Estes Magician

Estes - Magician {Kit} (1943, 2440) [2010-]

Contributed by Philip Wentz

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Flight Rating: starstarstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Published: 2015-08-16
Diameter: 1.33 inches
Length: 33.50 inches
Manufacturer: Estes
Skill Level: 3
Style: Payload, Sport


The Estes Magician is a Skill Level 3 kit that features a clear payload section and is powered by C11, D and E engines. A tall rocket, it measures 33 1/2 inches from end to end.


The kit has a main body tube topped by a narrower payload section. Components are as follows:

  • 1 NC-50 ogive plastic nosecone
  • 1 BT-50 payload section
  • 1 BT-50 to BT-55 balsa transition
  • 1 BT-55 body tube
  • 3 balsa fins
  • Engine mount components
  • Shock cord and 18" parachute


Although it is rated at level 3, I found the build to be fairly simple and would set it one level below. The fins went on fine with the use of an alignment guide and there were no issues with the transition. The only modification I made was to replace the nosecone with a conical one salvaged from my old Sky Writer and to flip the fins for a more traditional look.


Instead of the "stock" white paint job and decal for the body, I chose to go with flat black. The transition and nosecone, however, stayed silver.


Construction Score: 5


Although I have a large school field nearby, I normally use C11 engines rather than Ds to power my larger rockets, just to be on the safe side. I chose a C11-3 for the Magician's initial flight and loaded it with a small LED keychain light that fit perfectly into the payload.

While the wind was up a bit on the afternoon of the launch I decided not to angle the rod, thinking that to do so may cause the rocket to undershoot the field after it angled due to weathercocking. Unfortunately, the Magician streaked off the pad and headed straight up without so much as a slight tilt into the wind. 


The parachute deployed fine, but the rocked had not arced a bit and the wind moved it along rapidly. While still fairly high up it cleared the east border of the field, floated over the highway and descended into a large forested area. As this location is not easy to access, no attempt at recovery was made.

Flight Rating: 2


My feelings about the Magician are mixed. Although this rocket is long, it is a pretty lightweight craft and a 24mm engine will push it very far. While the bigger engine size may compensate for the weight that a payload can add, one must be mindful when launching lighter objects. You also have to wonder if this added power is necessary since the payload bay is rather small. I had intended to use it specifically with the (very light) LED aboard, but in hindsight this may have been frustrating. Given the distance it traveled, I can picture myself having quite a time that tracking it in the dark. I do wish I had turned on the light, as I may have at least been able to see it in the trees when passing by at night!

Although I realize the wind played a part in the loss of the rocket, I believe the parachute should be smaller or have a spill hole cut into the top of the one provided (once again this depends upon how heavy a load you are launching). Even with a lack of wind a large chute may lead to significant drift - something I experienced with the first launch of a scratchbuilt craft that weighed about the same as the Magician. While there was no wind that day, the rocket hung in the air for an unnervingly long time. And who's to say when a freak breeze will spring up?

If you have the room, however, the Magician is a nice craft that builds up easy and looks good.

Overall Rating: 4
Other Reviews
  • Estes Magician By Evan (July 15, 2011)

    The Magician is a typicial Estes rocket with D and E engine power. Some of the parrts had to be sanded down to fit. The only problem was the coupler and the main body tube and lower body tube was a very tight fit and was hard to push down. All the parts were good the balsa fins were excellent.  Components Engine mount tube Engine hook Green centering rings Engine ...

  • Cliff's Review of Estes Magician #2240 By woody (April 23, 2011)

    The Estes Magician is a Skill Level 3, three-finned 24mm rocket with a small playload scection. At 33 inches tall, it is said to fly to 1600 feet. Components The components in this kit are of good quality as Estes has been doing this for years. The parts consist of the basic balsa wood nose cone, transition, laser-cut fins and, as bonus, a neat fin guide tool you assemble to ...



Steve Lindeman (January 2, 2016)

I just received this kit for Christmas 2015 and the main card is stamped  12/03/14 making this kit about a year old but upon examination I discovered that both nose cone and transducer are now made of plastic rather than balsa wood. Will make finishing much easier.

Adrian Rosas (January 22, 2018)

Great review.  Thank you!

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