My son, Philip, preparing to launch his Estes Alpha
Website visitor Chris H. for buying
my Alpha II rocket kit. He and his son built it and sent this photo - nice
job! The original kit, as can be seen in the photos below, had balsa fins and
nose cone. The fins were cut from sheet balsa and needed to be glued
individually to the body tube. Then, both the nose cone and fins needed to be
coated with filler and sanded before painting. I wonder whether the new model,
which uses lightweight plastic and does not require painting, is lighter than
Like just about everybody else who flies
model rockets - at least back in the last century - I began my model rocketeering adventure by building and flying an
Estes Alpha model rocket. It carried the "Astron" label at the time. When it came time to introduce my son, Philip, and daughter,
Sally, to model rocketry, an Alpha was the natural choice. The photo to the left
was taken in our yard in Smithsburg, Maryland, sometime around 1992. As you can
tell by the angle of the launch pad (custom-built), the winds were rather high that
day. We managed a lot of good launches with that Alpha. I'm not sure what
happened to it; maybe one of the kids has it now.
Estes Alpha Model Rocket Kit (front & back)
Pages 16 and 17 from the
1971 Estes Model Rocketry
Catalog are shown to the right.
Price = $1.50
Length = 12.25" (31.1 cm)
Body Diameter = 0.976" (24.8 cm)
Weight = 0.8 oz. (23 grams)
Here is the Estes Astron Alpha model rocket kit that I purchased on eBay. I specifically
wanted one of the original kits that does not have plastic fins and nose cone.
Here is a list of my other rocket models.