Quest - Triton-X {Kit} (1617)

Contributed by John Lee

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Diameter: 1.38 inches
Length: 33.00 inches
Manufacturer: Quest
Skill Level: 1
Style: Sport
Quest Triton-X

Almost ready to Fly, twin parachute, missile-esque 4FNC.

After working on some projects that are taking a bit of time, I decided I wanted some quick gratification and pulled this rocket out of my "build bin". It went together quickly and gave me an excuse to try the Future acrylic tip I had read about. Besides, I kind of like the picture on the package.

The kit includes:

  • Plastic fin can assembly in two halves
  • 4 plastic fins
  • plastic fin locking ring
  • plastic motor lock ring
  • motor tube
  • 3 body tubes of diminishing length and diameter (not specified)
  • large plastic reducer
  • small plastic reducer
  • plastic nose cone
  • Kevlar® shock cord
  • round elastic shock cord
  • 2 14" parachute kits
  • peel off sticker set

The body tubes and motor tube were grey colored and had a rough texture. The spirals were deep but part of the ARTF karmic price. The texture is apparently part of the "finish" and distracts the eye from the spirals.

The instructions were printed on both sides of a single 11" x 17" sheet. The actual instructions were one one side and launch info was on the other. They were illustrated adequately, in logical order, easy to understand, and suitable to the purpose.

Assembly starts off by tying the Kevlar® to the elastic with an overhand knot and then tying the Kevlar® to the appropriate loop in one half of the fin can. I supplemented this by putting a drop of CA on each of the knots.

The fin can comes in 2 halves. The motor tube is notched at the top and the notch slips into a peg on either side of the fin can. The fin can is then cemented together with plastic model cement. I used Solva-weld. Model cement is also indicated to glue the fin can to the lower body tube. Having bad experience with Estes products doing this, I used CA.

The plastic fins were then slipped into the provided grooves in the fin can. The instruction warn you to test fit them first. This is a very good idea. Three of the four fit fine, though one was rather loose. The fourth was very difficult to fit and needed some trimming with a razor. If I had not checked first, this would have cause problems since I used CA instead of the recommended model cement. The final part of this step was to insert the fin locking ring which I secured with Solva-weld and then inserted the motor retaining ring. Be careful not to let any solvent get onto the motor locking ring.

I also used CA to glue in the transitions and nose cone. The design calls for the use of 2 parachutes and separate recovery for the nose cone but I don't generally like doing that. I affixed the shock cord to the upper transition so the rocket would recover in a single unit. I would have made the separation point on the lower transition for easy stuffing of the parachute but there was nothing to tie it on to. I again secured the knot with a drop of CA.

Since I didn't play the "assemble the parachute" game, the model was ready for finishing.

PROs: Easy and quick assembly.

CONs: 2 piece fin can. I just know that is going to cause problems at some point and don't trust it.

The finishing on the instructions consists simply of applying the peel off stickers. Before putting them on, I was a little bummed out because the rocket looked too plain. The stickers changed all that. They really complement it well.

I have two comments about the stickers though. First, they are peel 'n' stick so they are really thick. This will invariably cause them to come off at some point. Second, the trouble with the sticker thickness is exacerbated by the stickiness factor on these stickers. It is minimal. Since I hope to keep this rocket for a while, (I have that hope for all of my rockets but one) I decided to try I tip I had read about.

I had read that Future floor polish really protects and holds things down. Imagine my wife's surprise when I asked her to get some for me next time she went to the store. She is Korean, however, and that involves several side issues:

  1. Why is a grown man playing with rockets?
  2. Why is a grown member of the clergy in mostly good standing playing with rockets?
  3. The language issue meant that I finally decided to procure it myself. (This is a comment on pronunciation: apparently the sounds needed to convey future are difficult for the Han language.)
I went to that refuge of men who hate to shop: Amazon. A few days later, I had 2 bottles which stayed around for a long time before I decided to use them. They kept disappearing because the housekeeper could not figure out why I did not want her to put them away and I kept forgetting to leave her a note. My wife does not speak Spanish and the housekeeper does not speak Korean. Somehow they still communicate beautifully except with trying to talk about me and my idiosyncrasies. Rockets are some of those idiosyncrasies. But I digress.

When I finally got around to trying it, I noticed that the label said "Pledge with Future Shine". That didn't sound right. On closer examination, the label said that it was all acrylic and the "Future" had the same little electron orbital logo I remembered from the original tip so I went ahead.

I applied the stuff with a sponge brush. It went on easily but dripped a lot. After drying, it was nice and shiny, but I am not sure that it conveyed any protective or sealant qualities. I need to find out if I used the right stuff or if it was just a change in marketing strategy.

PROs: looks good, and fast and easy to build.

CONs: I worry about the stickers coming up.

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

Flight and Recovery:
Recommended Motors: B6-4, C6-3, C6-5

Quest Triton-X I only got to launch this one once because it was at a club launch and I wound up serving as RSO. It was also the busiest launch my club has ever had. That's great but hard on my flying!

I used a B4-4. As it turned out, that launched the bird just fine. It flew up straight and deployed at apogee. It recovered under a nylon 9" chute just fine. It may have been a bit fast but there were no problems.

PROs: flies well and true

CONs: none

Flight Rating: 4 out of 5

I think this is a very fine beginner's kit. It's easy and looks good. It also looks somewhat more complex that a 3NFC rocket. It would seem to be reliable and can get more young folk into the hobby.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Other Reviews
  • Quest - Triton-X {Kit} (1617) By David Montgomery

    Brief: The Triton-X is one of ten kits Quest Aerospace (currently) has in their line of Quest Quick-Kits, models that do not require painting or finishing beyond the application of decals and can often be completed in 15 to 45 minutes. The Quick-Kits are the perfect solution to the "fears" of first timers. These kits are designed to be "goof-proof." The molded ...



P.D. (July 25, 2006)
David's review is absolutely spot-on. This being my first Quest rocket, I found it to be a cinch to put together taking me no more than 40 minutes tops and I have also found the Triton-X (in my experience) to be considerably structurally more robust than the Estes rockets I have put together. The use of the Kevlar®? shockcord system has also given me much less cause for concern at ejection time than tri-fold mount systems. The Triton-X I have indeed found to be a most handsome-looking rocket so long as it is put together properly. I fly my Triton-X with the shockcord attached to the small payload tube and I would recommend the use of a single 14' chute, it seems to do the job quite well.
D.W.M. (August 14, 2006)
Thanks, and great points, PD. However, I've had nothing but bad luck using the Quest supplied 14" parachutes that came with the kit; for some reason they just won't deploy (got this experience beforehand with my son's Quest Mirage kit). That's why in my Triton - X product review I mentioned the 18" parachute, which is an old but very reliable one from Estes I got from years back. The last straw, as far as the Quest chutes are concern, was when I used one of the 14" chutes for my Predicted Duration entry (on a vintage Centuri Nike Smoke) that failed to fully deploy, costing me first place! And the NS had the baffle ejection system!

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