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Big Bertha Model Rocket Kit Skill Level 1
Product Number: EST1948
Manufacturer: Estes Rockets
Availability:Usually ships out in 24 hours
List Price:$24.99
Price:$17.49
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Rating:50 Stars (29 ratings)
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Over the decades this is the first big rocket for many modelers! Slow, realistic lift-offs from this true classic!

Big Bertha is an Estes original! Big, burly, black and beautiful perfectly describes this classic. She's an all around Estes favorite that has truly withstood the test of time. Over the decades, Big Bertha has been most modelers' first big build. While standing on its massive fins, this big black rocket checks in at an impressive 2 feet tall. If you've never flown a Bertha, get one and launch it. Once you've flown it, you'll take it to every launch!

The Big Bertha gives you a slow, realistic liftoff. What a thrill it is to watch! Propelled by powerful standard Estes engines, this beauty travels to 500 feet and comes back to earth with a decorated 18 inch parachute. Quality Estes body tubes, laser cut wood fins, molded plastic nose cone and easy to apply self-stick decals make for an afternoon of building enjoyment. In one afternoon your Bertha is ready for an exciting time at the launch field!

Product Features
  • Self-adhesive black and white decals.
  • Die-cut card fins.
  • Plain brown cardboard body tube.
  • One-piece white plastic nose cone.
  • Parachute recovery with shroud lines and shock cord.
  • Centering rings, engine hook and engine mount tube.
  • Skill level 1: quick and easy-to-build.
  • Estes' full 1 year warranty.
  • Detailed illustrated assembly and launch instructions.
Product Specifications
  • Length: 24" (61 cm)
  • Diameter: 1.64" (41.7 mm)
  • Weight: 2.2 oz (62 g)
  • Recovery: 18" (46 cm) parachute
  • Fins: Die cut balsa
  • Maximum Altitude: 500 ft (152 m)
  • Estes Product Number: 1948
What's Included
  • One model rocket kit
  • Decals
  • Detailed Instructions
Required

For Launching

For Assembly

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Product Rankings
Most Helpful Reviews
An Absolute Favorite to Build and Fly!
By miataman1 November 28, 2012
I have an entire fleet of Estes rockets, and this is easily one of my favorites. It is an easy build for beginners, yet even seasoned rocketeers count it among their must haves. It is always taken along on launch day due to its reliability and beautiful, comparatively slow lift-off. There are really no negatives that come to mind. It has a good price point and is a proven winner. That's probably why Estes has offered this rocket for so long. One tip that Estes seldom mentions is a tip to avoid excessive drift when launching with a C6-5: You can cut a hole in the parachute center about 3 inches in diameter. The rocket will still have a gentle landing but will not drift too far if there is a breeze. I have done this with Big Bertha and many other rockets with no mishaps due to cutting the parachute center hole.
Was this review helpful to you? 7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Classic, Easy Build, Great Flier
By mhrdeadhead October 13, 2012
A classic kit from Eastes that's an easy build witha stable flight...this can be flown in tight quarters with no fear of loss.
Was this review helpful to you? 5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Excellent first rocket
By cofrbooboo October 13, 2012
I received the Estes Big Bertha kit as a gift, my very first model rocket build. This is a very easy kit to assemble, with clear, easy to follow instructions. Parts are high quality which helps significantly with the build. I used Titebond II exclusively throughout the build with great results. The only area where I recommend extra care be taken is in sanding the fin edges. To ensure a good glue joint the root edges must have the burn (brown color) from the laser removed to expose clean balsa. Care is required to keep the edges square and flat. Using the recommended method of stacking the fins works well, although care must be taken to keep them properly aligned. Once the burn residue is gone and the leading and trailing edges have been rounded use the double glue technique in the instructions to glue the fins on. Done right you'll end up with a joint that is stronger than the materials being glued together! I chose not to use the kit paint scheme and supplied decals in order to make my Bertha unique. Red and white were used to create an old school look. Decals were a mix of US flags from a sheet of RC airplane decals and text decals created on my P-Touch printer. This rocket just asks to be customized, or you can peruse old Estes catalogs and reproduce one of the many wonderful paint schemes it has carried throughout its long life. To date I haven't been able to launch my Big Bertha (real life getting in the way, as happens) but hope to do so soon. I can heartily recommend this kit as your first model rocket build, and guarantee that once you've built one many more will follow. I already have plans for my second! And third, maybe fourth....
