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REV 2.4 - Wed Aug 10 18:48:48 2011

Custom Rockets
Venture
P.O. Box 1865
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86405
(800) 394-4114
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SPECS: 11.75" x .976" - 0.7 oz
ROCKSIM FILE: Right Click to Download
SpaceCAD FILE: MISSING - please submit here
REC'D MOTORS: 1/2A6-2, A8-3, B4-4, B6-4, C6-5, C6-7

Rating
(by Kenneth R. Johnson - 04/01/02)

Rocket PicBrief:
An entry level 3FNC rocket that tries hard to beat the Estes Alpha.

Construction:
Like the other Custom rocket kits I have built, the nose cone was excessively loose and had a lot of casting flash. And like the others, the parting line had a number of dimples and flaws that detract from the rocket if not remedied. Otherwise, the quality of components are quite good. For your money, you get real balsa fins, a good (but not great) 24mm tube, a nice looking set of decals, a plastic 12" parachute, and a very Estes-like short shock cord, a mylar launch lug, and an un-springy motor hook, all in a plastic bag. No surprises here. But when construction begins, it is very reminiscent of the old Estes Alpha before they started getting too plastic'ky.

Other than a couple of typographical errors, the instructions were well thought out and logical. A first time builder would have little trouble assembling this kit, but the nose cone would require a bit of tape to fit properly. Unlike some other Custom kits I've built, the balsa on this kit was excellent quality. An experienced modeler might immediately begin thinking "D power!" but I fought this temptation, and as it turned out, it was a wise move. More on this later.

Finishing:
To fix the loose and poorly finished nose cone, I slathered a bit of 90 minute epoxy on the outside from tip to shoulder, and set it aside to dry for a day or two. To aid in adhesion, I sanded the glassine coating off the aft end of the body tube, and attached the fins with white glue, along with the launch lug. Once everything was dry, I coated the entire tube and fins with a light coat of the same epoxy. To avoid zippering, I usually put a light coat of epoxy on the inside of the body tube, which really stiffens it a lot.

Once dry, I sanded the whole thing down with 120 grit sandpaper and used automotive gray primer, applying several thin coats. Allow each coat to dry completely before adding the next. Proper care will ensure a completely seamless finish, and will be darn near bulletproof as well.

I painted the whole thing in white enamel, followed by a bit of yellow and the decals. After drying a couple of days, the whole thing was covered in clear enamel. Looks are incredible! It's a bit hefty, though. You may want to lengthen the shock cord as I did. Mine is now a good half meter long.

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

Flight:
Custom advises launching this rocket with a 1/2A6-2 for the first flight. Baloney. You'll get a good indication of what the rocket can do by going with an A8-3 initially, which will give a decent altitude but not so high that you can't see the phases of flight. Makes a great demo rocket! With a C6-7, it'll nearly disappear. Prep for flight is completely no-hassle. There are no cons, IF you've fixed the nose cone. Otherwise, it may give you fits, because the nose was so wobbly it'd probably have an effect on flight, and possible drag induced separation could occur. Thought it would be cool to change to a 24mm motor, but that would have been overkill. As it is, an 18mm C is plenty.

Recovery:
Custom uses a pretty stiff plastic for the chute, and mine shredded. This was possibly due more to a "bonus" delay in the motor than anything, but it was discouraging. I solved the problem with a scratch built mylar chute. Still, this thing will take a wallop and survive!

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary:
If Custom could get a grip on quality control in the nose cone department, they'd have a real contender here. As it is, it'd make a great first or second rocket for a new rocketeer. I didn't really like this rocket all that much at first, but the more I worked on it, the more I found to like. It really is reminiscent of the old Alpha I built in 1970-something, and flies like it too. It is squarely one of my favorite low powered rockets.

Overall Rating: 4 ½ out of 5

[Submit your Opinion]

GUEST's OPINION:
09/04 - "I built this rocket awhile ago and always thought it was an estes. Well n e way, it was easy to build, and very good construction. Ive flew it many times on an A8-3 and its flown great every time. Cuite always opens, and had a nice soft landing. Great 1st rocket, and very fun." (D.A.D.)

GUEST's OPINION:
06/01 - "One word for the flight of this rocket, DISASTER!!! the first time I flew this it was a nice clear day. When it came over on apogee it nosed over and sped to the ground. When I came to the landing site (more like crash site) the rocket was a splattered mess of cardboard balsa and steaming rocket engine residue." (unknown)

[Enter Rocket Specific Tip]

SPECIFIC ROCKET TIP:
08/10 - "My daughter's Venture suffered stability problems with anything over an A motor. I finally pulled it out of the "rockets I'll get around to fixing" box and added some bb's and clay gradually until I got a successful swing test with C6-5. Total nosecone weight is 12g. Hope that helps." (TFS II )

SPECIFIC ROCKET TIP:
11/02 - "I recently built this kit, and the clear film that the water-slide decals were printed on was so thin that the decals "shattered" into slivers when I wet them. To prevent shattering, spray the entire decal sheet with a clear coat before cutting out the decals and let dry at least 24 hrs. Be sure to cut close to the decals outlines after clear coating, because otherwise you'll also be applying a lot of the clear film you sprayed on." (B.B. )

