# Are Estes F15-6 and F15-8 motors still in production?

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#### artgsc

##### Member
TRF Supporter
Getting kind of expensive launching my 29mm Estes Pro Series II rockets on composite motors. Sure wish I could get some F15-6 or F15-8 black powder motors but they are nowhere to be found. Sure hope Estes isn't dropping them entirely

#### BEC

##### Well-Known Member
I‘d be surprised If they are dropping them, since they just released another kit that would take the F15-6 (Doorknob). But since Hobby Lobby stopped carrying them, and since they have enough propellant to need to be shipped HAZMAT, they are much harder to find for sure.

It is disquieting that they’re shown out of stock at estesrockets.com but that means only that there are none in stock in the corner of the warehouse from which mail orders are fulfilled, not that there are none in Penrose necessarily. Hmmmm.....

#### artgsc

##### Member
TRF Supporter
Thank you for your response. I appreciate it! Recently, I was able to get access to a launch area large enough for mid-power so I finally built two Estes Argent kits that I bought about a decade ago. Then, not long ago I bought an Estes Pro Series II Star Orbiter which lists for only $25 and it flies just fine but it is hard to justify the$27 per launch cost using composite motors. Again, thank you for your thoughts on this! Art G. Tripoli #20008 AMA #8332

#### mbeels

##### Yes balsa
TRF Supporter
Yeah, weird. I just looked through all the motor vendors I could think of, and no one has any F15 motors.

#### BEC

##### Well-Known Member
Then, not long ago I bought an Estes Pro Series II Star Orbiter which lists for only $25 and it flies just fine but it is hard to justify the$27 per launch cost using composite motors.
Indeed the Star Orbiter and the F15-8 are a magical combination, as is the PSII Super Big Bertha and the F15-6.

#### neil_w

##### Hunkered down and slowly going crazy
TRF Supporter
Thank you for your response. I appreciate it! Recently, I was able to get access to a launch area large enough for mid-power so I finally built two Estes Argent kits that I bought about a decade ago. Then, not long ago I bought an Estes Pro Series II Star Orbiter which lists for only $25 and it flies just fine but it is hard to justify the$27 per launch cost using composite motors. Again, thank you for your thoughts on this! Art G. Tripoli #20008 AMA #8332

#### artgsc

##### Member
TRF Supporter
Thanks for the info! I just placed an order with Hobbylinc.com for 20 of the Estes F15-8 motors. Total cost including shipping/hazmat came to $260.37 so that will bring me in at about$13 per launch. The only problem I see is that on the Hobbylinc.com website they state "No Longer Manufactured, very limited supply Item # EST1653"...... I wouldn't be surprised if they don't have enough on hand to fill this order. Will post an update here as soon as I hear from them.
Art G. (Tripoli #20008 AMA #8332)

Lots of options in the 29mm composite F range for about $15 per launch. #### BEC ##### Well-Known Member Those F20s might be close.....but there is something about that nice loooooong burn (and easy ignition) of the Estes F15s that is so satisfying to fly in the right model. Here's hoping Hobbylinc is wrong about "no longer manufactured". #### artgsc ##### Member TRF Supporter I bet an order with Chris' is going to be in my near future. The Enerjet by Aerotech you have pointed out on his website look good. Thanks! Art G. (TRA #20008 AMA #8332) #### Bill S ##### Well-Known Member I thought they went out of business years ago. Did you buy from them recently? Also: buying F15s mail order will incur$35 hazmat charge. Not worth it to me, unless you're gonna stock up big time.
I think it was late last year. I have no idea if they are still in business or not, sorry.

#### DeWain

##### Well-Known Member
I was afraid of the same thing, especially since I was planning on using them on an upscaled Avenger (a two stager-- and you can't do direct staging with composite motors). I reached out to Estes, and they said that they will have them back in stock, but probably not until October. I was able to find the E16 and and F15s at Discount Rocketry:
https://www.discountrocketry.com/estes-model-rocket-motor-pack-p-1634.html

Even though the Estes 29mm motors are rather pricey, they are really cool for upscaled rockets. A BT50 rocket that was originally powered by 18mm motors scales up very nicely at 136% to 24mm motors in a BT55, and at 168% to 29mm motors in a BT60 (or in the case of the Avenger, the BT55 rocket scales up nicely to a 167% rocket with a BT70).

#### artgsc

##### Member
TRF Supporter
Just as I suspected... I received notification from Hobbylinc.com this morning that they have zero Estes F15-8 engines in stock and that they have been discontinued...... Art G. (TRA #20008 AMA #8332)

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#### BEC

##### Well-Known Member
DeWain's information squares with mine. I also reached out to Estes and learned that they are rebuilding the machine used to make them and that once that is done, they will be making them again.

