Nova (Estes #2497) is an "Almost Ready to Fly" kit that stands 20.6" tall with a diameter of 1.33"
Its deep purple and white color scheme combined with a stylish nose cone make a great looking rocket.
It can be flown single-stage or two-stage using the Estes B-55 Booster (not included).
Kit components include:
5.5" long white plastic ogive nose cone that features stylistic flutes.
11" long B-55 (1.33") body tube finished in gloss purple.
White plastic fin can that also serves as the motor mount.
Three plastic fins; two purple and one white.
A purple plastic screw-cap motor retainer.
White and purple waterslide decals.
A rubber shock cord and 15" plastic purple and white parachute.
Kit instructions are simple to follow.
All parts appear well made and fit together easily.
Only plastic model cement is required.
No sanding or painting is necessary.
The white and purple waterslide decals add nice looking touches, but are typically fragile.
Care must be taken not to damage decals during application because there are no spares included.
Flights are straight and true when launched from a stable pad using a standard 1/8" x 36" launch rod.
The recommended B6-4 and C6-5 motors are good choices for launches in medium-size or larger fields.
With its screw cap motor retainer, Nova readily converts to a two-stage rocket using the Estes B-55 booster.
In a larger-size field, I've enjoyed flying it two-stage using a C11-0 in the booster and a B6-6 in the upper stage sustainer.
You can fly Nova even higher using a D12-0/C6-7 combination if you have a really big open field and good spotters.
The 15" plastic parachute works reasonably well for this model.
Attach the parachute to the nose cone using a barrel swivel hook (not included) rather than directly to nose cone. You can avoid storing the parachute inside the rocket between flights and easily switch it out as needed.
Cut a 3" diameter spill hole in the top of the parachute to modestly increase descent speed and reduce downwind drift; especially if you plan to fly Nova as a two-stage rocket.
Nova is a great beginner's single-stage rocket because it is well-designed, simple to build, looks good and flies well.
More experienced rocketeers will enjoy flying it as a dependable two-stage rocket using the Estes B-55 Booster.