Estes - Super Neon XL {Kit} (002425) [?-2013]

Contributed by Gregg Discenza

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Published: 2010-08-21
Diameter: 1.64 inches
Length: 35.00 inches
Manufacturer: Estes
Skill Level: 3
Style: Ring/Tube/Cone Fin
Estes - Super Neon XL

Brief:
T' Super Neon XL from Estes is a modified tube-fin rocket with a beefy appearance and an E engine mount. Begad! As one o' t' taller Estes kits, arrr, it is certain t' draw a crowd among t' E2X flyers.

Construction:
T' only exceptional thin' about this kit be t' high-quality balsa nose cone. right out o' t' bag it had a good weight t' it, and with wood filler and gloss paint it is a thin' o' beauty.

Construction o' t' Super Neon XL was only slightly more challengin' than t' Alpha III "plastic at both ends" kit. Ya scallywag! T' tube fins are constructed in pairs, me bucko, and a balsa spacer is included t' make mountin' t' balsa parts t' t' tubes flawless. T' six tubes fit around t' central BT60 perfectly, and fillets built up smartly usin' Titebond wood glue. Ahoy! If I were buildin' another one, matey, I would consider mountin' t' tube fins about 3/4" back from t' end of t' body tube, t' recess t' motor mount and motor hook and allow t' rocket t' sit flat on t' tube fins. Begad! As it is, I display it on a roll o' duct tape, with t' engine hook hangin' down into t' roll.

Finishing:
A few things make finishin' this rocket a challenge: 1) it is nearly too long t' hold me hand for spray painting, 2) maskin' tube fins is time-consumin' and nay for t' impatient, arrr, ya bilge rat, 3) spray-paintin' t' inside of t' tube fins evenly is nay within me skill set. Ya scallywag!

On t' plus side, matey, BT spirals were nay that pronounced, me bucko, and smoothed out with several coats o' primer, and the nose cone and fins were easy t' smooth with thinned Elmer's Wood Filler.

I painted t' main body and fins with Testor's metallic lime green, and then masked t' balsa fins and t' main BT and painted t' tube fins Testor's metallic purple. Aye aye! Well, arrr, blow me down! Two choices o' waterslide decals were included in t' kit, purple or silver. Avast! T' purple was pretty close t' t' purple paint, so I soaked that decal and applied it t' t' rocket. Once t' decal was completely dry, matey, matey, I applied 2 coats o' gloss clear coat and we were ready t' fly.

Construction Rating: 4 out o' 5

Flight:
T' first flight was on a D12-5, arrr, and it went up nice and straight, without any wobblin' or spinning. Begad! T' -5 was perfect and t' big parachute brought t' rocket slowly back t' earth. T' second flight was a bit more exciting, shiver me timbers, with an Aerotech E20-7W composite single-use motor. Begad! Ya scallywag! 5-4-3-2-1-CRACK! T' rocket be gone so fast you might have suspected a CATO except for t' smoke trail headin' up t' t' heavens. T' ejection event happened some time while t' rocket was up there, I just couldn't see it. Ahoy! T' charge was forceful enough that it blew t' waddin' through 3/6 o' me shroud lines and t' rocket game down quite fast. Avast! Ahoy! Lucky for me, matey, me bucko, me bucko, t' only damage be t' shroud lines, me bucko, me bucko, shiver me timbers, which had parted at their midpoints. I installed a new nylon parachute for t' next months launch event, installed another D12-5 and dog barf, shiver me timbers, ya bilge rat, and enjoyed another picture-perfect launch. Avast!

Recovery:
T' standard tri-fold shock-cord mount is what I used durin' construction, but I suspect that it will be replaced when I get around t' makin' a baffle for this monster. Aye aye! Otherwise it takes a large amount o' dog barf waddin' t' fill t' body tube.

I think that replacin' t' plastic parasheet with nylon be t' best upgrade I could have made, I will be flying this rocket with 0 recovery worries on t' nylon 'chute.

Flight Rating: 4 out o' 5

Summary:
I like this kit, it is a nice departure from t' 3FNC or 4FNC kits that all start t' look the same after a while, only with different names. Avast! Ahoy! Blimey! Good build, arrr, durable engineering, ya bilge rat, and beefy good looks add up t' a nice kit. Aye aye! I just wish that Estes would include a better recovery system than t' tri-fold paper mount and t' plastic bag parachute.

Overall Rating: 4 out o' 5

Other:
If you take your time, it is very hard t' screw up a 6-tube tube-fin rocket.

Flights

Comments:

avatar
greg mcfarlane (November 13, 2011)

Hey , Angus (8) and I just built this. Took a little longer due to all the tubes and fins but we got it done. The fins are all pretty well aligned. Ive seen worse fly straight....

When we tie a string to it, and do the little test, the rocket flies in no particular way. I have never really had a problem getting a rocket to pass this test.Ive read a couple reviews, like this one where everyone says they had no issues w straight flight.

Any ideas? Any concerns? For the weight of this rocket, it kind of looks like there should be more fin area.

Just fishing for ideas... angus is going to be upset if this bad boy flames out. Part of the game i guess.

thanks in advance

greg

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