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REV 2.4 - Tue Aug 17 04:35:02 2010

Estes Industries
Der Red Max (KC-2)
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SPECS: 16.25" x 1.6" - 2.38 oz
ROCKSIM FILE: Right Click to Download
SpaceCAD FILE: MISSING - please submit here
REC'D MOTORS: B4-2 (1st), B4-4, B6-2, B6-4, B8-5, C6-5, C6-7

Estes #0651 - Der Red Max
(Contributed - by David O'Nan)

Rocket PicBrief:
Old skill level 2 Estes kit that was introduced in 1971 as a Citation Series kit and continued in production through 1986. Always wanted one back in my first incarnation as a rocketeer, and decided to clone one when I came across an old Mean Machine nose cone. Using that cone and my "bin-o-parts" made cloning the kit a snap.

Instructions (downloaded from JimZ) were typical Estes in quality but decidedly more fun with the "fake German language" stuff -- check JimZ if you don't know what I'm talking about. You may also want to check out the plans for the Der Big Red Max, as they contain many of the dimensions for both kits. I cut a piece of BT-60 to 9 1/8" per the plans, and cut the fins from 1/8" balsa. I debated for awhile whether to put in a 24mm motor mount, but decided to keep it stock and use RMS if I wanted a D launch (more on that later). Construction was typical 3FNC according to the instructions, using carpenter's wood glue throughout. White glue was used for filleting.

Rocket PicFinishing:
I used Elmer's Fill'n'Finish for filling the seams and the balsa grain. After sanding, I used a few coats of primer sanding between coats. Finish coat was gloss red Wal-Mart brand on the bottom section, and gloss black Wal-Mart brand for the nose cone. I had to do some sanding on the old nose cone to get a nice smooth finish. I noticed some thin spots during this process but didn't think anything about it at the time. The decals were ordered from JimZ and were excellent (I also highly recommend Tom Prestia's decals). The finished product looks great and never fails to generate a comment or two from BARs when I fly it at the local GAMMA section launches.

Construction Rating: 5 out of 5

Engine retention is typical Estes motor clip, although as is my practice I used a dremel cut-off wheel to cut off the extra on the hook. I then mount the hook with the cut part internal so the setup looks like the old Estes hooks. Original Estes recommended motors (per 1984 catalog) are B4-2 (1st), B4-4, B6-2, B6-4, B8-5, C6-5, and C6-7. My first flight was 20 Dec 98 at the GAMMA monthly launch, on a C6-5. After prepping with cellulose wadding, it was ready to go. Flight was really nice, although not as high as I had expected. And of course it generated a lot of comments as these are not seen that often but everyone pretty much knows them. The same day I launched it on a D13-7 reload, and the flight was AWESOME! Rocket PicHowever, the old nose cone just couldn't handle the air pressure from the hotter motor and ended up cracking in several places (see pictures). Messed up the finish some, but what the heck -- it was a great flight. To date the rocket has flown 10 times, all on C6-3/5 engines except the one reload flight. All flights have been excellent; generally very straight and little if any weathercocking.

Shock cord is typical Estes paper mount, with a long piece of 3/8" sewing elastic, attached to the nose cone with a snap swivel. An 18" parachute is attached to the nose cone with another swivel. Piece of cake. Recovery has been very good every time. Yet to sustain any damage (due to recovery anyway), although the 18" chute is somewhat large and I've gotten a lot of drift on windy days. A 12" chute would probably work well also.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

This is a great rocket and a great conversation piece among all the BARs out there who remember it as one of the all-time favorites from Estes. Even though it's only a 3FNC rocket, it's dimensions and decor make it a great looking rocket. PRO: looks, nostalgia, simple to build, flies nicely. CON: (reaching) 12" chute might be better, especially in wind; old nose cone can't handle RMS flights.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

[Submit your Opinion]

10/07 - "About a year ago, I cloned a DRM rocket using this website. Recently I found out that Estes re released this kit and naturally I had to go buy it. Right off the bat, it appeared there was a difference between the BT length of my clone and the length of the BT that came with the new kit. Sure enough there is a difference. The tube that comes with the kit is cut to 8 9/16" vice 9 1/8" per the review. We'll see what happens when I build and fly this new kit." (W.D.M.)

03/04 - "I still have my original DRM that I built back in the mid 70's when I was a kid. This rocket has become a family favorite. My kids now do the chasing. The only think I do different from the specs is I always use a C6-7. We love the large red tube doing a free fall before deploying the chute. I think it's time to do a large version." (K.W.)

07/03 - "Well, it finally happened. My Der Red Max, built in the mid-70s, and proudly displayed but never flown, leapt off the pad twice at NYPOWERX. I prepped for this by re-filleting the fins with yellow glue, and replacing the rotting rubber shockcord with a much longer length of elastic. Modest height, and shred testing, was done on a B6-2. All went well, with surprising height from the little kick. A much more lofty flight occurred on a C6-3. For the truly vintage DRM, don't forget to check that the removable base of the two piece plastic nosecone is firmly affixed." (S.E.T.)

