Estes - Quark {Kit} (00802) [1997-]

Contributed by Nick Esselman

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Diameter: 0.54 inches
Length: 5.20 inches
Manufacturer: Estes
Skill Level: 1
Style: Sport

Estes, the long time leader, has created a flying buddy for the Mosquito. . . Quark. Quark is mini-engine, featherweight, tumble recovery rocket that's simple and fun to fly.

The kit comes with 5 parts, instructions and decals. You will need a hobby knife, sandpaper and glue to assemble this kit. The instructions are straight forward and easy to follow.

Construction is simple and took less than one hour to build. The four fins are cut from two pieces of balsa strips. Once all cut, they need held together and sanded to make them all the same size. Then the leading and trailing edges will need rounding. Although there are many techniques for this, I simply lay a sheet of sandpaper on my work bench and stroke each edge the same number of strokes on each side. I find this nearly always brings the edges to a nice centered and rounded point. [Picture]

Once the fins are ready, construction is a snap, especially with the fast-drying action of CA. Four fins, a hollow, plastic nose cone and a launch lug . . . done. Made fin fillets with 5-minute epoxy, sealed the fins with a thin layer of epoxy, and this mini was ready for light sanding and painting.

I finished it with Plasti-Kote primer and some left over denim-colored enamel paint. There are seven decals, excluding the Estes logo, that are self adhesive. Be cautious of placement of the Quark name label. If too high on the body, the label will have creases in it due to the curvature of the nose cone.

When finished, my Quark stood a towering 5. 7", as opposed to the 5. 2" indicated in the catalog.

The Quark is a good and fast flyer with a tumble recovery. Be sure to designate a spotter (unlike myself), because it's small and very hard to track. My first flight was on an 1/2A3 and it was out of sight . . . and stayed that way.

I have since added a comparison on Mini Tumble-Recovery Rockets - See Here.

Other Reviews

Flights

Comments:

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M.P. (December 1, 1999)
The previous reviews are right on the money. It doesn't tumble and will bury itself in soft ground. If it weren't for the white fins we may not have found it in the short grass. Flies high and straight.
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F.D. (September 1, 2000)
The Quark was fun to build and the decals are a nice touch. Hit the launch button, saw a flash of rocket against the sky and never saw it again in the air. After we packed up, we drove around looking just for the heck of it and miraculously spotted the white fins sticking up out of the short grass. The Quark had lawn darted under power into the soft turf. We laughed and decided it was a better rocket to display than fly.
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M.B. (October 1, 2000)
I have recently built and flown a Quark. I painted my Quark's body and fins day-glow yellow and the nose cone red. My first flight was on a 1/4A3-3T. Conditions were calm and I never lost sight of the rocket. It landed about 7 feet from my launch pad. The flight back down was hard to watch because the rocket came in like a lawn dart and bore its entire nose cone into the ground. After brushing off the dirt from the nose cone, it was ready for its second launch. On the second flight I used an A10-3T. I lost sight of the rocket almost immediately after it left the launch pad. Looking around the launch area, I saw the rocket clearly from about 50 yards from my launch pad. Again the rocket did its impersonation of a lawn dart but was not damaged. I'm sure I would have lost this rocket if it weren't for the day-glow paint. I like this little rocket and am glad I recovered it.
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B. (January 1, 2001)
The Quark is really good. I painted mine teal. I used an A10-3 my first flight. It went straight up, until I lost sight of it... The package says it can go up to 700 feet, and I believe it. I never say it again. I would have gotten another, but the store was liquidating and were out. I hope to get another soon. Great rocket.
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J.S. (January 1, 2001)
I've built 2 Quarks, had 2 successful recoveries, and 2 lost. It's very difficult to track. It does not tumble down, it flies straight down and may burrow into soft ground - or someone's head if your not careful. Be prepared to lose one or two.
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O.S. (January 1, 2001)
My Quark has flown 5 times on AT-3T's. Painting it all white helps tracking this small kit. The review was accurate.
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(February 1, 2001)
I built my Quark in August and have probably flown it 12 times since on A10-3s. On a couple of occasions I had the good fortune of keeping my eyes on it for the entire flight, and let me tell ya, it comes down as fast as it goes up. Considering the lawn dart like recovery I would guess that getting hit in the head with the pointy end off the Quark would feel like getting whacked with a golf ball. It's quite a thrill to hear the stereo "THUNK THUNK" of the Quark and it's engine landing on either side of you. Wear a hat!K.W.
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D.B. (July 1, 2001)
Nice looking kit, built it in about 1 hour & painted it the following day, day-glow yellow on 2 fins & between them & bright red on the other 2 & painted half the cone black. I thought the bright colors would make it easier to track. Launched it on an A8 watched it leave the rod & up for about 100ft, heard the ejection charge, but it was never seen again! That was my first kit gone! It really did look good!
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J.H. (August 1, 2001)
This is a fun kit. I flew it on a 1/4A and it was out of site. And like others say it does not tumble, it embeds. I saw it lift off....silent..then THUNK and it landed next to me. Wear a helmet when launching :-)
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J.A. (January 1, 2002)
I like this rocket because of it's accurate landing. once it landed 10-20 feet away from the launch pad! I think this rocket is in the top 3 for the most accurate. You should paint your Quark bright colors so it is easier to find. The Quark is one of the easiest rockets to make.
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unknown (September 3, 2002)
This was my first rocket. It took me about an hour to build. I painted the fins and nose cone Salem green, and the body tube dark blue. BIG MISTAKE!!! If you get one, be sure to paint it bright colors. I launched it with an A-10. it went up so fast all I saw was the trail of engine powder. Me and my friend went looking for it, and it was buried nose cone deep, about 100 feet from launch pad.
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K.R.E. (June 9, 2003)
This is the closest thing to a disposable rocket as I've seen...No mater what color it's painted it becomes invisible due to its speed at launch! I've never had a recovery and I launch from a large field...even with spotters. Sure it's a lot of fun and very easy to build, but I'd love to have some type of recovery system, such as a streamer. Next time I'll add one.
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J.F. (June 17, 2003)
It even LOOKS like a lawn dart. Form follows function, I guess. You might as well glue the fins and the lug directly to an engine and get it over with. Like its sister "tumble recovery" rockets, the Quark leaves the pad at approximately .5 Mach, zipping into the sky on a thin exhaust trail, never to be seen again till you come to the park the next year to launch a new one and step on the old one...
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J.H.E. (January 5, 2004)
Decided to build this little guy on a lark, never figuring that I would find it after it's first flight. It shot off the pad like a bullet, and I lost sight of it right away. While watching downrange (7kt winds) on the odd chance I'd see it come down, I heard a a thunk behind be. There was the Quark, stuck in the ground like the proverbial lawn dart. less than 10 feet from the pad. I may wear a hard hat if I launch this one again.

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