Estes - Prowler {Kit} (2156)

Contributed by Ben Robinson

Construction Rating: starstarstarstar_borderstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Diameter: 1.64 inches
Length: 40.50 inches
Manufacturer: Estes
Skill Level: 1

Brief:

Oversized basic rocket, 24" parachuteRocket Pic

Construction:
Three balsa fins, slots in the rear body tube section to help align them, 36 inches of tube and a plastic nose cone. Uses the standard paper shock cord mount.

This was my first BETA series rocket, and everything went together pretty easily. The only tools needed are white or yellow glue, sandpaper, a pencil, and a ruler. The two tube couplers are supposed to go in with 3/4 inch in each tube. The rearward one, however, stuck in the rear tube with only 1/4 of an inch showing. I need to be a little more careful with those things. I also had a little trouble drawing the alignment line for the launch lugs. Otherwise, the directions were clear and easy to follow.

Finishing:
The rocket is a simple introduction to spray painting, with only one color over the whole thing. It is in this section that the Prowler's one gimmick shows up -- the decals glow in the dark. For my first attempt to spray paint a rocket, the finish was excellent. The styling is better than on a lot of other Estes kits.

Construction Rating: 3 out of 5

Flight:
The motors recommended in the instructions are B4-2, B6-2, C5-3, and C6-3. I didn't have a C5-3, but I substituted a C6-5. Liftoff is loud and slow, as is to be expected for a 4-ounce rocket with C power. The Estes quote of 360 feet on a C seems about right.

Recovery:
The shock cord is attached with the standard folded-paper mount. It seems rugged enough, but recovery might be easier with the Estes logo cut out of the middle of the parachute. Ejection on the B's, particularly the B6-2, was noticeably early. I was thinking of trying it on a B6-4. The C6-3 was about right; the 5 was so late that it might not have worked if we weren't launching down a hill. A few tiny holes appeared in the parachute, but I saw no shock cord damage.

Flight Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:
A great demonstration rocket, big, spectacular, and low-flying. No problem except that the parachute needs a spill hole, and occasionally smoke was seen coming from the grass below the pad. This is going to be a frequent flyer!

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Flights

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