Estes Super Big Bertha

Estes - Super Big Bertha {Kit} (2018) [1989-1993,2000]

Contributed by Darren Wright

Diameter: 2.60 inches
Length: 36.50 inches
Manufacturer: Estes
Style: Sport


Rocket PicBrief:
Estes' re-release of the upscale Big Bertha.

Converted to fly on dual-24mm motors and changed the upper body-tube into a payload section.

The kit includes:

  • Two (2) standard Estes BT-80 tubes
  • Four (4) upscale Big Bertha 3/16" Balsa Fins
  • A 24mm mount
  • Paper centering rings
  • A NC-80 nose cone
  • An Estes 18" parachute
  • An Estes standard chute mount

Kit Pic

I built the kit without directions, but Estes has always done a great job with their directions. I wanted to include a payload section, and while I was rummaging around for an extra BT-80 section, I came across some dual 24mm mounts for BT-80 tubing. (And a big GRIN came over my face!) I figured with the payload plus an altimeter, the dual would be needed (Yeah right!)


I built the kit using West Systems epoxy with Silica filler throughout, really slopping it on near the motor mounts. Since I was butt mounting the fins, I use the old epoxy rivet trick. I punched holes with a pin along the fin lines, and squish the fins on there, forcing epoxy into the holes and making "rivets". I have long since invested in an Estes fin holder, so the alignment is quite good. This kit is about as strong as an Estes kit can be. I expect it to fly fine on dual E15's or E30's.

I have not finished it yet, but it will follow suit with all other Estes products.

Dual MotorsFlight:
The recommended motor is a D12-5. I doubled up and use two D12-5's. Both ignited, and the flight was nominal. Both motors were successfully held in by the dual hooks.

I then used two E11-5J's What a great flight! Nice and slow with a lot of smoke! Chute protection is via wadding. No problems encountered there.

The 'chute is now too small, and the rocket comes down too fast. But I like it that way, and the rocket can handle it. I'd rather break a fin, than loose the whole rocket. But with the epoxy construction, the rocket was fine.

I'm really glad Estes has re-released some of the old-timers. It's typical Estes, but great for nostalgia.

Other Reviews
  • Estes Super Big Bertha By Michael Doherty

    The Estes Super Big Bertha is an upscale version of the immensely popular Big Bertha kit. It is based on a BT-80, and has a 24mm motor mount to accommodate the recommended D12-5 engine. Recovery is via a 24 in parachute. The kit contains 2 sections of BT-80, die-cut fins on 3/16th balsa, parachute, plastic nose cone, a long stuffer tube, chute, centering rings, engine hook, and a very narrow ...

  • Estes Super Big Bertha By Mike Goss

    Intro: The Super Big Bertha is a re-release of the Classic Super Big bertha that Estes produced in 1989. This is an upscale of the venerable Big Bertha, one of the most popular Estes rockets. Rating: 4 ½ The Super Big Bertha comes in a cardboard box that helps to protect the components very well. None of the parts were missing, and all were in good condition. The materials are the ...


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