Version 2 Rainbow Hang Tag
1st Version Facecard
Image from eBay
Production Years: 1982-1983 Estimated
Retail Pricing Range: $11.00
Rarity: Very Scarce
Description: The popular Estes Phoenix model rocket kit #1380 first appeared in the Estes 1982 catalog and continued to be offered with different packaging schemes through 1998. This skill level 3 kit was again released during 2001 and sold until 2008. The 1982 kit version is typically found with a blue and white sky background facecard with F-14 Tomcat fighter jet pulling away after releasing the inflight AIM-54 Phoenix air to air missile. Also on the facecard is the classic Estes launch sequence on the lower left. Estes marketed the Phoenix as a semi scale version of the AIM-54 radar-guided, long-range air-to-air missile. From Wikipedia,
The AIM-54 Phoenix is a radar-guided, long-range air-to-air missile (AAM), carried in clusters of up to six missiles on F-14 Tomcats, its only launch platform. The Phoenix was the United States' only long-range air-to-air missile. The weapons system based on Phoenix was the world's first to allow simultaneous guidance of missiles against multiple targets. Both the missile and the aircraft were used by the United States Navy and are now retired, the AIM-54 Phoenix in 2004 and the F-14 in 2006. They were replaced by shorter-range AIM-120 AMRAAMs, employed on the F/A-18 Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Following the retirement of the F-14 by the U.S. Navy, the weapon's only current operator is Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force.
Most if not all early Phoenix kits with the Version 1 facecard style are found with a black paper hang tag. Locating a Phoenix on eBay during November 2012 with a Version 2 rainbow hang tag was a surprise and does indicated that some of the initial Phoenix production kits during 1982 were packaged with the rainbow hang tag of the 1980-1982 timeframe.
Hang Tag (Header Card) Guide
The only recommended Estes engine for the Phoenix is the D12-3 resulting in flights of up to 600 feet if the model rocket is launched vertically and without any weather cocking. The Phoenix is well known for slow realistic take offs that can result in marginally stable flights during windy conditions. Extra nose weight is advised for this kit to improve stability.
Kit Contents: The kit contains a main body tube at 14" and secondary body tube at 7.6", plastic nose cone, die cut ring set for long engine tube as part of 24mm engine mount, two die cut fin sheets, pattern sheet, decal sheet, 18" parachute, launch lug and instruction sheet.
Availability: As a kit, #1380 Phoenix is very common when considering all available packaging designs and long life production. However locating a 1982 Phoenix with Version 2 rainbow hang tag may be quite challenging. I will rate this kit packaging version as very scarce until time that others do/do not appear on eBay and update the availability estimate accordingly.
Additional information can be found at the following link;
JimZ Kit Plan Link: Estes1380
Specifications: Length: 30.0", Diameter: 2.60", Weight: 6.6 oz.
Recommended 24 mm Engines: D12-3
Estes Catalog Artwork
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