some small rockets

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Rob Fisher

Well-Known Member
Jan 23, 2004
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Heres a pic of 4 small fliers I picked up at hobby lobbys 1/2 off rocket sale a while back. Estes 220 swift, Quest pipsqueak, Estes firehawk & Estes bandito.
set the digital camera on close up to see if the pic would show more detail..........
I think the Bandito looks like a small version of Aerotechs Initiator!
Yeh lol , I was just thinking the same thing!
I went to the soccer fields to launch today, unfortunately there were 10,000 kids & screaming parents there. There was one field on the east end were no one was playing so I set up there. This field was at the end of the soccer complex and had a somewhat muddy large field seperated by a small drainage ditch next to it. The wind was blowing east so I aimed into it & my rockets came down in the adjoining field. I then went to launch the bandito on an A10-3T,-it didn't even go all that high but that darn 12" chute carried this thing for an eternity! It eventually came down on top of an industrial buildings roof-darn! Lost on her maiden flight-what would you call that a "Titanic"-oh well I got it for like $2 bucks & some change at H.L. 1/2 off sale. If you have a Bandit DO NOT USE THE 12" CHUTE!!!!!!!!!! this thing needs like a 6" chute! I'm sure if you put a streamer on it the thin plastic fins would break upon landing.
I recovered my Bandito just fine on a streamer. Well, it wasn't a perfect recovery (the shock cord got tangled), but there was no damage. The fins held up just fine.
I also have a Quest Pip Squeak, definately a nice little flier, especially if you have a lot of A8-3 or A8-5 motors to burn.

Mine, howver likes to break fins off. One broke off in flight about 500 feet up. I made and attached a new one and on the second attempt, another one broke off on touchdown:mad: The "Fin Shredder" would probably be an appropriate name for this one.
Originally posted by Donaldsrockets
Be eagle-eyed when you launch the Swift 220. I lost mine on the first flight and it looked nice too:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

I kind of thought I would try mine on a 1/4A just so I could recover it once. Still haven't had the chance.

I learned a bit of a lesson there once with a Mini Cobra 2 stager. A10-0 to A10-3. Gone! Got the booster back and just finished rebuilding the sustainer. I love the little guys.

Len Bryan
I learned a valuable lesson from my Squirrel Works NSL commemorative Spirit of Texas: Silver Mylar streamers are AWESOME for spotting those fast, lightweight rockets. Mine was truly a homing beacon when it ejected, and I was able to start chasing it down across the desert.

That's the motor that I flew mine on (1/4A3-3T) in an attempt for a successful recovery. I lost it because it flew into the sun and I never saw it come down and to make matters even worse, it landed in tall grass which basically squashed any chances of a recovery:mad: I am a rather persistant shmuck and I didn't give up easily but I wasn't able to find it:mad:

I bought another one but I haven't gotten around to painting it yet.
Too bad. Even on a 1/4? Wow.

It's not the cost of these rockets. It's time and effort. I mean it may be a little much but I airfoiled the fins, sealed mine and all that I would do on a bigger rocket. Now, I think I'll wait to launch it at the sod farm. Good recovery there. Also going to launch my Mach Buster there. Best chance of recovery.

Len Bryan
We are looking at adding a 6" and a 8" Mylar parachutes to our line of products. This looks like another place that they would work.

If you like small fast rockets you should look at our Blink family. They are all 13mm Min dia rockets. We named them the Blink Family because if you Blink you will mis them. You can get all 3 rockets at for $6.00.
Now, those are a lot of fun. I painted mine bright orange so that I could see them, especially Baby.

Get enough BT-20 and BT-50 body tubing and nose cones to make an upscaled trio that would fly on 18mm and 24mm motors.

Stick an E9-8 into a BT-50 Baby Blink and see how quickly that thing disappeared.
I have a squeak and knew the fins could be a problem so I put 2 massive fin fillets on each fin joint & have not had a problem with fins breaking loose at all. All I have ever launched it on are C motors. I have never lost site of it on C6-5's, but have lost site of it on C6-7's.
You guys need to try designing/modifying your rockets in one of two ways to avoid banging fin tips on the ground.

First, you can design with unswept fins (or shorter fins) that are slightly forward of the back end of the rocket. Let the motor case stick out and be the lowest point. That way, at touchdown, the expendable motor gets beaten up before the rocket flops over and lands on the fins.

Second, you can design with an EXTERNAL anchor point for the recovery system. You locate the anchor for the tether so that the rocket hangs sideways (with expended motor in place) under the streamer. You can even design so that one selected fin hangs low, and then build that one out of stronger materials. When the rocket hangs sideways, this adds a little drag and reduces the descent rate (this is an old SD competition technique). Most of the time the tether attachment can be through the leading edge of a fin root, and you reinforce with a drop of epoxy on both sides. The tether (kevlar? nylon? linen shroud-line-type string?) is run up the outside of the rocket and tucks under the NC for flight.
Good points, powderpurner.

However, in my opinion, for small/light rockets, fin joints breaking can be completely avoided by using stronger glue (like CA) and applying good, strong fillets.

I have several minimum diameter 18mm rockets that have never had a problem even with failed recovery deployment at high altitude (*oops!*). The mass of the rocket(s) is low enough that the fin breakage can/will be avoided with stronger attachment.

Just my 2 cents.