(Contributed - by Ben Bentley - 10/30/03)
The Custom Galileo Probe is a small scale-looking rocket. It uses the 18mm 1/2A
engines and is a great flier. It comes down on its nose cone unharmed every
time. It is a cool looking and fun rocket.
The kit is a pretty simple one, packaged in a bag with all the pieces intact.
It comes with a small length of BT-20, 3 balsa fins and dowels, a paper shroud
pattern, a balsa nose cone, and a launch lug and stand-off. Construction goes
smoothly and is fairly simple because the tapered shroud is already marked for
fins. The instructions are very basic, but a beginner could follow them.
The balsa parts need to be finished for a good look and I recommend a coat of
primer. I painted mine like the box cover, all white with a red NC. That was
pretty simple with some masking tape. The decals that come with it are good
quality and go on easy. The finished rocket looks very cool.
½ out of 5
For flight, I used the recommends 18mm 1/2A6-2. It was a nice stable flight and
a good ejection. The only problem was that when the engine was coasting, the
rocket started to tilt. Then, when the engine ejected, it blasted the rocket in
the other direction. Luckily, it didn't go far and landed softly. It's flown
five times and is now one of my favorite rockets.
Recovery is uneventful..............if it lands on grass! Mine landed on a row
of rocks once and had a lot of damage. The nose cone was dented and two fins
broke off. Luckily, it's a simple rocket and was easily repaired.
½ out of 5
If you like small rockets or scale rockets, you should get one of these. Just
throw it together before a launch and see how you like it.
This kit is a good build up to a scale rocket because it uses some scale
½ out of 5
(Contributed - by Lance Souther - 03/08/07)
Single stage futuristic rocket.
This rocket comes with one short body tube that is just slightly longer than an 18mm engine. It primarily uses
1/8" diameter wooden dowels for fins. I say this due to the fact that you use small balsa pieces for the dowels to
lay down on. They would be to small to act as fins however. The rocket comes with a balsa nose cone.
This is a fairly easy build. Due to the smallness of it cutting the balsa pieces that the dowels lay on, it can be
a bit tricky. If you take your time you will be fine. The hardest part about this rocket is that you have a cardboard
ring that goes on the outside of the body tube, which lines up with the bottom. This is so you can roll it around the
main body, which is a paper shroud around the body to get the symmetrical shape. I must have held the shroud together
for nearly an hour to ensure I had the proper fit (make sure there is a good TV show on), as I wanted to ensure it
didn't bind up. I used Elmer's but should had used carpenters glue as I wouldn't of had to hold it as long. It came out
looking fine though. Instructions are pretty straightforward. You also have to drill a 1/4 inch hole near the top of
the body tube to allow the ejection gases to release. If there was a "gotcha", this is it. Make sure the nose
cone is not going to cover the hole. Mine did and I had to remove the cone and cut some of the excess off. I would had
liked more illustrations in the instructions too.
Since it is such a small rocket, it is easy to paint. I decided to paint mine mostly yellow as I wanted a brighter
color to make it easier to find. It came out looking rather well. The decals are small and due to this are hard to
place, but if you have put on several decals on other rockets, then you should be fine.
out of 5
Only recommended motor I had was the A8-3. I prepped it and put the motor to the edge of the body tube. Rocket took
off the rod fine but about 20 feet up took a hard left and flew at about a 60 degree angle. Then at ejection it sounded
like a pow and when I recovered the rocket I saw why. It blew one wood dowel with the fin completely off. All parts
recovered. I fixed it back up and flew it again several days later on an A8-3 and the same thing happened except this
time every wood dowel blew off and two of the fins. Since the rocket didn't go very high I was able to salvage all the
parts. Once again I put it back together no problem, but if I fly it again, it will with a 1/2A. For now it's just a
Recovery is supposed to be tumble but as you can read above I had no such luck. Let's call it the explosion recovery!
out of 5
Not sure about the stabilization of factory issued rocket. Might need some . I might try gluing a small
washer to the base of the nose cone. Of course it might fly fine with a 1/2A as the lift off will be slower.
out of 5
(Contributed - by Chris Gonnerman - 08/16/07)
The Custom Galileo is a cute little helicopter recovery rocket. Mine was an Father's Day gift from my wife. This is a
skill level 2 rocket.
The kit contains standard BT-20 tube and ogive balsa cone, three small balsa fins, dowels, paper centering ring and
, and nice waterslide decals.
The instruction sheet was clear, logical, and easy to read. I was able to complete the rocket (except for
finishing) in about a two hour period. I really can't complain about the build... It was easy and quick.
The model has a really large launch lug with a beefy standoff (required due to the conical shape of the model),
which is rather unsightly.
The nose cone took a while to get smooth (I generally just use primer rather than mail-ordering sanding sealer) and
getting the seam in the transition smooth was also a chore. I really can't complain about this though, as this sort of
thing is always a chore.
out of 5
Custom recommends 1/2A6-2 or A8-3 for this rocket. I didn't have the smaller engine handy, so I launched with an
A8-3. Prepping this rocket is about as easy as it can be... Stick in the engine, install the igniter, and go. I did
have to put a little tape on the engine to keep it from falling out (a problem I've never seen on any other rocket
The rocket arced badly as soon as it came off the rod, performing the "St. Louis Arch" maneuver into a
neighboring field overgrown with weeds. Sadly, it was lost. The air was very still when I launched, and I launched
other rockets after it without problem, so I'm not sure what went wrong.
No comment (since I didn't get it back).
out of 5
My major complaint about this otherwise nice little rocket is the massive launch lug and standoff. I am suspicious
that this may be related to the poor flight characteristics of the model. I'm planning to replace the rocket, but I'll
be modifying the next one to hide the lug inside the transition. This would be a nice from-the-factory modification,
out of 5