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Thread: Is this true?

  1. #1
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    Is this true?

    At 2 minutes into this video ( ), Steve Jurvetson says that since the inception of model rocketry, there have been about 500,000,000 flights in America. I figure that in these last 60 years that a total of about 500,000,000 people have lived/are living here, which would make about one launch per every man, woman, boy, and girl. If true that is a pretty impressive statistic. Can anyone verify this?


  2. #2
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    I can't confirm, but I'm surely doing my part to bring up the average.


  3. #3
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    Seems high to me. Although perhaps John may have some numbers from Estes as to the number of motors sold over the last 60 years....
    The 500,000,000 over 60 years is over 8M per year or over 22,000 per day. But given rain, burn bans, blizzards, floods, etc the average per day would have to be a lot higher.

    Even a large organized launch, such as LDRS, would be lucky to get 300 flights in a day. There would have to be over 70 of these events being held every day.
    Rocket Addict
    More...more...I'm still not satisfied (T. Lehrer)

  4. #4
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    Based on nothing whatsoever, except instinct and basic math, I'm saying that's not possible. It would be cool, but the numbers aren't there.
    Where are we going and why are we in this handbasket?

  5. #5
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    If someone doesn't quote his sources, then he's guessing.

    Between NAR and Tripoli, there have been about 100,000 members. Let's say each member launches three rockets a month, and does this for five years before moving on to other things. That would be 1.5 million launches. Can that stretch to 500 million? Maybe, but I kind of doubt it....

    John S. ---- NAR #96911 ---- TRA #15253 ---- MDRA #067 ---- BARC #028
    L1, 3/15/14: Aerotech Sumo, CTI H133BS
    L2, 6/21/14: Giant Leap Vertical Assault, CTI J240RL
    L3, 3/12/16: MAC Performance Radial Flyer, CTI M1101WH
    Altitude: 13,028', L3 flight; Speed: Mach ???, L3 flight

  6. #6
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    Yeah, I hadn't really run the math. But with countless numbers of kids over a few decades I could see some impressive numbers. Not everyone is in a club and launching at events, most are done in the back yard or on a school field. Nevertheless 500,000,000 would seem to be extreme, a few million looks more believable.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bat-mite View Post
    If someone doesn't quote his sources, then he's guessing.

    Between NAR and Tripoli, there have been about 100,000 members. Let's say each member launches three rockets a month, and does this for five years before moving on to other things. That would be 1.5 million launches. Can that stretch to 500 million? Maybe, but I kind of doubt it....
    yes I believe 500 million model & HPR rocket launches in the USA is very possible. In 1992 I meet with one of Estes Sales reps to discuss Estes making 10.5mm motors for competition use. Long story short, Mike informed me they "estes" really couldn't be concerned with the couple hundred Mod-Roc competitors that would buy these motors as he showed me his contact list book of NON-NAR clubs & orgs. across the US totaling more the 250,000 groups. Got that NOT including all NAR and the infant Tripoli membership at that stage.
    They (Estes) Said back than (1992 ) that they had way more business with standard motors then they could handle and had more then 300,000,000 motors sold at that point.
    I know "Sold" and "Flown" are two very different things but with numbers like that 25 years ago 500 million launches as of today really doesn't sound that outlandish.

    I know I've done my part toward those big launch numbers using ONLY BP motors LOL!
    Keep em Flyin Micronzied
    John
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micromeister View Post
    yes I believe 500 million model & HPR rocket launches in the USA is very possible. In 1992 I meet with one of Estes Sales reps to discuss Estes making 10.5mm motors for competition use. Long story short, Mike informed me they "estes" really couldn't be concerned with the couple hundred Mod-Roc competitors that would buy these motors as he showed me his contact list book of NON-NAR clubs & orgs. across the US totaling more the 250,000 groups. Got that NOT including all NAR and the infant Tripoli membership at that stage.
    They (Estes) Said back than (1992 ) that they had way more business with standard motors then they could handle and had more then 300,000,000 motors sold at that point.
    I know "Sold" and "Flown" are two very different things but with numbers like that 25 years ago 500 million launches as of today really doesn't sound that outlandish.

    I know I've done my part toward those big launch numbers using ONLY BP motors LOL!
    Hard to argue with that! And that's just Estes. Add in Quest, Aerotech, CTI, Gorilla, Kosdon, AMW, Loki, and others and it sounds pretty believable. Good stats, John.

