Sunday, November 23, 2014

Estes Is Having A Black Friday Sale - Right Now!

Go to the Estes website right now and buy yourself some rockets. They're having a Black Friday sale which has already started, and you get free shipping on any purchase over $26.

I've already bought 6 rockets - including three of their "Pro Series II" line of rockets. These are their larger, mid power rockets (actually, they will fit motors for the lower end of the high power rocket spectrum, but since I am not certified to fly those yet - and you must be, to fly high power rockets - that's not something I'll get into too much here on the blog just yet). The Pro Series II rockets are huge - compared to the rockets I've built so far. Advanced rocketeers get into building rockets taller than your house, but for a n00b like me, these are impressive things.

You have to shop through the store - not everything is on sale. I really wanted a V-2 semiscale model, for example, but it's still full price. But on the rockets I did buy, I saved about 50-75% per rocket!

Here's what I got:

Pro Series II Leviathan

This big, fat rocket is over 41 inches tall and flies on 29mm motors - that's much bigger than we've discussed on the blog so far. I don't even have all the launch equipment I'll need for this yet, but winter is coming, so I'll have time to build and prep for spring. This and the other Pro Series rockets all cost $45, but I got them for $26.99 a piece!

Pro Series II Ventris

Even taller, Ventris is over 46 inches tall and sports a payload section. Should top 2000 feet with the right motors!

Pro Series II Partizon

At 56 inches, this rocket is nearly as tall as my mom. Should fly 1800 feet. I'm not crazy about this paint job, so I'll need to come up with something else, but I'm super excited about this guy.

Skill Level 1 Reflector

I've been trying to move up in the complexity and power of my rockets, so why would I get this little Skill Level 1 rocket?

For a few really good reasons. First, it's currently marked down from $23.99 to $4.59. For that price, I nearly bought several of them. I've wanted one of these for a while, and this is a price I can't say "no" to.

Also, there's that payload section. The picture makes it look like it's made of cheap gray plastic. It's actually two balsa pieces and a tube, and you can paint it whatever colors you want, and it'll look much better than the picture. But what's awesome is that you can put stuff in there. I found a project on Instructables on putting a camera payload into a rocket that uses this very rocket right here!

Estes Reflector modified to carry the guts of a
keychain video camera - from

This is different from the camera payload I'll be putting into Janus II - that one will be aimed at the ground. The one for Reflector is a sideways-aiming camera - and it uses an HD keychain cam which you take apart and fit to the payload bay.

I might have to get a few more of these...

Skill Level 1 Cosmic Explorer

If you read this blog, you may know I already have one of these. Well, I just ordered two more. Why?

There's the price - marked down to $4.49 from $21.99. This also turned out to be one of my favorite rockets to launch so far, and I kind of want to build it again. But I have plans to upgrade this one.

It's made from a BT-55 tube, which is about 1.33 inches in diameter. The motor mount is for an 18mm motor - your standard A-C. But a BT-50 tube will fit inside this, meaning I can build one of these to fly on a D or E motor (this is called "kit bashing" - you take an existing kit and modify it to suit your needs).

I love the way my Cosmic Explorer flies, but I'd like it to go higher. And an E9 motor apparently burns for three times as long as a C6 motor (the most powerful one my current Cosmic Explorer will take) - and seeing the smoke and flame come out the rocket is my favorite part of a launch. I'll put that build on the blog eventually - I'll need to make some adjustments and be careful about keeping the rocket stable, so that'll be a good blog topic.

Anyway, get thee to and buy thee rockets! Even if you're new to this, look around for stuff you might like to build and fly. I'm so stoked about all the rockets I got for much less money than I'd normally have spent! Whether you're a n00b or an experienced rocket builder, there's stuff there you'll like.


  1. I bought a Ventris in the St Patrick's Day sale and I've really enjoyed it. It was the first rocket I've flown on an F, my first on a reloadable motor, and will probably be my first G (I bought a G motor in August but haven't had the opportunity to use it yet.) There it is at the top of my G+ page flying on a Ceseroni 41F36 Smoky Sam.

    Be aware that the "payload section" isn't really one if built per the instructions. The nose cone and transition both have very long shoulders leaving maybe an inch or so of clearance between them in the "payload" tube. I considered cutting the ends off one or both to make some payload room but ended up just going with the design, gluing three pieces together to make a payload-less fat nose section. At the moment I don't have much of anything I'd want to send up in such a payload section anyway.

    1. I think the only thing I would stick in there would maybe be an altimeter, and I don't currently have one. I don't mind. It's a cool looking rocket anyway.

  2. Oh, also... those roll pattern decals? They don't come with the kit. The instructions say you can order them from Estes. The instructions are wrong. I think you can order them from Excelsior Rocketry, or you could make your own, but I just omitted them and painted the body a solid dark grey.

    1. That's too bad. They're cool looking. I'll probably come up with my own paint scheme rather than order decals from some other website.