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Rocket Plane


Staff member

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What do you get when you mix an EPO Parkjet Mkll RC plane and an Estes rocket engine? A rocket plane of course!

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We connected a normal Brushed ESC to the receiver providing 5 volts straight into the rocket engine egnition system.

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The Flite Test crew tried to create a rocket plane awhile back, but the efforts were unsuccessful and the episodes never aired. Well, David decided he'd like to give it a shot and setup the EPO Parkjet with a D-Class Estes Rocket Engine!

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The Estes D-Class rocket engine worked great! The thrust angle of the rocket was perfect and the plane launched and glided down better then we could have hoped!

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The flight was such a success... it only made sense to try a bigger rocket!

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We mounted an Aerotech F50T-4 Rocket onto our EPO Parkjet , this rocket is 10 times more powerful then the Estes D-class rocket.

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The airplane launched perfectly and then suddenly exploded the EPO foam plane in mid-flight sending components everywhere.

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So all in all, it looks like the EPO Parkjet is a great D-Class Rocket Plane! But it's not a good F-Class rocket engine plane.

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We'll have to revisit this test and see if we can launch a rocket plane from another RC plane in mid-air like a Bell X-1!

Here are some of the items mentioned in this episode:

EPO ParkJet MkII (international)

EPO ParkJet MkII (USA)

Estes - D11-P Plugged Rocket Engine

Aerotech F50T-4 "Huge" Rocket Engine

Foam Addict

Squirrel member
I had an estes sr-71 with longish balsa wings that flew quite well.... until I mixed up the first (c6-0) and second (a3-6) stage engines.
We found it a half mile downrange, with its nose stuck in a tree, and the fuse with the rocket in the nose!
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I'm curious... Estes motors have a parachute deployment charge that blows a few seconds after the motor is depleted. It appears to me that the front of the motor is partially buried in the rear of the canopy. I wonder if David removed the charge.
This was taken in the spring of 2001 I believe, maybe 2000. I know this was one of my first SPAD Darts converted to float plane. The floats were not too heavy but when done right the motor really helped it get up off the ground. I had too much spray hitting the prop. The date is not important for any 'me first reasons', I know folks that have been flying Rato a lot longer then I have been flying. It's just to explain why the video is so cruddy. The internet and hosting abilities have gotten so much better in 13 years.

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Amateur Extra Class K5TWM
I'm curious... Estes motors have a parachute deployment charge that blows a few seconds after the motor is depleted. It appears to me that the front of the motor is partially buried in the rear of the canopy. I wonder if David removed the charge.
Teach, I wondered that too till I noticed it had a "P" suffix, P = Plugged so no ejection charge.



Prop Killer
loved the episode !
what camera did you use on board . was it the horizon hd that david did a review on a few months back on his site .
and i see that david is working on controlling "the alarming infestation of planes".
I see it now, 'David W, first man to plow a field using a rocket powered, rc aircraft.' I actually didn't think there was anything wrong with the flight, but the landing could use some work. :eek:


Junior Member
Hey look at these crackpot inventors from Australia.They even make their own motors.Its a couple of months old though.
They have done a radjet with a bigger motor
Regards David
One of my favorite episodes! Would love to see more episodes of this nature. Rocket plane mission challenges, An FPV with OSD readout could be interesting as well. Well, at least it would appease my inner nerd.
I used to RATO my trainer. There I'd just use a strip of tape to friction mount the motor. Ran the ignitor off a spare servo, microswitch and 9 volt transmitter battery. I capped off the front of the motor tube so when the ejection charge hit it just kicked the motor out. Easy Peasy.