The Two Coolest Model Rockets Out on the Market
There are so many great model rockets out there it can be hard to choose which one you want to invest your hard earned money in when you've got limited resources, especially when you're first starting out in this exciting hobby. While I'd still recommend that you make your first couple of model rockets as basic as you can so that you can quickly master the essentials of building, preparing, launching, recovering and maintaining your fleet, here are my two favorite rocket models that you should consider down the road as you improve your skills and expand your knowledge. The first of the two coolest model rockets is straight out a futuristic spy movie, and a miniature version of the superb feats of engineering that NASA and other governments have already invested billions into getting airborne. This particular model rocket has a very special payload: a digital camera capable of filming from altitude, recording the data, and bringing it safely back to Earth when it can be downloaded, saved and analyzed. If you've ever wanted to launch your own neighborhood space spying program, this is the model rocket for you.
Estes Oracle Digital Camera Model Rocket
This highly advanced model rocket carries a surprisingly low price tag when you consider that it's a scale and fully functioning replica performing the same basic function as some of our most advanced spy and geolocational satellites that are in orbit right now. This Oracle model rocket will commence its flight much like any other standard model rocket, being launched from a launchpad thanks to its powerful model rocket engine. Despite its unusually heavy payload and design, the Oracle model rocket is capable of reaching a max altitude of 600 ft! Starting from the moment the rocket begins liftoff, the digital camera that comes factory installed in its nose cone begins recording and captures the entire flight from the perspective that an astronaut would have from traveling in the nose. You might worry that the digital camera installed in the nose cone would be delicate, finicky and hard to operate, but it happens to come pre-installed with a USB port.
This means that once you get your Oracle model rocket home after flight you simply plug a USB cable directly into your nose cone and run it into your computer so you can easily download and save all your triumphant rocket flights from the perspective of your own nose cone! This makes for pretty fun digital recording and the possibilities for having fun with this functionality are endless. You can send a flight recording to a friend via e-mail and tell him or her that your space rocket is coming along nicely and you've just recorded a test flight from inside the nose cone for a fun prank. They'll recognize the surroundings of where you launched your Oracle model rocket and puzzle for days over how you achieved the footage. You can think of plenty of other fun scenarios to run with the Oracle digital camera model rocket like multiple model rocket launches that you synchronize so you can obtain first-person views of multiple rocket flights as they ascend and descend.
The Half Helicopter Model Rocket
The Estes Cosmic Cobra Model rocket is one of its specialty rockets that features a special nose cone recovery system. Instead of the usual parachute-based recovery system that pops a chute at the rocket's max altitude to bring it gently back to Earth, the Cosmic Cobra model rocket features a nose cone with 3 instantly extending helicopter blades that send the downward falling nose cone into a controlled helicopter descent. As gravity begins to work its magic on the ejected nose cone after the rocket has reached its peak altitude, the helicopter blades spring out and cause the nose cone to rotate rapidly. It looks like a gently descending helicopter when seen from the ground. Meanwhile, the rocket's fuselage still ejects an attached parachute at the same moment that the helicopter nose cone is ejected. Therefore the main body of the rocket descends normally via parachute while the nose cone continues its helicopter descent. This is fun to watch from the ground and makes for a rocket flight more eventful than most, but does require certain special considerations regarding wind conditions, because now you need to focus on recovering two separate elements of your rocket, as opposed to traditional model rockets that feature a single parachute which brings down the rocket fuselage and the attached nose cone together. As long as you are confident that the wind is not gusting unpredictably and violently enough to blow the nose cone outside of your intended recovery area, you can launch your helicopter model rocket and enjoy the unique show!