06/03 - "The Der Red Max was a kit that I always wanted as a kid but never got. That was the early 70's and now that I'm an adult I finally realized my dream of owning a Der Red Max by building one from scratch using Jim Z plans. I found a Mean Machine on eBay and used the nose cone and body tube for the main parts. Also, bought a 18" chute and motor mount on ebay to finish out my list. Scrap balsa for fins and decals from Jim Z and I had a great looking and flying Der Red Max. A dream come true!" (K.M.S.)

03/03 - "I've got bigger, faster, meaner, and prettier rockets- but the ol' Max is still the "go-to" bird. If I've got time for one launch to fire up a bunch of 4-H kids, I grab the Max and a C6-5. If I've got time for two, I take along my scratch-built 4" Firedrake and a G64. My Max has well over fifty missions on it, and is looking tired. I cannibalized my Mean Machine, and I found a post-mortem Red Max a while ago to get the nose cone (tough to find), so I should be in business a while yet. I think the next incarnation will have a 24mm mount and TTW plywood fins." (K.K.)

12/01 - "Great review! I scratch-built my Der Red Max clone using the nose cone, body tube and motor mount from a sacrificed Mean Machine kit. I installed the 24mm motor mount, and installed a BT coupler ahead of the forward centering ring to protect the BT from the ejection gasses. I also reinforced the balsa fins with card stock that came from the Mean Machine kit. This is a key feature, as it adds a lot of strength to the fins. Everything was assembled with yellow carpenters' glue. The tube spirals will filled with Elmer's Fill N' Finish, then primer and paint. Some decals from Tango Papa rounded out the package. My DRM has flown a total of 9 times - first 3 flights on a C-6-3's, and the other 6 on D-12-7's. The reviewer is right on - put in a 12" chute! I have in a 12" chute with a 1" spill hole in mine. She really goes on a "D" motor so it needs it! She has come down really hard once due to melted chute, but suffered no (NONE!) damage thanks to the beefy fins. It flies stable, but I think it would benefit from a tad of nose weight. (due to the heavier fins and motor mount no doubt) Thanks for a great article! Joe Michel" (J.A.M)

02/01 - "Thanx for the review Dave. After seeing Dave O'Nan's review on the DRM, I wanted to build one myself. The DRM was my favorite as a teenager. I cannibalized a tube(cut to 9 1/8"), nose cone, chute, and shock cord from an Estes "mean machine" kit. Got the motor mount from a motor mount adapter kit made by Estes. I used instructions and fin pattern downloaded from JimZ's site. (thanx Jim)! Assembly was a snap. I flew this rocket last weekend on B and C motors and all flights went fine with no problems encountered. This rocket works well on the B engines and I highly recommend launching on calm days if using the C engines. This rocket REALLY moves when using a C. Recovery was with a standard Estes 12" chute attached to the nose cone via snap swivel. Snap swivels are awesome as they really keep the chute shroud lines from becoming tangled. Overall, I rate this kit a 4 1/2 out of 5. Getting all the parts does take a little leg work. Other than that the DRM flies great and looks great. Yes, the review was right on the money. My experiences mirrored Dave O'Nan's." (W.M.)

03/00 - "I had the good luck, years ago, to find a opened, rather battered "DRM" kit at a KB Toys outlet. I got it for a song. After many years, I built and finished it. What a neat model this is! Flies great even on an A8-3. Low-thrusty motors like the B4-2 work fine and look better. I couldn't see using more than a C in it; it's actually a fairly lightweight kit. I replaced the parachute with a big nylon streamer; so far, this has proved adequate. Recommended as a good first project for the budding kit-recreator." (S.J.)

12/99 - "Nice review. I just finished restoring an original DRM just this week. It needed a fin, nose cone and motor mount. I don't have the Estes clip on mine but I am sure the tension fit will work fine. It's nice to know that these are still floating around out there. Are there repro decal sheets available for them?? I could use a new set...." (J.W.)

[Enter Rocket Specific Tip]

02/05 - "Scrap the "bungee" style shock cord/paper cut-out mounting for this rocket. Instead of using wood or white glue, put a small piece of masking tape over paper cut-out with shock cord folded X3 inside. Attach 1.5 to 2 in. inside body tube. Then apply thin layer of epoxy over masking tape and paper cut-out. I've found this attachment method to work well even in mid-power rockets. I've never had one come off mounted this way." (W.D.M )

10/04 - "Everyone has talked about using the Meanie for the conversion - but you can get your hands on a Screamin' Mimi a lot easier, usually, and the nose cone is the same - and it comes with a 'D' engine mount to boot !! I just bought a Screamin' Mimi kit at Hobby Lobby for 1/2 off, or $5 and some change. I'm building my Max now and I'll let you know how it turns out.....I always wanted one of these when I was a kid, it was hands-down the coolest rocket going." (K.G.D. )

