Estes Ready-to-Fly Rocket Bundle (Helicat + 3 Rockets)

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Estes Ready-to-Fly Rocket Bundle (Helicat + 3 Rockets)
Price: $29.99
Shipping Options:: $5 Standard OR $10 Two-Day OR $20 One-Day
Shipping Estimates: Ships in 1-2 business days (Wednesday, Aug 10 to Thursday, Aug 11) + transit
Condition: New

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Previous Similar Sales (May not be exact model)
6/22/2016 - $39.99 (Woot-off) - Click To See Discussion (1 comments)
6/6/2016 - $39.99 - Click To See Discussion (8 comments)
5/24/2016 - $39.99 (Woot-off) - Click To See Discussion (2 comments)

7/25/2016 - $35.99 (Woot Plus)
6/22/2016 - $35.99 (Woot Plus)
6/22/2016 - $35.99 (Woot Plus)

Note Price Drop!
Lots of Discussion from a previous sale

I hate seeing these stupid bundles over, and over again. Not only that, the listing says ready to fly, but then says engines not included. SO they aren’t ready to fly. You have to purchase engines to make them ready to fly.

I totally agree, I bought this when listed before and was surprised that no engines were included. Ready to fly is READY TO FLY

Estes used to sell “starter sets” which did include motors, but this caused difficulties getting into retail in places where motor sales are regulated. This way they could have something on shelves for kids and parents to look at, even while the motors were kept behind a counter.

All of these fly well on B6-4 motors. You can buy a bulk-pack of motors (24) at a good discount. Don’t fly on a C unless you have a nice large field. As others have noted, the kit boxes list the appropriate motors.

If you are not sure where to fly, check out www.nar.org. They’ll help you find a local rocket club, who usually have a “legal” field and members who can help you get your model “prepped” for a first flight. Also, what kits you might choose next . . . more challenging rockets you need to build.

I bought this last time around. It was my first attempt at launching any rockets. Everything was straight forward, direction-wise. Placed an order at Amazon for some engines, recovery wadding and some spare igniters. Finally lost one of the rockets using one of the bigger C engines.

No, Ready to Fly means no assembly required. Most model rockets are “models” that require several hours, many times days, of assembly and painting before they can be flown. These are ready to take out of the box, stick an engine in, and launch.

An engine only lasts one flight. Asking for these to include engines is like buying a lawn mower and expecting it to include the gasoline.

Nice. I have an old tin box full of model rocket engines from the 80s. Time to see if they still work!

The engines are where they make their money.

Also, the shipping of rocket engines has a lot more restrictions than the shipping of cardboard and plastic rockets.

It’s guaranteed they sell these engines most places you’d find a toy section. I caught some of the 3 packs at my local Target on super markdown clearance for $3 per pack (this is a fantastic deal if you are in the know here)

Shoot, when I was a lad we used to get all our Estes stuff at the local Michael’s. I doubt they have as much available these days.

Would someone kindly explain exactly what one would need to buy in addition to these kits to get them in the air?
I’d like to send these to my nephews, but I prefer to send them EVERYTHING instead of sending a gift that requires the parents to go out and buy $100 worth of extras

I saw mention of Engines B6-4, “recovery wadding” and Ignitors… are there different sizes of those?

I appreciate anyone who can give a complete outsider a quick-and-dirty on getting these going. Thanks

80% of what you’ll need is included with this bundle, but you’ll definitely also require:

The engines are divided into types (color codes) and classes (engine diameters and power.) All of the rockets in this bundle will use the Green type, B or C class engines, the first character of the engine code (A, B, C, D or E) indicates the class. A C-class engine is larger and more powerful than any B-class, and so on. Some of the A-class also have fractional-ratings, just ignore those unless you need to fly some truly tiny rockets someday.

The next character (numeric) is a general indicator of engine power in that class, i.e., a B6 engine is a bit more powerful than a B4.

Finally, you have a hyphen and a delay time before the parachute is deployed, e.g., a “-4” at the end indicates a (approx.) 4-second delay. This allows the rocket to “coast” even higher after the propellant is spent before the parachute is ejected. If you are launching in a smaller area (less than 4 acres,) you should probably stick with a “-2” delay to minimize drift time and help prevent loss of your rocket to surrounding rooftops, trees or other terrain.

For novice rocketeers, I would recommend using a green, B4-2 engine for the first few launches, then increasing to a B4-4 then a B6-4 if all goes well. If you have a huge launch area (8-acres or larger,) you could advance to the C-class for even higher flights.

