Quest - Totally Tubular {Kit} (1012)

Contributed by Dave Stout

Diameter: 0.79 inches
Length: 15.00 inches
Manufacturer: Quest
Skill Level: 1
Style: Ring/Tube/Cone Fin

Rocket PicBrief:
Single stage, tube finned sport rocket.

The Totally Tubular kit includes six glossy blue tube fins, a glossy yellow main BT, a yellow plastic nose cone, and color coded motor mount parts. It also has a bright pink 24" streamer and the typical Quest Kevlar/elastic shock cord mount.

This bird is very easy to build with clear, concise instructions. It went together in about an hour. However, there are a couple of small "gotchas". The gripper tab for the streamer is guaranteed to hang up inside the body tube if it isn't trimmed! I cut off the part with the hole and trimmed about 1/8" off each side of the sticky part. After attaching it to the streamer, I punched a hole in the remainder with a hole punch. This is more than adequate to reinforce the attachment point.

Where the Kevlarshock line is attached to the thrust ring is a likely "hot spot" just begging for a burn through. I decided to give this style of mounting another chance, but I made the groove deep enough to completely sink the Kevlarinto it, then coated it with 5min epoxy. This is to keep it out of direct contact with the ejection charge.

Other than these issues, an easy and fun build. As always, I coated the inside of the BT and motor mount tube with CA and sanded smooth to make them durable. Parts fit on this particular kit was great. I especially like that this "minimum diameter" rocket actually is large enough to have a separate motor mount with a motor hook!

Finishing is a snap. The precolored parts, though not a perfect match, are attractive. The decals are a bit of an annoyance as they are not die cut and require a lot of hand trimming. Not too appropriate considering how easy the rest is to build. Placement was a bit tricky but not too bad. If not for the construction niggles and decal nuisance, I'd give the Totally Tubular a 5 in construction and finish.

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

Quest recommends the A6-4, B6-4, C6-5, and C6-7 for the Totally Tubular. I loaded it with an A6-4 for the first flight. Prep is simple; I just pulled the shock cord to one side (making sure it wasn't in the path of the ejection charge!) and pushed 3 crumpled squares of wadding directly on top of the motor mount. The streamer is rolled up and inserted on top of the shock cord. The motor hook is a little delicate looking as is always the case with Quest hooks but they continue to give me no trouble.

The first flight was reasonably quick and arrow-straight. It didn't seem inclined to weathercock in spite of a brisk breeze. Ejection was a tad after apogee. It descended quickly but no damage occurred on landing.

Next flight was with a B6-4. It took off quickly and zipped straight up to a really impressive height. I could barely see the tracking smoke and ejection! The streamer was very slow to unfurl. It did, however, open up for another good recovery. This critter is fun to fly! Although I'd wanted to try it on a C6, the field is too small to risk a performer like this on a C.

After dipping into my dwindling supply of B8-5's, I dusted the streamer with talc, prepped it, and sent it up. It pounced off the pad, again straight up, and ripped off another high flight. Ejection was about a full second after apogee with no ill effects. The streamer unfurled nicely this time and the Totally Tubular came down within 50 feet of the pad.

The shock cord consists of a Kevlar thread tied to the motor mount assembly and a fabric elastic tied to the Kevlar. This attaches to the nose and the streamer is tied on below the nose. The streamer is 2' of narrow neon pink plastic. While it recovers the bird intact, I feel it could do with a little more streamer length. Material quality is first rate and assembly is simple.

Flight Rating: 4 out of 5

Anyone who has built a basic kit could build the Totally Tubular. It requires a bit of extra attention, but rewards the builder with a unique-looking, high performance rocket. It seems like it will last a long time. This rocket is cheap to buy, very fun, and I highly recommend it!!

