point of Estes-style shock cord mounts. As the hot ejection charge gases and burning particles move forward during ejection, the wadding (or other protective equipment) keeps the chute and most of the shock cord from getting fried until they can get out of the tube, but the part of the shock cord that stays in the tube, the part just above the shock cord mount, isn't fully protected, and gets burnt. As a test remedy, I tore out the shock cord and put in another mount, only this time I used Duco Cement to glue in a bent piece of paper clip, to which I attached a steel fishing leader. I then tied the remaining elastic shock cord (with nose cone and chute) to the other end of the steel leader. No burn-through problems any more.

Unfortunately, during the 1997 Oct 4 launch, I lost the excellent mylar chute because I forgot to close the snap swivel shut before launching it. Even without the chute, it recovered fine with simple nose-blow recovery. This has led me to believe that this model is a good choice to test alternative recovery devices. I have built a small, 6" wide X-form or cross-form parachute (out of one of those anti-static plastic bags that computer hardware comes in) for use in this model. As of 1997 Nov 8, I haven't had a chance to test it yet, due to the incredibly lousy weather around here (3 straight weekends of nothing but rain! :( )

Update... Well, that x-form parachute failed, but the rocket recovered just fine on with nose-blow recovery again. I have, for the moment given up on x-form parachutes.

Update...I got frustrated trying to stuff the wadding and streamer or parachute into this rocket with that steel fishing leader and bent paperclip in the way, so I ripped them out. I went with a LOC-style shock cord mount, using a short piece of Kevlar® line (about 8 inches) tied into a big loop, with one end of the loop epoxied into the body tube. The shock cord is then tied to the part of the Kevlar® loop that is exposed.   This has worked well so far.

In conjunction with the shock cord mount change, I also made a very large streamer (7" wide, 70" long) from gold-colored mylar sheets leftover from christmas wrappings. I'm planning to time this rocket with this chute to get some idea of what it might take to make a streamer duration model. 

Description: Your basic 3FNC (3 Fins and a Nose Cone), but a particularly nice one at that.
Purpose: For me, this was my foray into the world of rocketry beyond Estes.
Motors: A8-3, B4-4, B6-4, B8-5, C6-5
Max Altitude: ??? (My guess is about 1100ft or more)
Length: 20.75" / 52.6cm
Diameter: 0.976" / 24.8mm (Custom MT-50, Estes BT-50)
Weight: 1.0oz / 27g
Recovery: 12" mylar parachute
Nose Cone: near-parabolic, plastic
Payload: None
Fins: 3, balsa
Notes: Just an all-around nice, inexpensive, easy-to-build, good-performing rocket.
Skill Level: 1
Part Number: CR-11
Price: 6.49
Other Reviews
  • Custom Rockets - Redliner {Kit} (10011) By Mark Bischof (June 12, 2010)

    Brief: Was a great rocket, easy to build, easy to launch, Great for a day of family fun! Construction: 2 body tubes, both .976" 3 die-cut balsa fins 12" parachute 2 centering rings Quick release motor mount Blowmolded nose ogive nosecone Water-slide decals Pros- easy to build fast and simple Cons- waterslide decals haard to use, but ...



V.L. (September 1, 2000)
I found with Custom there are two-forms of this kit. The older uses a single longer tube while the latter uses two smaller tubes joined with a coupler. In the new packaging they have gone to a plastic chute that is not very good. (I replaced it with a streamer from another custom kit.) I feel that many of custom's kits parts are much better that the Estes fair. One thing I have noted is better wood in used for the fins. However, custom has gone to new packaging and the rocket seems smaller. What ever happened to the large c and D kits of old? while the kit does fly well it seems like the consumer gets a little less. While it is an alternative to Estes it lacks in luster. Some of use enjoy low power rocketry but hate the down sizing the of choice and size.
G.C. (January 1, 2001)
I love my Redliner. I'm a driftophobe so I use a streamer. I did make some minor mods to mine, though: basswood fins in the stock planform, scant zipper-proofing and a 24mm motor mount. On its very first pass, it vertical-stalled at apogee. Nice. Think it blazes on a C6-7? Don't blink with an E15! 3200+'! Custom makes great performing rockets for a nice price.
K.M.S. (August 2, 2003)
The Custom Redliner is one of my favorite rockets for one reason - it goes really high! Cheap kit (relatively speaking) that goes together easy and with a C6-5 goes out of sight! Everyone needs a least one of these in their fleet.
B.A. (March 27, 2006)
This rocket goes really high even on an A8-3. it's a great little sport flier, and comes back almost straight down. The kids just love it.

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