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Can Anyone confirm this kit existing? Alpha II

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CTRockets

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When I was first introduced to the hobby of Model rocketry I was taken by a family member to a day long workshop at a local College. They had a kit for each person to build and afterward we flew them in the parking lot. We all built a kit called Alpha II . I have never been able to find out anything about this rocket since then. I know the Alpha and Alpha 3 but not the Alpha II Does it still exist? Why cant I find anything out about the kit?

Thanks for any info you can give.

Mike
 

johnnwwa

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When I was first introduced to the hobby of Model rocketry I was taken by a family member to a day long workshop at a local College. They had a kit for each person to build and afterward we flew them in the parking lot. We all built a kit called Alpha II . I have never been able to find out anything about this rocket since then. I know the Alpha and Alpha 3 but not the Alpha II Does it still exist? Why cant I find anything out about the kit?

Thanks for any info you can give.

Mike
Hi Mike
Welcome to TRF you will like it here.

Alpha here:
http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/catalogs/estes712/712est16.html

BAR
John
 

CTRockets

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OK, After doing some research I found it was a kit available to educational facilities. Thats probably why I had the opportunity of building it in a rocketry class. Thanks for your help. And I do like this forum. Its great. I have been a fan of rocketry for a while and after a bit of a hiatus I am getting back into the hobby. I guess I was being a little nostalgic about the first rocket kit I ever built, Aplha II I quickly ran out and bought many many kits after that.

Thanks again and I am sure I will be talking to you all in other topics.

Mike
 

rokitflite

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I believe the measurements in the kit were all in metric as well. Here are 2 that I have buried in boxes somewhere...

alpha 2.jpg
 

RoyAtl

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When I was first introduced to the hobby of Model rocketry I was taken by a family member to a day long workshop at a local College. They had a kit for each person to build and afterward we flew them in the parking lot. We all built a kit called Alpha II . I have never been able to find out anything about this rocket since then. I know the Alpha and Alpha 3 but not the Alpha II Does it still exist? Why cant I find anything out about the kit?

Thanks for any info you can give.

Mike
Yes, it was just a repackaged Alpha for the education market. There was something different about it, either a pre-made parachute, or die cut fins, or something like that.
 

powderburner

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CTRockets,

Welcome to TRF! We are glad you chose to jump into the fun here, but now you have to keep coming back!

You may not understand yet but the Estes Alpha was/is really about 29 slightly different kits. They were all called 'Alpha' but there were teeny differences.

This little gem of a kit has a long history at Estes, and just might rank among the top ten low-power kits of all time. Easy construction, clean lines, very good performance, and lots of other great attributes.

Over the years, Estes changed the nose cone shape, the nose cone material, the fin material, the parachute, the color of the body tube, the color of the nose cone, the color of the plastic fins....you get the idea. The nose cone shape alone has probably been tweaked about a dozen times (sharp tip, round tip, ogive, near-ogive, etc). Somewhere in the middle of the stream there used to be a particular combination that Estes called the Alpha II (I don't know where/how/why they decided it was time for a 'II'). They were all essentially the same, but some of the features (plastic nose cones, plastic fin units) were probably kept to make this rocket kit a bit more beginner-friendly.

You can tie on a parachute, clip on a streamer, or leave them both off and use 'nose-blow' recovery (the NC remains attached by the shock cord, the rocket breaks apart and tumbles down). The Alpha is very flexible.

One of our rocketry historians can probably count off the details of the exact year, the variations in components, and all the rest. You ask a great question, one that goes almost all the way back to the start of model rocketry.
 

rokitflite

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Oh, bad picture, but this is the earlier packaging...

alpha2old.jpg
 

RoyAtl

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CTRockets,

You may not understand yet but the Estes Alpha was/is really about 29 slightly different kits. They were all called 'Alpha' but there were teeny differences.
well, really, there was only one nosecone shape for the Alpha while it had a balsa nose cone. Any variations were merely due to wear of the grinders used to make the cones. The Alpha III (and IV), to me, really represented a completely different branch of the line... they just happened to get the fin shape right :) .

The first blowmolded nose for the Alpha was a very close match to the balsa shape. When they redid those molds in the mid 90's, I have no idea why they used a different shape, other that they probably used a computer to do it, and it was easier to create a geometrically correct shape than to copy the original.

Other than that, the Alpha is still the Alpha, whether the fins are cut-it-yourself, die-cut, laser-cut or whatever, and whether the engine mount was the old stage coupler with two thin rings, or the thick ringed version that's been around since 1969.
 

MarkII

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I think that the Metric Alpha was, technically, a different kit from the Alpha II. While the original Alpha was designated as K-25, the Alpha II had the designation EK-25. The Metric Alpha was kit #1408. I have PDF's of the kit instructions for both of these, but they are too big to add as attachments to this post. Here are JPEG images of the first pages of each kit's plans.

Mark \\.

Alpha II-TRF.jpg


Metric Alpha-TRF.jpg
 

adrian

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I believe the measurements in the kit were all in metric as well. Here are 2 that I have buried in boxes somewhere...
Two of those are Alpha II's, the third is an Alpha. Dig them out of the boxes and tell us what the difference is. :) I'm going to guess that one has a balsa nose cone and the other has plastic.
 

rokitflite

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Two of those are Alpha II's, the third is an Alpha. Dig them out of the boxes and tell us what the difference is. :) I'm going to guess that one has a balsa nose cone and the other has plastic.
And thats why I said 2 of them are Alpha IIs... The ones pictured ALL have balsa cones... Unfortunately digging them out is really not an option. The pile is several boxes deep in every direction... BIG boxes:rolleyes:.
 

JRThro

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Unfortunately digging them out is really not an option. The pile is several boxes deep in every direction... BIG boxes:rolleyes:.
Sure, but as you dig through all of the boxes, you'll probably find a bunch of kits that you don't want any more and can send to your friends!
:eek: :D

Plus, you can get an accurate count of your current kit collection, which is always a topic that fascinates me.
:rolleyes:
 

propbeany

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Sure, but as you dig through all of the boxes, you'll probably find a bunch of kits that you don't want any more and can send to your friends!
:eek: :D

Plus, you can get an accurate count of your current kit collection, which is always a topic that fascinates me.
:rolleyes:
But he might be tempted to actually build one or two of them. We can't have that now
 

ManofSteele

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The only difference between the Alpha I and tyhe Alpha II was that the three fin lines were pre-drawn on the body tube for the Alpha II. It made assembly faster.

Matt
 

RoyAtl

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The only difference between the Alpha I and tyhe Alpha II was that the three fin lines were pre-drawn on the body tube for the Alpha II. It made assembly faster.

Matt
Were you there when they redid the mold for the pnc-50K and changed the shape (for that matter, when they changed the pnc-50Y from blowmolded to "centuri-style" injection) ? Do you know the rationale? or did it just not occur to them that they were changing the shape of something? Or they just didn't think it was all that important?
 
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