001948 – Big Bertha™

(57 customer reviews)


Intermediate Skill
(Formerly Skill Level 1)

The Big Bertha gives you a slow, realistic liftoff. What a thrill it is to watch! Propelled by powerful standard Estes engines, this beauty travels to 500 feet. In one afternoon your Bertha is ready for an exciting time at the launch field!

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Intermediate Skill
(Formerly Skill Level 1)

Big Bertha is an Estes original! She’s an all-around Estes favorite that has truly withstood the test of time. Over the decades, Big Bertha has been most modelers’ first big build. If you’ve never flown a Bertha, get one and launch it. Once you’ve flown it, you’ll take it to every launch!

The Big Bertha gives you a slow, realistic liftoff. What a thrill it is to watch! Propelled by powerful standard Estes engines, this beauty travels to 500 feet and comes back to Earth with an 18 inch parachute. Quality Estes body tubes, laser cut wood fins, molded plastic nose cone and easy to apply waterslide decals makes this rocket kit a perfect companion for an afternoon of building enjoyment.

WHAT YOU NEED TO BUILD: Scissors, ruler, fine sandpaper, carpenters glue, hobby knife, masking tape, white primer, yellow paint, and black paint. (Tools, construction and finishing supplies not included.)

WHAT YOU NEED TO LAUNCH (sold separately): Estes model rocket engines, starters and recovery wadding. Four 1.5V high quality AA alkaline batteries are also required for launch controller (not included).


Additional information

Projected Max Altitude

500 ft. (152 m)

Recovery System

18 in. (45.7 cm) Parachute


24 in. (61 cm)


1.64 in. (42 mm)

Estimated Weight

2.5 oz. (70.9 g)

Estimated Assembly Time

1 Hour (painting and glue drying time not included)

Fin Materials

Laser cut wood

Decal Type


Launch System

Porta-Pad II and Electron Beam Launch Controller

Launch Rod Size


Age Recommendation

Estes model rocketry is recommended for ages 10 and up with adult supervision for those under 12. Unless otherwise specified, all models require assembly. Tools, construction and finishing supplies sold separately. In order to launch, a launch system, model rocket engines, starters and recovery wadding are required – sold separately-unless otherwise specified.

57 reviews for 001948 – Big Bertha™

  1. John A.

    Fantastic rocket. Built it as a kid and just build another one 30 yrs later. Estes, don’t ever let there be a time that Big Bertha is absent from your lineup.

    One small change request. Incorporate a baffle system so we don’t need to use wadding. I’ve flown this model so many times I bet I’ve put 10 packs of wadding in it over the years. I’ve added on to my new build and love it even more.

    • estesrockets (verified owner)

      Thank you John, as Vern Estes’ favorite rocket, we don’t see it going anywhere! Also if you love the Big Bertha, be sure to check out the brand new Boosted Bertha, with the same Bertha feel in a multi-stage package.

  2. Scott

    One of the best all time!

    One of the best rockets of all time in the Estes rocket collection! A must have for any rocketeer.

  3. george (verified owner)

    Bertha Baby!

    I got back into model rocketry to keep my grandkids entertained and have to admit, I’m hooked again, I built a Big Bertha recently and launched on a C6-5 with a keychain HD camera (which we didn’t have back in the day) and got some awesome video…try it! Since I built Big Berta I’ve just finished the Mercury Redstone and have a V2 on order. We are lucky to have a big field at a local county park very close, so we are launching rockets on a regular basis…it’s fun!

  4. Michael

    One Of A Kind

    I had Big Bertha and I really liked it. Most rockets launch fast but I liked how Big Bertha had a really realistic launch

  5. Andrew

    Classic rocket

    I used to fly this rocket when i was a kid, just got one for my kids. Very easy build and great in the sky. Very durable rocket

  6. Andrew


    flies straight. loves the C6-5. Big tube is easy to pack. love the huge chute it comes with, but I might refrain from using that on a windy day… Good predictable flights. pretty easy build and I love the look of it. If I ever lost this one I would get another to replace it. one of my favorites and a classic for a reason (its great)

  7. Dean

    A true classic.

    I built and flew a Bertha kit when I was a kid some 40 years ago. This is a time-proven classic that still generates excitement when brought to the launch pad. I modified my current Bertha to include an E-sized motor mount and ejection baffle. It’s a great flier on D12-5s, but I’ve never gotten up the nerve to try the E. The C11 option gives a little more kick off the pad, too. Everybody should have a Big Bertha in their fleet.

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