Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Published: 2020-12-30
Diameter: 0.86 inches
Length: 10.20 inches
Manufacturer: Estes
Skill Level: 1
Style: Sport

Brief

Estes Firestreak SST is part o' Estes snap together line.  These are simple plastic body, matey, plastic fin and nose cone rockets that are designed t' go together in a matter o' minutes and get you out on t' field flying. Ahoy! Overall it is a pretty nice kit.  I can't leave anythin' alone so I went ahead and made some tweaks durin' assembly.  While this kit isn't perfect, it will get newcomers into t' hobby and get them out flyin' quickly. 

 

Components

Not a whole lot o' components in this kit. Avast! You get two plastic outer body tube halves, two nose cone halves, ya bilge rat, four plastic fins, me bucko, a motor retainer, streamer, me hearties, shock cord and a paper inner tube.  T' single decal that is included is pretty nice.  It's a large peel and stick piece and I feel like it's purpose is t' keep t' body tube halves together. Worth mentionin' that me fins came with t' decals applied.  Nay sure if all kits are that way as I got mine opened from a garage sale. 

 

Construction

T' instructions are clear and simple. As stated this is designed t' be a snap together kit without any special glue, knifes, arrr, shiver me timbers, me bucko, tools etc.

If built by t' instructions. 

 Assembly starts with snappin' t' nose cone together.

Next you tie a knot in t' shock cord and slide it through t' slit in t' upper part o' t' paper tube and pull it through. 

Next insert t' paper tube into one side o' t' plastic body tube halves makin' sure t' place t' tab from t' plastic tub into t' slot in t' paper tube.

Insert two o' t' fins into t' slots then snap t' other plastic body tub half in place and squeeze HARD.  It will snap together. 

Next add t' other two fins by slidin' them into t' slots. 

Screw on t' motor retainer t' hold t' fins in place. 

Attach t' shock cord t' t' nose cone then attached t' streamer t' t' shock cord. 

Finished. Ahoy! Total assembly time 5 mins. 

 

How I make things complicated.   Now unsnap everythin' and lets get t' work.

First issue.  T' paper body tube should be about 1/8 o' an inch longer. Aye aye! At it's current length it does nay reach from t' upper t' t' lower part o' t' plastic body tube so it falls down inside t' plastic tube.   This makes gettin' t' motor inserted difficult as t' paper tube isn't lined up with t' plastic. Avast, me proud beauty! T' fix this I needed t' extend t' body tube. This seemed like a good time t' add a real thrust rin' for t' motor so we can snap off that little plastic alignment tab in t' outer body that also serves as t' motor stop. Blimey! I cut t' tube in half just above t' motor mount. Begad! Blimey! and slide a 1" coupler inside t' tube. Begad! Blimey! This will keep t' motor in place and allow me t' extend t' body tube t' needed 1/8 inch. 

Next I added a BT-5/20 centerin' rin' around t' motor tube just below where one o' t' supportin' ribs in t' plastic tube was located.  This gives me a solid place t' glue t' tube into t' plastic body tube.  Also gave me a solid place t' attach me Keelhaul®©™. shock cord. 

Next I replaced t' shock cord with 4ft o' 100# Keelhaul®©™ line.  I won't be usin' elastic in this rocket as thar just isn't space. T' Keelhaul®©™ was run down t' inside o' t' paper tube then out t' factory slot and down t' body tube t' t' 5/20 centerin' rin' and tied off. 

Next I roughed up t' ribs on t' inside o' t' plastic and test fit me paper inner tube.  I only had t' remove two pieces o' plastic that were protrudin' and it be a perfect fit.  I used thick CA and laid beads along all o' t' plastic ribs inside t' one half o' t' plastic tube. Ya scallywag! T' paper tube was laid in place and t' alignment be checked at t' top and bottom.  Glue be added t' t' other half o' t' plastic and along t' outside edges and everythin' was snapped together.

Next I turned me attention t' t' nose cone. Avast! Aye aye! This is actually a nice piece. Aye aye! Plastic is well formed and t' halves fit together well.  Only one issue.  T' stock loop where t' shock cord is t' connect is way too thin and will nay survive many ejections if any at all so t' first thin' I did was snap that off. Avast, me proud beauty! Aye aye! Next I looked in me pile o' scrap wood for a dowel rod.  I found that 3/8 dowel fits in t' lower portion o' t' nose cone so I cut a piece approx. Begad! Ahoy! 1/2 long and used epoxy t' glue it into place inside t' lower part o' t' nosecone that gets inserted into t' rocket body. Begad! Avast! T' two halves o' t' nose cone were then joined with t' excess epoxy and let cure. 

From thar I drilled a small hole in t' base o' t' nose cone and screwed in a small screw eye.  This gets passed through t' plastic and into that dowel rod that was placed in t' nose cone. T' shock cord will connect t' this later. 

