The Cosmic Cobra is a combination parachute/helicopter recovery rocket. The nose cone ejects and returns via a rubber band actuated, 3 blade rotor system while the rest of the rocket returns by the more conventional parachute method. While the Cosmic Cobra model itself is new, the idea isn’t, having been done previously by the Estes Heliocopter and HeliCat.
In true E2X fashion, the Cosmic Cobra kit isn’t overly laden with parts. The fin unit is plastic with forward swept fins. The motor mount is actually molded into the fin unit and has a plastic end cap to keep the motor in place during flight. The nose cone and rotor fins are glued together and must have the enclosed rubber bands attached to be “loaded.” A 12 inch parachute completes the package.
Also in true E2X fashion, the Cosmic Cobra can be built in a matter of minutes. The rotor attachment is glued to the nose cone base and the rotors themselves just snap on. The trickiest part of the build is getting the rubber bands aligned so that they allow the rotors to deploy and even this isn’t that tough. Like the other rockets in the E2X flight line, it’s possible to buy this kit in the morning and still fly it before lunch. What makes this one out of the ordinary is the recovery. Kids especially will love it, but I don’t hear many grown ups complaining either.
Pre-colored. Black, yellow and purple have never been among my favored color schemes, but what do you want for next to nothing. One sticker-type decal completes the “look.” It’s not great, but it won’t bring up lunch.
Construction Rating: 5 out of 5
I’ve only flown this rocket once, but it isn’t hard to get a feel for the performance based on that flight. The rotor performed as advertised and brought the nose cone down for a textbook recovery. The body section wasn’t quite so lucky. The body tube itself is fairly large, but the rotors must be folded straight down inside so that the nose cone will fit. This means that the parachute will have to be down deep and apparently mine wasn’t. The ejection charge did little more than move the whole mess, wadding, shock cord and parachute, up in the body tube. It didn’t deploy and the whole shootin’ match came down in a flat spin, landing hard in a gravel parking lot. The good news; no damage. This rocket can take a hit.
This is where I’d take a half point away. Everything packs very tightly in the body tube and it may take several flights before the secrets for the dual deployment reveal themselves. It could also be as simple as operator error. Wouldn’t be the first time.
Flight Rating: 4 out of 5
Pros: Entertainment value. It appeals to kids and adults alike. Rotor performance. Ease of assembly. Durability.
Cons: Styling. It’s kind of ugly. (Then again, I might have lousy taste.) Packing the body tube to allow both recovery systems to function may be a trial and error process. (Then again, I might be stupid.)
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5