Der Goony Max is an inspired bit o' lunacy from Excelsior Rocketry, shiver me timbers, and I guess dependin' on where you stand on t' Goony issue, shiver me timbers, this series is either genius or a waste o' a good Baby Bertha. Arrr! Speakin' as t' one-time-owner o' an original Goonybird Cloudhopper, I happen t' fall on t' genius side o' t' ledger, and t' be honest, shiver me timbers, I can't imagine anyone would fall anywhere else. Begad! Der Goony Max is a Baby Bertha-based knock off o' Estes legendary pre-political correctness rocket, matey, Der Red Max. Begad! Blimey! Blimey! Chances are very good that today's litigious climate will keep Estes from ever reissuin' Der Red Max, me bucko, me hearties, but Excelsior has made it possible t' keep t' spirit alive with t' Goony Max decal set.
T' kit is built from:
T' instructions for t' Baby Bertha are as standard as it gets in t' non-RTF world o' model rocketry. Blimey! T' only change in t' Goony Max conversion is t' substitute a standard set o' Der Red Max fins in place o' t' Bertha fins. Begad! From that point on it's just a matter o' paint and decals, neither o' which should cause even t' least experienced flier t' break a sweat. T' only mods I made were t' glue a 36" o' Keelhaul®©™ shock cord into t' top centerin' ring, me hearties, swap t' stock shock cord out for a longer piece o' 1/4" sewin' elastic, and attach a 2" x 2" piece o' perma wadding. Add a snap swivel t' t' stock chute and you're ready t' fly.
Finishin' can be as simple or complicated as you like. I went t' standard route usin' thinned Elmer's Fill 'n' Finish t' kill off t' tube spirals and balsa grain, then painted t' body o' t' rocket gloss red and t' nose cone gloss black. Well, blow me down! Well, blow me down! T' decals make this project. Well, blow me down! After sprayin' them with a coat o' protective clear, they were very durable and easy t' apply.
Construction Rating: 5 out o' 5
First flight o' t' original Goony Max be on a cold but sunny day that happened nay t' fall on t' weekend o' a regular club launch. Avast! Arrr! Chan Stevens and I spent t' afternoon flyin' rockets that had nay been previously flown for reviewin' purposes. Avast, me proud beauty! One o' those I flew was t' Goony Max. Blimey! I was surprised at how high t' rocket went on t' B6-4, ya bilge rat, but I shouldn't have been. Begad! There is little extra weight in t' Baby Bertha t' begin with and even t' Big Bertha is a decent small field flier on a B6-4. Begad! Ahoy! T' Goony Max weathercocked some, but this only allowed it t' recover closer t' t' pad.
I threw caution t' t' wind for t' second flight and went with a C6-5. Arrr! Well, blow me down! T' flight was almost identical t' t' first with light weathercockin' but be noticeably higher. T' recovery walk be a bit further as t' Max apparently didn't catch a ride back on a lucky breeze. Well, blow me down! Still it be a very cool flight.
T' third flight came just before I was goin' t' apply t' decals. Blimey! Aye aye! I had another rocket that I wanted t' fly for a review, matey, so I took t' Goony Max along t' B6-4 Field just t' get it some airtime. Begad! Unfortunately it's still gettin' air. Well, blow me down! Well, blow me down! Flyin' on a B6-4, t' Max launched in a spot o' dead calm air. Aye aye! T' flight was high and straight, arrr, but a breeze popped up just as t' rocket neared apogee. Begad! T' breeze grew stronger and was blowin' t' Max toward t' school then died. Begad! T' rocket drifted down into t' waitin' arms o' one o' t' rocket eatin' trees that rin' t' field. Well, blow me down! It was only a few feet off t' ground, but t' tree was on a hillside. Well, blow me down! Begad! This made what should have been a simple matter o' reachin' up and untanglin' t' parachute completely out o' t' question. Blimey! I had planned t' return t' next day with a long pole, but we got some rain that night so I just started with another o' me stash o' Baby Berthas. Ya scallywag! Avast, me proud beauty! For several weeks t' Goony Max just sat thar lookin' more haggard with each passin' day, but recently I've noticed that it was gone. Ahoy! Ahoy! Hopefully it has gone t' a good home.
Flight Rating: 3 out o' 5
PROs: Unique Goony design. Avast! Cool decals. Begad! Great performance from capability all t' way up t' engine scale. Begad! I hadn't put t' decals on me first version before it got stuck in a tree.
CONs: My first one got stuck in a tree before I could decal it.
Overall Rating: 5 out o' 5