Custom Rockets - Satellite Drone {Kit}

Contributed by Kevin Drayson

Construction Rating: starstarstarstar_borderstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstarstar_borderstar_border
Manufacturer: Custom Rockets

[Picture]Brief:
This kit is a single stage, "fantasy scale" rocket, using a ring-fin for stability.

Construction:
The kit arrived with all the necessary parts included, and in good shape. The balsa and the tubes appear to be identical to Estes parts. The nose cone and centering rings, however, I found to be sub-standard. The centering rings were very thin and flimsy- I used them, but reinforced them with bits of Balsa to strengthen them. I'd be frightened to fly this thing without this mod! The nose cone appears to be sone cheap plastic, not the higher-quality stuff I'm used to from Estes, TLP, and other companies. The parts all went together easily enough, but the ring tail gave me some trouble. The span of the fins was just a bit too short, so I wound up having to hold the ring in place while the glue dried. The rest of the kit was very straight-forward. The finished product is a smart-looking ship. The narrow fins that go on just ahead of the ring are pretty fragile, but the rest is solid enough.

Finishing:
Painting the kit is simple enough. Prime, spray the whole ship white, and paint the nose red. After that, the decals go on. I haven't put the decals on mine just yet, I got distracted with some other projects, and the rocket looks good enough without them! Overall, I'm giving a rating of 3 for construction/finishing. The score would be much higher if the centering rings, which I consider a safety issue, were made of sturdier stuff. The poorly-fitting ring/fin arrangement costs them as well.

Construction Rating: 3 out of 5

Flight:
I've had two flights on my Satellite Drone so far, both very successful. The first nearly ended up in a tree, but was recovered. The second resulted in a short hike, but was otherwise uneventful. Both flights were on C6-3's.

Recovery:
This is a very light rocket for the size of chute that was included. I opted to cut a spill hole in it, even before the first flight. It still drifts considerably. I'd enlarge the spill hole, but I'm worried about breaking those narrow forward fins.

Flight Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:
The final product is a very nice looking, unique ship. The quality of materials has room for improvement, but the design itself seems well thought-out.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5

Flights

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