One of the RTF kits in the 1999 kit releases, the Moondog is notable for its teardrop shape and '50s Sci Fi look.
The model was well packaged in the blister pack with everything needed except motors. The only assembly required was attachment of the premade 12' parachute. The instructions for parachute attachment and flight preparation are well illustrated.
No finishing at all is required. It comes molded in a bright orange with quality silkscreened black detail markings.
Construction Rating: 3 out of 5
Like most of the new RTF models from Estes, this one comes with a quick twist motor cap, molded in orange to match the model. Recommended motors are the A3-4T. and A10-3T.
It was very quick to prep using a couple squares of the Estes "Toilet Paper" wadding and flew nicely on the mini As to about 200 feet as stated on the packaging. The flights were straight with little windcocking even though the conditions were harsh (-11 degrees C and a breeze from the North gusting between 15 and 20 Knots. I then put it to the real test - flying on a 1/2 A3-4T! The model flew great to about 50 feet altitude. In the cold the chute did not open before landing, but the model received no damage. All flights ejected close to apogee. The length of shock cord appears adequate for this model .... a rarity for Estes kits!
Flight Rating: 4 out of 5
While I am no fan of the RTF models the manufacturers have been producing lately, the Moondog certainly is an entertaining model. It's retro '50ish styling is a welcome break from the very common tubular look of most models. For someone who does a lot of displays and demonstrations, this is a welcome addition to my fleet with the bright colour, quick prep and low altitude possible with a 1/2 A motor.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5