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Estes - Mongoose {Kit} (2092) [1994-]

Published:2009-01-15
Manufacturer:Estes
Diameter:0.9800 inches
Length:26.5000 inches
Skill Level:1
Style:Multi-Stage
Construction Rating:
Flight Rating:
Overall Rating:

Contributed by

Estes Mongoose

Brief:
This is a fairly simple 2-stage, 18mm rocket from Estes. I have slightly modified mine with shortening and a modified booster motor mount to repair damage.

Construction:
The parts list:

  • 18" of BT-50; mine only has 10" left.
  • 1-15/16" of BT-50 for booster
  • 2 magenta plastic fin units
  • PNC-50YR: 2-part magenta nose cone
  • 2 blue 18mm engine mount tubes of rather poor quality
  • 2 green 18mm-24mm centering rings
  • 2 green 18mm engine blocks
  • 1 long green 18mm-24mm adapter ring
  • 1 yellow 24mm reinforcement ring
  • Launch lug
  • 1/8" x 18" shock cord
  • 1.2" x 30" orange streamer
  • Decal sheet

Estes Mongoose

I barely remember anything about construction of the original. Be very careful to align the launch lug halves perfectly. I would suggest going with a single, longer lug. Mine currently uses the scavenged plastic lug assembly from a Space Bus and that works well.

I took about 8" off of the sustainer body tube after it crimped twice--right above the fin unit and about 6" above it--and glued the fin unit on again. Five inches of the scavenged tube now resides in the pop-pod of my new boost glider; the rest was crumpled and trashed. The Mongoose is still perfectly stable and flyable even when shortened.

The other major modification is that I no longer have the lower motor mount tube. It was crushed the first time I tried to put a motor in it. All of the tubes in the kit are too thin and poor quality. I simply removed the tube and glued the lower engine block into the bottom centering ring. I now simply wrap the booster motor with a bit of masking tape and everything works great.

I suggest replacing the 2 crappy motor mount tubes with better, stronger BT-20 pieces. Be prepared to either shorten the body tube or repair it with tube couplers or fiberglass.

Two and a half points for building alone because the rocket is too flimsy for its own good, but the fin units make a lot up.

Finishing:
There's no painting to be done. The decals are sticker type--much easier for fumblefingers like me--and look halfway nice. The yellow and magenta coloring looks nice. My only complaints are the plain launch lug that doesn't fit in the color scheme and that the spirals on the body tube are visible. Picky, picky.

Four and a half points for finishing alone.

Construction Rating: 3 out of 5

Estes Mongoose

Flight:
My first "flight" was on an A8-3 in 2004. The launch lugs weren't aligned enough and it stuck on the pad. That was my mistake.

The next flight was sometime last year on a B6-4. It was a perfect flight with a loud, straight boost to about 300 feet. Although the streamer deployed fine, the body tube crimped on impact, prompting me to make the changes.

The next flight was 2-stage on a B6-0/B6-6 combo. It was straight and fast, but staging was low enough to be seen. The sustainer disappeared into the darkening sky, only to reappear under its streamer 30 seconds later. Both of my modifications worked fine.

Its latest flight was on an A8-3. The flight was low, about 120 feet, but stable. The streamer didn't deploy, but it landed with no damage in a puddle of water. After drying, there was no damage, weakening, or warping.

However, either from deployment or more likely my handling, the loop broke off the nose cone. I simply drilled a small hole on the end of the nose cone shoulder, inserted a small screw, and glued it in with CA. The shock cord ties firmly to the screw head.

Estes recommends the A8-3, B4-4, B6-4, and C6-5 for single stage flights and C6-0s staging to B6-6s and C6-7s. I find that the B6-0 is a good booster for smaller fields (the A8-0 would be even better), and the rare A8-5s a good upper-stage motor.

Estes Mongoose

Recovery:
The shock cord is 1/8" x 18" elastic, barely adequate. A 24" or 36" piece of 3/16" elastic would have been better.

