Meaner Machines...

The Estes Mean Machine was another of Bobby's favorite rockets. Something about that 6' rocket zooming to 300+ meters on Estes D power just fascinated him. And an Estes MM is a joy to fly! We got dozens of flights out of ours, even flying it successfully on Aerotech E28 power several times, before finally losing it on one such flight.

The scaled-up version uses heavy-duty LOC Precision BT-80, a 1:1.62 scale factor, resulting in an 11' tall rocket. Its first couple of flights were with the largest legal model rocket engines I could obtain, the Aerotech G40 and G125. It flys nice on both, though the shortest delay on a G40 is still 1 to 1-1/2 seconds longer than optimum.

But this rocket was designed for hotter motors! On a scale ratio, sixteen times the power of the Estes Mean Machine. Specifically, it was designed with the Aerotech full-320 n/sec H125 in mind. Once I succeeded in obtaining my certification for High Power motors, I wasted no time in trying it out.

And brother, it really goes on an H125! 1200 to 1400 meters, I'd guesstimate. I also flew it on Ravenna's H416 motor, which subjected it to so many Gs on liftoff that the rocket could be seen to bow slightly, before taking off like a mortar round. You had to look really close, though, as you only got a few microseconds to see it!

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