[Enter Flight Log]
Date Name Motor Ejection/
Wind Notes
01-17-2009 John Bergsmith Est SU D12-5 Apogee - Perfect 5-10 mph winds Event: Club Meet
- First flight of the Der Blue Max, 24mm. No mods other than 24mm mount. Boost was straight and fast with outstanding altitude. Recovered with no damage.
08-27-2005 Clive Davis Est SU B6-4 Apogee - Perfect 5-10 mph winds - Great small field flyer. Those big fins and short body give it a nice slow liftoff for its size. Flight was very straight and stable. Recovery was very nice, too.
03-24-2002 Bill Eichelberger Est SU C6-5 Apogee - Perfect Gusty - Great first flight but landed in a large puddle/small pond. Rescued before major damage occurred.
05-19-2002 Bill Eichelberger Est SU B6-4 Apogee - Perfect Gusty - Nice flight, but somewhat underpowered.
05-19-2002 Bill Eichelberger Est SU B6-6 Apogee - Perfect Gusty - Awesome flight. Great motor for Der Red Max.
06-03-2002 Bill Eichelberger Est SU B6-4 Just Past (1-2sec) Calm - Thought the Max was in trouble for a second there. I like the C5-3 better, but I was out and the field was small.
07-14-2002 Bill Eichelberger Est SU C5-3 Just Before 0-5 mph winds - Another good rocket for the C5-3 engine. Higher that I had expected considering the field. I'll learn.
06-01-2003 Bill Eichelberger Est SU B6-4 Apogee - NC Down 0-5 mph winds - Great flight considering the field limitations.
06-21-2003 Bill Eichelberger Est SU C6-5 Apogee - Perfect 5-10 mph winds - Another great flight. A last minute breeze during recovery kept the tragedy of an access road landing from happening. Landed in the soft weeds instead.
07-05-2003 Bill Eichelberger Est SU B6-4 Apogee - Perfect 10+ mph winds - A command performance. Some visitors to the field took a liking to Max and you have to please the public, especially when it's that easy.
07-06-2003 Bill Eichelberger Est SU B6-4 Apogee - Perfect Gusty - Kid's launch. This was flown for the second day on command. (One of the kids kept calling it the Pirate Rocket.)
09-20-2003 Bill Eichelberger Est SU B6-4 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - A great small field rocket on a B engine. The assembly of kids from the group home loved it also.
09-20-2003 Bill Eichelberger Est SU B6-4 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Last flight of the day for the Max. Three flights made on a small field full of excited kids, and no damage. Can't beat that.
09-20-2003 Bill Eichelberger Est SU B6-4 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Second of three perfect flights on the day. This one is getting a little battered and will be due for replacement soon, but if these were the last flights they turned out to be a great last fling.
09-30-2000 Kevin Johnson Est SU B6-4 Apogee - Perfect Calm - A clone based on BT-56. Nice performer.
10-01-2000 Kevin Johnson Est SU A8-3 Just Before Calm - Small field today so chose the A. Good flight.
10-14-2000 Kevin Johnson Est SU C6-5 Didn't See Light winds - 1st flight on a C and 3rd flight overall.
01-01-2000 MikeyR Est SU B6-4 didn't record calm - 12 parachute Very nice flight. Nominal.
08-25-2007 Dwayne Shmel Est SU C6-5 Apogee - NC Down 0-5 mph winds Event: Club Launch Nowthen
- Maiden flight. Went straight up with good recovery.
06-21-2008 Dwayne Shmel Est SU C6-5 Apogee - Perfect Gusty Event: 2008 Solstice Launch
- Very S-L-O-W descent on stock chute. Good thing the winds had died down. Last flight of the evening.
08-23-2008 Dwayne Shmel Est SU B6-6 Just Past (1-2sec) 10+ mph winds Event: Club Launch - Nowthen
- Perfect flight.
03-28-2009 Dwayne Shmel Est SU B4-2 Apogee - NC Up 0-5 mph winds Event: Club Launch - Elk River
09-11-2004 Scott Turnbull Est SU C6-3 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds Event: NARCONN Invitational
- Yet another flight of Old Red.
07-02-2005 Scott Turnbull Est SU C6-3 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds Event: NYPOWER 11
- Base of nosecone separated from tip. Rocket recovered via chute. Cone recovered undamaged.
09-10-2005 Scott Turnbull Est SU C6-5 Apogee - NC Down 5-10 mph winds Event: CTRA Invitational XI
07-29-2006 Scott Turnbull Est SU B6-4 Apogee - NC Down 5-10 mph winds Event: NYHiPower '06
- The Old Man contributes to the alphabet sequence (a,b,c,d,etc)

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