Hi-Flyer is a skill level 1 LPR made by Estes. Its main selling point is its potential apogee at 1700 feet.
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 engine block slips into the body tube. Recovery system is an elastic shock cord and vinyl orange streamer.
As a skill level one kit, this rocket was very easy to build. The external clip was odd and as far as I know doesn't exist on other rockets of this class.
I used Aves Apoxy Sculpt to fillet the fins. This did add weight and may have affected flight characteristics adversely.
I finished this rocket in a red rust and black, which in hind sight was a mistake. I did not use the "Hi-Flyer" self adhesive decal. I did add my son's initials to the fins using vinyl lettering then gave the rocket a light coat of clear enamel.
Construction Rating: 3 out of 5
Any Estes 18mm rocket motor is recommended for Hi-Flyer. First flight was on a B6-4. Wadding was used with a standard Estes igniter.
This flight CATOed. It corkscrewed in a wide arc immediately off the pad and hit the ground. Ejection happened at O altitude.
The second flight was on a B6-4. Again, the rocket also corkscrewed off the pad and flew downrange quite far and we lost sight of the model.
It took about a 1/2 hour to find the rocket, thanks to the rust paint job. The only distinguishing color was the orange streamer. We would not have found it otherwise.
Flight recovery for flight #2 was unseen, but the streamer was still crumpled and not fully deployed, due to the vinyl material Estes made the streamer out of. The rocket only sustained some scuffing on one fin. It is still flyable (although still probably has its stability issues).
Flight Rating: 2 out of 5
I can't give this kit an enthusiastic endorsement, mostly because of other reviews on this site suggest that this kit may be inherently unstable. I was attracted to this kit because of its advertised performance (flights to 1700 feet on a C6-5) and its price. As is, I plan to do a third flight on a C6-5 on a large field and then retire this rocket. A big con for this kit is the streamer deployment. My comment to Estes would be to abandon the vinyl (or rubbery plastic) streamer because they do not fully unfurl and perhaps do not supply enough drag on recovery.
Overall Rating: 2 out of 5