Estes Tandem-X Rocket Launch Set Review

Estes TandemOur rating: 4.5 stars

The Estes 1469 Tandem-X Launch Set is a great way for aspiring scientists and astronauts to find out how to launch model rockets. This rocket launcher comes with two high performance model rockets in kit form, and will surely please beginners as well as experienced rocketeers. But there are things you need to know before you buy. Read on to discover more about this fun rocket set!

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Estes Tandem X Rocket Launcher Video

Estes 1469 Tandem-X Rocket Launch Set: Main Features

• 2 model rocket kits: the bigger, 3-foot tall Amazon, and the 15-inch Crossfire ISX.
• 2 plastic parachutes to prevent your rockets from damage when they fall
• Launch pad
• Push-button launch controller
• Instructions for assembly and operation are included
• Age 10+ (adult supervision required for under 12’s)

You will also need:

• Estes rocket engines*
Wadding
• 4 AA batteries for the controller
• Glue for assembling the rockets
• Model paint (optional)

* In the USA you can order Estes engines from Amazon.com and you get wadding included in the package. However in the UK rocket engines are harder to get online because Royal Mail won’t deliver them (they’re classed as explosives) and they may be confiscated at Customs if you try to order from overseas. It is possible to order from online model shops such as Antics but there’s an extra charge for delivery by courier. The best solution is to phone a model shop local to you and ask if they stock Estes rocket engines (see below for part numbers) or know of a stockist in your area.

To the best of our knowledge the Amazon rocket (no relation ;)) will work with B4-2, B4-4, B6-2, C6-3 and C6-5 engines, while the Crossfire is compatible with Estes A8-3, B4-4, B6-4, C6-5, and C6-7 engines. So your best choice to cover both rockets is either B4-4 or C6-5. If you can’t find those you’ll need to get separate engines for each rocket.

Estes Tandem-X Rocket Launch Set Review

Estes TandemSo now you know what else you need, let’s move on to what you get in the Estes Tandem X rocket launcher pack!

Obviously you get the two rockets in kit form, the Amazon and the Crossfire. These are Estes E2X grade devices, which mean that they should be easy enough for beginners to assemble and operate. However, their power is no joke – they are very powerful, perhaps even enough to impress expert NASA engineers!

The Amazon can rocket to a height of 180 metres with a standard Estes engine. The Crossfire, being lighter in weight, can hit a very impressive altitude of 330 metres before coming back to earth. They’re relatively consistent and predictable in their launching and trajectories, and work well with the recommended Estes engines (see above).

Both rockets in this Estes 1469 Tandem-X Launch Set can be assembled with ease by somebody of 10 years old or over with a little experience in model-making in less than a couple of hours. Even if it’s your first serious model you shouldn’t have too much trouble.

You’ll find that assembling the Crossfire requires slightly more attention and skill, so it’s better to put together the bigger Amazon first. The instruction guide included in the pack has plenty of illustrations to guide you through the process.

Keep in mind that due to the danger, when it comes to actually launching the rockets, anybody under the age of 12 should be supervised by an adult – and parents may want to raise the bar even higher. It’s fun for all the family to watch anyway!

In summary, the Estes Tandem-X Launch Set is a great rocket kit for beginners or experienced rocket-makers but don’t forget to get the engines. Both rockets are easy to put together, look great with good build quality, and are very impressive when launched.

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Our rating: 4.5 stars

Published 7 November 2013

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