I hope Ruby and Jim at Discount Rocketry really do have them. Their web site is not always up to date.

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#### artgsc

##### Member
TRF Supporter
Glad to know that Estes is planning to keep making the F engines!

Art G.
(TRA #20008 AMA #8332

##### Well-Known Member
Not exactly what you're looking for but AC Supply has some of the 29mm Estes BP motors in stock. (E16-0, E16-6, F15-0)

I don't know how many they have and they only have the booster in the F15 size so it may not work for you. Also, $37 HazMat charge is a hard pill to swallow unless you're buying in bulk and can spread it over alot of motors. #### neil_w ##### Hunkered down and slowly going crazy TRF Supporter I don't know how many they have and they only have the booster in the F15 size so it may not work for you. Also,$37 HazMat charge is a hard pill to swallow unless you're buying in bulk and can spread it over alot of motors.
That's why I've pretty much stopped flying these motors. They're great but when I can get great single-use composites without hazmat, the choice is easy.

The one motor I really wish I could get is the F15-0.

#### Nytrunner

##### Pop lugs, not drugs
learned that they are rebuilding the machine used to make them
Oh dang, did something happen to it?

#### BEC

##### Well-Known Member
I don’t think so. More like something to improve the production process, I think.

#### Handeman

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I would highly suggest 24/40 and 29/40-120 Aerotech Reloadable Motors for use with Estes D and Pro Series rockets. Check out BuyRocketMotors.com
in 24/40, 3 flights is of a D9 is <$21 or$$7 each, E18 for$8 a flight, F12 at $9 a flight. in 29/40-120, E23 <$12, an F40 or F53 < $17, or 29mm G motors for$18.

I know the cost of hardware is up front, but I have 24/40 and 29/40-120 hardware I bought in 2003, they all have well over 100 flights and I'm still using them. I can't imaging I would have flown near as many flight if I were buying SU motors.

#### mbeels

##### Yes balsa
TRF Supporter
I would highly suggest 24/40 and 29/40-120 Aerotech Reloadable Motors for use with Estes D and Pro Series rockets.
Yeah, I fly the 24/40 quite a lot, and really like it. The F12 Black Jack has a burn time almost as long as the F15, and you also have the option of White Lightning and Blue Thunder reloads.

##### Well-Known Member
The one thing that none of the composite motor can do is direct staging. Being able to put an E16-0 or F15-0 in a booster and direct stage to any other BP motor still isn't available for SU or reloadable APCP motors. You must use electronics which adds weight and complexity.

#### Handeman

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
The one thing that none of the composite motor can do is direct staging. Being able to put an E16-0 or F15-0 in a booster and direct stage to any other BP motor still isn't available for SU or reloadable APCP motors. You must use electronics which adds weight and complexity.
That is true, there is nothing easier than staging -0 BP motors to upper stage.
If you fly +2 stage, then you need to stick with the BP in the small motors. For single stage, it's hard to beat the reloads, especially after the case has been amortized over 5-10 flights.

#### artgsc

##### Member
TRF Supporter
Good info here. Glad I found this forum!

#### Scott_650

##### Well-Known Member
DeWain's information squares with mine. I also reached out to Estes and learned that they are rebuilding the machine used to make them and that once that is done, they will be making them again.

I hope Ruby and Jim at Discount Rocketry really do have them. Their web site is not always up to date.
Our LHS has a projected in-stock date of November this year - not sure what it takes to rebuild a motor making machine but that seems like a reasonable timeline.

#### Rocketjunkie

The one thing that none of the composite motor can do is direct staging. Being able to put an E16-0 or F15-0 in a booster and direct stage to any other BP motor still isn't available for SU or reloadable APCP motors. You must use electronics which adds weight and complexity.
Nothing beats a 4 stage rack rocket on F15's
Clusters are fun too
If you fly +2 stage, then you need to stick with the BP in the small motors. For single stage, it's hard to beat the reloads, especially after the case has been amortized over 5-10 flights.
As long as you don't lose the rocket. They go much higher than the black powder motors.

#### Handeman

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
As long as you don't lose the rocket. They go much higher than the black powder motors.
That is certainly true. I launched an Estes Stormcaster on an F24W and lost site of it on the way up.

I said it went into orbit and nobody has been able to prove me wrong since!

#### Theory

##### Well-Known Member
That is certainly true. I launched an Estes Stormcaster on an F24W and lost site of it on the way up.

I said it went into orbit and nobody has been able to prove me wrong since!
LOLz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!