Aerotech vs. Cesaroni

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Marsman

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I'm looking to get into higher power at the 38mm diameter. When shopping for my first case(s) to buy, I seem to be on the fence between Pro-x and Aerotech. My question to you is, how do the propellants compare? Which one has more smoke/fire/noise? All anyone flies around here is Aerotech, as the dealer only carries them. But, with the lifting of the BAFTE ban, buying motors on the internet became much more attractive.

My experience so far is with the Aerotech 40/120 case, predominantly with G64s.

On one hand, there is the Skidmark motor which is just awesome from videos. On the other, the new long burn I motors from Aerotech really interest me, as I'm a fan of realistic long burn flights.

So, please compare, contrast, and debate!

White Lightning versus Classic/White Thunder
Redline vs. Red lightning
Blackjack vs. Smokey Sam
Blue Thunder vs. Blue Streak
Warp 9 vs. Vmax

How do they stack up?
 

jj94

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Honestly, I think it's a choice of personal preference, so you can't really let us "choose" the best for you. I'd try out both and go with whichever one you like best; better yet, use both. I haven't flown Cesaroni yet, but from what I know, I know that the motors are much more user friendly when motor prep, ignition, and cleanup is taken into account. Their SS propellant is a lot smokier than AT's Black Jack and is a bit faster. Aerotech's Warp 9 is the fastest propellant of them all and beats VMax hands down when looking for performance. Other than that, I can't really tell you much more. Both companies have their own unique traits, propellants, and motors. I'm looking into getting some Pro29, now that they're starting to roll out of the factory, and am looking forward to enjoying the best of both worlds.
 

mikec

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White Lightning versus Classic/White Thunder
I'm a big fan of WL visually, and Classic has much less flame than WL. WT is not very equivalent to WL since it typically has considerably higher average thrust -- compare the CTI I540 to the AT I284 (I'm not sure what WT looks like, haven't flown one yet.)

The nice thing about CTI 38mm is that you only have to buy one case and no other hardware, so it's not as much of an investment. Try both and see which you like better (especially if you can borrow AT hardware.) You have to have the CTI hardware to fly the Skidmarks anyway and they are really cool :)
 

als57

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The CTI G69 skid is quite impressive from personal experiance. Flew one in my Little Dog and guys were at the vendor buying reloads before the rocket hit the ground.

Still waiting for bigger skids (38mm).

Always liked the smokey sam reloads as well.

As the others have stated its pretty much personal choice. I use both AT and CTI. Both are reliable and effective. The CTI is simpler to assemble and the hardware is cheaper. CTI reload prices are somewhat higher.


Al
 

cjl

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OK, here's my opinion on the topic:

For white, there's nothing like a white lightning. Classic and white thunder, while not bad in their own right, really cannot compare. On a similar note, Aerotech has the better red, IMHO. On the other hand, I really like CTIs Blue Streak - Aerotech's Blue Thunder gives a better kick, but the Blue Streak is a nice, slower burning blue with more flame and color in the smaller sizes. For your final comparison, Warp 9 is my favorite. It is quite a bit faster than Vmax, although there is the small issue of having to use electronics whenever you are flying a W9 load. Honestly though, both have nice loads, and I will happily fly either one, depending on which ones the local motor vendor happens to have at hand at the launch. You really can't go wrong with either of them (and yes, skids are awesome :D)
 

MarkII

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CTI Pro-38 and Pro-54 reloads are actually more like single use motors without the external case. I haven't seen the Pro-29's yet, but I assume that they have the same basic design. The CTI motor hardware is really nothing more than a threaded metal sleeve that is tapered at the forward end. The reload comes preassembled in a plastic case, with the forward and rear enclosures installed; these enclosures are disposed of with the spent reload. The delay is in its own plastic case that just snaps onto the forward end of the propellant case. You take it off to drill out your desired delay and then snap it back on. The reloads all come with the maximum delay, which you must drill out with CTI's DAT tool to get your desired delay. The delay unit also contains the ejection charge (in reloads that have one) already packed in. Then you just screw the reload into the metal sleeve and install it into your rocket. There is a thrust ring incorporated into the nozzle end of the reload. Since the reload is a self-contained unit, there is nothing to grease beforehand and nothing to clean up afterward. You just unscrew the spent reload and toss it out. The only thing that you save is the metal sleeve.

I have not seen any Pro-75 or Pro-98 reloads, but I understand that they require slightly more assembly because they are designed to be capable of being loaded into hardware from Animal Motor Works and Aerotech.

