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