(Contributed - by Bill Eichelberger - 08/10/02)
The Cosmic Cobra is a combination parachute/helicopter recovery rocket. The
nose cone ejects and returns via a rubber band actuated, 3 blade rotor system
while the rest of the rocket returns by the more conventional parachute method.
While the Cosmic Cobra model itself is new, the idea isnt, having been
done previously by the Estes Heliocopter and HeliCat.
In true E2X fashion, the Cosmic Cobra kit isnt overly laden with parts.
The fin unit is plastic with forward swept fins. The motor mount is actually
molded into the fin unit and has a plastic end cap to keep the motor in place
during flight. The nose cone and rotor fins are glued together and must have
the enclosed rubber bands attached to be loaded. A 12 inch
parachute completes the package.
Also in true E2X fashion, the Cosmic Cobra can be built in a matter of
minutes. The rotor attachment is glued to the nose cone base and the rotors
themselves just snap on. The trickiest part of the build is getting the rubber
bands aligned so that they allow the rotors to deploy and even this isnt
that tough. Like the other rockets in the E2X flight line, its possible
to buy this kit in the morning and still fly it before lunch. What makes this
one out of the ordinary is the recovery. Kids especially will love it, but I
dont hear many grown ups complaining either.
Pre-colored. Black, yellow and purple have never been among my favored color
schemes, but what do you want for next to nothing. One sticker-type decal
completes the look. Its not great, but it wont bring up
out of 5
Ive only flown this rocket once, but it isnt hard to get a feel for
the performance based on that flight. The rotor performed as advertised and
brought the nose cone down for a textbook recovery. The body section
wasnt quite so lucky. The body tube itself is fairly large, but the
rotors must be folded straight down inside so that the nose cone will fit. This
means that the parachute will have to be down deep and apparently mine
wasnt. The ejection charge did little more than move the whole mess,
wadding, shock cord and parachute, up in the body tube. It didnt deploy
and the whole shootin match came down in a flat spin, landing hard in a
gravel parking lot. The good news; no damage. This rocket can take a hit.
This is where Id take a half point away. Everything packs very tightly in
the body tube and it may take several flights before the secrets for the dual
deployment reveal themselves. It could also be as simple as operator error.
Wouldnt be the first time.
½ out of 5
Entertainment value. It appeals to kids and adults alike.
Ease of assembly.
Styling. Its kind of ugly. (Then again, I might have lousy taste.)
Packing the body tube to allow both recovery systems to function may be a trial
and error process. (Then again, I might be stupid.)
½ out of 5
(Contributed - by Greg Deeter - 12/10/02)
Editor's Note: This review does not consider the helicopter
portion of the rocket.
This is one of the new ones from Estes. This kit seemed to to yelling
"STREAMER" to me. The plastic forward swept fins are strong, and just
seem perfect for streamer recovery. So, I took the helicopter parts and put
them away for a later day. This reduced the weight, so now my Cosmic Cobra is
only 2.4 oz completed.
This kit comes with the BT-56 sized body tube (gloss yellow) and black plastic
nose cone, two piece plastic fin section, launch lug that is shaped for the
body, 1/8" x 2 foot shock cord, 12" plastic Estes parachute, three
rotor blades, a blade ring, (4) rubber bands and and a large purple wild
This took about 10 minutes. The two piece plastic fin unit made it super
simple to tie a knot in the end of a two foot piece of 1/8" Kevlar
cord, and using CA as I did on the whole rocket, I glued the cord in between
the two halves of the fin unit. Attached a small snap swivel to the end of
that, then added the 24" x 1/8 shock cord, and selected a silver mylar
2" x 56" streamer. The launch lug is unlike any I have ever seen
before. It form fits onto the shape of the body tube.
Since you don't see many black "stock" nose cones, at first glance
this rocket looks like it was painted. The gloss yellow body looks great with
the black nose and fins. I left it that simple and did not use the wild looking
purple decals. I think it looks cool just like it is. I have never felt good
about the Estes method of attaching the shock cord with a paper mount inside
the body tube. Those eventually come loose and in many cases they cause the
parachute to get stuck. So to improve this kit, it should come with a 1-2 foot
cord which is super simple to attach to the motor mount/fin unit with this kit.
I was surprised the shock cord that came with it was 2 feet long as I expected
one only 1 foot long. Still, I feel it should be at least 4 feet long. The
gloss yellow body tube feels very strong.
out of 5
I plan on flying it every time I go out for a launch day and I will experiment
with different types of streamers. I will bet I can get at least 50 flights out
of it with no damage, in fact it would be interesting to try an Aerotech D21 in
it. I am sure it would hold up. My first flight was with a Quest C6-5. Took a
few seconds to light and then shot straight up and out of sight. I thought I
had lost it until I saw the red puff and silver streamer. I had put a few
dashes of red line chalk in on top of the wadding and that really helped to see
where it was. It came down about 500 feet from here and seemed to drift quite a
bit for a streamer.
The second and third (final flight) were at a larger field and I switched
out the streamer for a parachute for the second flight with a C6-5. The last
(3rd) flight when I lost it had the streamer back in it, and I believe I either
put too much line chalk in it, or the D21-7 was too much power as it cocked
sideways quite a bit and went out of sight in just seconds. I saw a huge cloud
of red line chalk and that was it. So much for getting 50 flights out of it!
