Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Models that fly: rockets from Estes

Talking of rockets, if you ever feel like taking scale models into the outside world, then the long-established Estes model rocket company gives you the chance. The company’s many types of rocket range from ultra-simple to deliciously complex. I used to fly them back in tthe 1990s, and had a huge amount of fun, especially with camera-equipped ones.

Recovery tended to be a bit hit-and-miss, depending on wind strength and direction. We had to leave one such rocket drifting into the distance under its recovery parachute, when my younger daughter Emily decided that it was time to be born - very soon indeed - and no hanging about please! So I drove mum and daughter-to-be straight to hospital, with bare minutes to spare!

Some Estes rockets are good scale models in their own right. One of the most interesting of these is the 1:20 scale SpaceShipOne, shown in these pictures. Pre-flight assembly and prep is minimal, and if you you want to turn it into a display item after a few launches, then time spent with the super-detailing tools will really bring the craft to life.

You can find out more about model rocketry at the Estes site.