Estes - Bandit {Kit} (1231) [2002-2003]

Contributed by Tony Fragge

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstar_borderstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstarstar_borderstar_border
Manufacturer: Estes

Rocket PicBrief:
The Estes E2X Bandit rocket kit is a good one for a beginner, which is what I was when I found the kit.

Construction:
The kit comes with a pre-slotted and pre-colored body tube, plastic nose cone, plastic motor mount assembly and plastic fins. The shock cord was typical Estes (short) and was to be attached to a 12-inch parachute.

The instructions are very clear and simple to follow. If you had assembled a handful of rockets prior to this one you probably would not need the instructions. Glue and a knife were the only tools required. Once the motor mount assembly was completed, it aligned with the precut slots for easy fin attachment. The only thing I wish I would have known about up front was that the through the body tube exterior shock cord mount has its problems. I would have used the traditional tri-fold shock cord mounting procedure had I known better (which I did when I had to replace the nose cone and parachute later on).

Finishing:
The kit did not require any painting; all you need to do is apply the decals. At the time I did not know that dipping the decal in soap and water could make application much easier, but I was successful despite my ignorance. Once completed it looked pretty cool.

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

Flight:
The rocket will fly on anything from an A8-3 to a C6-5. Being an obedient rocketeer, I followed the directions and used an A8-3 for the first flight as recommended by the manufacturer. Everything went as planned. My second flight was a B6-4. Both flights were nice and straight. The third flight on a B6-4 went well until ejection. The shock cord had burnt through at the hole in body tube and I watched the parachute and nose cone drift off into the distance. The body tube tumbled to the ground with no damage. I replaced the nose cone and shock cord and have flown it since. The rocket really scoots on a C6-5.

Flight Rating: 3 out of 5

Summary:
I would recommend this kit for any beginner. It is easy to assemble and looks good when completed.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5

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