[Enter Flight Log]
Date Name Motor Ejection/
Altitude
Wind Notes
10-07-2000 William Beggs Est SU A8-3 Apogee - Perfect Calm Event: Bear Creek Lake Park, Lakewood, CO
- Great flight and recovery.
06-01-2003 William Beggs Est SU B6-4 Apogee - Perfect Calm - Great flight and recovery.
01-15-2005 William Beggs Est SU A8-3 Apogee - Perfect Calm Event: Bear Creek Lake Park, Lakewood, CO
- Perfect flight and recovery.
04-16-2007 William Beggs Est SU B6-4 Apogee - Perfect Calm Event: Mile-High Mayhem
- Perfect flight and recovery.
07-11-2009 John Bergsmith Est SU C6-5 Just Past (1-2sec) 5-10 mph winds RIP - Ripped off the pad, but weather cocked. Wind took it over some buildings and into the trees. HISTORY! Status: Tree/Roof
05-13-2001 Ken Kirkland Est SU B6-4 Apogee - Perfect Gusty - Nice maiden flight. Lost one shroud line, but recovered ok. First launch for my wife, and it hooked her.
05-26-2001 Ken Kirkland Est SU B6-4 None - Parachute Fail 10+ mph winds Bad News - Earned the nickname on this flight. 'Chute fused... shock cord broke... no damage? Will repair and try again someday.
06-02-2001 Ken Kirkland Est SU B6-4 Very Late 0-5 mph winds Bad News - Rocket left the launch pad and went nuts. It turned north and flew a curvy 200'(@ 20' high), began to curve earthward and ejected at about 5'
06-10-2001 Ken Kirkland Est SU A8-3 Just Before 0-5 mph winds Bad News - Lived up to the nickname. 'Chute failed, but it layed over on it's side and ROLLED down. Still no serious damage.
06-11-2001 Ken Kirkland Est SU A8-3 Just Before Calm Bad News - 'Chute didn't deploy again. Twirled down on it's axis. No damage.
07-04-2001 Ken Kirkland Est SU A8-3 Apogee - NC Up 5-10 mph winds Bad News - 7 deg angle into the wind. New mylar chute failed to open. No fusion... wishing this kit would self destruct.
07-04-2001 Ken Kirkland Est SU B6-4 Just Before 5-10 mph winds Bad News - No launch angle. Hiked 300 yards to recover... oh yeah... the chute FINALLY OPENED!!!!
12-17-2005 Mike Kiss Est SU A8-3 Apogee - Perfect 5-10 mph winds - Nice first flight for this rocket, used 9 inch nylon chute, landed about 100 ft from pad, no damage
12-17-2005 Mike Kiss Est SU B4-4 Apogee - Perfect 5-10 mph winds - Another good flight, landed about 100 yds from pad, no damage
12-17-2005 Mike Kiss Est SU C6-5 Apogee - Perfect 5-10 mph winds - Another good straight flight to about 1000 ft, nice flying little rocket, landed about 200 yds from pad, no damage
05-20-2006 Mike Kiss Est SU B6-4 Apogee - Perfect 5-10 mph winds - Good easy flight for this little rocket, landed about 100 yds from pad, no damage
08-09-2008 Mike Kiss J400 TF RED Apogee - NC Down
(2444 ft)
0-5 mph winds - Easy flight on thunderflame 6 grain red load. Everything worked perfectly. landed about 100 ft from pad.
05-14-2005 Hunter Lang Est SU C6-5 Just Past (1-2sec)
(1200 ft)
5-10 mph winds RIPEvent: Fun with Fins
Alice Carlson - The 1st Venture launch was bad because it came down without opening the chute. Today, a 2nd launch attempt resulted with the nose cone and body breaking apart at apogee. Chute and cone recovered. Status: Lost
04-19-2008 Joseph Olexa Est SU A8-3 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Nice stable flight. Ejected parachute but parachute failed to open because the paper hole reinforcements on the parachute stuck to the opposite edge of the parachute effectively taping the parachute closed, however it landed with no damage.
10-17-2009 Joseph Olexa Est SU A8-3 Apogee - Perfect 5-10 mph winds - Good flight with parachute ejection and soft landing. Great flight!
10-17-2010 Joseph Olexa Est SU A8-3 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds Flight PictureEvent: Monthly Launch
- Good straight flight with soft parachute landing about 35 feet from launch pad.
06-14-2005 Jim Rupp Est SU A8-3 Apogee - NC Up 10+ mph winds RIP - This rocket just cooked off the pad! Straight up all the way up, and ejected just as it started to arc over. Of course, the wind came whipping up across the short end of the field and blew the rocket 150 yards off onto a rooftop. Status: Tree/Roof
09-10-2010 Tom Seemeyer+II Est SU B6-4 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Finally good flight. See my note for nose weight added.
03-08-2002 Casey Smith Est SU 1/2A6-2 Apogee - Perfect 10+ mph winds RIP - Nice straight boost in the winds, drifted away into the trees, could not find it. Status: Lost
09-12-1999 Fred Taverni Est SU A8-3 Didn't Record 0-5 mph winds -
09-12-1999 Fred Taverni Est SU B6-6 Didn't Record 0-5 mph winds -
07-20-2002 Jim Wiggin Est SU A8-3 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Flew rocket at Bong State Park in WI. Rocket flew well to about 200 ft. recovery was perfect and was caught a few yards from the launch pad.
07-20-2002 Jim Wiggin Est SU A8-3 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Flew rocket at Bong State Park in WI. Rocket flew well to about 200 ft. recovery was perfect and was caught a few yards from the launch pad.
10-11-2002 Jim Wiggin Est SU A8-3 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Another picture perfect flight. Rocket arched very slightly and ejected the parachute right at the top of apogee. This is my wife's first real roacket, and it came out great. It is one of our favorites.

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