AMW and AT cross compatability!

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Well-Known Member
Aug 5, 2002
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I just read this on RMR, it's a note from Paul Robinson of AMW.

Open Letter Re: ISP/AT auction.

This letter is meant to set straight the intentions of AMW Inc. regarding
its pursuit of the purchase of ISP/AT assets.

We are already hearing incorrect issues and malicious statements, resulting
in this statement of our position.

We have received notice from the Attorney representing ISP/AT, (Gary
Rosenfield) referred to as DIP (debtors in possession.), of the intentions
of DIP to sell the ISP/AT assets free and clear of any debt.

Said Notice advised of an offer for the sum of $30K from RCS Inc. (Gary

The Notice also was a request for additional offers, to be received no later
than 5 business days before the hearing.


Being that this was Very Short Notice, and the wealth of unanswered
questions, incomplete financial statements, etc., we immediately hired an
Attorney to investigate, and to help AMW Inc. receive further pertinent

AMW's attorney, having attended the creditors meeting, spoke with the US
bankruptcy Trustee, and subsequently filed a motion for more time, and
additional discovery. The Court agreed and set a new date for the hearing.

AMW's attorney felt that there might be some legal question regarding RCS's
ability to legally acquire these assets (insider sale, lack of long arm
transaction, to name a few indiscretions, in our opinion)

I, Paul Robinson, as the principle of AMW Inc., decided to call Gary.

Amongst other things, there was some talk about how "Bad Chemistry" has
transpired over the last couple years between Gary, I, and another

We talked about how the Acquisition of AT might be viewed by some as a
"trophy", to hang on the wall.

This obviously is one of many reasons I am writing this letter.

Gary and I agreed that we could not point to any particular incident, but
perhaps just bad Karma, and a series of misunderstandings, or business

The important thing here is the fact of dialogue! I have spoken to Gary on 3
occasions in the last couple weeks, and group postings have recently
happened with another mfg.

So much for a brief on history.

Moving forward.

It is AMW's intention to bid on the assets of ISP/AT, and assure that all
the assets and financial records are disclosed.

One cannot make a sound business decision without correct or complete

One of my (as well as others) personal concerns in this business is, what
will happen to Gary and/or his staff?

Gary has been a part of rocketry since its early times and one cannot
overlook his contributions, along with others, some of whom are still

I can tell you that there have been discussions with Gary. One option is if
Gary would remain with some of his help, but work under a new owner.

Obviously, Gary and I understand that might be a bitter pill, and more
research into such an option is needed. All options are open for review.

The PARAMOUNT concern is this; that the end users who have invested in
Aerotech hardware and products be supported. and that is the delivery of
product return to the timely status it was two years ago.

I repeat, AMW's primary goal in this venture is to secure customer
investments of AT hardware with product, insuring that their investment will
not become a bad debt write off., or a wind chime!!

Though it has not been Gary's desire to see cross compatibility of different
manufactures hardware, I believe that is the future. I believe that for our
hobby to live and grow in the future, we must find a way to help keep it
affordable. My belief to secure that future is co- operation between
manufactures, instead of discord.

Wouldn't it be nice to know that most any load you wanted was available for
the hardware you currently owned??

My efforts are in fact to save ISP/AT (or what it represented) and restore
it, not to bury it. One of the big problems in this hobby, has been the
"constant fighting, protracted lawsuits, I own this, and I invented this,
you stole this, and this one did that". This is, and has been, detrimental
to the hobby. This will help put an end to such behavior, though it can't
be done alone!! That is one of the reasons for my desire to purchase
Aerotech. I want to acquire the rights to open up the field. Let the
customer benefit from open technology.

For the most part, the designs and products that are out there are public

The military was using snap rings back in the 50's, tracking smoke, etc.

Unless you made an effort to protect your ideas through the legal Patent
process, give it up. With very few exceptions, most of the stuff we use
today was already thought of.

CTI and I have had talks regarding this. (Pro AMW) we are looking for
feedback regarding these ideas!!

Both Anthony and myself are in complete agreement that it is good for the

What do you the customer think??

Let quality, reliability, and the customer's right to choose dictate his

Yes, there will be some questions regarding warranty, and a "few" that might
be dishonest, and try to exploit to their advantage.

