Diameter: 1.64 inches
Length: 79.00 inches
Manufacturer: Estes
Skill Level: 2
Style: Sport
(Contributed - by Jim Zamecnik)

Modified for use with the PerfectFlite microAlt 4600 dual deployment altimeter. Added a 6" long altimeter bay and a 12" long forward main chute bay to the lower half of the Mean Machine. (new section made from recycled tubes and couplers from a SuperNova Payloader)

The lower half is a stock Mean Machine (a bit shorter due to a crash). Nose cone is also the standard Mean Machine cone. The altimeter bay is made from the 6" section of tube, bulkheads glued into couplers, couplers fasten to tube with nylon screws/nuts for access to altimeter. Screw eye and ejection charge terminals mounted to each bulkhead. Holes for altimeter sampling drilled in tube per altimeter instructions. the 12" tube becomes the forward chute bay, fastened to the top coupler with nylon screws/nuts for ejection charge access. (nylon nuts are epoxied inside couplers; lube threads first with RMS grease to keep epoxy from sticking).

Mean Machine - lower half (33.5"), and nose cone. From SuperNova Payloader kit: 6" and 12" sections of tube, coupler. other parts: 3" BT-60 coupler, two 0.25" plywood bulkheads, screw eyes, 0.25" shock cord, 6 nylon screws/nuts, misc. wire and connectors for altimeter hookup.

Loaded with the altimeter, battery, and chutes made the weight too much for Estes D12 motors. First flight was on an Aerotech E18-7 RMS, and it went perfectly. Dead-straight boost, 12" chute ejected at apogee (880' per the altimeter), 20" main chute deployed at 300', and recovery 100' from pad. I hope to fly it on an F24-7 motor at the 2/25 CATO launch; see my flight logs for future flights.

I sort of tossed this together as a quick way to try out my new altimeter. But it worked out pretty well, and it should be fun to fly dual deployment flights on small fields with. It seems to fly as straight and true as the stock Mean Machine did.

Other Reviews
  • Estes - Mean Machine {Kit} (1295) [1978-1998, 2007-2013, 2018-] By John Gordon

    Brief: This is a tallllll single stage, 24mm rocket with a 24 inch parachute. There are four (4) body tubes, a standard 24mm motor mount, four (4) balsa fins and a plastic nose-cone. I deviated from the standard paper shock cord mount. I bought this kit and let it sit in a closet for about 4 years. Went to my first HPR launch and got the bug again. The instructions were simple, but I ...

  • Estes - Mean Machine {Kit} (1295) [1978-1998, 2007-2013, 2018-] By David Austerberry

    This is a classic Estes kit that has been in production for quite some time. It is a single staged rocket with a large length to width ratio and the launches are impressive for a low power kit. The long airframe is built by coupling four standard BT-60 body tubes. The kit comes with four die-cut balsa fins and two cardboard centering rings. Recovery is done with a 3/16" shock cord nearly 3 ...

  • Estes - Mean Machine {Kit} (1295) [1978-1998, 2007-2013, 2018-] By Jordan Hiller

    (by Jordan Hiller) The most attractive thing about the Estes Mean Machine is its size. While it's only a BT-55 body tube, the rocket is about 6 ½ feet long! Building is quite simple, since this is just a very long 3FNC model. The instructions are straightforward, and the only tools you really need are the ones you need for every other rocket (sandpaper, hobby knife, glue, etc.) ...

  • Estes - Mean Machine {Kit} (1295) [1978-1998, 2007-2013, 2018-] By Scott Danielson

      Construction: Rating: 4 out of 5 points This is a great 1st D engine kit. It's over 6 feet tall. The overall construction was a snap. This kit was pretty simple to build. Just take your time when gluing the coupler and body tubes together. THEY HAVE TO BE ALIGNED PERFECTLY! The couplers were EXTREMELY hard to fit in the body tubes, and because of this my tubes are kind of bent. ...


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