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

Rocket PicConstruction:

This is a pre-assembled rocket starter kit. Just tie the 'chute to the shock cord, add wadding, drop in your engine, screw the plastic on the back, add igniter, put on pad, put batteries in the launch controller, hook up clips, and PUSH BUTTON!

I bought this kit at Wal-Mart because my wife wanted to get into the sport. Not knowing much about it except for watching me, I thought this would be a good way to get her started. She is good in the kitchen, but not at the workbench! I still had to put it on the pad for her. The rocket looked nice, but the body tube is flimsy.

Finishing:

None was required. The rocket looked nice overall, but the decal was faded in spots and the paint on the nose was a little splotchy at the top where the gold point is.

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

Flight:

This thing needs help! The motor is held in with the twist on plastic cap at the tail. I would recommend the B4-4 motor. I used three of those then a C6-5 which was a BIG mistake! It took four sheets of wadding placed in one at a time and staggered in the tube to keep from burning the Estes 'chute.

There was some wind on the first flight and it kicked the tail section out from under it on the first lift-off at about 75 feet causing it to almost be powered into the ground. When there was no wind it flew fine, but still cocked a little bit.

When I put in the C6-5, there was about a 5mph gust just as it got to about 100 feet causing it to fly crooked and way off on an angle. The engine seemed too powerful though as, even once it cleared the pad, it looked unstable. I did not have a chance to re-test the stability of the rocket in a swing test for weight because a tree ate it on that flight.

Recovery:

Use at least four sheets of recovery wadding or your 'chute will get burned. The shock cord put a little dent in the top of the tube, but not enough to affect anything as the nose cone keeps it right. I would recommend a spill hole in the 'chute as it really hangs in the air if you have a breeze and this baby will drift!

Flight Rating: 3 out of 5

Summary:

PROs: If you know nothing about this sport, this is a good starter kit and is an easy rocket to prep. CONs: Don't fly it in any breeze and stick to the B-size motors as this rocket is flimsy and possibly unstable.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5

Flights

Comments:

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B.G.A. (February 27, 2006)
I don't think this review was fair at all. I have one, and its one of the best fliers in my fleet. It always gets 4-5 flights per session. I've flown mine on A8-3's, B6-4's, C6-3's, and C6-5's. And I've never had a real problem with it. Every so often a chute line might break, but that is just normal wear and tear. Its a starter set, yes. Is it an incredible rocket? No. But it is a decent one for what it is.
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B.S. (April 17, 2006)
I concur with the guest opinion. This rocket has flown over 24 times without any issues - largely on C6-5 engines. I've flown this in many different wind conditions - gusty as well as calm. The only changes I have made to the rocket are: 1)reinforced inside of the tubes with CA where the nosecone joins the body to make this a little stronger; and 2) I use a 9" nylon 'chute to make the recovery easier in higher winds.
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B.S. (May 9, 2006)
Based on my rejection of this review I decided to push things. My opinion of flying the kit stock are below (4/6). I added nose weight clay and put a D21 into the rocket on 4/30. It was picture perfect. For that flight I replaced the parachute with a 4x40" nylon streamer. It went WAY up there (estimated 1100') and came down faster than normal due to streamer. No damage, no windcocking (5 mph winds or higher) - it was a beauty to behold. If I continue to push it I will fillet the fins they are attached with a thin bond of plastic and there is actually a gap on one side of each fin that could be filled with CA or a plastic bonding epoxy. I think however I will remove the nose weight and go back to c6-5's - that's high enough. I just wanted to prove a point. In short - a well built RFT rocket that can be pushed if desired to twice it's normal thrust and altitude. Can even be brought down using a streamer (even with extra nose weight) and not lose a fin.
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D.C. (May 18, 2006)
I do not think this review was fair or accurate. I own the U.S Patriot Missile starter set, which is the exact same rocket with different decals. I have flown it on everything from A's to C's and it is stable and tough as nails. I have flown it probably 25+ times and it just keeps kicking. The only damage has been a broken fin that was easily repaired. In fact, I use this as the "sacrificial rocket" on launch days to test wind direction and speed etc... The kit is a great value and the rocket is a great little rocket that can stand up top a lot!
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J.C. (May 19, 2006)
Dude! Saying your wife "is good in the kitchen, but not at the workbench" in a public forum?! You, my friend, must love living dangerously...

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