    John S. ---- NAR #96911 ---- TRA #15253 ---- MDRA #067 ---- BARC #028
    L1, 3/15/14: Aerotech Sumo, CTI H133BS
    L2, 6/21/14: Giant Leap Vertical Assault, CTI J240RL
    L3, 3/12/16: MAC Performance Radial Flyer, CTI M1101WH
    Altitude: 13,028', L3 flight; Speed: Mach ???, L3 flight

  9. #9
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    I have come to believe that most LPR sales/flights are not members of anything. Just average people buying something from the hobby store one day. Hard to argue with the number of engines sold by Estes alone.

    That reminds me... kind of a tangent but, remember back when McDonalds signs said "Over XXX Million served"?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cabernut View Post
    I have come to believe that most LPR sales/flights are not members of anything. Just average people buying something from the hobby store one day. Hard to argue with the number of engines sold by Estes alone.

    That reminds me... kind of a tangent but, remember back when McDonalds signs said "Over XXX Million served"?
    Then it changed to "billion," then they dumped it. I remember a Mad Magazine picture from the 70s where it shows a McDonald's sign with "Over 30 million sold" on it. The next picture showed Wimpy from Popeye walking out, and a guy changing the sign to read, "Over 31 million sold."

    John S. ---- NAR #96911 ---- TRA #15253 ---- MDRA #067 ---- BARC #028
    L1, 3/15/14: Aerotech Sumo, CTI H133BS
    L2, 6/21/14: Giant Leap Vertical Assault, CTI J240RL
    L3, 3/12/16: MAC Performance Radial Flyer, CTI M1101WH
    Altitude: 13,028', L3 flight; Speed: Mach ???, L3 flight

  11. #11
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    NAR says it's true, more or less: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&p...DNlMzkxOTM1MDE

  12. #12
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    Steve Jurvetson is very good with numbers, especially really big ones.
    And he thinks before he speaks.
    So if I had to agree or disagree I would side with him.

    M

  13. #13
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    At an average of B6-6 engines...
    How many pounds (tons) of black powder would that be for 500m B6-6 engines?

  14. #14
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    3,306.93 tons

  15. #15
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    Estes claims "over 315 million" on their website here >>> http://www.estesrockets.com/rockets/by-engine

    I'm sure the 500m is just an approximation of motors sold worldwide by all manufacturers.

    I would guess the number of low-power flights by school and scouting groups, plus other "non-club" individual launches, far outweigh the annual total launched at organized NAR and TRA launches... just a guess.
    -Scott Sager
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  16. #16
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    The O I burnt at URRF was worth 5,200 B6-4s
    L1 4/09 LOC Vulconite "Morning After Bad Thai Food"
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  17. #17
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    I've seen Boris Katan burn 70+ BP motors in a single flight of his two stage Hell Boy, more than once Just saying....
    Mike L.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by les View Post
    3,306.93 tons
    Still assuming a B6-6 average, that's a total of 2,165,000,000 Ns of total impulse (which is pretty close to what the two Shuttle SRBs supplied during one launch.)

    -- Roger

  19. #19
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    Wow, I guess the number could be plausible. Now, I'm trying to wrap my head around the Estes contact list of 250,000 non organizational groups. That number is about double the number you'd get if you added all locations of the top 20 fast food locations in the US; From Subway and McD's to Starbucks, KFC, Jack in the Box, ChicFilA, etc.
    Where are we going and why are we in this handbasket?

  20. #20
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    My thoughts:
    Worldwide, not just US
    school / class events
    Clusters & Multistage flights
    Rocket cars
    Other (non rocket / hobby related. I've heard that they use 'rocket motors' to fling nets over birds to catch & tag..)
    -paul

    NAR# 101258 - L1
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    I don't know the same things you don't know..

  21. #21
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    I remember from the Quest article in SM where the showed the barrels of test run motors they went through to keep up with the NFPA stricture that they test 1% of the motors to ensure that they maintain specs. Barrels of burnt out motors at 1% of the total = an awful lot of motors and that was Quest.
    TRA #2967 SAM #0512

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  22. #22
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    sorry I can't confirm,

  23. #23
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    I'll just throw this out: we had two Cub Scout packs at our regular club launch today. We put up 124 flights in about three hours - the majority (about 2/3) of those being powered by Estes A8-3s, though they ranged up to and including three Estes F15 BP motors. 500 million since model rocketry started in the late 1950s - sixty years ago? I'd say it's at least plausible.

    Bernard Cawley
    NAR 89040 L1
    AMA 42160
    KG7AIE

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