Estes - Wizard {Kit} (1292) [1978-]

Contributed by David Sindel

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Diameter: 0.74 inches
Manufacturer: Estes
Skill Level: 1
Style: Sport

One of very few good Estes little minimum diameter rocket kits.

The kit includes:

  • 8.75" of BT-20
  • EB-20
  • NC-20,plastic ogive
  • 3 balsa fins
  • 1" x 18" streamer
  • ~18" of shock cord

Construction was easy taking about 2 hours. You could do it in half an hour with cyanoacrylate (CA). No problems here. Motor retention is accomplished with wrapping masking tape around the motor. I'm not great at building rockets but this was easy. Great rocket for a school/scout group.

PROs: Easy to build, good quality parts and instructions.

CONs: None, which is surprising for a kit from Estes these days.

My teacher did the paint job I wanted perfectly: red nose, yellow on upper BT to blue on lower tube and fins, with gold fin tips.

PROs: Okay decals, you can paint it any way you want.

CONs: Stupid Estes paint color shown.

Construction Rating: 5 out of 5

1st flight was an A8-3. Perfect! What more to say? 2 sheets wadding is fine.

2nd and 3rd flights were on a B6-4. An excellent pair of flights.

4th flight was on B6-4 again. It lost 1 fin under power and then the nose cone and streamer separated. I don't fault Estes here since I forgot wadding! The rocket will be repaired and flown again.

PROs: Reliable, little drift.

CONs: None really.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

It is a great rocket. There's a glimmer of hope for Estes.

PROs: Easy to build, reliable flier.

CONs: None

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5



B.L. (November 1, 1999)
Replace the orange plastic streamer with a 30 inch length of 1 inch wide red Teflon Pipe Thread Sealant Tape, McMaster-Carr part number 44945K14. Teflon Pipe Tape is ejection charge proof, it won't melt and get stuck together. Best of all, NO WADDING REQUIRED! Just dust the Teflon streamer with Talcum powder to aid in deployment and unfurling before packing it into the airframe.
M.W. (April 1, 2000)
The Wizard is a great little kit that is well worth the time to put a great finish on it. Only problem is a slick finish will make it fly even higher.... I recommend at least 4 coats of sanding sealer on the fins for a top notch finish without wood grain showing through. If you want to put a C6-7 engine in it, I would also consider painting it orange or some other color to contrast well with a blue sky, otherwise you will never see it again....
N.A. (February 1, 2001)
When I built this rocket I thought it would be fun to make it a central ejection rocket. No additional parts were needed. I just cut the body tube in half and built the bottom of the rocket as it is supposed to but the top section has the nose cone friction fitted and the yellow spacer tool can be used as a body tube coupler then you just attach both ends of the shock cords in each of the rocket segments. You might want to check the CP and the CG be fore you fly this MOD it could go crazy during flight because of the added weight.
C.K. (June 1, 2001)
I built this rocket in about 20 minutes, just to see how high it would go. No paint, as I figured I would paint it if I ever saw it again after the first launch. I got two launches off, and was lucky to find it from the first. Second launch, GONE! Great little rocket, I will definitely get another, it doesn't cost much more than a motor anyway. Maybe I will buy 2, and make a staged model, then I will be guaranteed I will never see it again!
B.E. (July 1, 2001)
No doubt about it, the Wizard is Estes' Engineering done right. Even on an A8-3 it delivers more than impressive performance. This is the only engine that I've used that allowed me to see the whole flight. It's literally "outtasight" on B's and especially C's. The only con here is the new look. Why they took a classic simple look like the purple and white original and changed it to this mess is beyond me. Do yourself a favor. Hunt up an old decal and do it the right way. Even if you opt for a brighter color than purple for the lower portion of the rocket (not a bad idea considering it's tendency to scream off the pad,) you'll come up with a much better looking rocket.
M.K. (July 1, 2001)
When you stick a C engine in it, you'll never see it again!
D.L.C. (July 1, 2001)
You think it goes on a C??? This last weekend I flew mine on an Aerotech D21-7! WRASP indicated an airspeed of about 720 mph and an altitude just shy of 3,000 feet. I had originally gotten the idea to do this by wondering if it would be possible to hit Mach with a D and simulating it on wRASP. Couldn't quite hit the speed of sound, but this comes close. My daughter had a Wizard which flew well on A's and B's so I bought and built one of my own. Because the D21 is a short burn, high thrust motor, the first concern of course was keeping the fins on. The simulation indicated an acceleration of 60 plus G's (the result of attempting to go from 0 to 720 mph in less than 1 second). I took some used dryer sheets and laminated the fins with this material and wood glue after they had been mounted to the body; I extended this reinforcement over the glue joint down onto the body. I then filleted over this material and filled the weave with Elmer's Wood Filler. For the streamer I replaced the stock orange plastic with a long metallic silver party streamer on the hopes of seeing it in the sky after. Finally, I checked the CG of the Wizard with an A motor and balanced it to that point with the D by putting some clay in the was probably stable anyhow but better safe than sorry. At the CMASS launch on July 7th I flew it. After a popped igniter on the first attempt, I tried again. It took off with a loud roar like a bullet...very simply it vaporized off of the pad like nothing I've seen before. The fins held on for a straight flight but I expected that we had seen the last of the Wizard. Someone yelled "I think I see it!"..and sure enough, there was a sparkly little star WAY up in the sky. Alas, I didn't recover it though...but we could see it drift down, landing over a hill, probably a good mile and a half away.
M.G.K. (October 26, 2001)
Nice kit. Everything went together well and I finished it according to the kit picture. Fin decals weren't made to fit the angle of the balsa fins. Haven't launched it yet.
G.A.D (June 25, 2002)
We use the A8-5 with this rocket. I think a 3 second delay would be too short. Ours is painted bright blue and looks pretty good, IMHO. At the club launch this weekend a group (scouts or a summer camp) showed up with a fleet of Wizards. They put on some great drag-races and really sent those rockets flying. I think they all were recovered too. This is a "can't miss" rocket.
R.D. (August 29, 2002)
This rocket performs nearly out of sight on an A8 and is gone for a very long time on a C6-7. My third launch on a B6-4 proved to nearly be the death of mine as it caught what little wind there was bad and landed in a pond, taking a wait of 30 minutes for it to float within grabbing range. Luckily, there was no damage despite its long bath and will probably fly again. It does have a slight tendency to weathercock and was why I believed it could handle a B6-4, since the C6-7 carried it upwind a distance so it came to land about 20 feet from the pad. 7 seconds is the perfect delay, just after apogee.
P.L.A. (October 21, 2003)
Other than the very tacky decal scheme, this is a great little rocket. I have had 10 sucessuful launches/recoveries of this rocket, up to a C motor. With bigger motors, it really goes up, so you might loose it, but even with A or B motors, it goes up high and holds together fine. A great 1st rocket, as step up challenge wise from those Estes E2X rockets. Price is right too....good starter rocket.
S.G. (February 27, 2008)
Great kit and think the blue/stickers looks great. REALLY surprised at the altitude on a B, wouldn't think of flying it on a C - unless I didn't want it back. Very high, very fast and very straight flight. I used Kevlar® cord from the motor mount to the shock cord as I'm not a fan of the paper mount. Rocket eating tree snagged this baby on it's first flight, but by the end of the day the Kevlar® had been worn through and the body fell to ground. Nosecone remains out of reach. Pros: Quick and easy to build. Great flyer. Cons: Streamer supplied was less than 1/2 the length recommended.

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