Estes Phantom after 11 flights

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smstachwick

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The Estes Phantom (product number 001207) is a clear plastic rocket intended for display only. It is perfectly flyable on 18mm motors, however.

This is what happens after a small number of flights, though, 11 in my case. The heat and pressure of ejection basically busted it open at several places close to the body tube/fin can joint.
F0B9B39A-C42B-4D24-A8F3-EF0790E8CBA9.jpeg

I know the matter of the Phantom’s airworthiness wasn’t a burning question (ba dum tsss!) for most people, but my curiosity was enough to get me to plunk down $40 for two kits, and I thought it would be interesting to share.

I originally only acquired that second kit to get another nose after losing one on flight #10, but with this more recent and more complete failure, I plan on using most of the parts to bring a Phantom to flying condition once again.

It appears that only the fin can, launch lug, and motor hook from the original airframe are currently useable, so I’ll leave it to the individual reader to decide whether it’s the same Phantom.

Once this one fails though, I’ll probably just get a Generic E2X or similar to fly 18mm. It seems silly to pay this much for a rocket that’s going to be toast (I like puns, can you tell?) within a dozen flights.
 
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samb

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If you insist on ruining a perfectly good teaching aid by flying it I can’t stop you. Adding a card stock liner before loading the wadding and parachute may extend the life a little.
 

smstachwick

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That’s an idea🤔

If nothing else, I’ve still got those little color-coded fake motors that they supply with it, so it won’t be a total loss as far as teachability goes. The kits are still in production, too, so if I find myself in a situation where I need one solely for display stand duty, it won’t be difficult to acquire. I could make it look a LOT nicer than the first one, too.
 

smstachwick

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I guess it's human nature to experiment:
Building A Clear Plastic Rocket | The Rocketry Forum
So I'm not going to flame you for trying but,
Holy Smokes, at least put a tube liner in there to catch the soot and flames.
Otherwise it will suffer from premature ejectile dysfunction.
😁
:clapping:

You know, I wish I had found that thread when I was trying to figure out why the Phantom was marked unflyable.

Unfortunately I was looking at it by the specific model name and all of the relevant results got buried by hits for the Estes Phantom Blue, which is a different model entirely and far more capable/popular.

That’s one reason I included the product number, to make these results more searchable.
 

BABAR

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It is perfectly flyable on 18mm motors, however.
methinks the term “perfectly flyable” is up for considerable debate. But since the point of the hobby is to safely have fun, and “clearly” you did, more power to you!
 

smstachwick

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methinks the term “perfectly flyable” is up for considerable debate. But since the point of the hobby is to safely have fun, and “clearly” you did, more power to you!
:bravo:

I chose to define “perfectly flyable” by the ability to accept a certified motor without modification, to be packed, ignited, flown, and recovered in safe fashion, and to be capable of at least one additional safe load/pack/ignite/fly/recover sequence.

The Phantom does all of those things, but you’re right, many, many other kits can do it a lot better.

Others may choose to define “perfectly flyable” differently, perhaps by adding requirements that the body tube not be warped from ejection, or by coming up with a minimum number of successful flights the airframe is theoretically capable of making without suffering major damage.
 

K'Tesh

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I don’t understand, can’t see the images too clearly on my tiny phone screen and Flickr isn’t cooperating when I want to zoom.

What happened? Did it discolor the tube or something?
It went from this... (far left) Before I used the wrong clear paint...

1634198152949.png


To this...

1634198210539.png


D'OH!!!
 
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