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Estes Xtreme Build Thread

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Spitfire222

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I picked up two of these kits from AC Supply, and I figured I'd do a quick build thread for this new rocket so others can see what the kit is like. There's nothing too special about this kit, it's basically a Hi-Flier, but for once I'm going to (mostly) build this one stock! I'll probably replace the cardboard fins with wood ones on the second kit, since I'm not a fan of that material for fins. In any case, my local LPR field is quite small, so it's not like I'm going to be going for max altitude with this one, as I prefer to recover my rockets. For now, enjoy the build, and thanks for viewing.

I'm not sure why I'm more attracted to this rocket than the Hi-Flier. Maybe it's because it reminds me of my old Ninja from my childhood rocketry days, or maybe just because it's a new rocket. The nosecone is molded in black, the streamer is a wide foil type (not the orange plastic type in other similarly-sized estes kits), and the decals are self-adhesive (booo). As on the Hi-Flier, the engine hook and hook ring are located on the outside of the body tube. I kind of hate this, and wonder why friction fit is not employed here, like the Yankee, Wizard, etc. If anyone has any good reason not to try friction fit, I'll probably do that one kit #2: it's way cleaner, and tiny bit lighter.

The body tube is very nice. There are spirals, but they are so small that I decided it's not worth it to go through the effort of filling them.
 

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Spitfire222

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As always, I began with the nosecone. Usually, I would sand it down and apply filler putty to clean up the mold seam. But in this case, I'm not going to bother with seam filling. I am still going to sand it though, to promote paint adhesion. While the cone is molded in black already, this rocket really needs a nice gloss, jet black finish. So I scuffed up the nosecone a bit, taped off the shoulder, dug through my paint stash to find the Krylon Gloss Black, and but on a few coats. That's it for the nosecone, it will have plenty of time to dry until it's needed for final assembly.

I made a copy of the fin guide and tri-fold shock cord mount, since I prefer not to cut-up the instruction sheet. I marked off the tube, making sure to place the slot in the body tube for the engine hook in between fins. I used a piece of aluminum angle stock to mark off lines for fin placement. Next, I marked off the yellow motor tube, as well as a scrap piece of balsa to apply glue inside the tube. The green engine ring has to be pushed just past the slot for the engine hook, so technically you don't need to mark the yellow tube, can you simply eyeball it through the slot, whish is what I ended up doing.

Once the green motor ring was in, I placed the engine hook in place, measured and marked 3/4" of an inch up from the bottom of the body tube, and then slid the hook retaining ring down from the top. After applying some Titebond on the mark, I slid the ring over with a twisting motion to smear the glue all over the inside of it. I also used one of the fins to ensure the ring was in the correct spot, as the fins have clearance slots on their root edges for this ring. After cleaning and wiping off any excess glue with denatured alcohol, everything was set aside to dry.
 

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Spitfire222

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As per my usual, I created a fin guide using a PayloadBay.com template, glued it to some foamboard, and cut out the rocket profile. It may seem like overkill for a rocket like this, but I've gotten into the habit of using a fin guide on all of my rockets using this method. It's so simple that it only takes a few minutes, and it makes attaching the fins a practically no-thought exercise. After all of the fins were glued on (using Titebond Quick & Thick), I pulled off the guide and set the rocket to dry. I pulled the streamer out of its individual bag, and attached some clips to pull it taught overnight to straighten it out. Next steps are to apply some rudimentary fillets, and glue on the launch lug.
 

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BABAR

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I’ve always thought the high flier looked like kind of a fat Rocket with fins which were way over sized. This has a much slicker look which I like better than the high flier. I will be interested to see if the cardboard fins hold up. They certainly should be easier to finish than the balsa.
 

