001948 – Big Bertha®

(62 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 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!

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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, 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).


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

62 reviews for 001948 – Big Bertha®

  1. Gregory

    Classic – a must have

    I don’t think any fleet could be complete with out the Bertha. Great flights in small and medium fields. Several paint schemes can be found in the old Estes catalogs to add a vintage feel if you choose.

  2. Alan

    Great but doesn’t fly very high

    I bought this one and painted it blue. It flies low, but that makes it much easier to recover unlike the wizard and also gives that rocket “takeoff” effect instead of a whoosh then it’s gone. It was fun to chase after it.

  3. matthew

    flies true

    This is a good rocket to build and fly. It flies true. I had fun this weekend and used a different brand motor in it sorry estes. It was a d10. It flew ever nice, great altitude , just need to uses a smaller recover system, took forever to come back to earth. GREAT ROCKET.

  4. Ryan

    a must have

    I been flying the berthas since I was a little kid and 25 years later still have a blast with them. its a winner

  5. Louie

    a true classic

    This one is an oldie but a goody. They changed the paint scheme back to there vintage colors from back in the day. Slow lift-offs on standard engines makes this one great for demonstrations. Get this one….you won’t regret it.

  6. Louie

    great for demonstrations

    This is another old Estes classic. Slow, realistic lift-offs make it great for demonstrations. A must have for rocket collectors.

  7. Rob

    Reunited at last

    After putting all my “skills” into building this beauty, I took it out for a test launch. Everything went as planned until the recovery which is when I noticed I forgot to cut a hole in the chute and a neighboring tree stole it from me. Well daddy’s got a brand new Bertha to put together and a lesson learned from the first one.

  8. Twyla

    Fun, & nothing but…

    My son saw this rocket in the local hobby shop. I said ok. @ first I was ho-hum, ya know not my style. I built it for him. We took it out. What ever engines ya have, it’s a blast. A-C = FUN!!! Super realistic take offs. I think it’s impossible to lose or break. It’s just super fun. You buy it, you’re sure to enjoy every launch & recovery. It seems to always draw a crowd.

  9. David

    Wicked Rocket

    This is such a classic wicked design. I built one and so did my wife. My only complaint is I miss the original black color scheme with military style decals. Flys straight and tru every time!

  10. Don

    the old girl still has it

    Just a great basic straight flying bird.Still have mine from the 70’s Just got my son one his 2nd build even a 10 year old can make one to fly true only had to help with the shock cord, and masking, get one for YOUR kids!

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