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REV 2.4 - Tue Aug 17 04:34:42 2010

OOP
Estes Industries
CATO
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SPECS: 20.0" x 1.64" - 4.4 oz
ROCKSIM FILE: MISSING - please submit here
SpaceCAD FILE: MISSING - please submit here
REC'D MOTORS: B6-0, C6-0

Rating
(Contributed - by Donald Besaw [Who's Who Page] Jr - 12/23/01)

Rocket PicBrief:
The Estes CATO is a model rocket designed to actually break apart in flight. It is an E2X series kit. It is also becoming quite rare. It flies on Estes B and C lower stage booster motors and uses three recovery modes parachute, streamer and tumble.

Construction:
I got my kit from an online auction. The kit arrived in a box rather than a plastic bag. All the components were accounted for and in good shape so I began construction.

The instructions had lots of text and illustrations as well as a section on what to expect when you fly the model. By reading this, you'll know how the break-apart theory works. Because of the simple construction, no templates were needed. This rocket is very simple to build. I have about 6 hours in mine. Most of that time was waiting for the plastic cement to dry. I never rush any project regardless of simplicity. I started with the motor mount. I then set it aside to dry. Next you glue the fin halves together then glue them into the panels. I then attached the lug to the body tube.

PROS: Easy and rapid construction.

CONS: Motor tube a tad too long (Easily fixed).

Next is the piston assembly. It consists of two pistons and a wooden dowel sliding through the motor mount tube, through an aft retaining ring and the body tube. It should also be assembled carefully because this is the system that causes the model to fall apart. I really took my time here. I then assembled the parachute and then attached it to the large forward piston. I then attached the rather large streamer to the motor mount by using the sticky tape provided.

Finishing:
There is really no finishing due to the pre-colored orange body tube and dark purple plastic parts. However, some awesome two color decals are included to dress up the model even more. The finished rocket looks great.

Construction Rating: 4 ½ out of 5

Flight:
The recommended motors are the B6-0 and C6-0 red label booster motors. Estes advises against using other manufacturers motors. One thing I really like about this rocket is that it does not require recovery wadding. You just assemble the sections, load the motor and fly. I've flown this rocket on B6-0's for every flight. The rocket boosted straight up every time then POP, the rocket disintegrated into exactly seven pieces. You then have the body on the parachute, the motor mount on the streamer and the three fin sections and yes the two nose cone halves raining down on you.

Rocket Kit

PROS: No wadding needed, Flies great.

CONS: None

Recovery:
Recovering seven parts may seem tricky but if you fly the model off short grass, you won't have a problem. I found each piece every time. Read my flight logs. The only thing that annoyed me is that the streamer gets scorched every time by the ejection gas. Also, it is recommended that you clean the motor tube after every flight. I also recommend that you take a slightly damp piece of paper towel and wipe the ejection grime off the aft piston every couple of flights.

PROS: Fun to watch.

CONS: Streamer scorches every time.

Flight Rating: 4 ½ out of 5

Summary:
I really love this rocket. It is one of my new favorites. Sadly, it is OOP. I really think that Estes SHOULD reissue it PERIOD!!! Also, if you find one, it will be a tad pricey. I paid $30.00 for mine. Other than that GRAB IT. As I said it is becoming rare. Searching for one may take awhile. Main PROS: Very fun rocket. Nuff said. Main CONS: OOP also rather expensive now.

Overall Rating: 4 ½ out of 5

[Submit your Opinion]

GUEST's OPINION:
10/02 - "Although Estes recommends using a B6-0 or C6-0, I've found that a B6-2 or C6-3 give a little more altitude for a better raining effect of the parts. I also fitted the engine mount assy with a parachute and wrap the chute with a few squares of recovery wadding. I also attached the nose cone to the body tube for parachute recovery. I recommend using CA for this kit, as it is stronger and the bond lasts longer than plastic model cement. I think ESTES is slicing their own throats by not keeping this kit as well as alot of other "NON-RTF" kits on the market." (F.M.)

[Enter Rocket Specific Tip]

SPECIFIC ROCKET TIP:
01/03 - "The goal of this rocket is to burst apart when it looks like it is still accelerating. The difference between a B6-0 and a C6-0 is not much in terms of height, but a C6-0 will have the rocket traveling much faster when it does break apart, and is therefore a little more unexpected." (S.S. )

