It looks like FlisKits has some catching up to do because Art Applewhite has gone right past two (Deuce), three (Tres), and 'four' (Quad? Quatro?) and jumped straight to 'Cinco' (Spanish for 'five')! I might come as the bearer of slightly bad news by telling you that cinco/five has to do with how many sides, not how many motors are in this rocket... I can assure you though that this is another awesome draggy design that is a perfect blend of Art's saucers and Qubits, as it definitely combines elements of both to form a new, creative design.
And did I mention that it's FREE?
You can download the Cinco from Art's Free Stuff page. (NOTE: There are 8.5"x11" letter and A4 versions available.) The kit--all parts and instructions--print out on one sheet of 110# card stock. The instructions are pleasantly simple, but that is aided by the fact that there are only 2 parts that make up the entire build! The only tools needed are scissors, an X-Acto (or razor utility) knife with fresh new blade, and white glue. A ballpoint pen or a straightedge is helpful to achieve clean, crisp fold lines too.
The first piece to be assembled is the motor mount. It is even 5-sided! A series of tabs join together to form the tube with motor block.
The remainder is a single piece of paper that joins together and is reinforced like the free download version of the Qubit. A noticeable improvement is that the exposed parts are much smaller and therefore less susceptible to warping (like on its Qubit brethren) when white glue is applied.
The last step is to insert the motor mount tube into the Cinco body and fillet it with glue. I made a minor mistake of using yellow wood glue instead of white glue, which didn't look so great after it dried on the pale blue paper...
This build is more advanced than the free 13mm Qubit because of the increased number of folds, which might make it too challenging for our young rocketeers, but it still is a quick (less than 1 hour) and fun build for those with previous rocket building experience. The overall shape and design when assembled is truly a hybrid of Art's Qubit and Delta Saucer kits, combining the angular, flat sides of the Qubit with a round saucer-like appearance. I expect flight performance to be right in the middle of the Qubit and Delta Saucer too.
Like all of Art's free download rockets, they do not require any painting. I chose to leave mine blank. If children would like to color them, I would recommend that they do so before gluing the Cinco together to avoid potentially crushing the rocket.
Construction Rating: 5 out of 5
Any 13mm motor will work with the Cinco as the top is open to allow the ejection charge to blow freely. However, to get the longest enjoyment out of this design, I strongly recommend sticking to the Estes Blurzz A10-PT plugged motors, which will prevent the top of the Cinco from becoming scorched and discolored. Nowadays, they are also the easiest 13mm motors to find for most folks too.
With a 4-pack of A10-PT motors, I wanted to do a flight comparison between the Cinco, 13mm Qubit, and 4" Delta Saucer. I chose to do this in my backyard with a stock Estes Electron Beam launcher so a drag race was out of the question and I'd have to rely on my memory to judge how high each rocket went. Based on the appearance of the rockets, I expect the 13mm Qubit to be the highest flight (and quickest recovery) because of its smaller profile and more angular sides. The Delta Saucer has the largest diameter (4") with the flattest profile of the three. Lastly, the Cinco is truly a middle ground between the other two--it has the angled sides like the Qubit (although not as pronounced) and is smaller in diameter than the Delta Saucer. My prediction is that the Cinco will have altitudes very much in the middle of the Qubit and Delta Saucer designs.
First up was the Qubit. It leapt off the pad and climbed straight up (even in 5-10mph gusts) to a good 100' before turning over and rapidly drifting back to within 20' of the pad. The first Cinco flight went next. I was impressed with its altitude. It also didn't appear to be significantly affected by the wind when under thrust, but to my eye it ascended a hair slower than the Qubit. I feel confident that it came within 10% of the Qubit's max altitude before flipping over at apogee, then the wind caught it and bounced it off the roof of the house before landing on the ground 30' away. The weather suddenly turned ugly so I had to postpone any more flights that day.
I returned a couple of days later with my 4" Delta Saucer and Cinco. Weather was similar to the previous flight day so I feel that I could favorably compare them again. Starting with the Cinco, it boosted quickly off the pad, however, a gust of wind caught it at apogee, causing it to flutter away and land in the middle of a nearby retention pond where I was unable to retrieve it. I moved the launch pad and adjusted the launch rod to compensate for the wind before loading up my Delta Saucer (which has more than twice as many flights on it than any other rocket in my fleet!) It boosted noticeably more slowly and lower than the Cinco. The Delta Saucer recovered less than 10 yards away from the pad.
As with all of Art's rockets, the Cinco uses truly foolproof aerobraking/tumble/featherweight recovery. Nothing to prep and with the draggy design, you can easily launch this rocket in the convenience of your front yard and all but guarantee that it'll safely land in the grass. (Well, usually anyway...) Low altitude and close recovery! What more could you ask for?!?
Flight Rating: 5 out of 5
This is one of Art's most creative designs yet. There are larger versions in the works too. I emailed Art to tell him that he should sell this one but he's already giving it away for free on his website! Yes, Art Applewhite has another winner on his hands with a price you just can't beat!
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5