Ready-to-fly Rockets! What more Could You Ask For?

garyjm

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I'm not sure where to post this so I'm starting here. You can read my other posts and see that I just returned to rocketry after many years and currently have no facilities for building (that will come later this year I hope). To get started I have decided to try out some of the ready-to-fly rockets. So far, I have purchased the Estes SLS, Estes Saturn V, Estes Ghost Chaser, Launchpad Rockets Merica, Quest Falcon and Bright Hawk. None of these have flown yet but I hope to attend a SPAAR launch 9/3 where I will make my official re-entrance back into this sport.

I would love to hear from other people that have tried out ready-to-fly rockets and their experiences. Besides the companies I have mentioned, what other companies offer ready-to-fly rockets?

Thanks,
Gary in PA
 

smstachwick

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I'm not sure where to post this so I'm starting here. You can read my other posts and see that I just returned to rocketry after many years and currently have no facilities for building (that will come later this year I hope). To get started I have decided to try out some of the ready-to-fly rockets. So far, I have purchased the Estes SLS, Estes Saturn V, Estes Ghost Chaser, Launchpad Rockets Merica, Quest Falcon and Bright Hawk. None of these have flown yet but I hope to attend a SPAAR launch 9/3 where I will make my official re-entrance back into this sport.

I would love to hear from other people that have tried out ready-to-fly rockets and their experiences. Besides the companies I have mentioned, what other companies offer ready-to-fly rockets?

Thanks,
Gary in PA
Usually scale models of any difficulty will be underpowered. Big motors, short delays, low altitudes, sometimes marginal stability too. Often they work better as shelf display models.

Ready-to-fly (RTF) sport models usually fly better. I like the Estes Athena but there are many options. The Quest Falcon should perform pretty well.

An easy compromise between RTF and conventional kits might be the snap-together rockets offered by Estes, Discount Rocketry, and others. They offer snap-together construction for an assembly challenge but don’t require a collection of bonding agents and cutting tools.

Once you get up to speed with a workshop though, I encourage you to try some bona fide kits, especially old-fashioned ones that make extensive use of balsa construction instead of plastics. They tend to be altitude demons, even if they require more gentle thrust sometimes. Plastic ones encourage, sometimes even demand, higher thrust composites to get moving quickly but most should work OK on black powder.
 

Initiator001

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Usually scale models of any difficulty will be underpowered. Big motors, short delays, low altitudes, sometimes marginal stability too. Often they work better as shelf display models.

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What do you base that statement on?
Do you fly any 'scale' models?

When I was at AeroTech I worked on the IQSY Tomahawk, HV Arcas and Astrobee D models. We spent time making sure these models flew correctly with different motors and construction techniques.
John Boren at Estes is no different. He is responsible for most of the kit designs at Estes. He knows how to make a model fly correctly.

Please be careful when making such a blanket statement.
 

smstachwick

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What do you base that statement on?
Do you fly any 'scale' models?
Most of my familiarity is with the Estes line.

You are correct though, I am seeing a number of scale or partially scale designs in their catalog that recommend up to 7 seconds of delay.

Over in the AT catalog they were kind enough to supply me with, the Tomahawk is recommended for the G80-13T, which I have no idea how I missed. That partially scale Harpoon also recommends a D20-8W.

Although on the Estes side there are some “flying bricks” present that only recommend the shortest-delay motors for flights to 400 ft or less, those are in the minority. I don’t know how those colored my perception, maybe it was the discussion of the nose weights in the Estes Saturn Vs I was in a while back. Maybe the New Shepards turning loops had a part to play as well?

I can’t say that that egg on my face tastes great, but that’s my fault. Thanks for keeping me honest!😁
 

Antares JS

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This is my opinion and you can do you, but my experience with RTF models is that they are nowhere near as satisfying to fly as a rocket I actually built.

Welcome back to rocketry, regardless. Have fun in whatever way you want; it's a hobby.
 

dr wogz

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What do you base that statement on?
Do you fly any 'scale' models?
I would also add 'The Lunch Pad' rocket kits & plan packs. These were highly detailed, and true "builder's kits". They typically were BT-80 tubes with a 24mm mount, and lots of details (and some with big, forward fins + nose weight)

the Estes Sidewinder was notoriously bad; big fins to offset the forward canards, and also had angled fin slots to ensure it rotate during ascent. the AMRAM also, but not as bad. Look at the LOC 1" AMRAM, as its forward fins are teeny-tiny!

The Estes Patriot is one of my favorites, but the fins are oversized for 'true scale'.

Lots of 'downscales' have similar compromises to be flyable.. but that is to be expected to get a decent flying model!
 
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