Be careful about shipping rocket engines yourself, many shippers classify them as “Explosives” and will only ship by ground, and sometimes not at all. The easiest route is to buy online and have them shipped directly to the end-user by established means.

The igniters and plugs (these hold the igniters in place in the engine nozzle) seem to be included with all Estes engines, but double-check before clicking that “BUY” button so as not to disappoint the nephs.

  • WADDING This is a “flame-resistant” (I’ve never really tested this) paper material that’s literally wadded up and stuffed loosely into the rocket body beneath the folded parachute. It’s job is to insulate the rather fragile plastic chute from the hot ejection charge that blows the nosecone from the rocket body, thus deploying the chute. Failure to use wadding risks melting the chute into a useless blob, sending the rocket back down as fast as gravity and air-resistance will permit. This is usually very bad for your rocket.

You can purchase wadding along with your engines, but honestly, I always used a very common material everyone should have around their house: toilet paper. Sometimes the edges get a bit singed from the ejection charge, but I’ve not once had it burst into flames or have any negative effects on my rockets. Some purists may say “but it’s not ‘flame-resistant!’” and insist on “official” wadding, so use your own judgment there.

BATTERIES - Required for the electric-ignition system. ALWAYS have fresh spares at the launch site, they can deplete pretty quickly, and nothing ruins a well-planned rocketry outing faster than dead batteries and no spares.

A few tips:

SAFETY - READ AND HEED ALL THE SAFETY WARNINGS INCLUDED WITH THE ROCKETS AND ENGINES! I cannot stress that enough. Used correctly, rocketry is very safe and I have never known of anyone injured or anything damaged (save a rocket or two) while using rockets correctly and responsibly.

Unfortunately, I also have a tale of 2 idiot kids (stupid me and an even stupider buddy) which ended very badly with 2nd and 3rd degree burns to his hand and forearm, and 1st degree burns to my face. We were DEFINITELY NOT acting responsibly and were NOT using the engines correctly as designed!!

SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY!!! Follow the rules, and no one will get harmed.

LAUNCH SITE - Only two key words to remember here, big and flat. The bigger and flatter, the better the site. If you live on a 1/2 acre lot surrounded by trees and/or houses, you should not be launching rockets in the backyard. If you live on/near a 10-acre farm field devoid of trees and powerlines, you, too, can be a rocketeer!

WIND - Wind direction and especially speed have a huge impact on your rocket both during ascension and, particularly, descent. I’ve had more than one rocket make a beautiful flight only to get caught by a steady wind and be carried off to God-only-knows where before settling back to Earth. A calm, still day is best, naturally, but rockets can still be effectively flown during light wind conditions by launching not in the center of the site, but by moving closer to the side where the wind is coming from, thus providing a larger drift-area where the rocket can land. You can also SLIGHTLY tilt the launch stand using a thin block of wood or other stable object, launching the rocket into the wind and giving it even more drift-area.

Sorry, I know you asked for a “quick-n-dirty,” but due to the semi-complex nature of rockets and potential for injury if careless, this was the best I could do and still be conscientious. Anything less would be akin to handing you a gun and a bullet, showing you how to load it and then sending you on your merry way.

BE SAFE, have fun, go rockets!

Fabulous explanation. Only a few things I would like to add in order to prevent any “you didn’t tell me that!”

Rockets, as long as you don’t lose them or sustain serious damage, are re-usable.

Engines, on the other hand, are one time use only.

SO before you think that if you will prevent them from spending $'s by buying engines for them. Eventually they will need more engines if they enjoy the sport.

My first Estes rocket was in 1978, I ended up with over 30 rockets and that sport led me to a degree in Engineering.

So maybe this will be a nudge in the right direction for those on the fence.

Thank you for this… its much appreciated!

I’m waiting for the reusable first stage rockets. They will be much cheaper lol

Actually ‘ready to fly’ does not mean ‘no assembly required’. I know what you mean. But these are clearly different words with different meanings. Don’t tolerate of feel the need to explain tricky advertising. Criticize it.

Excellent follow-up, especially about one-shot per engine.

I began launching about the same time as you, really cool that you ended up as an Engineer! I think I had 20+ rockets before I moved on to girls and cars, but I never lost my inner love for rocketry. Actually, I still have a few rockets that survived still packed-away somewhere in my basement, I should check on those.

Great Post!