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.

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

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

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

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

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



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.
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!!
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.

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