But for the most part, if people know that there is a common goal, they work
together. (Fly Rockets as an example)

I welcome constructive dialog, and rational ideas to help solve some of
these thoughts.


Paul Robinson


AMW Inc.

How cool is that?!!? I hope it all falls through:)
That is awesome, I look forward to the day when you can get any type of load for your cases. soo cool
Well, I'm not as excited. This is all coming out of AT being put up for sale, instead of emerging intact from bankruptcy.
In the last few months I have spent a bucketload of money on hobby and HPR reload hardware. I want to know FOR CERTAIN that AT will stay in the motor business and that I didn't just waste my hard-earned money. Crap, I just want to know that composite motors will still be available in good quantity.
Maybe I just don't know enough about what's going on but it all makes me very, very nervous.
AT is the only manufacturer who supports 24/29 mm midpower.
What will become of that? Have I bought the last E and G reloads I'll see?
Kosdon makes 24 and 29 so does Ellis

Also, it says loads will still be made but you can get AMW loads for AT cases and visa versa
Too bad AMW still doesn't make MPR stuff... That would be so cool, an Initiator boosting on a skidmark.
The Kosdon and Ellis 24/29 mm motors are limited in selection and hardly interchangable with AT E-F-G for my purposes, or, I'll hazard a guess, most other people's either. The rockets I've built are built around "standard" lengths. They will not fit my hardware, either. So, if I want to use these motors, I have to buy new hardware and build new rockets, and I'll have maybe 3 or 4 choices for the whole E-F-G range. That is why I don't already have those brands.
With this recent action, I can only foresee AMW using AT machines to make smaller loads. If AMW paid a users fee to AT for that, AMW would still make money, and AT would have funds to get back on their feet, it's a win win situation.

You own motor casings. AMW understands that you want to fill them, and whats available you will buy to fill them. I am sure they understand a huge chunk of the market is in small motors, I don't doubt they will try to extend their reach to the smaller motors.

With Cesaroni, a very successful company, AMW, a company that is creeping up as one of the more prominent HPR manufacturers, and AT, obviously the most prominent of them all, working together, you will find that there will be a great variety of motors for every case you own. This is great for the hobby, how would you like a G Green Gorilla motor for your 29-40/120, or a Purple Parrot for your 24-40 case? All very intriguing thoughts, and with this occurance it could very well happen.

There is much potential here, I hope it falls through.
Small composite motors are more in demand than HPR motors, but it is the HPR motors that makes the money... That is one reason my AMW did not invest in equipment to make the small stuff yet. The smaller motors are harder to make than the larger motors.

Also... I seriously doubt you will see skid mark in a small motor... to much liability... and also smaller motors have to small of a nozzle throat for the titanium to pass through.
Oh well, it would be cool anyways. Weren't Silver Streak motors made with titanium?
Yepp, they were too. The bigger flame and sparks from the Silver Streak came from the Black Powder propellent rather than AP.
So long as at the end of the day we can come here on TRF and share stories of our day out at the field, I am not so concerned who is producing motors. So long as they are safe, reliable, available, and affordable, motor on and keep the rockets flying.

If not, I forsee a lot of 3X24mm MMT cluster kits from FlisKits. ;)
Kosdon makes 24 and 29 so does Ellis

I know Kosdon did make 24/29mm MPR when they were Kosdon, but I believe that since the switch to AMW, that stuff's OOP, and isn't it only certified by NAR? I know there was a decertification issue with Kosdon stuff between TRA/NAR.

As for Ellis, I can't wait to try out my G35, and I hope the F20 (are they still planning on producing that?) and 24mm G37 come out soon.
Well, while it is a sad day for AT and the folks/family who've made it a name-sake, I am not too worried for one main reason: I can't see anybody willing to invest serious money purchasing AT then *choosing* not to use what they bought.

One of the things they would have bought was the designs, tooling and know-how to make all those 24mm and 29mm motors that you all know and love.

Just seems to make more sense that if you were to buy it, you'd use it so I would expect that whoever *does* buy it would begin (fairly soon too, i would imagine) pumping out the motors that sell...

just my 2 cents :)
Originally posted by jflis
One of the things they would have bought was the designs, tooling and know-how to make all those 24mm and 29mm motors that you all know and love.

