Estes - Porta-Pot Shot {Kit}

Contributed by Frank Casey

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Manufacturer: Estes
Style: Odd-Roc
Estes Porta-Pot Shot

Brief:
This is a new Estes Kit. It is a single stage kit and recovery is by parachute and also a white streamer meant to look like toilet paper. (I don't make this stuff up...)

Construction:
The body itself is styrofoam and comes in two sections. The roof of the rocket is made of hard plastic. It also has four clear plastic fins that attach to the bottom of the kit in order to make it stable for flight. Clay nose cone weight is also provided.

The build only takes about an hour or so. The instructions were typical Estes high quality with one potential "gotcha". The kit comes with two heat shields, one for the roof and one for the bottom of the model. In the instructions you are told to attach the top and bottom heat shields before the fins are attached. If you do this on the bottom of the kit, you would have to cut through the shield to insert the fins easily in my opinion. It's best to attach the bottom shield before gluing the fins in.

Estes Porta-Pot Shot

Finishing:
A PRO regarding finishing would be that it's fairly straightforward.

CONs are as mentioned above that the heat shield attachment needing to be done before fin placement. Also painting is a potential issue. The kit tells you only to use styrofoam safe paint on the body, which I couldn't find, so I actually used Testor's model paint on the body. I used regular white spray paint for the roof and the fins I left clear.

I mixed Testor's blue and white paint to come close to the package paint scheme and I think I nailed it pretty good. I painted three coats on and it really looks great. I normally don't like to use brush on paint on models because I can never get the finish right, however, on the styrofoam, it went on without a brush mark. Decals are stick on, not water slide, and they worked great for this kit.

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

Flight:
Prep is fairly easy, aside from having to cram the 12 inch chute into the small tube inside the body of the rocket. There just isn't much space to put the chute into along with a couple sheets of recovery wadding. The chute basically sits right on top of the engine and it's a very tight fit.

There was a prevailing wind of 18-20 miles per hour. We were right near the coast in Rhode Island and I was not crazy about launching the rocket under those conditions, but my son had his heart set on seeing it fly. I decided to forgo the recommended B6-2 engine and move to a C. I didn't have any C6-3s with me so it was flown on a C6-5.

The rocket flew fairly straight under the circumstances. It didn't fly very high though, maybe 150 feet or so. It really had to fight for altitude being shaped like an outhouse, along with battling the heavy wind coming off of the ocean. The 5 second delay was too long. I suspect on a day without wind that a C6-3 would be a great flight. Ejection on this flight was only about 60 feet above ground and since the chute is so tightly compressed into the compartment, it didn't open in time. It acted like a streamer and the rocket came down too quickly. However, since we launched in a hay field there was no damage. If it had been a regular field or pavement, the clear fins would have snapped for sure and probably the foam body would have been damaged.

Recovery:
Amazingly, the chute itself was not burned even though it sat right on top of the engine. It looked great post-flight. There was some slight scorching to the underside heat shield that prevents the foam body from being burned during takeoff, however, the rocket itself is in excellent shape. I am looking forward to launching this rocket in a no winds from a regular field using a C6-3. I will not be using a B engine on this rocket since it just doesn't fly that high. The chute needs time to unfold and grab air and I doubt a B engine will give it that time. Either way, I am not going to chance it. This is a great looking conversation piece rocket that actual flies and it's not going to get away from anyone on a C6-3 engine.

Flight Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:
I really like the kit because it is unique and a real conversation piece, at least with people who have a good sense of humor. Also, the saying on the front of the package "Fly the crap out of it" gave me a good laugh also.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Flights

Comments:

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D.E.B. (December 28, 2006)
This kit was fun to do. Instructions were right on, pretty straight forward. The only change I made was on the motor mount/body tube assembly. To insure that I got a tight fit between the styrofoam body halves and the body tube(steps 5+7), I didn't glue the "green" adapter rings in place until I was ready to mount the assembly to one of the body halves. This guarantees you will not have to trim the tube flush with top of the foam should your measurements have been off. Overall, a quick build, what a gas!! LOL! Sorry for the bad joke!
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S.K. (March 6, 2007)
This kit was very fun to build, it takes about an hour, easy to read instructions. The second flight was better than the first under windy conditions, my only recommendation is to use a C6-3 motor and not a C6-5, the ejection time is to long. Try not to launch on windy days.
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K.L.M. (April 13, 2008)
A colleague from work bought this kit and asked me to assemble it. I took it home and unpacked all the parts. After doing so, I noticed the main body tube was basically a 24mm motor mount. Instantly I said to myself, "HMMMMM, I wonder.". I called the colleague to get his permission to "upgrade" and he emphatically said "YES!". I wanted to have the capability of launching on both 18mm and 24mm engines. So started my upgrade. I started by dry fitting all the components. I then marked all the locations of rings, motor clip, top and bottom. I notched the bottom ring to accommodate the motor clip. I then made my own adapter from parts from the kit. I added another 18mmx24mm centering ring to the bottom so it would stick out the 1/4" as before and the motor clip would hold it in place. The 18mm motor would then be friction fit into the adapter. We got the chance to fly the "Pot", as we call it, last week(04-08-08). We first flew it on a C6-3. Not very high, chute came out but did not open, landed hard but no damage. We had to launch it with a D. We loaded it with a D12-3 and man did it go! Now that's what I call "Flying the Crap out of it!". Again the chute did not work and landed so hard it bounced breaking all but one fin loose. Everyone got a good laugh. We had lots of fun. After I got home, I examined the "Pot" again. I decided to put a sleeve in the area where the shock cord goes. I will then pack the chute in this area instead of in the motor tube. Things were just too tight in there. I'm actually thinking about buying another one and making it a rear ejection (pardon the pun).

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