Estes - Firestreak SST {Kit} (806) [2004-2008]

Contributed by Karl Kalbaugh

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstar_borderstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Diameter: 0.86 inches
Length: 10.20 inches
Manufacturer: Estes
Skill Level: 1
Style: Sport

Brief:

A very simple ARF rocket. Plastic snap together construction. This would make an excellent first rocket for younger rocketeers or for a low altitude demo.

Rocket PicConstruction:

Inner body tube: Paper. External airframe is plastic.

Fins: four pre-screen printed with art.

Motor mount: intnerior small paper tube. Also houses the streamer and engine.

Nose cone: also plastic. Snaps together like the rest of the airframe and comes in 2 halves.

Engine retainer ring: Is a bit tricky to use as it turns then locks onto the airframe. Very easy to break. Fortunately, our kits contain two of these rings.

Construction took about 1/2 hours with my son. No special tools needed although some muscle is needed to snap the body tube together snugly. I opted to use plastic cement on the nose cone halves to keep it firmly together.

Finishing:

Finishing was with a full body self-adhesive decal. Decal application is required as it helps to hold the outer plastic airframe together. Final look is a high gloss purple rocket with orange flames. Perfect "kid colors"

Construction Rating: 4

Flight:

We flew this rocket on 1/2A3-4Ts. This put the rocket up about 80 feet or so. Very smooth straight flight with ejection at apogee and landed perhaps 20 feet from launch pad every time.

Wadding or dog barf is a must. The inner tube made packing the streamer and shock cord a bit tight. I was afraid it was in too tight, but the ejection charge handled it fine.

Recovery:

Shock cord was attached between the plastic outer airframe and the inner tube. Not your conventional method. Assembling the recovery system was the most complicated part of this kit. Streamer was so tightly packed that when it come out for recovery, it stayed somewhat crumpled.

We did experience slight singing on the shockcord and streamer.

Flight Rating: 3

Summary:

This is a simple build and would be excellent for kids. If you don't want a pure RTF rocket, this is a nice intermediate step.

Overall Rating: 4

Flights

Comments:

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D.C. (March 28, 2004)
This is not a very good rocket. It does fly nice, straight and high on A103T's but the shock cord keeps getting ripped out inside. First time I used their through-the-side knot method but on the second launch it yanked that right out. Nose cone was lost for a few days while I looked for it.. Next time around I used a tri fold inside that tiny body tube. First launch ok, second one it just broke the cord where it goes into the fold mount. This launch also resulted in the engine blocking lugs breaking loose. Rocket is under repairs at this moment. I don't think I would recommend it to anyone.
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M.M. (November 7, 2004)
My 9 yr old purchased this rocket on the way to a launch. He assembled it in the backseat of the car (no gluing allowed back there!) and only needed help with extra pressure on the main body tube snaps. He flew it on A10-3Ts in a 10mph wind and had a great time. The two items he found to be a problem: the retention piece was too tight for him to secure and the wadding, streamer, shock cord had a tough time fitting inside the tube and having the nose cone fit securely on the body.
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L.M. (May 7, 2007)
Discontinue this rocket, Estes.. Don't they test these things? I bought it so my son would have something he could help me build, but I ended up doing all of the building myself. When I was constructing it, it looked so flimsy and weak I knew I would only get 3-4 flights out of it, so I bought a pack of A3-4t's. I ended up getting about half a flight. One of the little notches in the side of the inner body tube (that the plastic tabs poke through) was forced open by gases from the ejection charge, causing the rocket to explode. I'm mailing the remains to Estes.

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