Spitfire222

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I’ve always thought the high flier looked like kind of a fat Rocket with fins which were way over sized. This has a much slicker look which I like better than the high flier. I will be interested to see if the cardboard fins hold up. They certainly should be easier to finish than the balsa.
I agree about the nosecones, the conical one on this rocket seems more appropriate for this rocket's intended mission. We'll see about the fins. I recall my old Ninja's fins would get dinged up, but I lost it in a forest long before it got worn out. Definitely not missing balsa grain filling though!

Continuing the Xtreme build, I marked off 2 inches up from the bottom of the tube to locate the launch lug. I ran some glue fillets on all three fins, and then added the launch lug, which is located along the root of one of the fins. Since the Quick & Thick dries so quickly, I was able to run a small fillet on the launch lug after only a few minutes. After drying for a few hours, I went ahead and put a coat of filler primer on the entire rocket. Tomorrow, I'll lightly sand everything, and then spray the black base coat.
 

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Spitfire222

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I was able to go ahead and spray the gloss black before taking a pause for the holidays. Fortunately, this allowed the paint to fully cure before finishing the rocket. I cut a decently long length of elastic cord to replace the short amount of rubber provided with the kit and glued it into the standard Estes tri-fold mount that I made a copy of earlier. I prefer to place the elastic at an angle so that it doesn't overlap when it's folded, keeping the thickness at a minimum. The shock cord was attached to the nosecone, the streamer was taped to the shock cord, and the self-adhesive decals were applied. The last step was to add a small piece of electrical tape to the nosecone shoulder to increase the tightness of the fit just a little. I'll clear-coat the rocket whenever the weather conditions (temperature and humidity) are conducive to spraying.

That pretty much wraps up this build. Nothing special, but I thought some people may be interested to see this brand new Estes kit and its contents. First flight will likely be on an A8-3, and that will likely be the motor I use in this rocket when launching from my local LPR field. I might take it to a club launch and stretch its legs on a B and C if I'm feeling brave enough!

Thanks for following along.
 

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Spitfire222

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This afternoon, I was able to make a quick run to my local launching site to get some flights in while conditions were good. And by "conditions", I mostly mean the 3-month-old was well looked after. In addition to first flight on the Xtreme, I was also able to maiden my Estes Olympus and Estes Vapor, and they all flew wonderfully.

I only got one flight in on the Xtreme, using an A8-3. There was essentially no wind, so boost was straight up, and indeed nice and high. I think it went a bit higher than a comparable Wizard or Yankee on the same motor. Unfortunately, the streamer was prevented from unfurling by the shock cord, so the rocket came down by "tumble" recovery. Descent was slow enough with the rocket falling on its side, and it landed on soft grass, so no damage whatsoever. I'll practice my streamer packing skills, and try again soon.

Here is the video of the flight:
Estes Xtreme A8-3
 

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Swany

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Thanks for posting this build thread. I just finished my Xtreme and like you said, it’s a fairly simple yet cool looking rocket ! The only mod I made was to attach a Kevlar leader to the thrust ring and the elastic to the Kevlar so I didn’t have to use the Estes “teabag”shock cord mount. I’ve found that on these small diameter body tubes, parachutes and streamers can easily get hung up on the mount and not deploy. Other than that, it looked like a great flight !
 
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Spitfire222

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Thanks for posting this build thread. I just finished my Xtreme and like you said, it’s a fairly simple yet cool looking rocket ! The only mod I made was to attach a Kevlar leader to the thrust ring and the elastic to the Kevlar so I didn’t have to use the Estes “teabag”shock cord mount. I’ve found that on these small diameter body tubes, parachutes and streamers can easily get hung up on the mount and not deploy. Other than that, it looked like a great flight !
I used a long length of elastic cord, and indeed I have a bit of difficulty packing it into the body tube. I'll most likely use Kevlar like you did on my second one. Hope you have good flights with yours!

looked like a nice flight
I flew it again on another A8-3 the other day, and this time the streamer deployed successfully. Time to try some larger motors!
 

BABAR

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Wow, nice flight for an A motor.

Congrats!
 
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