The 1" x 30" streamer is too long and it doesn't flap. A 2" x 20" streamer would be better. For A and B single-stage flights, a 12" parachute would be fine, but the streamer is needed for C and 2-stage flights because it is fairly light and would drift away quickly, especially from 1600 feet on a C6-0/C6-7 combo.

The main complaint I have though, is that the booster is marginally stable after separation and the front tends to crumple a bit. The reinforcement ring, however, excellently prevents it from crumpling too much.

Flight Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:
Estes calls the Mongoose an excellent first 2-stage rocket. I say the Loadstar, Solar Flare, or one of Quest's L1 2-stagers would be a bit better. This was the first 2-stagers I built and the second I flew, so it's not too off the mark.

The Mongoose is a great flier for large and small fields. Except for the too-stable booster, it flies excellently. The main problem is that the tubes, especially the engine mount tubes are substandard. The plastic fin units are excellent and prevent beginners from having to mess with 8 fins, and the pre-finished look is excellent.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5

    Flight Log

    DateRocket NameMotor(s)AltitudeNotes
    1996-07-04Ron Watkins's Estes MongooseB6-0/B6-6- Good flight-good stage separation-predicted altitude 1,010 ft. -good recovery.
    1998-09-17Paul Smith's Estes MongooseA8-3- Hit asphalt with one fin at high speed on landing. Slight BT bend just above fins. One fin ...
    1998-09-18Paul Smith's Estes MongooseB6-0/B6-4- Severe BT bend. Landed on grass at high speed, but existing weakness too much. No longer fliable.
    1998-09-29Paul Smith's Estes MongooseB6-0/B6-4- Lost sight of second stage, didn't find until next launch. This was the first flight of the ...
    1998-10-02Paul Smith's Estes MongooseB4-4- (Second Stage Only) Landed 20' from pad
    1998-11-17Paul Smith's Estes MongooseB6-0/B6-6- Lost a launch lug - found later still attached to launch rod. Flew perfectly, straight and quite ...
    1999-04-24Paul Smith's Estes MongooseA8-0/1/2A6-4- Perfect
    1999-05-02Paul Smith's Estes MongooseC6-0/C6-7- Flew horizontally, over a woods. Never saw sustainer again. Recovered booster.
    2000-03-12Robert Schuette's Estes MongooseB4-4- Nice launch and flight. Not enough streamer, bent rocket upon landing just above fins. Still ...
    2000-04-04Shawn Bradley's Estes Mongoose4xC6- I modified my mongoose so it has 4 booster stages, never saw it again. Must of gone at least ...
    2000-05-05Casey Smith's Estes MongooseC6-0/C6-7- Due to rod whip, this kit went at an angle of the pad and looked like a stage cruise missle. Never ...
    2000-11-12David Urbanek's Estes MongooseC6-0/C6-7- Slowish boost. Arced a lot. 7 seconds too long. Streamer too small.
    2001-05-17Jonathan Elder's Estes MongooseB6-0/A8-3- Slight weather cock, early charge (duh, look at the engines used), perfect delpoyment, no dammage ...
    2002-04-13Tim Burger's Estes MongooseB6-0/B6-6- Nice staged flight.
    2002-05-11Michael Mangieri's Estes MongooseB4-4- Single stage flight - very good - best launch of the day. Fins melted a bit (too close to the ...
    2002-05-27Tim Burger's Estes MongooseB6-0/B6-6- Nice high flight - I was watching the booster, recovery crew watching sustainer. Both parts found ...
    2002-06-18Michael Mangieri's Estes MongooseB6-0/A8-5- Nice flight - straight up, clean sustainer ignition, went quite high. Chute opened nicely - then, ...
    2002-09-07Tim Burger's Estes MongooseB6-0/B6-6- Good flight - good staging. Deployed OK, but broke fin on very hard ground.
    2002-11-09Tim Burger's Estes MongooseB6-0/B6-6- Nice staging, good flight.
