Custom Rockets - ATW {Kit} (10039)

Contributed by Bill Bill

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Diameter: 0.74 inches
Length: 11.00 inches
Manufacturer: Custom Rockets
Skill Level: 1
Style: Military

Rocket PicBrief:
The ATW - Anti-Tank Weapon is a military styled, minimum diameter 18mm rocket. Capable of flying over 1000 feet according to the manufacturer. The fins are forward-swept, the nose cone is unique.

Construction:
Kit includes one thin paper body tube, 4 pre-cut long forward swept fin, nose cone and its insert, water-slide decals, and other parts.

Instructions were easy to follow, quite like Estes's, but printed on less paper. There were no assembly problems.

The fins are pre-cut for you, but the edges have to be sanded anyway as they are quite rough and then you round the edges. These fins are forward swept and long; the fin span is almost 6 inches. As the body tube is thin, this fact may cause problems with the large fins. You might want to insert a spent engine when storing this rocket.

The nose cone is quite cool. One can call it a "bent conical". You have to see it to know what it looks like.

PROs: easy build, unique nose cone and fins.

CONs: thin body tube in conjunction with long fins

Finishing:
One has to seal the fins, prime and paint. The body tube spiral is very small, so you don't really have to fill it. The lower 1/3 section of the body tube and fins are painted green, the upper 2/3 section (and the NC) is painted white. Then the water slide decals are applied. This is where I messed up. I think the self adhesive ones are slightly better because they are thicker. Others may disagree.

Pros: easy to paint stock, spiral hard to see.

Cons: none

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

Flight:
This is another rocket that is supposed to make the most of a C6-7, which means it's supposed to fly really high. The motor is friction fitted.

I used two sheets of wadding (each split in half). The streamer is rolled, and everything is stuffed into the body tube.

First flight was on a 1/2A3-2T with an adapter. It flew straight to about 120 feet and popped the streamer at apogee. Pretty good, if you ask me.

Second flight was on a B4-4. This is a proper motor for this rocket. The model boosted straight and stayed out of sight for a few seconds, and then the ejection charge went off. It landed about 200 feet from the pad.

The ATW is a pretty good flier, and has more style than the Estes or Quest minimum diameter kits. You better believe Custom Rockets--it can fly over 1000 feet.

Pros: stylish, high altitude flier, can take smaller motors

Cons: none

Recovery:
I used a two foot piece of elastic that is attached with a paper mount. Recovery is fast with the streamer, but this is a light rocket. After two flights, the shock cord is a bit charred. Kevlar® would be nice.

Pros: doesn't drift much on streamer

Cons: shock cord gets burned easily

Flight Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:
I think this is a good rocket for a minimum diameter kit: looks cool with unique fins and NC. At $5, it's a good deal. (Compare that to the Estes Sizzler or Star Dart, which cost about $8) Nice work on this small kit, Custom.

Major pros: priced right, unique rocket, high flier

Major cons: none

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Flights

Comments:

avatar
B.A. (March 27, 2006)
It's cute, builds quick, and screams off the pad like a bat out of hell on an A or B motor. What's not to love about it? I have 3 and I always bring one with me to every launch I make.
avatar
M.A.G. (August 8, 2008)
This rocket is cool!! It goes out of sight on a B6-4 and is 4.70 on jonrocket. The shock cord is too short and dents the nose. I am going to buy a new one and modify the shock cord. IT'S TOUGH!!
avatar
O.B. (August 24, 2008)
I love Custom's rockets because they're cheap and fun--not necessarily in that order. The ATW especially answers the need for a "quick fix," when life gets in the way of my hobby. I've also found the ATW to be a great platform for modification to the early Mercury rocket program, though I'm working on a slight tendency to corkscrew.

comment Post a Comment