Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Diameter: 1.33 inches
Length: 19.50 inches
Manufacturer: Estes
Skill Level: 1
Style: Helicopter

Editor's Note: This review does not consider the helicopter portion of the rocket.

Rocket PicBrief:
This is one of the new ones from Estes. This kit seemed to to yelling "STREAMER" to me. The plastic forward swept fins are strong, and just seem perfect for streamer recovery. So, I took the helicopter parts and put them away for a later day. This reduced the weight, so now my Cosmic Cobra is only 2.4 oz completed.

Construction:
This kit comes with the BT-56 sized body tube (gloss yellow) and black plastic nose cone, two piece plastic fin section, launch lug that is shaped for the body, 1/8" x 2 foot shock cord, 12" plastic Estes parachute, three rotor blades, a blade ring, (4) rubber bands and and a large purple wild looking decal.

This took about 10 minutes. The two piece plastic fin unit made it super simple to tie a knot in the end of a two foot piece of 1/8" Kevlar® cord, and using CA as I did on the whole rocket, I glued the cord in between the two halves of the fin unit. Attached a small snap swivel to the end of that, then added the 24" x 1/8 shock cord, and selected a silver mylar 2" x 56" streamer. The launch lug is unlike any I have ever seen before. It form fits onto the shape of the body tube.

Finishing:
Since you don't see many black "stock" nose cones, at first glance this rocket looks like it was painted. The gloss yellow body looks great with the black nose and fins. I left it that simple and did not use the wild looking purple decals. I think it looks cool just like it is. I have never felt good about the Estes method of attaching the shock cord with a paper mount inside the body tube. Those eventually come loose and in many cases they cause the parachute to get stuck. So to improve this kit, it should come with a 1-2 foot 1/8" Kevlar® cord which is super simple to attach to the motor mount/fin unit with this kit. I was surprised the shock cord that came with it was 2 feet long as I expected one only 1 foot long. Still, I feel it should be at least 4 feet long. The gloss yellow body tube feels very strong.

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

Flight:
I plan on flying it every time I go out for a launch day and I will experiment with different types of streamers. I will bet I can get at least 50 flights out of it with no damage, in fact it would be interesting to try an Aerotech D21 in it. I am sure it would hold up. My first flight was with a Quest C6-5. Took a few seconds to light and then shot straight up and out of sight. I thought I had lost it until I saw the red puff and silver streamer. I had put a few dashes of red line chalk in on top of the wadding and that really helped to see where it was. It came down about 500 feet from here and seemed to drift quite a bit for a streamer.

The second and third (final flight) were at a larger field and I switched out the streamer for a parachute for the second flight with a C6-5. The last (3rd) flight when I lost it had the streamer back in it, and I believe I either put too much line chalk in it, or the D21-7 was too much power as it cocked sideways quite a bit and went out of sight in just seconds. I saw a huge cloud of red line chalk and that was it. So much for getting 50 flights out of it!

Recovery:
Was recovered in perfect condition.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary:
The only streamer kit I ever flew before was an Astron Sprint back in the early 80's. Back then I had imagined a rocket with forward swept and strong plastic fins, as my Sprint always seemed to pop a fin on landing. I had bought this Cosmic Cobra because I was curious about how the helicopter nose cone worked, but upon looking at the parts, I quickly realized that this is a perfect kit for the streamer testing I wanted to try. I may add the 'copter blades to the nose cone just to try it, but that adds almost 30% more weight to the rocket. Since I used snap swivels, the recover system can be changed out in just seconds.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Flights

Comments:

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G.A.D. (September 3, 2002)
We have had a hard time figuring out how to get a good clean deployment from this rocket. On the first flight the nosecone separated but the ?copter blades barely had time to fold out. The parachute was partially melted and failed to deploy fully. The second flight was a good one. On the third flight the combination of chute and ?copter blades was too much to eject and it lawn-darted. [Note to EMRR, I'll send a Pic] I'm considering how rebuild this for more consistent ejection. I may lengthen the body tube and use a piston of some sort.
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J.R. (December 11, 2003)
I think this is an excellent rocket. It's fun to fly and watch this rocket's recovery. Especially on a C6-5. The parachute melting annoyed me a lot though.
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unknown (December 18, 2003)
This is a great rocket. But it's basically a E2X version of the Hyper X.
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F.H. (April 6, 2004)
The picture above looks EXACTLY like mine after just one flight. Everything just packs way too tight. If Estes replaces this kit I will build it with a streamer to reduce the amount of stuff to pack into the body tube.
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B.A. (March 8, 2006)
Once you get the knack of how to lead the blades and a chute, this is a great rocket. All of the kids love it, and I've had the nosecone take over 2 minutes to come down at times.
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M.S. (October 23, 2006)
After a couple of failures using the rotors, we have scrapped the helicopter retrieval completely and added a streamer to all 3 Cosmic Cobras that my kids own. Much easier to load and higher percentage of recovery. We have flown one of the Cobras at least 15 times. They all look like they will last a long time. With less weight, a C motor makes a really nice flight!
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J.G. (June 15, 2008)
This rocket is what I refer to as a "Titanic". Very first flight was also its last flight. I read the flight logs and reviews prior to flying this, and for some reason, thought mine was going to work. It didn't. There is just too much stuff to cram into a BT-56 tube here. Others that witnessed the ballistic arc that our rocket did (when ejection charge failed to even get the nosecone out) said "that must have been a Cosmic Cobra". Tells you something. The suggestions we got were that this rocket needs to be "stretched". We concur. A longer body tube will allow for chute to be packed underneath the folded helicopter blades. Stay tuned in the mods section.
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G.P. (June 25, 2008)
I'm not sure why some people are having trouble with this rocket - I've had good recovery every time. The trick is to fold and roll the parachute in a long wedge so that it fits inside the rotors. This was my mom's favorite of all my rockets - she loved watching the rotor/nose cone deploy and autogyro down.
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C.G. (July 2, 2008)
As G.P. said, you need to fold the parachute rather flat and place it between the rotors. My daughter has one and has never had a bad deployment. However, the nose cone doesn't spin all that well in the default build; it starts to spin, then flips over, then starts to spin again, and so on. I resolved this by putting a few grams (probably around 15) of weight in the tip of the nosecone, enticing it to remain pointed downward for a more satisfying spin.

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