Was this review helpful to you? 5 of 5 people found this review helpful
The best vehicle for key-chain camera rocket videos!
By rbeard2 March 22, 2013
All that has been said about the Big Bertha in the other reviews is true - it is a classic, slow take-off, rugged beast that is fun to build and flies great. Easily modified to a 24mm motor mount (just purchase a motor mount tube and extra sheet of 3/32 balsa for reinforced centering rings). Also, if you have discovered the super cheap key-chain style HD cameras for sale online, this is the perfect rocket to strap them onto! Just attach your fully charged micro camera to the top of the body tube just under the nosecone shoulder with 5 or six tight wraps of electrical tape (doesn't pull off the finish like masking tape). The Big Bertha shrugs of any aerodynamic disturbances due to her overlarge fins and the extra weight of the camera appears not affect flight at all!
Was this review helpful to you? 4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Big Bertha is a Big Hit!
By steve s March 22, 2013
This is a great rocket kit for the novice or experienced rocket builder. It's a very easy build that took about 45-60 mins. to build(not including paint and decals). It flies great and it's size is really impressive on the launch pad. I've launched Big Bertha at least 10 times without any malfunctions. The C size engines are powerful enough that I've been able to attach a key ring video camera and get spectacular videos and pictures. Nothing is as satisfying as watching video from a successful launch and recovery taken from the rockets perspective! Bottom line, this is one of my favorite rockets to fly, always trouble free and beautiful to watch! I would recommend this Rocket Kit to anybody who wants a big rocket experience without a big price.
Was this review helpful to you? 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Everyone should have one
By gfbullock May 26, 2013
This is a great flying rocket and should be in every Fleet. A staple to most Flyers. It is easy to build(good first rocket)and looks great. But I enjoy flying as much as any other low power rocket I have. Also, if you go through old Estes catalogs you can find many different paint schemes that look great.
Was this review helpful to you? 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Good Rocket, Good Price
By bsgauthier February 14, 2013
Hobbylinc has great prices on Estes model rocket kits. Big Bertha is a fine Estes model kit with clear instructions, though I'm not fond of the rubber band shock cord or the way Estes mounts it. I like to see the shock cord attached to the motor mount with Kevlar string. Previous comments referred to the double glue bond fin attachment technique. I use the technique but take it one step further by using my hobby knife to drill small holes along the fun guide lines. This makes tiny glue rivets when the glue dries, giving a little more strength to the fin attachment.
Was this review helpful to you? 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Great Rocket
By salthead December 20, 2012
I've used this one for second year rocketeers in my group project. The larger parts make it easy for them.
Was this review helpful to you? 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Great starter!
By edenny November 3, 2012
I think this is a perfect rocket to start off with model rocketry.
Was this review helpful to you? 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
big bertha
By kekacsr April 18, 2014
I bought big bertha for my grandson. we enjoyed building this rocket together as this was my first rocket some fifty years ago. the best part was the look on his face when he pushed the launch button it was great
Was this review helpful to you? 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Big Bertha modified plus 7
By uvawgrad August 17, 2013
I had this rocket as a 12 year-old that I built with my Father, and now as a 43 year-old with a 4 year-old Son this was our first. (Okay, I know I'm rushing it) My Son is a big fan of Thomas the Tank Engine, and he wanted a Hiro rocket. I couldn't find any train decals I was happy with, so I just put big letters HIRO vertically on both sides and used some of the original decals. The body tube was crushed a little on one end during shipping, so I cut a few inches off and added an extension which added 7 to the total length. I had someone run a simulation on RockSim and they told me that adding weight to the forward end of the rocket just added more stability, and that definitely turned out to be true. I had toyed with the idea of having a rocket with a huge chute for it to come down as slow as possible because I find the slower the fall the more interesting it is. I used a thin black trash bag, and cut out a chute approximately 27. One plus to the thinner chute material is it's very soft & pliable compared to factory chutes and fills with air very quickly. With a little baby powder there is no way this chute will stick together and not deploy. To me, it is more fun watching the drop than the launch. Definitely not one to launch with any breeze or any trees or obstacles nearby at all. She definitely returns to terra firma S-L-O-W-L-Y And on a C motor it seems to go as high as one without any length addition, and seems to track truer than one with the original length. I like larger rockets, and this one has the maximum diameter you can get from Estes (1.64) without going above a C motor. I highly recommend this as a first rocket due to the ease of build and slow, majestic lift-off.
