- Jul 29, 2021
- Reaction score
- Poway, CA
We did the launch a couple days ago, and it went quite well. There were 19 kids there with their rockets (12 troop members and a few siblings & friends). The Estes Generic E2X flies very nicely on A8-3 engines: high enough to be impressive, but not so high that there was any real risk of losing rockets. One of girl's older brother had built one of the "extra" kits and decided he really wanted to see how high it would go (acknowledging that it might get lost) and we lauched it with a C6-5. OpenRocket says it should hit 1300ft on that engine, and it very well could have. I lost sight of it completely, but the kids spotted it when the chute deployed and chased it down about 1000ft downwind where it landed safely.
We did 40-50 launches, and there was only one deployment failure of an E2X. The nose cone popped off but the engine ejected without ejecting the chute, so it did a "lawn dart" landing with the nosecone flapping in the wind beside the body tube. The engine hook looked fine during the post-mortem examination so I'm a bit baffled as to what happened.
I had bashed the kits a bit and instead of the Estes tri-fold shock cord mount, we had 12" of kevlar string anchored around the top end of the engine mount tube. I'm 100% convinced that improves chute deployment odds.
We also launched an Estes Der Red Max belonging to a brother of one of the girls. That chute got singed and didn't open completely — it's hard to get enough wadding into those wide body tubes — and it popped a fin on landing. It had already been launched quite a few times, and it looked like the engine mount was pulling loose on one side, so I recommended retirement for it.
We also launched three scratch-built rockets my niece's kids built from some thin-walled 1" ID plastic tubes (PVC, I think) they found around the house. My brother turned some balsa nose-cones for those, and they made fins out of 4.5mm plywood their dad had laying around. I helped them put in engine mounts/blocks/retainers, shock cords, and launch lugs. They were pretty heavy by LPR standards. Two of them launched at about 6oz (including C11-3 engines), and the smaller one went up at about 3.4oz with a B6-4.
Here's a slow-motion video one of the kids took of one of the scratch-built rockets launching with a C11-3 (you can see two of the girls' Generic E2X rockets on the sawhorse launchpads next to the tripod launchpad.
I’ve been considering leading a group build and launch with the E2X, it’s encouraging to hear that it’s a solid kit.