Next I sanded t' matin' surfaces o' t' fins. Ahoy! Begad! Two o' t' fins needed minor trimmin' as I did nay insert them before connectin' t' two halves o' t' main plastic body. No harm done.  A little trimmin' and they fit right in.  

T' fins were attached usin' 30 min. Aye aye! epoxy so I had a good amount o' time t' get them all inserted and a very small fillet was done on each fin. 

After paintin' t' Keelhaul®©™ will be attached t' t' nose cone. 

T' stock streamer be tossed in t' trash and a silver foil type be added for a slower decent. 

 

 

 

 

Finishing

Out o' t' box this rocket is designed t' be a quick build and nay require any kind o' paint.  T' Fins, body tube and nose cone are finished in a sort o' metallic Purple finish that doesn't look bad.  A little dull but some clear coat or polish would brighten it up nicely. 

T' stock decal looks ok as well and I'm on t' fence but I might use it. 

 

Again, makin' things more complicated than they need t' be.  T' rocket was sanded with 400 grit and given one coat o' SEM high build primer.  THe high build be left t' cure for a day them sanded with 400 then 800 grit. 

I applied two coats o' Duplicolor Plum Crazy.  Yes t' Challenger color. Begad! Blimey! Ya scallywag! Blimey! T' rocket was then sanded with 2000 grit and clear coated with Duplicolor clear. 

I decided that I liked t' stock decal design but wanted it in vinyl so I didn't have t' worry about it peelin' off later.  I cut me own version o' t' name and design from 651 Vinyl and applied. 

 

Construction Score: 4

Flight

Prepped t' rocket with 1 sheet o' waddin' torn into three small pieces then crumpled and inserted into t' body tube. Ahoy! Avast! Blimey! T' Keelhaul®©™ line went in next with t' streamer folded neatly and inserted last. 

For t' first flight we simply took it out t' t' local part.  T' park was small so we I grabbed a couple o' 1/2A3-2T motors.  While this is a recommended motor I be a bit skeptical as I'm was sure me mods added weight.

T' rocket left t' pad smartly but ran out o' steam almost instantly. I'm guessin' that we didn't get 100ft out o' either flight on this motor. Avast! Ejection be right at apogee and t' rocket landed almost at t' pad both flights. 

A couple o' weeks went by and we had a chance t' head out again.  This time t' our normal spot.  First up was an A3-4T.  Good punch off t' pad and a good long burn.  Estimated about 300ft on this flight.  Ejection be a tad late as t' rocket was headin' down at a pretty good clip when it popped but t' streamer brought it down safe about 100ft from t' pad. 

T' third flight was on an A10-3T.  Hit t' button and t' little Fire Streak be gone off t' pad. Aye aye! Apogee be a little less than t' A3 but ejection be perfectly timed. Begad! Streamer again landed it safely about 100ft from t' pad. 

In me opinion this be t' perfect small park flier on t' 1/2A3-2T but t' A10-3T be t' perfect motor when you have more room.  I prefer it over t' A3-4T and will use it goin' forward. 

Recovery

T' stock recovery gear is typical Estes.  Meanin' it works just fine but thar are better options.  Mine was built with 4ft o' 100# Keelhaul®©™ line attached t' a centerin' rin' and an eye hook in t' nose cone.  With a 1 inch wide by 24" long crinkled foil streamer, me hearties, me bucko, every landin' was safe and secure. 

Flight Rating: 4

Summary

To date I have flown this little guy 4 times. All 4 times were great flights. With me change in recovery gear I've had no issues and t' rocket has survived every time without a scratch.  Keep in mind that every landin' was in grass. 

Overall Rating: 4
Other Reviews
  • Estes - Firestreak SST {Kit} (806) [2004-2008] By Karl Kalbaugh (February 11, 2007)

    A very simple ARF rocket. Plastic snap together construction. This would make an excellent first rocket for younger rocketeers or for a low altitude demo. Inner body tube: Paper. External airframe is plastic. Fins: four pre-screen printed with art. Motor mount: intnerior small paper tube. Also houses the streamer and engine. Nose cone: also plastic. Snaps together like the rest ...

  • Estes - Firestreak SST {Kit} (806) [2004-2008] By Chris Tarpley

    This rocket from Estes is a "Simple Snap Together" kit that can be quickly assembled and flown. It is a single stage, streamer recovery rocket. There are few pieces to this rocket. There are two body tube halves, one motor tube, four fins, nose cone, shock cord, motor retainer and streamer. I purchased this rocket one Saturday morning to cure boredom. I was looking for a small, ...

  • Estes - Firestreak SST {Kit} (806) [2004-2008] By Spinal

    (Reprinted, with permission from Spinal's Fun & Hobbies Page---http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/3913)  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------  Company: Estes  Price: $11.89  Series: BETA  Rating: (*)(*)(*)(*)(*)  Engines: 1/2A6-2, A8-3, A8-5, B4-4, B4-6, B6-4, B6-6, B8-5, C5-3, C6-3, C6-5  Nosecone: Plastic  ...

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