Three stage kit with streamer recovery.
Being an altitude junkie this kit caught my eye as soon as I saw it. This kit was typical Estes, that is to say it had all of its parts and well thought out instructions. Quality of the parts was good and they all fit well. I got right to construction and other than wishing I had purchased the fin alignment jig the kit was straight forward to build. No surprises here. I took the time to carefully sand the balsa wood fin edges. The square die cut edge just wouldn't do for a sharp looking kit like this. Be sure to add the epoxy fillets at the fin root!
After assembly I painted it and applied the decals to mirror the package. This rocket looks great just sitting on the pad! No real finishing problems to note with this kit. The finished product is a really nice looking rocket.
Construction Rating: 4 out of 5
First flight was single stage with an A8-3. Arrow straight boost, a beautiful flight. The supplied streamer recovery system deployed fine but allows for a bit too speedy descent. At impact one of the fins popped loose at the epoxy fillet. I repaired that and replaced the streamers with a small 12" parachute.
Next flight was two stages with B6-0 and B6-7. The flight was again arrow straight and a thing of beauty and the small chute worked perfectly. No broken fins.
The first three stage flight was an eye opener. Trying to keep track of all the parts once you hit the go button is a challenge. All I can say is bring spotters with you for this one. All three stages worked great and the altitude performance of this small rocket is a real crowd pleaser. Save this one for big fields and calm days or plan on a long walk. I am working on a high altitude rocket for my level one certification but this little rocket will remain my favorite for a long time to come.
Adding the small parachute will greatly reduce the number of broken fins you repair on this one. But be aware that with the altitude performance of this rocket and its light weight be cautious to fly it on low wind days.
Flight Rating: 5 out of 5
Super kit, beautiful finish, defines the term "Flies like a rocket"
Overall Rating: 4 ½ out of 5