Was this review helpful to you? 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The Bigger The Bertha, The Better!
By leyrerwa July 8, 2013
As a teacher of Electronics and Aerospace Technologies at a Technology Center I am always looking for exciting ways to get my students involved in activities that will challenge them but, at the same time provide them with a rewarding sense of accomplishment, increased self esteem and most importantly an opportunity to have some fun while learning. The Estes Big Bertha is one of the rockets I really like to use as an entry level kit within my curriculum. It provides an esay build for the students, has awesome and reliable flight characteristics and make a great looking rocket a student can be proud of!! I highly recommend the Big Bertha to anyone looking for an entry level rocket that certainly doesn't look like an entry level rocket and gives excellent performance. The materials of construction will allow for many flights and the straight forward assembly instructions make the Estes Big Bertha a definate win,win! Clear Skies!
Was this review helpful to you? 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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Customers Reviews
A classic
By dwgallivan June 21, 2014
This is a great first or second rocket. It's bigger than some of the other skill level ones, whihc means it's easier to assemble and more fun to fly. A definite classic.
Was this review helpful to you?
big bertha
By kekacsr April 18, 2014
I bought big bertha for my grandson. we enjoyed building this rocket together as this was my first rocket some fifty years ago. the best part was the look on his face when he pushed the launch button it was great
Was this review helpful to you? 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Big Bertha modified plus 7
By uvawgrad August 17, 2013
I had this rocket as a 12 year-old that I built with my Father, and now as a 43 year-old with a 4 year-old Son this was our first. (Okay, I know I'm rushing it) My Son is a big fan of Thomas the Tank Engine, and he wanted a Hiro rocket. I couldn't find any train decals I was happy with, so I just put big letters HIRO vertically on both sides and used some of the original decals. The body tube was crushed a little on one end during shipping, so I cut a few inches off and added an extension which added 7 to the total length. I had someone run a simulation on RockSim and they told me that adding weight to the forward end of the rocket just added more stability, and that definitely turned out to be true. I had toyed with the idea of having a rocket with a huge chute for it to come down as slow as possible because I find the slower the fall the more interesting it is. I used a thin black trash bag, and cut out a chute approximately 27. One plus to the thinner chute material is it's very soft & pliable compared to factory chutes and fills with air very quickly. With a little baby powder there is no way this chute will stick together and not deploy. To me, it is more fun watching the drop than the launch. Definitely not one to launch with any breeze or any trees or obstacles nearby at all. She definitely returns to terra firma S-L-O-W-L-Y And on a C motor it seems to go as high as one without any length addition, and seems to track truer than one with the original length. I like larger rockets, and this one has the maximum diameter you can get from Estes (1.64) without going above a C motor. I highly recommend this as a first rocket due to the ease of build and slow, majestic lift-off.
Was this review helpful to you? 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The Bigger The Bertha, The Better!
By leyrerwa July 8, 2013
As a teacher of Electronics and Aerospace Technologies at a Technology Center I am always looking for exciting ways to get my students involved in activities that will challenge them but, at the same time provide them with a rewarding sense of accomplishment, increased self esteem and most importantly an opportunity to have some fun while learning. The Estes Big Bertha is one of the rockets I really like to use as an entry level kit within my curriculum. It provides an esay build for the students, has awesome and reliable flight characteristics and make a great looking rocket a student can be proud of!! I highly recommend the Big Bertha to anyone looking for an entry level rocket that certainly doesn't look like an entry level rocket and gives excellent performance. The materials of construction will allow for many flights and the straight forward assembly instructions make the Estes Big Bertha a definate win,win! Clear Skies!
Was this review helpful to you? 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Everyone should have one
By gfbullock May 26, 2013
This is a great flying rocket and should be in every Fleet. A staple to most Flyers. It is easy to build(good first rocket)and looks great. But I enjoy flying as much as any other low power rocket I have. Also, if you go through old Estes catalogs you can find many different paint schemes that look great.
Was this review helpful to you? 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Big Bertha is a Big Hit!
By steve s March 22, 2013
This is a great rocket kit for the novice or experienced rocket builder. It's a very easy build that took about 45-60 mins. to build(not including paint and decals). It flies great and it's size is really impressive on the launch pad. I've launched Big Bertha at least 10 times without any malfunctions. The C size engines are powerful enough that I've been able to attach a key ring video camera and get spectacular videos and pictures. Nothing is as satisfying as watching video from a successful launch and recovery taken from the rockets perspective! Bottom line, this is one of my favorite rockets to fly, always trouble free and beautiful to watch! I would recommend this Rocket Kit to anybody who wants a big rocket experience without a big price.
