Estes - Freaky Flyer {Kit} (1203) [2002-2005]

Contributed by Donald Besaw Jr

Construction Rating: starstarstarstar_borderstar_border
Flight Rating: starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Diameter: 0.75 inches
Manufacturer: Estes
Skill Level: 1
Style: Odd-Roc

New mini motor E2X series all plastic rocket with streamer recovery.

The kit included the two body halves, nose cone & insert, clay for nose weight, motor mount tube, retention hook, retainer ring, shock cord, streamer and decals.

The instructions were the typical Estes material complete with illustrations and text and are very simple to understand.

Estes recommends that you use tube-type plastic cement to assemble this rocket however, I used thin viscosity CA glue to assemble mine and it worked great. I also recommend this if you have a steady hand on the bottle as thin CA tends to run very easily.

The construction starts with the motor mount assembly. I trimmed back the retention hook so it wouldn't interfere with the motor exhaust. Next, you pack the clay into the nose cone and glue on the insert. On this rocket, one end of the shock cord is tied into a double knot and the free end is inserted through a slot in one of the body halves. The motor mount is now glued into the body half with the slit for the motor hook and afterwards, the two halves are then glued together. Now the launch lug is glued onto the pegs on the rear body half.

PROS: Fast and simple assembly.

CONS: Can't think of any.

There is any real finishing of this rocket due to the pre-colored parts. All you do is stick on the decals and that's it. Overall, the finished rocket looked kind of cute.

PROS: No painting required.

CONS: None noted.

Construction Rating: 3 out of 5

This is where the cons of the model begin to appear. The recommended motors for this rocket are the 1/4A3-3T, 1/2A3-4T, A3-4T, A10-3T. This rocket does require wadding and because of the small diameter tube, careful packing is mandatory. The motor hook holds the motor in place for the flight(s) depending on how many flights you get before the plastic melts.

For my first and only flight, I used a 1/2A3-2T instead of the 1/2A3-4 because I prefer the shorter delay for these clay weighted models. The rocket zipped off the pad and turned into the wind. Due to the sun, I lost sight of the rocket until after the streamer deployed.

PROS: None

CONS: Somewhat hard to track especially in direct sunlight because of the colors chosen.

With the streamer and all the clay in the nose cone, the rocket fell rather fast and landed with a small thump. After I recovered the rocket, I noticed that it had been severely melted and bent in the middle from the heat of the ejection charge and the body was split open at the rear which also did a great job of making the rocket un-flyable.

PROS: None

CONS: The plastic used melts WAY too easily from the ejection charge.

Flight Rating: 1 out of 5

At this point, I really cannot recommend this rocket. My recommendation is that you add a few bucks and buy a better kit. Luckily the rocket only cost about $3.19.

Main PROS: Easy assembly, no painting required.

Main CONS: The plastic used melts too easily.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5


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