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5



T.W. (September 1, 2000)
Nice review. This is the first Quest brand rocket that I have ever built.(but definitely not the last) The instructions and the materials were both first class.It took me about an hour to finish this rocket. I love the color scheme...Bright Yellow and Blue.This rocket is short in stature but it looks awesome. I fell deeper in love with this rocket after I saw it perform.I didn't know what to expect from a finless rocket...but nothing could have prepared me for the mind-blowing altitudes that this rocket achieves. It went rather high on an "A" engine,but with a C6-5 this baby ROCKS!!! Streamer recovery insures that it doesn't drift too far.The tough tube(fins?) keep it from being damaged on it's fast descent. I highly recommend this crazy looking rocket. It is perfect for beginner's or for anyone who is looking for a different kind of rocket.
M.G. (June 1, 2001)
I must agree with the review. This is a great little rocket, and virtually indestructible. My seven year old son and I built this kit in an afternoon, with him doing almost all of the work. The instructions are easy to follow and well illustrated. One thing I would like to add to the instructions is to sand the body tubes and fin tubes where they are to be glued. I do not think that the glue will hold very well to the glossy parts. The tube fins are easy to attach and are very rugged. I really liked the colors on the kit, and the fact that we did not have to paint the rocket to get a good looking rocket out of it. We have flown this rocket four times so far with two "A's", one "B" and one "C". The rocket flies great on the "A" and "B" but went unstable on the "C". Looking into the flight logs this seems to happen on about half of the flights on the "C" motor. Quest should remove the recommendation for the "C" motor until they can improve the stability. The recovery is a little fast with the provided streamer, but the rugged design of the tube fins really help out here. Overall I agree that this is a great little rocket, but stay away from the "C" motors.
M.K. (July 1, 2001)
When I launched this rocket, it wasn't even close to "strait as an arrow." It shot 10 feet into the air and did 7 flips then shot to the ground. At the last second, the parachute came out.
S.B. (August 1, 2001)
Have tried to fly this rocket twice and both times it went about 10-15 off the launch pad, did several loops end over end and wound up popping the streamer on the ground. The second time it zipped by about a foot from my head as my son and I were dodging for cover. I wouldn't recommend flying this unless you have a real tendency toward suicidal acts!
R.V. (September 1, 2001)
This rocket is perfectly stable IF you add sufficient nose weight. It will also go higher with more weight on a C6-7. Add putty to the nose cone until and spin test it until it consistently goes nose first. Then it will be fine. I am continually appalled at the number of production kits that don't make provision for or recommend sufficient nose weight.
H.E. (August 17, 2002)
Very dissapointed in the rocket, We flew it on a A8 and it flew nice. We then flew it on a C6 and it went unstable. I know to fix this problem to add wieght to the nosecone, But a C6 is one of the reccomend motors so it should have been stable building according to instructions and it is not. For anyone wanting a tube rocket I would have to reccomend the Custom Razor over this we have flown the Razor from A's to D21's without adding any wieght to nosecone
J.R.T. (January 17, 2006)
I'm not sure why I've been so lucky, but I've flown my Totally Tubular on everything from A8-3's to B6-4's, to C6-5's with absolutely no stability problems. The rocket has probably had 10 or 12 flights altogether. It's a stock build with no deviations from the instructions at all, and I launch from 36" launch rods.
W.F. (April 2, 2006)
Without adding weight to the nose, my Totally Tubular kit is unstable, even on 'A' engines. I have purchased a second kit and carefully weighed each component and simulated in Rocksim v8 (that simulates tube fins). Rocksim predicts that it will be unstable as provided. My guess is that the nose cone has been substituted for a lighter version over time. As the nose cone became lighter, the rocket became less stable. My kit came with a noe piece nose cone (even though the instructions call for plastic cement). About 15 gms of clay in the tip of the nose cone makes this rocket a keeper.
B.D. (May 5, 2006)
My TT flies very straight and stable. It fly great on any engine I have used. I do have a friend who was careful and had a tube at an angle(don?t ask how he did this!) and that TT had a real unique flight! Zig-zagged all over the place! Built right, it's a fun nice rocket kit.
Bill Eichelberger (August 12, 2013)

It is most definitely destructable.  Mine landed on gravel on the first flight and tore loose three of the tubes.  Eight years later I'm finally thinking about repairing it.

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