Machine Design

When eggs fly

Estes Rockets

Estes Industries, Penrose, Colo., has been making rocket motors and kits for kids and hobbyists. Among its latest offerings is the Xarconian Cruiser, which uses the standard Estes rocket motor, but has a main body and laser-cut wood fins that make it resemble a sci-fi vehicle from another planet. The 22-in.-tall-vehicle, which weighs about 3.7 oz and costs $30, can reach a maximum altitude of 525 ft using a B6-2 Estes rocket motor. An 18-in. parachute helps ensure a safe ride back to Earth and the chance for another flight.

Another novel rocket is the $22 Eggscaliber. It is designed to carry an egg in a padded, see-through capsule (so you can check the status of your eggstronaut). The challenge is to bring the egg back to Earth in one piece. The 20-in.-tall, 2.6-oz (without egg) rocket can fly up to 610-ft high and comes with both a 12 and 18-in. parachute. Hobbyists can use an adapter that accommodates B and C rocket motors, or remove the adapter and install the more-powerful D or E motors. Eggs are extra.

Note that while some kids can assemble kits by themselves, an adult should supervise launchings.

© 2011 Penton Media, Inc.

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