Purchased this set for my 12 year old son for Christmas 2012. The rocket was truly ready to fly, just needed a wadding/parachute pack and an engine. We have launched this rocket a dozen times and it always flies true. Definitely needs a B engine for good performance although it will fly ok on an A engine. We have not tried a C engine yet but plan to. Last time out, October 2013, we had a mishap where the parachute stuck together and it streamered down to the ground hard. The rocket stuck in the ground upright by a fin. The Riptide suffered absolutely no damage, it is very durable. Out of all of our rockets this is the most dependable. We just need to powder the parachute next time launch it. The Porta-pad 2 launcher is ok. The key is more than a little touchy in the controller but it never fails to operate. I don't like the idea of masking taping the launch rod every time you want to shoot a different rocket off as they all have different heights. I took one of the safety end caps that came the launch rod and drilled it out a little less than the rod diameter and put on the launch rod. Now all I have to do is slide it up and down the rod to adjust for each rocket. No more kicking myself for leaving the msking tape at home anymore. Something others may want to try. In the end, we are very happy with the rocket and satisfied with launch pad/controller set up. I would not hesitate to buy it or recommend it to another.
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