Because of the preassembly into their own disposable containment sleeves, CTI reloads in the smaller sizes and impulse have prices that are comparable to the prices of Aerotech single use motors of similar impulse.

With Aerotech RMS motors, you pay more for the hardware, which includes fore and aft enclosures, and you pay less for the reload kits. The costlier Aerotech reloadable motor is a one-time expense, though, while the costlier CTI reloads are a recurring expense. Aerotech offers reloads in a much wider variety of impulses and propellant types in the 38mm size than CTI does, but Cesaroni is starting to leverage its acquisition of AMW in order to offer more variety in its Pro-38 line now, too. But they still have some distance to go before they catch up, and in the meantime, Aerotech is not exactly standing still. ;)

MarkII
 
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cjl

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Pro29 are similar to Pro54 in assembly - they use a metal aft closure rather than the integrated closure like the Pro38, but they are still quite easy to assemble and use. The loads are definitely on the expensive side though, especially the small ones. IIRC, the F loads (29-1g) are >$15.
 
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MarkII

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When you buy any of CTI's smaller reloads, you are essentially buying 4/5's (or more) of a completely assembled motor, and the price reflects that. As I understand it, there is really no way for CTI to bring that price down any further while still retaining their design strategy. Cesaroni's reloads are very convenient, in the same way that Aerotech's (or RoadRunner's) SU motors are convenient, and as in the case with SU motors, you pay for the convenience of not having to assemble (most of) the motor yourself. In terms of price, you really can't compare CTI's small reloads to Aerotech's RMS reloads; you really have to compare them to the prices of AT's mid-power single use motors.

MarkII
 

cjl

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Very true, but cost is more of a factor for me with F and G loads than with larger ones. CTI's J motors are only a bit more expensive than the comparable aerotech ones, but their Fs are 1.5x or more. They do make a nice G skid though...
 

troj

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Providing a different perspective on all of this...

If you have a vendor who's coming to your launches, I'd encourage you to buy from that vendor. They're the ones supporting the local club and local launches.

Does this mean that mailordering things is bad? No. But if it were me, as much as possible, I'd be buying from the person who shows up at the launches.

We have a vendor who makes a several hundred mile trip to come see us three times a year. Needless to say, that's where most of the money of many of us goes.

-Kevin

PS: AeroTech and Cesaroni both make very good products. Different philosophies, different approaches, but the products are both good.
 

mparker59

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Providing a different perspective on all of this...

If you have a vendor who's coming to your launches, I'd encourage you to buy from that vendor. They're the ones supporting the local club and local launches.

Does this mean that mailordering things is bad? No. But if it were me, as much as possible, I'd be buying from the person who shows up at the launches.

We have a vendor who makes a several hundred mile trip to come see us three times a year. Needless to say, that's where most of the money of many of us goes.

-Kevin

PS: AeroTech and Cesaroni both make very good products. Different philosophies, different approaches, but the products are both good.
Kevin, you could not be more right about this. Most clubs couldn't exist without their on-site vendor. We should be willing to pay a bit more to keep that support in place. More often than not, the shipping cost more than makes up any difference in price. If not and you really care, discuss it with your on-site vendor - most would sooner give you a discount than see you go to a mail-order competitor. And, when you do need stuff mail order, check to see if your on-site vendor also operates a web store - mine does.

I'm not a vendor, never have been. But I would not have been able to have the great fun I've had in Rocketry without the support of Andy Woerner before and Jack Garibaldi now. My on-site vendor shows tremendous loyalty to the hobby - we can show loyalty to him.

Unfortunately, this doesn't solve the original problem - Jack sells both Cesaroni and Aerotech....

Mike Parker

P.S. - As a TARC mentor this year I had the great pleasure of meeting Bobby B at TARC Nationals. I hope the people that attend launches that he supports (upstate New York?) return the favor by supporting him back as he is a real asset to the hobby.
 
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jadebox

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Cesaroni's reloads are very convenient, in the same way that Aerotech's (or RoadRunner's) SU motors are convenient, and as in the case with SU motors, you pay for the convenience of not having to assemble (most of) the motor yourself.
And not having to clean up as much! With CTI motors, there really is no cleaning involved after the flight.

I love how easy CTI motors are to use. I also like how quickly they ignite every time.

I love the flame from Aerotech's White Lightning motors.




That's an Aerotech I-284 in our "Big Daddy Akavish." The rocket is about four-foot tall, so you can see that the flame is about four-feet long and more than a foot across at the widest point.

