Quest - Harpoon {Kit} (3008)

Contributed by Clive Davis

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Diameter: 1.58 inches
Length: 20.50 inches
Manufacturer: Quest
Skill Level: 3
Style: Scale

Brief:
Pseudo-Scale model of an Air-to-Ground Harpoon missile. This kit features 12 fins, large BT-60 body tube, new-and-improved plastic parachute, and adhesive decals. Kit is flown as a single stage.

Construction:
The kit includes:-

  • Die-cut balsa fins
  • Kevlar cord and shock cord materials
  • 18" BT-60 body tube
  • PNC-60 (Big Bertha style)
  • Quest type engine hook
  • 2 cardboard centering rings
  • Engine block and engine tube for 18 mm motors
  • Adhesive decals

Plastic parachute with shroud lines. Plastic is now quality of the Estes parachutes, not the crinkly old Quest type.

As with other Quest products, the instructions are more than adequate and easy to follow. The illustrations were clear and very easy to follow. Quest uses Kevlar tied around the engine mount with the shock cord attached at the other end. I followed instructions exactly: create engine mount, glue into body tube, remove and sand fins, glue fins onto tube. There are12 fins, so there was a considerable amount of sanding, gluing, sanding, priming and sanding. I just had to be very careful when glueing the fins that they were all aligned properly.

Finishing:

After construction, I primed the rocket with Krylon primer and sanded again. I used Elmer's Fill and Finish on the fins and sanded again. I primed the rocket again. I painted the body grey (as opposed to the suggested white) and painted the nose cone white (as opposed to the suggested grey).

After the paint dried, I carefully cut out the decals and applied them to the body tube and fins. They are adhesive decals, which are much easier to apply than water-transfer decals, but don't look as good. In the end, the rocket looks nice, but I would have prefered water-transfer decals.

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

Flight:
I flew the rocket twice, both on Estes B6-4. The rocket is very easy to prep with engine hook and large body diameter. It is easy to place wadding in (4 or 5 crumpled sheets), and then to place the parachute in without having to jam it all in there. The rocket on first flight really zoomed to an admirable height considering the size of the rocket. Ejection occured just after apogee. Parachute deployed perfectly and it landed softly in the grass.

On the second flight, I angled the rocket slightly into the wind. This flight was not impressive at all compared witth the first. The rocket ended up expending a lot of its energy traveling into the wind, so much so that the overall altitude was much lower than the original flight. Ejection occured after apogee. Parachute deployed perfectly and the rocket returned to the earth unscathed.

Recovery:

Pros:

  • Quest shock cord construction with Kevlar
  • New parachute made of better plastic, not like previous Quest crinkly material
  • Large body diameter for easy packing of parachute, shock cord and recovery wadding.
  • Great flyer - straight and true.

Cons:

  • Adhesive decals make the rocket look slightly cheesy with a "sticker-type" look.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary:
This is a nice flyer for someone who is looking for something a little more challenging than a skill level 1 rocket. The 12 fins demand a lot more finishing time. It is easy to prep and fly, and the new-and-improved parachute makes this a very nice kit. Decals are a bit disappointing. As a pseudo-scale kit, it looks smart like a missile, but you couldn't use it in a NAR-sanctioned scale competition.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Flights

Comments:

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R.D. (June 16, 2003)
I think the problem with the second flight is that you angled it into the wind, nout away from it which I believe is what you're supposed to do, otherwise you just gave the weather-cocking a helping hand.
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J.R. (October 23, 2006)
This rocket has a tendency to tangle the chute with the fins.
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R.W.L. (February 15, 2007)
I'm kit-bashing rather than building this one stock, but I must say that I was decidedly less than impressed with the quality of some of the materials. The laser-cut balsa fins were very nice, and I like the quest shock-cords better than Estes, but I was disappointed with the body tube, motor-mount tube, and centering rings. Both the body tube and motor mount tube seemed rather flimsy, the centering rings were warped, and the body tube had seams that were way deeper than I would consider acceptable. While I'm glad there are more kit manufacturers out there, Quest failed to impress me with this kit.
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C.C.N. (January 22, 2009)
After I built this rocket, I set her aside for a few months. Then one day while I was arranging my rockets I noticed that the fins where not as square as I had thought they were so I removed them all, sanded the tube, and remarked them. It was during reattaching the fins that I noticed that the motor mount centering rings are not round--they are shaped strangely, thus making the fins line up wrong. I am going to test fly it and then decide whether or not to spend the time to detail the rocket.

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