Was recovered in perfect condition.
out of 5
The only streamer kit I ever flew before was an Astron Sprint back in the early
80's. Back then I had imagined a rocket with forward swept and strong plastic
fins, as my Sprint always seemed to pop a fin on landing. I had bought this
Cosmic Cobra because I was curious about how the helicopter nose cone worked,
but upon looking at the parts, I quickly realized that this is a perfect kit
for the streamer testing I wanted to try. I may add the 'copter blades to the
nose cone just to try it, but that adds almost 30% more weight to the rocket.
Since I used snap swivels, the recover system can be changed out in just
out of 5
(Contributed - by David Sindel - 01/14/05)
The Cosmic Cobra is a low power rocket that recovers in 2 pieces: the nose cone
returns on helicopter-like blades and the body tube recovers by parachute.
The kit contains:
- 1 12" yellow body tube
- 2 piece fin can
- nose cone with 3 helicopter blades
- 12" chute
This kit was easy to build and took less than one hour to complete.
No finishing was required. The kit comes with a cool decal.
out of 5
First flight was on a B6-2. Great flight but even with 5 sheets wadding, it was
too much for the parachute.
Second flight was on a C6-3 and 6 pieces of wadding. Higher fligth but same
result with the parachute.
Third flight was on a B6-4, which is too long of a delay, causing the
rocket to eject from only 70ft up. However, with 8 sheets wadding it recovered
I like that it has good, stable flights but don't use B6-4 or C6-5 motors.
PROs: the helicopter nose is cool and is more than likely to work well.
CONs: it needs 8 sheets wadding to keep from burning the parachute.M/P>
out of 5
The Cosmic Cobra is a cool first or second rocket. For less than $12, it's a
great deal. Get this rocket!
½ out of 5
(by Jared Elliott - 09/24/06)
This is an E2X kit single stage with parachute for the body and helicopter
recovery for the nosecone.
The kit consists of a pre-molded fin/MMT unit, 12" plastic parachute,
single BT-60 tube, and plastic nose cone.
This is an easy kit to assemble. Instructions are straightforward and easy
to follow. Assembly can take between 30 minutes or so, depending on the
modeler's abilities. The Cosmic Cobra is a very sturdy kit with pre-colored
body tube and self-adhesive decals. The molded plastic fins feature an
integrated MMT. The engine is retained by a twist lock retainer. Assembly is
straightforward with little use for a hobby knife. I used Testor's plastic
cement to assemble the fins/MMT section. You can probably use CA to assemble
the unit, but I chose not to out of concern that it might be too brittle. The
nose cone has a blade ring that attaches where the chute/shock cord normally
would. The fins are made of flexible plastic and are easily attached. The kit
comes with small rubber bands that cause the blades to extend when the NC is
ejected from the rocket. I used thick CA to attach the blade ring to the
nosecone. The launch lug is a molded plastic piece that is glued to the body
tube at 6.5" from the aft end of the rocket. I used Testor's plastic
cement to attach the lug to the body tube and after some time, I checked to see
if it was adhered properly however it snapped off with ease. I then used thick
CA to attach it after scraping some of the leftover cement, and after about 10
minutes, all was well. The shock cord attaches with the usual tri-fold method
and connects to the chute via a loop a the end.
Just apply the self-adhesive decal and you are done! All left is load the motor
and launch. The rocket looks good with the fins forward swept. With its black
and yellow scheme, it's an eye catcher.
½ out of 5
The second flight was on a C6-3. This flight was perfect. The rocket went
straight up and ejection was just after apogee. I estimate this flight was at
around 300 feet. I used 4 squares of wadding on this flight and also placed the
chute into the blades without rolling it up. I'm not sure but I think this
method is not the best due to 3 shroud lines ripping from the holes in the
If moderate to high winds are normal for your area, I recommend cutting the
spill hole from the center of the chute as it may drift away. I used 6 squares
of wadding for my first launch and it may have been too much. First launch is
with a B6-4 and an approximate altitude of 125 feet. My observation concludes
that 6 squares is too much for this rocket.
I also recommend folding the blades for the nosecone around the chute due to
the fact that on my first launch the chute was burned away completely and the
rocket recovered without a chute. The kit is of sound structure so this wasn't
a concern as it recovered without damage. It may however take damage if it were
to land on a hard surface like concrete or asphalt. The nosecone recovered
smoothly just like on the package, spinning fast and soft landing.
The nose cone recovered perfect each flight. On the first flight, the
nosecone was tip down on descent and the second flight it was tip up. No damage
to the rubber bands so far. The shock cord is holding up well after 2 flights.
I replaced the stock rubber one for a longer piece made of polyester/rubber.
The overall assembly of this kit is a snap. The parachute shroud lines were
burned into on the first flight for unknown reasons. On the second flight the
shroud lines were torn from the holes in 3 places. The chute was lost on the
first flight. No melting of the chute on the second flight. The blades on the
nosecone are holding up nicely. The second flight led the nosecone to land in
the middle of the street with no damage.
out of 5
This is a good kit for those who are new to this hobby. I recommend this one.
PROs: ease of assembly, ease of finishing.
CONs: the blades on the nosecone protrude into the body tube in a manner
that it pushes the parachute close to the motor. If not enough wadding is used,
it will either melt the chute or sever the shroud lines. Wrapping the chute in
a couple squares of wadding could possibly alleviate this problem. I also
recommend cutting the spill hold from the chute to reduce drift. The kit is
strong enough to handle the landings.
½ out of 5