Estes - Big Daddy {Kit} (2162) [1998-]

Contributed by Dave Brunsting

Diameter: 3.00 inches
Length: 19.00 inches
Manufacturer: Estes
Skill Level: 2
Style: Sport

(MODS) 29mm Estes Big Daddy

This project was an upgrade of the typical Big Daddy to a 29mm mount with fiberglass reinforcement to the fins and lots of nose weight with a funky flame job.

This is an old style Big Daddy I ran across for $15 which sure beats the heck out of the regular retail price of ~$30 or whatever it is.

So first up is the MMT. I used 30 minute epoxy because that’s what I have in the house and a #6-32 threaded rod for my positive motor retention. Everything got a good dose of epoxy. The threaded rod was epoxied for the full length of the MMT tube. Then I drilled a hole in the aft centering as close to the middle as possible so the threaded rod sticks out the back end about one inch. During flight, I use a small fender washer and nut for motor retention. I have used this method effectively on many rockets and have never lost a motor.

Next up are the launch lugs. I wanted to push the lugs as far apart as possible on the body tube cause I think it looks cool. I’ve done this before with success.

I used a dowel rod to mount an eyelet to attach the shock cord and parachute. I was going to do this with threaded rod sleeved to an eyebolt but that didn't work out. I don't trust the little loop Estes provides on the side of the nose cone considering the type of shock cord I am using. Anyways the rod was inserted into the nose cone and epoxy poured around it. I cut tiny little notches out on the side so the epoxy would have a little something to grab to.

(MODS) 29mm Estes Big Daddy(MODS) 29mm Estes Big Daddy

I elected to use the stock balsa fins that came with the kit. Not to worry as I glassed them tip-to-tip. With one exception of some blistering with one of the glassed areas, this went fairly smooth.

The body tube, fins, and nose cone were all that were used from the stock Estes Big Daddy kit. Here are the additions: 1/4" launch lugs, 18" nylon parachute, Nomex® heat sheild, 29mm centering rings, 10ft of 1/4" shock cord, 29mm motor mount tube, #6-32 threaded rod for motor retention, 1/8" eye bolt to attach the shock cord, and a dowel rod epoxied into the nose cone to attach the cord.

(MODS) 29mm Estes Big Daddy(MODS) 29mm Estes Big Daddy

After flying it once, I took the nose cone and cut the bottom out and cut about 2 inches off of the dowel rod. I found that there is no way to get my heat shield, 18" nylon parachute, and shock cord packed into the bird with a 29mm 40/120 casing in it. After that modification was made I was able to get all the laundry in the nose cone. This modification this is an important step to consider early on because it is a pain to correct after the fact.

(MODS) 29mm Estes Big Daddy

Finishing was pretty typical for most Estes rockets. I used wood filler for most of the imperfections like the tube spirals. For priming I used Kilz spray primer. That is hands down the best primer I have ever used and I followed that up with a couple of coats of gloss black. Then I picked up some 1/8" plastic blue masking tape for the flames at a specialty painters store and used 1 inch blue masking tape for all of the areas that stayed black. A couple of coats of red, yellow, and white, and my flames were complete.

(MODS) 29mm Estes Big Daddy

So far, I have flown this bird twice. First was at Michigan Team 1 Fall 2006 launch on an F20 with a 7 second delay. RockSim predicted an optimal delay of just under 7 seconds but that was far too long. Then on January 27th, 2007, I went to Tripoli Michiana launch and flew it on an F52 with a 8 second delay. Again, RockSim predicted a touch over 8 seconds for the optimal delay. Real world results differ because again the delay was again too long. Despite the longish delays, both flights were a success with no damage. I believe this is ready for a G64!

This project is a "must do" for anyone who is into mid-power rocketry. This will test your building skills and rocketry knowledge, not to mention this is a hoot to fly.

Other Reviews
  • Estes - Big Daddy {Kit} (2162) [1998-] By Jim Stuckman

    19" LG X 3" Dia 24" Parachute 24mm Motor Mount - D12-3 & 5 recommended This is a great sport flyer that builds very quickly. If you upgrade the parachute to a quality nylon chute you have a very versatile companion for your Aerotech 24mm RMS! 4 My kit is a pre-release beta kit so it did not come in the standard Estes packaging - just a basic plastic bag. All parts were present ...

  • Estes - Big Daddy {Kit} (2162) [1998-] By Jon Revelle

    Short, stubby, and fun rocket. Flies on Estes D engines. Unfortunately I think it was just discontinued because it was not in Estes' 2005 Catalog. The rocket made its debut in the mid 1990s. At the time, kits were being made with a 4/6 sided box with a bag. This one was no exception. It had: 1 Nose Cone 1 Fat body tube 1 24mm Motor tube 1 Sheet of balsa 2 Centering rings ...

  • Estes - Big Daddy {Kit} (2162) [1998-] By Nick Esselman

    In keeping with my likes of "stubby" rockets, I decided to build three more that were around three inches in diameter to compliment my 2.6" and my 4" collection. So, I set off to get a LOC Onyx, a RocketVision Grymm, and the Estes Big Daddy. See my 3" Stubby Rocket Comparison Page The Estes Big Daddy qualifies as a "stubby" rocket because it is 19" long and has a 3" diameter giving it a less ...

  • Estes - Big Daddy {Kit} (2162) [1998-] By Andy Tate

    single stage, 24in. parachute, 24mm motor mount, 3/16 launch lug This is a standard Estes kit. It utilizes TTT (through the tube) fin mounting for the four balsa fins. One three inch paper tube is the body tube with a 24mm paper tube for the motor mount. The nosecone is a large plastic one with the standard Estes shock cord attachment loop. Two cardstock centering rings are included. The ...


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