There are many different types of rockets available to build.
The best way to get started in rocketry is to purchase a set. A rocket set contains just about everything you need to get started - rocket, launch pad, controller, engines, ignite, recovery wadding and igniters. The rocket included is usually a ready to fly rocket, or an E2X level rocket. Some sets contain two rockets. These are usually an E2X and a Skill Level One rocket. Glue and four AA batteries are needed in addition to the kit.
Rocket kits are graded by skill level, which is a way of sorting the rockets according to the difficulty of construction. The easiest kits to build are E2X kits with Challenge - Skill Level Three - the most formidable to construct. E2X kits are the easiest rockets to build. Painting is not required, and the gluing is minimal. The decals included with the rocket are stick-on. Assembly of an E2X kit requires less than an hour.
The next step up are the Skill Level One, or Beta rocket kits. Beta kits take a little more time and care to assemble. The rocket must be painted, and the fin and motor mount assembly is a little more complex. These kits usually require about two hours or more to build.
Explorer Kits - Skill Level Two, are the next level. These kits require more skill to construct and typically take several hours to fashion. The rockets built from these kits are more detailed than Skill Level One kits. Skill Level Three, or Challenge level are currently the highest skill level offered by Estes. These are true ‘craft’ rockets requiring more complex gluing, painting and decaling to produce a really beautiful rocket when finished.
There are an amazing variety of rockets to build. Multi-stage rockets are fun, and include the two stage Mongoose and Echostar and the three stage Commanche. A booster rocket engine is required for the initial and secondary stages, with a standard engine used for the final stage. These rockets go the highest of all, and all can be flown as single stage rockets if desired.
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