For most launches with large motors, however, I usually use either Gorilla Rocket Motors or Animal Motor Works motors. They are less expensive and just as reliable at Aerotech and CTI.

I have recently, though, bought several of the new CTI reloads that fit AMW cases. These are a little more expensive than AMW reloads, but have the features of CTI motors including the quick ignition.

So ... my conclusion is buy motors from all the manufacturers. :)

-- Roger
 

AKPilot

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I'm with Troj on this one. Support the local vendor as much as possible.

I've chosen AT because of availability. The only desire I have with AT is I'd wish there'd be a 29mm sparky available.
 

VARocketflyer

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CTI Pro-38 and Pro-54 reloads are actually more like single use motors without the external case. I haven't seen the Pro-29's yet, but I assume that they have the same basic design. The CTI motor hardware is really nothing more than a threaded metal sleeve that is tapered at the forward end. The reload comes preassembled in a plastic case, with the forward and rear enclosures installed; these enclosures are disposed of with the spent reload. The delay is in its own plastic case that just snaps onto the forward end of the propellant case. You take it off to drill out your desired delay and then snap it back on. The reloads all come with the maximum delay, which you must drill out with CTI's DAT tool to get your desired delay. The delay unit also contains the ejection charge (in reloads that have one) already packed in. Then you just screw the reload into the metal sleeve and install it into your rocket. There is a thrust ring incorporated into the nozzle end of the reload. Since the reload is a self-contained unit, there is nothing to grease beforehand and nothing to clean up afterward. You just unscrew the spent reload and toss it out. The only thing that you save is the metal sleeve.

I have not seen any Pro-75 or Pro-98 reloads, but I understand that they require slightly more assembly because they are designed to be capable of being loaded into hardware from Animal Motor Works and Aerotech.

Because of the preassembly into their own disposable containment sleeves, CTI reloads in the smaller sizes and impulse have prices that are comparable to the prices of Aerotech single use motors of similar impulse.

With Aerotech RMS motors, you pay more for the hardware, which includes fore and aft enclosures, and you pay less for the reload kits. The costlier Aerotech reloadable motor is a one-time expense, though, while the costlier CTI reloads are a recurring expense. Aerotech offers reloads in a much wider variety of impulses and propellant types in the 38mm size than CTI does, but Cesaroni is starting to leverage its acquisition of AMW in order to offer more variety in its Pro-38 line now, too. But they still have some distance to go before they catch up, and in the meantime, Aerotech is not exactly standing still. ;)

MarkII
I agree with most of the points stated above, but I would like to clear up a few things.

The post above states "Aerotech offers reloads in a much wider variety of impulses and propellant types in the 38mm size than CTI does, but Cesaroni is starting to leverage its acquisition of AMW in order to offer more variety in its Pro-38 line now, too. But they still have some distance to go before they catch up":


Aerotech has (7) 38mm RMS case sizes currently offering 36 loads ranging in impulse from 109Ns - 975Ns. This includes the 2 new long burn 38s which are now certified and should be available in 3-4 wks according to their press release. Aerotech offers reloads in 7 propellant types.​
Cesaroni offers Pro38 cases in 7 sizes with 45 loads ranging from 121Ns - 1115Ns. It is my understanding that these loads are on their way to dealers now. Cesaroni offers reloads in 7 propellant types.​

I will agree that for some years after the introduction of Pro38s the statements in quotations above were the case, but those days are now over.

Mark
 
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n3tjm

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I do like Aerotech's white better than CTI's, but I am a bigger fan of CTI. There is a lot less chance of failure with CTI loads, user and manufacture errors. CTI's delays are MUCH more accurate compaired to aerotechs, which is one of the big reasons I am happy the Pro29's are available now. $15 for a F motor is not to bad concidering the Pro29 loads are more like disposable motors than a reload, and a disposable F motor starts at $15 anyway.
 

cjl

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Of course, all that says is that you haven't tried one of the new Pro38 skids...

(The new Imax is quite nice too)
 

Handeman

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I agree with the idea of buying from the local vendor. Buy what ever type he's selling. If you want a certain brand, talk to him, he may start to carry it.

When you buy from the local vendor, the price may be a little higher, but if you're only buying a few HPR motors at a time instead of ordering $1000.00+ at a time, the hazmat and shipping fees can eat up any discount the on-line sellers offer. The thing about supporting the local vendor is that he will keep coming to the launches. That means when you decide to try the bigger motor and need that next larger case, he'll be there. When you need a couple of rail buttons, some shock cord, new body tube and nose cone to fix the last core sample, or any of the hundred of other bits and pieces you may need at some time, he'll be there.

