Top 5 most desired low power rockets?

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

mbeels

Yes balsa
TRF Supporter
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
2,095
Reaction score
971
Mine were (all from the 1991 catalog):

Magnum
Optima
S.W.A.T.
SR-71 Blackbird
Titan IIIE
 

DHos

New Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
2
Alpha - Makes a great 'my first rocket' kit
Alpha - Makes a great 'teach about the importance of balance and precision in your builds'
Alpha - Makes a great patriotic rocket for display
Alpha - Can take any standard engine and is a great speedy little rocket
Alpha - Its just awesome!
 

Culprit

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jun 26, 2015
Messages
102
Reaction score
62
Because everyone has them
That sounds like justification for a top 5 placement to me.

I don't think everyone has them because they didn't desire them at one point. :)
 

EvryThngIsAOk

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
Messages
128
Reaction score
30
Wow that’s a question that leaves way to many question. Best Flying? Best Looking? Best selling? Best to build?

so I will just give my short my short list of my favorites from back in the day till yesterday

1. Estes Master series Mercury Atlas
2. Centuri Mercury Redstone
3. Estes USS Atlantis
4. Centuri Buck Rogers starfighter
5. Estes Starfighter Combo
(Torelian Invader/Orion Stargighter
5 Tie GOBLIN
 

MarkB.

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
20
Reaction score
9
I'll take a crack at it based on the good flyer/everybody wants to check it out at a group launch:

1. Estes Big Bertha
2. Estes/Semroc Mars Lander
3. Estes BT-80 size V-2
4. Centuri/Estes Saturn Ib
5. Estes Sandhawk (personal favorite)
 

Nytrunner

Pop lugs, not drugs
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
6,694
Reaction score
2,108
Location
Huntsville AL
That sounds like justification for a top 5 placement to me.

I don't think everyone has them because they didn't desire them at one point. :)
For me, ubiquitous doesn't necessarily equate desirable.

Coming into rocketry outside the normal paths, I saw nothing particularly special or attractive about either alpha or bertha.
As I learned the hobby, I often heard the phrases "Everyone should have an alpha" or "You've just got to get a bertha". When asked "why?" I never got an answer that couldn't be applied to a dozen other rockets (other than sentiment).

In fact the best thing about reading this thread is how many different rockets there are in people's lists! The true beauty of rocketry is that there's so many different flavors of it, and different people like different things.
 

AstroArlo

Active Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2020
Messages
30
Reaction score
34
Estes Cobra - 3 engine cluster, simple but elegant, noisy and smoky to fly on C6-5's
Estes Defender - Another 3 engine cluster, resembles a Saturn 1B
Estes Cherokee D - nice looking, awesome flights - so high and fast, lost 1, almost another
Estes Strike Fighter - Awesome looking futuristic model
Far side X - 3 stage simple rocket, but challenging to fly, flies REAL high

Other Favorites:
Estes Mars Lander - unique, futuristic, takes off slow
Estes Orbital Transport - neat looking futuristic, glider flight was long and fun
Estes Interceptor - Futuristic
Estes Saturn 1B - big and challenging to build

I'm a BAR. I've built the first 4 from online plans. First 3 have flown, I'm currently finishing a 2x upscale of the Strike Fighter. Still need to attach the canopy and finish the paint job and my own printed decals..

I knew the Interceptor E was going out of production, so snagged one 5 years ago. Since I now have a lot of time on my hands (thank you China...), I'm going to start on it soon.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Wally Ferrer

SRE
TRF Supporter
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
648
Reaction score
677
Location
Manassas, VA
Orbital Transport
Scrambler
Astron Sprite
Gyroc
Black Widow

All are available, at least as retro-repro's from Semroc. The exception is the Black Widow, my first two-stage rocket, with a glide recovery for the booster. Spent way too much time trimming the booster glide, it actually flew well in a relatively flat glide, slow circle- I remember it so vividly. Used C engines for that first and only flight, after the booster landed nearby, I watched the sustainer float away, it appeared to be gaining altitude as it disappeared drifting away, eastward towards Peoria.
 

kuririn

BARGeezer
TRF Supporter
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
4,455
Reaction score
1,976
Location
Hawaii
1. Apogee Flying Machine
2. Fliskits Borealis
3. Dynastar Firefox
4. Fliskits Acme Spitfire
5. Shrox Skonk Wulf

My tastes run towards the exotic.
 

mikeyd

Old Rocketeer
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
758
Reaction score
22
1. Citation Gliding Bomarc
2. Trident
3. Sky Winder
4. MPC MoonGo
5. FarsideX
 

Culprit

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jun 26, 2015
Messages
102
Reaction score
62
For me, ubiquitous doesn't necessarily equate desirable.

Coming into rocketry outside the normal paths, I saw nothing particularly special or attractive about either alpha or bertha.
As I learned the hobby, I often heard the phrases "Everyone should have an alpha" or "You've just got to get a bertha". When asked "why?" I never got an answer that couldn't be applied to a dozen other rockets (other than sentiment).

In fact the best thing about reading this thread is how many different rockets there are in people's lists! The true beauty of rocketry is that there's so many different flavors of it, and different people like different things.
I agree with you very much. Personally, and don't kick me off TRF for this, I've never owned an Alpha or a Bertha either. LOL!

