> Model Rockets > Rocket Kits > Level 1 Beta : Estes Big Bertha Model Rocket Kit est1948

Big Bertha Model Rocket Kit

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!

Estes Big Bertha Model Rocket Kit Skill Level 1 #1948
 Estes Rockets # est1948
$20.79 on sale $19.39
Retail $26.99  SAVE 28% !
Estes Rockets Item # est1948
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
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Spotlight Review

"The best vehicle for key-chain camera rocket videos!"
rbeard2 (Dayton, OH)
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!

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  • 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.


  • 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


  • One model rocket kit
  • Decals
  • Detailed Instructions

Requirements & Suggestions

For How To Launch a Model Rocket

For How To Build a Model Rocket

  • How To Build a Model Rocket
  • Sandpaper (tes8802)
  • Model Rocket Glue (tes3501) or Cement (hlc107)
  • Hobby Knife (tes50627c)
  • Masking Tape (pacmt104)
  • Sanding Sealer for fins
  • How to Paint a Model Rocket
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
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Write a Review  View All Reviews
"The Bigger The Bertha, The Better!"
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!

"Big Bertha modified plus 7"
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.

"Classic for a reason"
Buy this kit. you won't be sorry. straight forward build. great performance on B6-4s and C6-5s. big, easy to see, predictable flights. This is a classic kit that is very popular - for good reason. its a great rocket. This airframe can take more power, so if you are into modifying the basic kit, a D size motor mount and clusters are common mods. Only recommendation (I do this on all my estes kits) is to put in a kevlar shock cord attachment or nylon covered shock cord (round or flat works) instead of the rubber shock cord. I would also recommend a length of shock cord about 2-3 times the length of the body (longer than the kit comes with). only drawback is that it takes off slow - most folks see that as a positive... can't go wrong with this one!

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