Big Bertha®

(66 customer reviews)

Big Bertha®

(66 customer reviews)

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


Availability: In stock

For This Rocket

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What you need to launch

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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, pencil, ruler, fine sandpaper, carpenter’s glue, hobby knife, masking tape, primer (white) and paint (black, yellow). (Tools, construction and finishing supplies not included.)

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

<br /> <span style="text-align: center"><strong><img class=" size-full wp-image-24356" title="Warning" src="/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/warning.png" alt="Warning" width="17" height="16" />WARNING</strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: center">


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 boys and girls ages 10+ with adult supervision for those under 12, and rocketeers of all ages.

66 reviews for Big Bertha®

  1. Michael Guerra

    In 1968 or 69, I took a tour of the Estes factory. The conclusion of the tour was a launch of a Big Bertha out back. I remember it like yesterday. It makes me want to build one and go fly it with my grand niece. Estes, please resume the balsa nose cones.

  2. James Stevens

    Although a lot of fun to build it’s even better to fly very predictable rocket ,it’s able to do good on B6-4 but it’s at home with C6-5’s

  3. Dan Blosser (verified owner)

    I desperately wanted to give this rocket five stars. I’m super nostalgic about it because it was my favorite rocket from my childhood. I bought it last year to build with my kids. The instructions have you place the launch lug four inches from the bottom of the body tube. Sadly, this made it impossible to put the lower decal in the correct position above the fins (lug was in the way). Hopefully the good folks at Estes can revise the instructions. The lug has to be glued at 4.5 inches in order to make room for the decal. Great Rocket!

  4. Johnny K

    Everyone should have a Big Bertha in their rocket collection! I built one 30 years ago when I was in 4-H and now my son has one has well for his 4-H project this year.
    I would however recommend googling and downloading the older much more detailed instructions from Horizon Hobby’s website.

  5. Keith Jensen

    I agree with Bruce Kershaw (08Feb2021 comment) – sounds like he & I are about the same age. I still remember the B14-0 – what a great staging motor (7Lbs thrust for 0.14sec!)! I still have my Big Bertha, built in 1972, and yes, with the balsa nosecone. I too wish Estes would bring those back!! I’ve started my grandkids on rockets, now that we have 40 acres to fly them on. My old rockets are too old to fly (cracking glue joints, etc); so I’m buying new ones. I always loved the way Big Bertha flew; slower takeoff that you could really enjoy – and the best motor was the C5-3, not the C6-5! You get a little extra burn with the C5-3, and the rocket goes a bit longer & higher. Make sure your parachute is in good shape – that’s a short delay. I’ll take a heavier, slower rocket with a bigger motor, like Big Bertha, any day over some light thing that goes phhhht! and is over.

  6. Bruce Kershaw

    Big Bertha is by far my favorite Estes rocket! Us kids in the neighborhood started building model rockets in the 60’s during the Apollo program. Like the rest of the country, we were obsessed with the space race. I’ve fiddled with them occasionally through my adult years, and now that I’m semi-retired, I think I’ll drag out the few unopened kits that I have stashed away. One of them is a Big Bertha!
    Estes, I miss the old balsa nose cones. 😉

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