    2003-03-22Tim Burger's Estes MongooseB6-0/B6-6- Good stage, good flight. Gave to young D. May since his was lost earlier in the day.
    2003-04-14R Turner's Estes MongooseC6-0/A8-5- Perfect flight both motors. Booster impailed in grass huge dent in tube. Rocket drifted into ...
    2003-07-06Rocky Firth's Estes MongooseB4-4- Launched just the second stage for a great flight and recovery.
    2003-08-18Lee Smith's Estes MongooseB6-0/C6-5- Wow..Lost sight of rocket. Booster crimped after hard landing. Rocket vanished for what seemed ...
    2003-11-16Joe Gumby's Estes MongooseB6-4- perfect flight, B6-0 B6-6 results in out of sight flight. Streamer is far too small.
    2003-11-22David Logan's Estes MongooseB6-0/B6-6- Perfect staging and deployment. Crimped sustainer on landing. Also melted sustainer fin can a bit.
    2004-05-15Darwin May's Estes MongooseA8-3- It didn't go very high this time. I did however get a good spot landing. It was 2 inches from the ...
    2004-05-16David Sindel's Estes MongooseA8-3- Launch lug stuck on pad :(
    2004-06-26David Logan's Estes MongooseB6-0/B6-6- NARTREK Bronze two stage flight. Time to retire this one soon, the fin units are starting to melt ...
    2004-07-19Forrest Henry's Estes MongooseB6-0/A8-3- Didn't want to lose the rocket on a gusty day, so we gave it a weak upper stage. Flight and ...
    2004-07-19Forrest Henry's Estes MongooseB6-4- Nose cone came untied on ejection, but everything was recovered fine and easy to repar for the 2 ...
    2004-08-02Dana Ryman's Estes MongooseB6-0/A8-3- I needed this for my last requirement for NARTREK Bronze. Excellent maiden flight. I accidently ...
    2004-08-09Matt Gillard's Estes MongooseC6-0/A8-3- Good straight flight, booster stage separated from rocket, both ends recovered.
    2005-03-20James Robinson's Estes MongooseC6-7800 feet I wasted two ingniters then my wife got ingnition on third. The rocket lifted off out of sight. ...
    2005-06-27Reid Smith's Estes MongooseA8-3- Launched as a single stage, went up maybe 150 feet. Never slowed down before it hit the gravel ...
    2006-06-24Chris Coffin's Estes MongooseB6-0/B6-6- NARTREK Bronze two stage flight requirement. Also my first ever two stage flight. Flew straight as ...
    2007-08-17Chris Halinaty's Estes MongooseB6-0/B6-6-
    2008-03-29Chris Halinaty's Estes MongooseC6-0/C6-5- Booster tube creased and needs repair.
    2008-03-29Chris Halinaty's Estes MongooseB6-0/C6-7-
    2008-10-13David Sindel's Estes MongooseB6-0/B6-6- Sims estimated 900 feet, I concur.
    2008-11-16David Sindel's Estes MongooseA8-3-
    2009-01-18David Sindel's Estes MongooseD12-0/A8-3- Used a 10 24mm saucer for the booster. Staging was at a side angle but it recovered safely.
    2009-03-10John Adams's Estes MongooseC6-0/C6-7- Nice flight. Weather vaned a bit. Booster flew a long way (kinda glided). Recovered under ...
    2009-03-22 Moe Bertrand's Estes MongooseB6-0/A6-4- Nice 1st flight of my Mongoose out of the tower. Booster came in ballistic just feet from the ...
    2009-08-03John Adams's Estes MongooseC6-0/C6-7- Sweet flight. Weather-vaned a little. Came down on a streamer for a not-so-long walk. Booster went ...
    2010-09-19John French's Estes MongooseC6-5- First flight, as single stage. Flew straight and quite high, perfect ejection at apogee, field too ...
    2011-08-10Tyler Runyon's MongooseC6-5- Flew perfectly straight. I saw ejection. Looked down for a second, and it was gone! Oh well, buy ...
    2013-06-22Chris Halinaty's Estes MongooseB6-0/B6-6-
    2016-02-21Ken E. Coyote's MongooseB6-0/A8-3700 feet First staged flight! Rocket rose up quickly, staged quickly and was almost out of sight! Got back ...

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    Launch Supplies:

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