This is a ready to fly rocket modeled after the Y-wing fighters from Star Wars. It looks good, works well, and could almost be perfect (for a RTF) if not for the traditional Estes recovery failure device (shock cord).
I got this rocket on eBay. It was part of a starter kit with the Estes part number of 1821. I figured that for the price I would have been willing to spend that much for the rocket itself (Part number 1492) and I got a new blast deflector, launch rod, and 6 engines thrown in. I wish they had been C5-3s! This review is not about the beginner's set, though. It is about the rocket.
The model itself looks good. It is made of a beige plastic with plenty of little bumps, ridges, and protrusion for detail. Some of these extruded "cables" are painted yellow or red. Some highlights are in gray and the windshields are in black. The back ends of the engine pods are clear plastic within the beige framework. Clear plastic fins for stability are located at the back of the engine pods. These do not actually detract from the appearance of the model at all. In fact, the model looks very good.
This one is ready to fly unless you want to quibble about tying the ready made parachute to the shock cord. Except for that, all you have to do is prep the rocket, hook it up and push the button.
Construction Rating: 4 out of 5
The maiden flight took place with an Estes B4-2. I prepped the rocket by stuffing in some dog barf and inserting the chute. The chute was a tight fit. Launch was perfect. It roared straight up, not too high, and ejected right at apogee. The chute deployed in a puff of dog barf and the rocket came gently to the ground. I was ready to try that again.
The second flight was on an Estes C6-3. Everything started out perfectly. The rocket took off straight up and looked good. Ejection came at just about the right time but then my expectations were realized. The elastic shock cord burned through. The nose drifted a long way under the chute but was recovered without problem. The body tumbled home and was recovered by the planetary interference method. Both the rocket and the planet were unhurt.
PROs: No "probe", flies great, looks great, and is sturdy.
CONs: Elastic shock cord doomed to failure.
Flight Rating: 3 out of 5
I am definitely going to put this one back together. I just need to figure a way to get some Kevlar® mounted in that teeny weeny little tube.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5