As it has been mentioned, most of the local vendors that show up, also sell on the web. I've been able to order things on-line and arrange pickup at the launch site. That gives you the best of both worlds, website pricing and NO shipping at all.
 

dave carver

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I, myself, can't wait for Frank Kosdon to ramp up production now that regulatory problems have been resolved. His Fast Fuel is by far my favorite although I have the complete 29 and 38 mm sets of AT's. And being that AMW motors are derived from Frank's line there is the capability of using AMW loads in a Kosdon case.

My friends, we're entering a Golden Age of rocketry, everything is truly going up from here on:cyclops:
 

ben_ullman

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let me settle this

GO SNAP RING!! Then you can do EX later ;)

Ben
 

Locum51

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I'm stuck between AT (38mm) and CTI (38mm) as well. Which would be better for a person switching from MPR to HPR, like ease of use, cleaning, etc.
 

cjl

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let me settle this

GO SNAP RING!! Then you can do EX later ;)

Ben
Of course, snap ring motors are more of a pain than either AT or CTI, IMHO.

(I have to say, I really like the new AMW loads by CTI)
 

ben_ullman

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Of course, snap ring motors are more of a pain than either AT or CTI, IMHO.

(I have to say, I really like the new AMW loads by CTI)
must be user error :roll:

I must admit for ease of assembly CTI has it but you can do so much with snap rings. Plus they are cheap/easy to make. 3 grooves in a tube and you have a case.

Ben
 

Bill P

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Of course, snap ring motors are more of a pain than either AT or CTI, IMHO.

(I have to say, I really like the new AMW loads by CTI)
With a proper pair of snap ring pliers they are a breeze to work with.

Pliers are not a place to scrimp on money.
 

MarkM

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Of course, snap ring motors are more of a pain than either AT or CTI, IMHO.
True, CTI are the easiest loading motors available in the 29, 38, & 54 sizes. No question. And with a broader range of propellant types they are becoming a much better alternative than they were when I first got into the hobby about 4 years ago.

However, I totally disagree that snap ring motors are more a pain than AT loads. Compare the number of parts....snap ring motors use fewer and it's IMPOSSIBLE to confuse which O-ring goes in which location. How many AT motors have gone BOOM because of mixed up O-rings? Despite assembling dozens of AT motors, I typically need to read the directions each time. Not so with a snap ring motors. I can put together a snap ring motor in half the time of an AT motor.
 

cjl

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With a proper pair of snap ring pliers they are a breeze to work with.

Pliers are not a place to scrimp on money.
I definitely agree there, but even with a pair of good pliers (which I do have), I still prefer AT and CTI. I know a lot of people disagree there, but it's just a personal preference

(You're one to be talking about user error, ben... :p)
 

ben_ullman

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I definitely agree there, but even with a pair of good pliers (which I do have), I still prefer AT and CTI. I know a lot of people disagree there, but it's just a personal preference

(You're one to be talking about user error, ben... :p)
Ive had on AT load go boom due to Orings and (3 K1275's bubble/burn the case due to poor heat seal design) never had a single (EX or commercial) motor blow up. I am 100% successfull with snap rings motors. That being said I did have ONE motor let go at the top of the snap ring groove because the case was heat stressed. a 3 grain 76mm.

Ben
 

cjl

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Ive had on AT load go boom due to Orings and (3 K1275's bubble/burn the case due to poor heat seal design) never had a single (EX or commercial) motor blow up. I am 100% successfull with snap rings motors. That being said I did have ONE motor let go at the top of the snap ring groove because the case was heat stressed. a 3 grain 76mm.

Ben
I've never had any HPR load fail on me. I have however spent 2 weeks chipping the liner out of an AMW K555 after I flew it (and yes, I greased the liner).
 

astrowolf67

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Since your local dealer carries only AT motors, I'd start there. Then later on, you could pick up some CTI cases and loads.

Hypothetically speaking, let's say you have a set of CTI Pro 38 cases, and a good supply of I's, and, J's. You have no G or H motors, and your last motor order has yet to arrive. The rocket you plan to fly can handle G through J's easily (a PML Callisto for example). You show up to the launch, and, there's a good breeze blowing, enough to prevent safe recovery with an I or J flight. Since you have Pro 38 cases, and your on site vendor only carries AT loads, your rocket will be grounded. However, if you had AT cases, you could walk over to Joe Vendor, purchase a H, or G, and fly.

David
 
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