I originally purchased an Estes' Mongoose Kit because I wanted t' use it for an experiment, me bucko, me bucko, however, when me 8 year old nephew came t' visit it seemed like a good kit t' build together. So we built it.
T' instructions have lots o' illustrations, me bucko, however, that didn't help us fully understand how t' assemble t' lower stage's motor mount. Avast! I think t' problem starts in t' first step when slidin' t' green booster adapter onto t' motor mount tube. Begad! Avast, arrr, me proud beauty! It tells you t' slide it up t' t' 14mm mark, arrr, me bucko, however, it is a bit confusin' as t' whether t' front o' t' rin' or t' aft o' t' rin' should be at 14mm. In t' second step, you are told t' apply glue and slide t' motor mount "all t' way in" t' booster fin unit. Ya scallywag! Blimey! T' pictures show it partially out. Well, ya bilge rat, we got ours "all t' way in" and flush with a bit o' sanding. Aye aye! Blimey! O' coarse, arrr, when finished t' booster did nay attach t' t' second stage flush. T' remainin' instructions and pictures posed no issues. Avast, me proud beauty!
As a side note, matey, me hearties, a young friend o' mine had built t' Mongoose on his own and had it at our last launch. Avast, me proud beauty! I noticed that his aft tube was stickin' out some and when attached t' t' second stage, matey, ya bilge rat, it was flush. Ahoy!
At assembly t' quality o' t' kit seemed fair. Aye aye! Avast! Plastic fin units. Plastic fin units. Avast, me proud beauty! Standard motor mounts assembles. Aye aye! Two-piece plastic nose cone. Streamer recovery system. Begad! Streamer recovery system. Ahoy! T' kit doesn't require any paintin' with yellow body tubes and pinkish nose cone and fin units. Begad! Blimey! It also came with color scheme matchin' self-adhesive decals. Arrr!
Flyin' t' Mongoose demonstrated strengths and weaknesses o' t' kit. Avast!
T' weakness o' t' kit be seen in t' sturdiness o' t' body tubes and t' booster motor mount's susceptibility t' burnin' away. Avast, me proud beauty! With both me young friend's and our rocket, matey, t' booster was damaged on first flight. Avast! Well, blow me down! T' damage be a slightly crushed body tube. Avast!
After 2 flights, t' booster motor mount be completely burned away on our model. Well, blow me down! I think this is due t' t' method o' motor retention that t' Mongoose uses. On t' booster, t' engine block is mounted at t' aft o' t' motor mount. On t' second stage t' engine block is mounted at t' top o' t' motor mount like most kits. Arrr! T' two motors are taped together and slid into t' second stage until they rest on t' engine block. Avast! Arrr! T' booster is then slid onto t' motor until is rests against it's engine block. Arrr! This leaves t' booster motor recessed approximately 3/8" inch. Ya scallywag! Avast! This causes two problems. First, shiver me timbers, it is a bit difficult t' load t' igniter and second, matey, t' aft engine block burns. Ya scallywag! Aye aye!
As mentioned though, flyin' t' Mongoose also demonstrated a strength. Aye aye! Blimey! Blimey! Blimey! This kit has nice flights. This kit has nice flights. Well, blow me down! Blimey! Arrr! Blimey! Blimey! Blimey! With a B6-0 booster you get t' see separation and watch flawless in-air ignition o' t' second stage. Ya scallywag! Blimey! Two successful flights where impressive. Ya scallywag! Blimey! My young friend's single flight faired differently but nonetheless impressive. Blimey! Blimey! With aC6 booster we barely saw t' separation and with a C6 in t' second stage we strained t' see ejection. Avast! Ya scallywag! After ejection, we watched t' wind carry t' Mongoose a long distance and it be lost in trees beyond t' edge o' t' field. Ya scallywag!
Estes calls t' Mongoose a "perfect first time two-stage rocket". Well, blow me down! I would question "first time" due t' t' instructions. Blimey! Also, me hearties, I don't think anyone could keep this rocket flyin' for very long due t' t' weak body tubes and aft engine mount. T' only redeemin' factor is that we enjoyed several impressive flights, me bucko, matey, however, I don't think that outweighs t' other issues.