Estes - X-Prize Lucky Seven {Kit}

Contributed by Donald Besaw Jr

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Manufacturer: Estes
Estes Lucky Seven

Brief:
The Estes X-Prize Lucky Seven is a 1:50 scale model of Acceleration Engineering's Ansari X-Prize entry. This model flies on an A10-3T motor up to 200 feet and uses a 12 inch parachute for recovery.

Construction:
The kit came in a plastic bag with header card and included:

  • 1 motor tube
  • 1 motor retention hook
  • 1 pack of clay weight
  • 1 rubber shock cord
  • 1 12 inch plastic parachute
  • 1 plastic parts set that included:
  • 2 nose cone halves
  • 1 nose cone cap
  • 1 body base
  • 1 plastic parts set that included:
  • 4 fins
  • 4 nozzles
  • 1 plastic body tube
  • 1 set of peel and stick decal sheet

The instructions for this kit are the typical Estes documentation that included lots of text and illustrations. No templates or shock cord mount is included as none are needed. Since this is an E2X series kit, I found it very easy to assemble and had it put together in about 30-45 minutes. To build this kit, you need an X-Acto knife, plastic cement, masking tape, and #400-600 grit sandpaper.

I started by differing from the instructions a bit and tied the shock cord into place at this time as I found it much easier to do this without the fins on. I then assembled the motor mount into the body. No glue is needed for this step or the next one. I slid each fin into place in the body. I then glued the nozzles into place on the body base. After the cement dried, I glued it into the body. This is what holds everything together and if you use plastic cement, I suppose you could pop the base loose if you ever needed to replace a fin.

I now assembled the nose cone by gluing the cap into place and tied on the shock cord. I then cut the clay block in half and inserted each piece into the nose cone halves. I glued the nose cone together and used masking tape to hold it together until the plastic cement dried. I tied the parachute in place to finish the assembly.

PROs: Builds fast and simple.

CONs: None.

Finishing:
The only finishing this rocket requires is applying the decals as all the parts are pre-colored white and silver. I do recommend that you wash your hands before applying the decals to avoid getting clay on them. The finished model looked very cute and surprisingly realistic. I feel it would make an excellent model to display on your desk.

PROs: No painting required.

CONs: None.

Construction Rating: 5 out of 5

Flight:
The only recommended motor for this rocket is the A10-3T 13mm mini motor. This rocket does require recovery wadding and the motor hook holds the motor in place during flight.

I prepped the model by inserting about two sheets of recovery wadding into the body. I also prepped an A10-3T and inserted a small piece of wadding into the motor above the ejection cap to take the brunt of the ejection charge blast.

The rocket lifted off rather slowly, arched slightly, and reached maybe 150-200 feet. I noticed a slight wobbling motion but maybe it was caused by the wind. This is a great rocket for small fields.

PROs: Flies great, low altitude flights.

CONs: None.

Recovery:
This rocket uses a 12 inch parachute for recovery and if it is attached where the instructions suggest, the nose cone should not come into contact with the fins.

The chute is sized correctly for this rocket and it comes down with the nose cone hanging underneath it so that it lands nose cone first and then the body will settle to the ground under the chute. Fin damage should not be an issue because of this. The rubber shock cord also stood up well as there was no scorching noticed.

PROs: Recovers quickly and easily.

CONs: None.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary:
I really liked this rocket. I found it to be an easy to assemble scale model that also turned out to be a nice little flier. I would highly recommend it especially if you don't have a lot of flying space. At about $7.59, I feel it is a great value.

PROs: Easy and quick assembly, nice flight and recovery characteristics, great price.

CONS: None really.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Other Reviews
  • Estes - X-Prize Lucky Seven {Kit} By Chris Gonnerman (September 24, 2007)

    This is a semi-scale model of the Acceleration Engineering "Lucky Seven" rocket, one of the contestants for the Ansari X-Prize. This is a largely plastic rocket. The package includes a three-piece plastic nose cone (two side halves and a bulkhead), a plastic body tube with integral bulkhead, a plastic tail bulkhead, four plastic decorative nozzles, four plastic fins, a paper engine tube, a ...

  • Estes - X-Prize Lucky Seven {Kit} By John Thro

    The Estes Lucky Seven is a 1:50 scale model of the rocket being designed and built by Acceleration Engineering. It features 95% plastic construction, Estes mini-engine power, and parachute recovery. Santa brought this kit for my 5 year-old son for Christmas 2004. This model is made entirely of plastic, except for the motor tube, motor hook, shock cord and parachute. Here is a reasonably ...

  • Estes - X-Prize Lucky Seven {Kit} By Alan Tuskes

    Brief: 1:50 Scale model of the Acceleration Engineering LLC's entry in the X-Prize race. Single stage, parachute recovery. Skill level E2X. Construction: The kit includes: 1 BT-5 engine mount 1 mini engine hook 1 rubber (REAL rubber) shock cord. 1 12" chute clay weight plastic parts: nose cone assembly (2 halves, nose cone cap) body and body ...

Flights

Comments:

avatar
K.J. (January 30, 2005)
Good review- matched my building experience. It was hard to tie on the shock cord. I built mine during one episode of The West Wing. Prepping for flight- there really isn't much room in the rocket body for the chute. I was afraid it wold get pushed up into the nose cone and not come out, and it did take quite a while for it to open. Nice straight boosts (about twice as high as a Mini Mars Lander).

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