Rocket Plane

by FliteTest | January 7, 2013 | (73) Posted in Just Fun

What do you get when you mix an EPO Parkjet Mkll RC plane and an Estes rocket engine?  

A rocket plane of course! 

We connected a normal Brushed ESC to the receiver providing 5 volts straight into the rocket engine egnition system.

The Flite Test crew tried to create a rocket plane awhile back, but the efforts were unsuccessful and the episodes never aired. Well, David decided he'd like to give it a shot and setup the EPO Parkjet with a D-Class Estes Rocket Engine!

The Estes D-Class rocket engine worked great! The thrust angle of the rocket was perfect and the plane launched and glided down better then we could have hoped!

The flight was such a success! So, it only made sense to try it again!... with larger class rocket! (or as David would call it, "huuuge rocket")

We mounted an Aerotech F50T-4 Rocket onto our EPO Parkjet , this rocket is 10x more powerful then the Estes D-class rocket. 

The airplane launched perfectly and then suddenly exploded the EPO foam plane in mid-flight sending components everywhere.

So all in all, it looks like the EPO Parkjet is a great D-Class Rocket Plane! But it's not a good F-Class rocket engine plane. 


We'll have to revisit this experiment and see if we can launch a rocket plane from another RC plane in mid-air like a Bell X-1 style setup!  


Click the 'Join the Discussion'  link below to see more photos and join in on the discussion in the forum!

Here are some links to the items mentioned in this episode:

EPO ParkJet MkII (international)

EPO ParkJet MkII (USA)

Estes - D11-P Plugged Rocket Engine

Aerotech F50T-4 "Huge" Rocket Engine


Cyberdactyl on January 7, 2013
That was nice. And the Challenger impersonation was funny, but it's time for David to earn his keep at Chad's with something genius.
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p-air-o on January 8, 2013
nice one... love it!
how about a smoker episode ;-)
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tramsgar on January 9, 2013
Great one, simple but brilliant way to kill foam.
There was no delay on the D rocket, right?
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liveyourdreamsRC on January 8, 2013
Hey what would be a good plane to mount the f50t huge rocket engine?
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midnightsabotage on January 9, 2013
Rocket Plaaane!
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Pyrofish on January 7, 2013
Of course Hobby King is out of the Park jet kits GRrrrrr.

Estes used to make an E size motor..

Why did I burn my parkjet?????????????? might have been the large number of pieces in the bag!

Of course I cannot let this pass by, any one remember smokey sam motors..they burn forever and have a dense black plume of smoke.

hmmmm Pyrofish LIKE!!!!
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UndCon on January 8, 2013
Love the fluttering sound
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dasbeermeister on January 8, 2013
An Aerotech G-80 or Roadrunner G-80 can be bought without NAR or Tripoli certification. Estes made 2 very nice rocket planes in the early 90's.
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terrordbn on November 21, 2013
G class motors can be purchases without NAR or Tripoli certifications. High power motors requiring NAR or TRIPOLI certifications to purchase start at the H power class.
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liveyourdreamsRC on January 8, 2013
Awesome Guys! On your show reccomendations page on the forum, I posted about this earlier and wanted FT to do another try. I am thinking about trying this, it looks really cool! 5 stars.
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ERAU1983 on January 8, 2013
Great Fun! An onboard camera catching the airplane disintegration would have been the ultimate, but it probably would not have survived. I'm looking forward to an X-1 style launch. It's been done, but not with your cinematic skills catching the action.

Thanks guys
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Brian fred carr on January 8, 2013
Brilliant boy Travis now wants to build a rocket plane....but I am banned from handling explosives becuase last boxing day I set fire to my neighbours balcony....great episode
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liveyourdreamsRC on January 9, 2013
I just had a really cool idea!! Anyone know the skyfun? It's like a larger version of the epo parkjet also sold at hobbyking! FT try the huge f50t beast on that. Here's the link for anyone who might try it:
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Bbjen on January 7, 2013
Wow, very nice... Did you notice that David laughs like the devil...
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josethejetman on January 25, 2013
use three d rocket in sequence for longer flight
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RCmaniac on February 17, 2013
That was really cool! love the concept!
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Corsair2014 on July 28, 2013
me and kyle (2geeks1hobby) are currently building a rocket plane for Aerial launch Bell x1 style. We are going to launch it from my scratchbuilt Wing, 60" bird of prey. Be looking for the article, we will post the whole adventure success or failure(;
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kmasterson321 on January 1, 2014
So the brushed esc is plugged into a battery receiver like normal, but the motor output is hooked to the estes igniter instead of a motor?
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skywater on February 13, 2014
In the 70's my brother and I were heavily into rockets. We built many of ours from scratch. The materials we had then were not as available as they are now so many new designs was done in cardboard. I designed a rocket plane that was a delta winged jet. The cockpit was being developed so it could be blown out and parachute down. the mock up flew several times before the motor mount in the rear broke and shifted cause the jet to spin and setting fire to the side of it. The final version was started in balsa wood but never made very far as I went to work fighting forest fires. I have often thought about it but never did start working on it. I did have some photos of it and I'll try and find them.
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adampc on October 20, 2014
like how the huge engine destroys the grass right underneath
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Mcgiver1 on October 20, 2014
Thanks guys , I really enjoyed these. Looking forward to the next Flight Fest 2015. :)
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FliteGreg on January 18, 2015
Possibly your best episode ever! We miss David! 6 stars!
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MrPr0pWash on July 10, 2016
Back years ago as my daughters were growing up i got them interested in rockets. we used two and three stage rockets. The retro from the first fires the second. would like to see this revisited using two stage C or perhaps D.
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sander82 on May 10, 2017
i like the yellow one from the first attempt with the frankenplane. Does anyone know what plane that is?
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Epic Dude on May 3, 2019
I am gunna try to build one of these that ignites midair with 2 other friends for my freshman science project. I built a glider that would rocket launch before, from the ground and could be flown back just like the video except it looked for primitive and built by a 12yo Rc Car Racer. So i will see if i can live it up
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Rocket Plane