Single staged 3FNC Payload rocket with nice fin design. This kit has been recently discontinued by Estes.
The Nova Payloader was originally introduced in 1986 as a Skill Level 2 (and in my opinion, it should stay a Skill Level 2 because of the fins). It was then discontinued the first time, 10 years later at the end of 1996. It remained absent for a few years until sometime in the early 2000s where it reappeared as a skill level 1. During it's second coming, Estes released the Super Nova Payloader, a larger, more powerful version. But unfortunately, both were dropped from Estes' lineup at the end of 2004. At the writing of this review, there are probably a few left at some hobby shops, so grab them while you can if you want one.
The rocket came in a typical plastic bag with a paper face-card and contained:
The instructions were very easy to follow and this is a pretty simple build. I had almost no problems assembling the rocket. The only challenging part was gluing the 2 fin pieces together. It would've been a lot easier if Estes had made the fins one piece.
I went with the stock look, red body tube and fins and white nose cone. The decals were peel n' stick and went on nicely.
Construction Rating: 4 out of 5
My Nova has only flown once. I flew it at NIRA's August 2005 club launch and it flew very nicely on an A8-3. The Nova Payloader uses about 4-5 sheets of recovery wadding and can handle just about any 18mm motor. Just be sure to use a short delay when carrying a payload.
The Nova uses a usual Estes 12" parachute and elastic shock cord which brings it down at a normal speed. The 4-5 sheets of wadding work well and there was no wear or burning.
Flight Rating: 5 out of 5
This is a pretty decent little rocket. It's really nothing special, but would be perfect for night launches.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
Brief: A great level 1 3FNC with a clear payload tube & a rather aggressive looking fin design. It can be quickly assembled & finished in only a couple of days. It is also very easy to get it to look just like the picture on the packaging. Construction: I picked this rocket up at a local crafts store. Regular price was ~$15 which seemed awfully high for a rocket with ...
Notes: I built this model for club contest and left it unpainted (I used magic markers instead) for that reason. I followed the instructions except for the following comments and suggestions: Step 1. Added Kevlar Cord to engine mount, that reaches to the top of the body tube. Step 2. No Change. Step 3. Used five-minute epoxy to connect fin pieces. When dry, I filled cracks with ...