Just seems to make more sense that if you were to buy it, you'd use it so I would expect that whoever *does* buy it would begin (fairly soon too, i would imagine) pumping out the motors that sell...

just my 2 cents :)
Well said Jim. I doubt that the 24/29 tooling would be discarded or put away on a shelf, knowing full well there's a BIG market out there for MPR. If you would have to jump from Questes to HPR with no go between (MPR) well, I would think that more would drop out of the hobby in the long run. I would expect that if/when AT is aquired by ...whoever, we'll know in short order what their plans will be.
Let's hope for the best for all of us.
I agree with Jim, the tooling will not go to waste. I heard that AMW does not make the smaller loads because they don't have the smaller equipment, although I could be wrong. It is in fact harder to produce the smaller loads, but the reward for doing so is large.

I hope that the purchasers realize this and decide to continue small motor production.

But the other side of me wants some AMW loads for the Dr. Rocket 54mm casing set that I got for X-Mas;)
Im with you, it would be durn cool to have an E Skidmark.... And if the deal is AMW buys all of AT's hardware, they should be able to make our Es Fs and Gs. Besides, AMW is run by a great guy, so I dont think we have too much to fear. Just a lapse in production while they transport the hardware out here, and goodness knows we are used to having to hunt for motors! And I know of a hobby shop that stocks AT motors, and I am one of two or three guys who buys them, so I am safe, for a little while! I was just thinking that it would be a good thing if AT and AMW merged.... AMW propellant in AT cases.... Perfect match. I dont have a problem with rocket availiblility (my dad wants to buy a few cases of mailing tubes, a lot of glass, and a ton of plywood... Gotta love dads....). Motors, thats always been difficult. I have never known the years of easy motor availiblility. Even when I was into 1/2 As the bulk packs I wanted were always backorderd.....

Motor mount lenth.... Hows that a problem? ;) I never put in internal thrust rings. I hammer off the tab on AT motor hooks so I can fit 29MM HPR in em! I havent used a thrust ring for about a year now.... (thats half my rocketry career, mind you!) I always use masking tape on motors. That way I can fit any lenth. So thats no biggie for me. Make em half a foot long for all I care!

So really, as long as they keep the MPR, I am happy.
I have no concerns at all regarding propellant as there are enough alternatives now to get us through anything. Hats off goes to AMW, whos big 98mm x 15,000 casing is the first AT compatable casing ever made! I got to see it at NARAM last year, Ross had a demo, and it will take either AMW reloads or the AT thinking! I only hope we see more of it but that's a good start for those of us that like the big boys.

Can't wait to see what the future holds...I am both optimistic and excited!

As said earlier, 38mm is about the smallest a Skidmark can get, the nozzles are just too small at the MPR range. The Ti would have to get ground up almost to a powder and cause little or no effect, while reducing the motors impulse, ie a 29-180 load would be closer to 120 NS, maybe even lower into F impulse.

I have sat down and contemplated the whole issue, and come up with this:

A. This could very well be better for the hobby that I thought. Basically, as bad as it is for AT and I wish no harm to them, we rely on a single motor manufacturer for the majority of our motors. There is little competition for consumers in the E-G range. This just reinforces the fact that we cannot rely so dearly on a single company.

B. B is the follow up to A. Since we cannot rely soley on AT, another company needs to surface to manufacture such products. AMW and Cesaroni, in my opinion, are two of the most capable manufacturers of carrying this out. Kosdon, and US Rockets, believe it or not, are both capable as well. If both of these companies can get legal, they have a very good opportunity to sell a lot of motors. I hope that this occurance will spark an interest in other companies to venture into 18-29mm Composite motors. Better competition and more of a variety, you can't lose.

C. One issue I see is that the positive effects of this will be delayed. The formulations for smaller motors need to be determined, and grain geometries and such need to be developed. Certification of these motors will most likely take several months to over a year.

D. And finally, one more concern. If in fact AMW purchases AT and combines the two into one large motor manufacturer, the task may be underestimated. This is not a small event, AT is a very large company with many devoted employee's. So, if AMW and AT become one, and it is in fact harder to manage than planned, there is a chance that both company's could fold. Although it may be unlikely, the worst should always be considered.