Was this review helpful to you? 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
The best vehicle for key-chain camera rocket videos!
By rbeard2 March 22, 2013
All that has been said about the Big Bertha in the other reviews is true - it is a classic, slow take-off, rugged beast that is fun to build and flies great. Easily modified to a 24mm motor mount (just purchase a motor mount tube and extra sheet of 3/32 balsa for reinforced centering rings). Also, if you have discovered the super cheap key-chain style HD cameras for sale online, this is the perfect rocket to strap them onto! Just attach your fully charged micro camera to the top of the body tube just under the nosecone shoulder with 5 or six tight wraps of electrical tape (doesn't pull off the finish like masking tape). The Big Bertha shrugs of any aerodynamic disturbances due to her overlarge fins and the extra weight of the camera appears not affect flight at all!
Was this review helpful to you? 4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Good Rocket, Good Price
By bsgauthier February 14, 2013
Hobbylinc has great prices on Estes model rocket kits. Big Bertha is a fine Estes model kit with clear instructions, though I'm not fond of the rubber band shock cord or the way Estes mounts it. I like to see the shock cord attached to the motor mount with Kevlar string. Previous comments referred to the double glue bond fin attachment technique. I use the technique but take it one step further by using my hobby knife to drill small holes along the fun guide lines. This makes tiny glue rivets when the glue dries, giving a little more strength to the fin attachment.
Was this review helpful to you? 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Great Rocket
By salthead December 20, 2012
I've used this one for second year rocketeers in my group project. The larger parts make it easy for them.
Was this review helpful to you? 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
An Absolute Favorite to Build and Fly!
By miataman1 November 28, 2012
I have an entire fleet of Estes rockets, and this is easily one of my favorites. It is an easy build for beginners, yet even seasoned rocketeers count it among their must haves. It is always taken along on launch day due to its reliability and beautiful, comparatively slow lift-off. There are really no negatives that come to mind. It has a good price point and is a proven winner. That's probably why Estes has offered this rocket for so long. One tip that Estes seldom mentions is a tip to avoid excessive drift when launching with a C6-5: You can cut a hole in the parachute center about 3 inches in diameter. The rocket will still have a gentle landing but will not drift too far if there is a breeze. I have done this with Big Bertha and many other rockets with no mishaps due to cutting the parachute center hole.
Was this review helpful to you? 7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Great starter!
By edenny November 3, 2012
I think this is a perfect rocket to start off with model rocketry.
Was this review helpful to you? 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Classic, Easy Build, Great Flier
By mhrdeadhead October 13, 2012
A classic kit from Eastes that's an easy build witha stable flight...this can be flown in tight quarters with no fear of loss.
Was this review helpful to you? 5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Excellent first rocket
By cofrbooboo October 13, 2012
I received the Estes Big Bertha kit as a gift, my very first model rocket build. This is a very easy kit to assemble, with clear, easy to follow instructions. Parts are high quality which helps significantly with the build. I used Titebond II exclusively throughout the build with great results. The only area where I recommend extra care be taken is in sanding the fin edges. To ensure a good glue joint the root edges must have the burn (brown color) from the laser removed to expose clean balsa. Care is required to keep the edges square and flat. Using the recommended method of stacking the fins works well, although care must be taken to keep them properly aligned. Once the burn residue is gone and the leading and trailing edges have been rounded use the double glue technique in the instructions to glue the fins on. Done right you'll end up with a joint that is stronger than the materials being glued together! I chose not to use the kit paint scheme and supplied decals in order to make my Bertha unique. Red and white were used to create an old school look. Decals were a mix of US flags from a sheet of RC airplane decals and text decals created on my P-Touch printer. This rocket just asks to be customized, or you can peruse old Estes catalogs and reproduce one of the many wonderful paint schemes it has carried throughout its long life. To date I haven't been able to launch my Big Bertha (real life getting in the way, as happens) but hope to do so soon. I can heartily recommend this kit as your first model rocket build, and guarantee that once you've built one many more will follow. I already have plans for my second! And third, maybe fourth....
Was this review helpful to you? 5 of 5 people found this review helpful
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