Minimum diameter, featherweight rocket that can soar well out of sight (1600+ ft according to Estes). Streamer recovery. Very similar to Estes Sizzler & Estes Star Dart.
Typical easy-to-follow Estes directions. Start with gluing the thrust ring then motor mount clip held by the Mylar ring. Next comes the fins (with notches to allow for the Mylar ring). Nose cone needs plastic cement to join the 2 pieces. Lastly the shock cord is attached to the BT with the usual paper mount & tied to NC. Streamer is tied to the shock cord.
A streamer is the proper recovery method for this small, ultralightweight design. A common issue with the Hi-Flier/Star Dart/Sizzler is that BT damage can occur with the stock shock cord. Replace it with longer elastic.
Construction Rating: 4 out of 5
This was my first rocket built & launched after a near-20 year absence from model rocketry. Since I had pretty much ruined the rocket with a horrid paint job (my own fault), I had already considered this rocket a loss. I wasn't disappointed...(which isn't a good thing.) It was a windy day out & the only engines I had were B6-4s. There was just enough room for the engine, a couple pieces of wadding & the streamer.
It screamed off the launch pad ~200 feet & then suddenly appeared to turn horizontal. It vanished from sight & was not recovered. (I have since assembled an Estes Star Dart which I have successfully flown twice.) I'm sure my Hi-Flier's flight was an anomally & should perform similar to the Star Dart.
I also learned with my Star Dart that an A8-3 is probably the ideal engine for a rocket this small, that a B6-4 should only be used if you have plenty of field & little if any wind, & that a C6-5 should only be used when you no longer want the rocket in your fleet!
Flight Rating: 2 out of 5
There are plenty of ways that these minimal design rockets can be damaged/lost/destroyed. Thankfully it takes little money & time to get this high flier--I mean Hi-Flier, ready for action. Even small engines can send it out of sight. I would consider the Hi-Flier to be in the "Gee, it was fun while it lasted" category.
Even if you are careful with motor selection & weather conditions, I still wouldn't expect many successful flights out of the Hi-Flier. The fins are frighteningly thin balsa, the motor mount clip is on the outside of the BT, & the shock cord in the package is too short...all of which have a couple of reasons each that can lead to failure.
Overall Rating: 2 out of 5
Brief: Hi-Flyer is a skill level 1 LPR made by Estes. Its main selling point is its potential apogee at 1700 feet. Construction: Three balsa deltoid fins attach to a BT-20 and NC20 combination. Motor retention is achieved by an external engine clip. The clip retention ring is also external. The fins have a small slot cut into the root to accommodate this ring. A sized ...
I was able to launch the Hi-Flier on four flights. The first flight was on an A8-3 and the second on a B6-4 with good results. It was flow in low wind and a large field so recovery was possible. On the thrid flight, it was fitted with a C6-5. I was a novice at the time and was surprised that it did the corkscrew - no damage or injuries resulted. It was what prompted me to read about rocket flight dynamics and stabilty. Realizing that the CG was too low because of the heavier 'C' motor, I added some fishing weights to the nose cone lug to bring the CG up - all trial and error, no RocSim, no measuring the weight. Put in another C6-5...3-2-1 and it was gone to the moon Alice. Saw it come down, far away in some tall grass...never found it. I would build this kit again, it is a crowd pleaser.
(June 4, 2003)