Now, I normally do not like to get into issues this heavily, but I hope I have some decent insight on the whole issue. No matter what happens, I hope that there is enough motors to go around at the end of it all.
I think this would end up being a good thing, to tell you the truth. If AMW acquires AT, sandman's right - they aren't going to buy the assets then sit on them. The assets are too valuable. Not to mention that I think everyone realizes that midpower is the gateway to HPR. I never would have built the desire I have to get into midpower if I never loaded and flew an F40 in my Initiator. I'm not saying high power would die without midpower, but you wouldn't see as much "new blood" joining the HPR ranks. With what Doug was saying, it sounds like AMW would not be opposed to producing mpr if it had the infrastructure to do so. If they purchased ISP/AT's assets, there's the infrastructure. Unfortunately, all we can do is wait, hope for the best, and trust that the big wheels are turning in our favor.

Thats quite the signature you got there loopy....

I do hope that USR (US rockets) gets thier line certed again. Thos like like durn kewl motors! I want Sparky! I want Sparky! I want Sparky! Wouldent object to some Skidmark either....... But USR manages to make 29MM Sparkys, so why cant AMW? It cant be THAT hard, if USR can do it.... Maybe they just need a different formula so they can make larger nozzel diameters. I am off to take my first shot at a foam nosecone (wish me luck, I think I need it!). I am gonna cut up an unused rain-deflector and make some cutouts of the shape of the cone, stick the cone in the middle, and just cut along the forms. Then twist the cone a few degrees and repeat. It MIGHT just work! And my dad bought a TON of foam for insulating my workshop. I now have about 144 square feet of the stuff, and its all 2" thick! THats enough for almost 100 nosecones (or about 10-20 good ones, out of 100 tries....). Good luck to AT and AMW!
Let's face it: Universal hardware is a dream that will not happen (for free)!
If AMW (or CTI?) buys the assets, they will keep others from using the patents, as this has been done by Aerotech so far.
There is nothing bad about this, this is just the most normal thing in business. You cannot spent a lot of time and money on developments without protecting it afterwards, in order to be able to get your money back by marketing that product.
You have to realize also that the best way to keep a stable motor supply is "keep "Aerotech" production going with its current staff". There is no alternative.
Also what would we win when 2 (or 3) manufacturers get combined to one?

The question you have to ask is "why didn't AMW try to get a license to build reloads for Aerotech casings" if they are so interested to build AT-compatible reloads?

There is also an interesting discussion going on at ROL (general discussion forum) that's well worth a look.


The question you have to ask is "why didn't AMW try to get a license to build reloads for Aerotech casings" if they are so interested to build AT-compatible reloads?

I believe they did try. Along with other companies. Aerotech said a big NO before.

AMW is all about cross compatibility... A lot (but not all) of AMW cases are compatible with Kosdon hardware (AMW used to be Kosdon East), and the reason why some of them are not compatible, Paul saw a need to change the design.

And like the letter says, AMW loads for Pro cases may appear on the market in the future. They have some great ideas... I can't wait to see them come reality ;)
... and you are sure Frank Kosdon is happy about this?
Actually, Frank is not involved with the old Kosdon East, which is what Kosdon by Aerotech and AMW were spawned from...just some info to help keep us on track and politics out.

I am more excited about seeing CTI carry AMW compatable loads for their casings...that would be the cat's meow man!

Originally posted by Neil

I want Sparky! I want Sparky! I want Sparky! Wouldent object to some Skidmark either.......

dude, sparky and skidmark are the same thing Skidmark is a brand name sparky motor
No duh! I am saying I would like the F and G Sparky propellant loads from USR, but I would also like some F and G Skidmark motors. I know they are the same thing, but USR already makes em. Now the only problem is the USR loads not being certified..........
Yea, it would be nice if USR got some motors certed. Wouldn't complain if they had legal G008s.
Yeah... I really want some of those. But theyr not certed... Some of you people who have been in the hobby for a while might be able to tell me WHY they are not certed.... Did they have a big batch of catoing motors or what? What did they do wrong?