A new product for 2003 from Estes is the new Blurzz Rocket Race Car. This is an actual rocket car powered by a special A10-PT (plugged) 13mm black powder rocket motor. It runs down a 90 foot long race line which appears to be a type of tubular nylon and uses a drag chute to stop safely.
Each Blurzz Rocket Car comes as a complete setup (similar to a rocket starter set) which includes the Blurzz plastic car, two A10-PT motors, igniters and plugs and the track unit which includes the 90 foot race line, a plastic crash barrier, clip in motor mount for the car with retention cap, pre-assembled parachute brake with about a 6-inch pre-assembled chute, a standard Electron Beam launch controller, a small drawer for storing the motors (very convenient), a built in compartment for the micro clips, a built in blast deflector, and the brake chute holder which also doubles as a carrying handle for the setup.
There is absolutely no construction required. The car already comes pre-assembled and painted in one of three different colors, red, blue, or green. and the track unit also comes pre-assembled and ready to use right out of the box.
The only items that you need that are not included in the setup are 4 AA batteries for the launch controller, a roll of duct tape for securing the parachute holder to the ground, and two 2-liter soda bottles filled with water, soda, or sand for securing the track sections to the ground; although I found that two 1-gallon milk jugs filled with water do a much better job of securing the track.
PROS: Absolutely no construction required anywhere (can't beat that)
Like I said before, there is no finishing required as the cars already come prepainted in either the Red Menace, Blue Storm, and the Green Mantis themes. My Blurzz car is the the Red Menace, a very cool looking red and silver car.
PROS: No finishing required at all.
Construction Rating: 5 out of 5
The only recommended motor for this car is the A10-PT.
The instructions recommend finding a nice, smooth strip of pavement at least 100 feet long by 30 feet wide.
After setting the track up as recommended and after attaching the car to the beginning of the track, you prepare the car by first installing the clip in motor mount into the bottom of it and rolling it to position about 6-inches from the blast deflector.
I now inserted an A10-PT motor into the mount and after hooking up the micro clips to the igniter, I was ready to go.
The A10 motor lit almost immediately and launched the car straight down the track at a speed of maybe 20-25 miles per hour. At about 20 feet from the end of the track, the car activated the parachute brake and slowed quickly and easily to a smooth stop with about 5 feet of track to spare.
Following runs have produced the same results.
PROS: Runs on the ground, can't be lost like a rocket.
I would consider the recovery for this car is the parachute brake which is sufficient to stop this car safely.
PROS: Safe braking components.
Flight Rating: 5 out of 5
I really liked this product. Even though it is a rocket powered car and runs on the ground at about 25 miles per hour, it has also proven to be very safe as well. In my opinion, it is as safe as a rocket. Just follow the instructions and use a little common sense and you'll be fine.
Also, you will want to find a non-populated area to run this car. My first few test runs took place on my street and while it was OK at the time, It wasn't ideal (I was blocking nearly 3 driveways). My recent runs took place from a church parking lot and it was an ideal site.
The Blurzz Rocket Car set is available at Wal-Mart for about $19.97, a great price for what you get. You can also get the A10-PT motors there as well at $4.97 for a 4 pack.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
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