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Clearing up some Estes rumors/questions

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Ltvscout

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I've noticed a number of questions and/or rumors regarding Estes as of late. I just wanted to clear some of these up.

Vern has/had nothing to do with the new kits, he is at home on the ranch. He hasn't been involved with the Estes company since he retired many years ago.

Estes sales are not lagging. Estes is not in trouble financially.

The new kits have nothing to do with Jim Flis or Bill Stine.

The new kits are not coming out until at least July or August (probably later). That is, two to three months from now.
 

shinbone

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It's little wonder Estes kits continue to sell well; they're so widely available to the casual hobbyist via numerous retail outlets.
Those of us who've been around a while can find what we're looking for online, but for the masses, Estes is about all the hobby shops carry, in my area at least, except for the occasional Quest or Custom offering.
And what's up with those companies? Seems like they've been offering the same kits for years.
 

Initiator001

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It's too bad that Vern and the current management at Estes are not on the best of terms. Many companies still keep their founder involved if for nothing other than PR.

Estes now has a large distributor/dealer of their product (Wal-Mart) so they should have a stable cash flow. I'm sure that the profit margin is lower than what they could get by selling the same item strictly through hobby shops but then there would not be the volume.

This stable cash flow is what is probably letting Estes look at new products geared more towards hobby shops and rocketeers. Their management probably now sees the hobby market as one that has additional profit for them with products tailored to these rocketry enthusiasts.

Estes needed to get creative with new product ideas. Sure, they have had many new plastic parts for new kits, but they really needed to look out for new opportunities and concepts. Now there are the X-prize rockets and Oracle camera.

It seems like it's been a decade or more since Estes has announced some really new, innovative rocketry products. Let's hope they all make it into production. I can't wait to pick all these new items up!
 

vjp

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It seems that Estes is recovering from the Star-Wars debacle of a few years back, and that we're seeing lots of new stuff now that they're getting back on firmer financial ground.

I like (and appreciate) that they're making overtures to us "oldsters" by re-releasing the Orbital Transport and now the Scissor-Wing transport (these are obviously low-production-run products, which are probably not making them money hand over fist). And the new products, like the E9's.

If anyone from Estes is listening, any chance of bringing back the B14 motors?
:D
 

vjp

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Originally posted by vjp
If anyone from Estes is listening, any chance of bringing back the B14 motors?
:D
...and a 95mm, long-burning 18mm "D"!
 

Fore Check

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I just want the "models" to make a comeback. The Outlander was a great start. A re-issue of the Orbital Transport and now the Scissorwing Transport are (possibly, depending on the quality of the ST) good starts.

What happened to rockets like the Cassiopiea? Atlantis? Alien Invader? Alien Explorer?

More than 3FNC, and the only plastic is the nose cone. Or an occasional nozzle. *THAT'S what I want.
 

Stones

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I don't know if it's cost effective or too much of a "legal" hassle but, I would really like to see some larger BP motors on the market. IIRC, someone marketed some of these in the past?
 

Darian Rachal

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Originally posted by Stones
I don't know if it's cost effective or too much of a "legal" hassle but, I would really like to see some larger BP motors on the market. IIRC, someone marketed some of these in the past?
Flight Systems Inc.(FSI) used to have an interesting selection of BP motors, as well as some neat kits. They made a G BP motor, if I recall correctly.

I still have one of their old catalogs. :)
 

flying_silverad

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I think a re-issue on a regular basis would be nice. Not just for us old farts, but I think some of the classics have great appeal to non-BARS as well.;)
 

Karl

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The only thing you could do with BP motors is make them have a longer thrust period. Changing the propellent would be dangerous wouldnt it?
-Karl
 

Micromeister

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I'll second that Vince!
Bring back the B-14 motors my ancient stock is down to less than 6:( Man I just Love the B14-5 and 7's:D:D
 

bobkrech

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I don't know if it's cost effective or too much of a "legal" hassle but, I would really like to see some larger BP motors on the market. IIRC, someone marketed some of these in the past?
I'm not sure what the market would be. The largest model rocket motor (62.5 grams) you can make with BP is approximately 50 N-S or 25% F. Anything larger would be a high power motor.

Bob Krech
 

shreadvector

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30 grams is the mailing limit. 62.5 grams is the "Model Rocket" absolute limit per motor.

Take a look at motors on the NAR certified motor list. notice any interesting gram limits? Econojet F's are 30 grams exactly. :)

Estes E9 motors exceed 30 grams and are a hassle to ship. :mad:

B14 motors cost too much to manufacture. Cluster two A10 motors and you can make your own!
:)

Originally posted by Stones
I don't know if it's cost effective or too much of a "legal" hassle but, I would really like to see some larger BP motors on the market. IIRC, someone marketed some of these in the past?
 

WiK

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From a Brit perspective, the larger BP motors would be practically illegal over here. We can't legally import the Estes E9's at the moment :(
 

Karl

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Yep , i'll second that ! Half of my fleet would tear off the pad on a E! But because E's arnt legal , a D is the most there going to get :(

I would love to see some BP motors with a difference , longer burn times , Smokey Sam , Skidmark , ect! But this isnt possible either :-(
-Karl
 

Chilly

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A lot of people apparently had problems with the old Estes E15's cato-ing. Maybe there's just a limit to how much you can reliably achieve with black powder.
On the other hand, I love E9s. They're a great way to "scratch the itch" if I have a long wait between Tripoli launches.
 

DynaSoar

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Originally posted by Ltvscout
I've noticed a number of questions and/or rumors regarding Estes as of late. I just wanted to clear some of these up.
...
So I guess that stuff about NARAM 47 being held at Groom Lake is right out?

That's just as well. NAR/TRA hasn't yet certified my anti-gravity motors.
 

vjp

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Originally posted by DynaSoar
That's just as well. NAR/TRA hasn't yet certified my anti-gravity motors.
They never got my shipment of anti-gravity motors for certification.

I strongly suspect UPS disregarded the "This Side Up!" placard on the box.
 

eugenefl

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Originally posted by Ltvscout
I've noticed a number of questions and/or rumors regarding Estes as of late. I just wanted to clear some of these up.

Vern has/had nothing to do with the new kits, he is at home on the ranch. He hasn't been involved with the Estes company since he retired many years ago.

Estes sales are not lagging. Estes is not in trouble financially.

The new kits have nothing to do with Jim Flis or Bill Stine.

The new kits are not coming out until at least July or August (probably later). That is, two to three months from now.
Whatever the case may be, rumors or not, I think it's a good thing. Anytime positive buzz or speculation runs rampant the demand increases. I'm glad to see that there's excitement regarding upcoming product releases. It's quite a refreshing 180 from the days of Estes RTF product bashing.

I agree that the new kits may not have much to do with certain individuals, but rather, the hungry rocketry community.

Anyways, the rumor control is certainly appreciated. Generally speaking, rumors end up heading south anyways. :eek:
 
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