(Contributed - by Berni Davidson - 05/07/05)
This is a single stage rocket with 5 fins. It features parachute recovery,
balsa fins you cut from a sheet, balsa nose cone, laser cut centering rings,
and 6 cool little "aliens" with their own parachutes! I got this kit
from a friend who was moving and therefore I can't speak about the transaction
from the manufacturer but my friend said it went fine. The rocket was in a
clear plastic bag without any header or kit card picture.
The kit features a single body tube that is 2.2" in diameter. The rocket
uses five fins, not the normal 3 or 4. It also has a motor mount that will
allow you to use any 24mm size motor, like the C11, D12, or E9, although there
is no spacer for using a C11 or D12 size motor that is shorter than an E. The
balsa fin stock was 1/8" thick and the nose cone is balsa. It also uses a
shock cord mount that is tied to the motor tube and runs up the body tube to
the white shock cord. The 18" parachute is made of good quality mylar. The
template for the fins is on thin paper and a pain to use to trace the fin on to
the balsa sheet. I should have copied it to a heavy piece of cardstock first.
After trying to trace the fins, it got messed up on the third fin so I cut one
fin out and used it as the template! I was surprised to find a 1/8" launch
lug on a kit that can fly on E motors too.
The instructions are OK, although some points are not all that clear. The
big problem was the wrap for marking the body tube for the five fins just plain
stinks! It went all the way around but the fin positions were not correct no
matter what I did. I should have contacted the manufacturer about this, but I
just measured the tube and made my own. The mylar parachute is first quality
and the balsa nose cone was fine. The body tube was good but the motor tube had
a rough cut on one end. Other than the problem with the marking guide for the
fins and some typos in the instructions, it was an easy kit to build. Standard
assembly for the most part. The PROs of this kit are the mylar parachute, balsa
quality, and those cool little aliens! The CONs on this kit are the fin marking
guide and lack of a spacer to use when using a C11 or D motor. Also, the kit
should use a 3/16" launch lug. I used a 3/16" lug I already had.
I sealed the balsa and used a paint job like on the Thrustline web
site. It looks pretty cool! There are no decals with this kit and none are
needed! The assembled kit looks great.
½ out of 5
I put some recovery wadding in first and motor retention is with a metal motor
hook. Here is the fun part, you load in the 6 Alien Paratroopers with the
parachute. I put them above the main chute. I used a C11-5 for the first
flight. It was a day with just about no wind. My friend has a large field
behind his house and we launched it there. The first flight was great. It went
straight up and was nose down when it ejected the parachute and aliens. I also
launched it with an E. Wow! It was a high flight but I got it back right by the
There are no CONs on recovery. The mylar parachute is fine for this kit. The
aliens came down all over the place and we had some kids with us, who had a
great deal of fun catching them. There was one alien who tried to invade my
friend's house by landing on the roof though! I did not load up the aliens with
the E motor though.
out of 5
This was a fun kit thought it needs a better fin marking guide, fin templates,
and a 3/16" launch lug. I like cutting out fins like the older kits used
to be but paper is not the way to do it.
The aliens are the main attraction to this kit and are real cool! They look
like little Thors from Stargate on TV.
½ out of 5