Estes has had two different rocket models
called the Falcon. Now, you wouldn't think it would be too hard to come up with
a new name, but evidently it was too much of a challenge.
January 2014 update.
The first Falcon was a rocket boost glider as
seen in the image below. I had one of them back in the 1970s when I was a kid living
Hill Harbor, in Mayo, MD. Being both an avid rocketeer and aeromodeler, I really
liked the Falcon because it combined the launch properties of a rocket with the
recovery properties of a glider. I don't recall the cause of its demise. I lost
an awful lot of rockets to the trees behind our house, so that was probably its
final resting place.
file of the building instructions and parts layout are available on the
Space Modeling website
Flash forward about 35 years and Estes again
produced a Falcon, but this time it was as a standard rocket kit. In an ultimately
unsuccessful attempt to get both my kids interested in rockets, we built and launched
a dozen or so different models. The picture at the upper left shows Sally launching her
Falcon in the field behind our house in Loveland, CO. Her brother, Philip is next
to her, and a pathetically stupid neighbor kid is on the right.
Sally is grown and married
now, but I still have that Falcon in my hobby room.
Below is a screen capture of an Estes Astron Falcon Rocket Glider kit (#K-13)
that was up for auction on eBay on April 1, 2012. It had 18 bids and sold for
$82! Semroc, which is manufacturing some of the more popular vintage Estes model
rockets, has a Hawk boost glider
model that I have purchased and plan to build some day.
Estes Falcon rocket boost glider building instructions.
The following images were gotten from an eBay listing.
Here is a list of my other rocket models.
October 2014 Update:
I was just looking through your site. Really enjoyed the old model airplane magazine
ads you scanned and featured. I used to look through them every month and had them
memorized. Couldn't afford to buy most of those models. I especially enjoyed the
old AHC full page ads at the beginning of each issue. Thank you for doing that.
Rocket glider update: Had two very good flights with the Astron Falcon two weeks
ago. Both almost 90 seconds. Like most rocket gliders, it is very sensitive to CG
balance. But once dialed in, it will just float. Last Saturday at the sod farm in
Moriarty, we put up a flight with an A8-3, as usual. Very light breeze, but it was
enough to slowly move it off the field while in a thermal. Slowly coming out of
the thermal but out of sight at a little over 2 minutes. Will build another one,
because it has such classic lines.
January 19, 2014 Update:
Über rocket boost glider builder David Wagner sent me this note and photos
of his excellent Estes Falcon. David has established a unique "signature" finishing
scheme on his models that consists of a solid red and/or sometimes white base with
aluminum foil in a decorative pater in the rocket motor exhaust area.
You have plans for the Estes Falcon rocket glider on your website and mention
building one years ago. I built this one from plans I saved from the kit I had when
I was a kid. I used light wood, etc, and it weighs 8.5 grams. I just finished it
recently when I took a few evenings to build the Cheechako model. I haven't flown
yet, but it glides nicely. Requires very still air to glide properly... We
took it out Saturday, but was a little too windy to put up.
Estes Falcon Rocket Boost Glider by
See all of David's rocket boost gliders: