Estes - Long Tom {Kit} (003016)

Contributed by Kirk Greenfield

Construction Rating: starstarstarstar_borderstar_border
Published: 2016-01-07
Diameter: 1.33 inches
Length: 33.25 inches
Manufacturer: Estes
Skill Level: 2
Style: Multi-Stage

Hi guys!

This is a standard, two-stage kit with balsa fins, cardboard tubes and clear directions and packaging.

I bought an Estes "Long Tom" two-stage rocket kit many months ago during a sale, and have just set down over Thanksgiving to build it.  It went very well, but I have a few pointers that I would suggest  be added  in any future editions of the instructions.

1) There is no instruction on how deep to insert part E "Stage Coupler" #030175-5 when gluing into the booster stage.  It was my experience that it sank in as far as the Motor Mount assemble allowed, with the rest of the coupler protruding out.  I thought a line describing the amount expected to be sticking out might help.

2) While the Booster Fins are rounded in the leading edge, there is no similar instruction for the Upper section Fins.  Is this correct, or an oversight?  Or is it assumed that ALL fins will have the leading edge rounded?

3) The Second Stage Fin Attachment instruction does not indicate how far the second stage fins should be attached from the end of the body tube.

4) In the diagram for the Launch Lug Attachment, the LL line is mis-labeled as FL.  That might position the launch lug in line with a fin. This typo should be corrected to LL.

5) Finally, and most important, when assembling the motor mount for BOTH stages, it is very easy to overlook which end of the mount the engine block B #030224 is to be inserted.  It appears that in the Booster Engine mount Assembly, the block is in the lower end, where 5/8" is measured.  However, the Second Stage Engine Mount Assembly shows the UPPER Engine Block should be inserted from the top, where the 1/8" mark is located.   I don't think this difference is emphasized enough... and I missed it...inserting the blocks from the bottom both times.

My only solution is to reverse the Second Stage Engine Mount when installing, so that the block is in the upper end. This also meant I had to dry fit the Stage Coupler to allow sufficient room in the base of the second stage body tube for the Coupler to fit before it struck the motor mount assembly.  I was able to do this and glue the mount in place, and remove the coupler before it became glued in.

Given my gaff, and my work-around solution, I hope it will not cause problems in the operation of this two-stage rocket?

Construction Score: 3

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