My list is formed by the memories of them as a kid and would probably, in no particular order, be:

Estes Mercury Redstone: my largest and most complex build as a kid. Actually did a photo-essay of the build and first launch for a school project. Had to take the film to a one-hour place in the mall to get it done and turned in on time because I wouldn't turn it in without launch pictures in the report.
Estes Clipper #1979: my first two stage, and the best paint job I ever achieved as a kid
Estes Hercules #1377: my first rocket with a payload bay - and a clear one at that. Also my second 2 stage rocket.
Estes Discovery Starter Set #1440: my first rocket and launcher as a kid - what got me hooked. Also my first experience learning about nose weight, weather-cocking, and rebuilding after a crash.
And number 5: the Phoenix - the one I always drooled over in the catalog as a kid and never bought. I actually ordered the 4" Madcow version last night in their sale! To say that I'm happy right now is an understatement!
 

neil_w

Hunkered down and slowly going crazy
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 14, 2015
Messages
9,085
Reaction score
2,410
Location
Northern NJ
For me, ubiquitous doesn't necessarily equate desirable.

Coming into rocketry outside the normal paths, I saw nothing particularly special or attractive about either alpha or bertha.
As I learned the hobby, I often heard the phrases "Everyone should have an alpha" or "You've just got to get a bertha". When asked "why?" I never got an answer that couldn't be applied to a dozen other rockets (other than sentiment).

In fact the best thing about reading this thread is how many different rockets there are in people's lists! The true beauty of rocketry is that there's so many different flavors of it, and different people like different things.
I can't like this enough times.

These threads always become "my favorite rockets" in which almost every rocket ever produced gets mentioned at least once.

A more interesting variant would be: "top most desired rockets that I haven't yet purchased", and why.
 

CKaul04

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
53
Reaction score
14
Y'all going to think I'm crazy but
1. Estes V2
2.Estes Protostar
3. Fliskits Decafinator
4. Odd'l F-16 Fighter Fleet
5(a)Estes Honest John
5(b)Estes Nike X
5(c)Rocketerium KSR-420S

I don't have an addiction, it's more of an obsession!
 

BABAR

Builds Rockets for NASA
TRF Lifetime Supporter
TRF Supporter
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
5,947
Reaction score
1,328
Orbital Transport
Scrambler
Astron Sprite
Gyroc
Black Widow

All are available, at least as retro-repro's from Semroc. The exception is the Black Widow, my first two-stage rocket, with a glide recovery for the booster. Spent way too much time trimming the booster glide, it actually flew well in a relatively flat glide, slow circle- I remember it so vividly. Used C engines for that first and only flight, after the booster landed nearby, I watched the sustainer float away, it appeared to be gaining altitude as it disappeared drifting away, eastward towards Peoria.
Did your black widow booster have much of a glide?
 

AfterBurners

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 8, 2012
Messages
7,456
Reaction score
333
Location
Dallas Texas
Currently available (aka from Estes, and a few surviving others), or ever?

If currently available, then my list leans towards absurdly complicated and exotically finned:
If out of production (aka on eBay):
Thanks for the links. I signed the form on ESTES site to bring back the S1B. Now more people need to go there and add there name too!
 

Ez2cDave

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
3,611
Reaction score
923
Astron Ranger ( Essentially, a 3-motor cluster Big Bertha, with a Payload Section )
Astron Scrambler ( 3 motor cluster )
Astron Farside-X
Sandhawk
Astron Nighthawk
 

Wally Ferrer

SRE
TRF Supporter
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
648
Reaction score
677
Location
Manassas, VA
Did your black widow booster have much of a glide?
As posted: "Spent way too much time trimming the booster glide, it actually flew well in a relatively flat glide, slow circle- I remember it so vividly."

Yes it flew very well. I always intended to rebuild that one, but never did. The plan is available, I just might get around to it one day.
 

Ez2cDave

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
3,611
Reaction score
923

mjennings

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
1,553
Reaction score
7
Rokitflite's Odyssey
Fliskits Dueces Wild
Dr. Zooch Space Shuttle
Estes Gemini DC
Fliskits Frick'n'Frak
Runner up Custom's Razor or Stealth Interceptor.
Chosen by a general these are fun to fly and or look cool factor
 

prfesser

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 7, 2017
Messages
1,168
Reaction score
1,002
Location
Murray, KY
Alpha
Saturn V
Interceptor
Interceptor E
Interceptor G

I know, the last two aren't strictly low-power. But for me they're among the most desired. Got the Interceptor and Interceptor G; someday I'll get the E.
 

DWonders

Active Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
26
Reaction score
2
A little late to the party but my favorites when I was a kid.

Estes SPEV
Interceptor
Orbital Transport
Centuri Orion
Estes Bandit (K-48)
 

gldknght

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
867
Reaction score
154
Location
The Edge of Nowhere
Definitely a sharp rocket !!! Thanks for your response.

Post a picture when you finish that one if you think of it.

as far as high power I had fun building the apogee zephyr really solid build by apogee Components
+1 for the Zephyr, currently a work in progress for me, ready to start the external fin fillets, then ready for the paint process.
 
Last edited:

Philip Tiberius D.

Old Fashioned 2.5oz Rye/H2O 8 drops Orange Bitters
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
109
Reaction score
41
Location
Bixby, OK
+1 for the Zephyr, currently a work in progress for me, ready to start the external fin fillets, then ready for the paint process.
+1 for the Zephyr, I built one - Called it Steve McQueen - it’s final video is on FB CATO page. I still have the nose cone - bought another one and it’s in my build pile.
 

Latest posts

Top