[Enter Flight Log]
Date Name Motor Ejection/
Altitude
Wind Notes
07-14-2001 Donald Besaw Est SU B6-0 Apogee - NC Up 0-5 mph winds - I just had to do it again. Second flight went exactly as the first. I got a better view this time because my friend pushed the button.
07-14-2001 Donald Besaw Est SU B6-0 Apogee - NC Up 0-5 mph winds - Very cool first flight. Rocket fell apart exactly as intended. Recovered all seven pieces.
11-22-2001 Donald Besaw Est SU B6-0 Apogee - NC Up Calm - Perfect third flight. This rocket is hilarious in flight when it breaks apart. All pieces recovered.
12-08-2001 Donald Besaw Est SU B6-0 Apogee - NC Up Calm - Flown again for a perfect fifth flight. Ready to fly and explode again. I love this rocket.
12-08-2001 Donald Besaw Est SU B6-0 Apogee - NC Up Calm - Nice fourth flight. Flown for the video camera. Perfect.
12-30-2001 Donald Besaw Est SU B6-0 Apogee - NC Up 5-10 mph winds - Nice 6th flight with a nice (explosion).
02-08-2002 Donald Besaw Est SU B6-0 Apogee - NC Up Calm - Test flight before using a C6-0 for the first time. Nice CATO. All parts recovered.
02-08-2002 Donald Besaw Est SU C6-0 Apogee - NC Up Calm - Very nice boost with some arcing. The faster CATO stripped two shroud lines from the chute. All parts recovered. All in all, very nice.
02-17-2002 Donald Besaw Est SU B6-0 Apogee - NC Up 5-10 mph winds - Wind test for this rocket. Good flight.
02-17-2002 Donald Besaw Est SU C6-0 Apogee - NC Up 5-10 mph winds - Nice high flight. Chute stripped completely this time. 1 nose cone half lost in tall grass. Luckily my friend gave me his. If you see this, Thanks Dan.
10-19-2002 Donald Besaw Est SU B6-0 Apogee - NC Up 5-10 mph winds - Flown for some excitement for my club members. Everyone loved it especially the kids. All pieces recovered.
05-13-2003 Donald Besaw Est SU B6-0 Apogee - NC Up 0-5 mph winds - Ah yes, I haven't flown this one in quite some time but it never fails to impress me. All pieces recovered within 75 feet of the pad.
01-04-2004 Donald Besaw Est SU B6-0 Apogee - NC Up 5-10 mph winds - Another great flight of the CATO. Blew apart right on schedule and all pieces were recovered close to the pad.
05-27-2006 Donald Besaw Est SU C6-0 Very Early 5-10 mph winds - Went horizontal off the rod for some reason, maybe a motor nozzle problem or rod whip as that never happened before with this rocket. Blew apart as intended and stripped body chute. Everything recovered. No damage.
05-27-2006 Donald Besaw Est SU C6-0 Very Early 5-10 mph winds - Second flight, much better, nice straight boost. Blew apart as intended and everything was recovered except one nose cone piece, hopefully I'll find it tomorrow. No damage.
06-03-2006 Donald Besaw Est SU C6-0 Very Early 5-10 mph winds - Excellent flight, I had an extra nose cone piece and added streamers to both which made finding them much easier. Everything recovered. No damage.
02-15-2010 Donald Besaw Est SU B6-0 Apogee - NC Up 5-10 mph winds - Haven't flown this one in a long time. Normal flight until breakup. The fins and MMT separated fine but the NC halves didn't and the BT/NC assembly tumbled down and broke the wooden dowel that joins the two pistons. Should be fixable.
11-11-2007 Peter Davidson Est SU C6-0 Apogee - NC Up Calm Event: Dandenong Wetlands (AUSTRALIA)
Flight Disaster - Maiden flight. Perfect straight flight, disintegrated nicely upon motor burnout. All parts recovered intact, no damage.
11-11-2007 Peter Davidson Est SU C6-0 Apogee - NC Up Calm Event: Dandenong Wetlands (AUSTRALIA)
Flight Disaster - Hilarious second flight, rocket appeared to explode upon motor burnout after a nice straight boost. All parts recovered intact bar slight charring of the motor mount streamer.
03-09-2008 Peter Davidson Est SU C6-0 Apogee - NC Up Calm Event: Dandenong Wetlands (AUSTRALIA)
Flight Disaster - Lovely arrow-straight flight upon motor ignition with rocket disintegrating nicely upon motor burnout. All parts recovered intact close to the launch area, no damage.
05-07-2002 MikeyR Est SU B6-0 None - Unknown 5-10 mph winds - Normal 'blow up' of the CATO
05-12-2002 MikeyR Est SU B6-0 None - Unknown 0-5 mph winds - Disintegrated nicely.
03-25-2003 MikeyR Est SU C6-0 Very Early 0-5 mph winds - Blew apart right on schedule. Kids loved it.
10-26-2002 F.M. Pierce Est SU C6-3 Apogee - NC Up 0-5 mph winds - Perfect flight at our club (NAR-DART # 317) launch on Saturday. Prefer the B6-2 or C6-3 for this kit for more altitude.
01-26-2003 Sean Smith Est SU B6-0 Very Early Calm Sean - A great flight, as always, but I like to see it going faster when it breaks apart then it did this time.
   

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