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Initiator001

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I was looking through some of my rocket stuff and found a couple of items that would be of interest.

Here's a early 1970s Cox Honest John starter set. The packaging isn't in the best shape but all the parts are there.
 

Initiator001

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Here's the box for my 1972-73 vintage Cox Saturn V KIT!

That is correct, it even says so on the box. :)

I built it but it was never flown. I still have it.

When Cox re-issued the Saturn V in 1991, I flew one of those many times until an E15 failed to ignite and the El Dorado lakebed hit it. :(
 

Bob Stephenson

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Bob,

does that Honest John kit include the launch pad ? A big yellow plastic monster with four slide in legs with adjustable feet ? The controller has a safety key with a large red 'dished disk' end ?

One thing about Cox that always impressed me was their igniters - manufactured in one piece with their own plastic former. Never had a single failure with them...

I never could afford a Saturn V in the 70's and I don't think the 90's re-release made it this far south of the equator. How do you spell 'envy' up there in the northern hemisphere ?

Cheers

(Evil) Bob
 

Justy

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The northern hemisphere is a big place, so we have many spellings from people with different ethnic and economic backgrounds. Ways I spell it include:

"envy"
"envi"
"NSX"
"triple-combo-shot-nine-ball-last"
"four-successes-on-five-dice-no-botches"
"sixty-cents-a-litre"
"sixty-pack-of-timbits"
"freebie-hpr-reload"
"front-row-at-montreal-in-june"
 

flying_silverad

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Boy...the HJ brings back some memories!! Was there every a green version of this?
 

Initiator001

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Originally posted by Bob Stephenson
Bob,

does that Honest John kit include the launch pad ? A big yellow plastic monster with four slide in legs with adjustable feet ? The controller has a safety key with a large red 'dished disk' end ?

One thing about Cox that always impressed me was their igniters - manufactured in one piece with their own plastic former. Never had a single failure with them...

I never could afford a Saturn V in the 70's and I don't think the 90's re-release made it this far south of the equator. How do you spell 'envy' up there in the northern hemisphere ?

Cheers

(Evil) Bob
Yes, the Honest John Starter Set includes the Cox launch pad and controller. If you look at the picture I posted, the launch pad/conroller box is seen on the left side of the package. The motors & igniters are in a box 'above' the launch pad box. The Honest John is displayed in exactly the same insert used when the rocket was sold by itself.

Basically, the starter set box is just a outer box for holding all the individual component boxes. Pretty clever!

I've flown Cox motors but never used the igniters. Bill Selzer (former President/Founder/Owner) told me that the igniters were made in the Philippines.

Well, there were not too many Cox Saturn Vs up here, either. The 1991 re-issue was only 1000 units. That's it. They didn't sell very well.
 

Initiator001

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Originally posted by flying_silverad
Boy...the HJ brings back some memories!! Was there every a green version of this?
I have only seen the standard red & white colored version of the Cox model. My 1972 & 1991 Honest John models were both molded in the same colors.

There have been MANY Honest John model kits (Both static and flying) over the years. Many of these were colored in green/olive drab.
 

Initiator001

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Bill Selzer (President/Founder/Owner) of Cox decided to re-issue the Cox rockets after seeing the response the Enertek rocket line had received.

He had never turned over the molds to the rockets when he sold the company in the late 1970s. When he bought the company back in the late 1980s, he found the rocket molds in his garage. Selzer thought this would be an easy way to cash in on the sudden rocket interest among the hobby distributors.

The molds needed some work to make them useable, again. While the molds were getting refreshed, he pulled out 1970 packaged versions of the models he had in storage to show off at trade shows.

The first showing of the 'new' Cox rockets was at the 1989 New York Toy Fair. These models were also shown at the 1989 Los Angeles Radio Control Hobby Trade Association (RCHTA) Show.

I attended the show and saw the Cox display. I bombarded the Cox representatives with all sorts of questions, most of which they couldn't or wouldn't answer.

I wanted to know about the Little Joe II and Nike Zeus. The reps had no answers. I later learned that Selzer decided against re-issuing the Nike Zeus but never exactly 'why'. The molds were cleaned up for use and some test shots run. Selzer wanted to re-issue the LJII but the molds were unusable. I have heard stories stating that the condition of the molds had deteriorated beyond repair to the molds were lost/damaged when they fell off a moving truck!

I know that when Estes bought Cox, they received all the rocket molds but not the LJII.

Here's a picture I took of the Cox rocket display at the 1989 LA RCHTA Show
 

Bob Stephenson

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Bob,

is that an X15 that I see in the bottom right corner next to the Honest John ? This is one flying model I've *always* wanted to build.

A few years ago I bought the Estes 'SR-71' Blackbird which is *way cool* as my 15 year old says, but my first love will always be the X15.

I found some NASA X15 photos from the 50's/60's on the Dryden site (I think) a few years ago. Great source of photos for building a scale model.

The best part though were the photos of the machines and the pilots/astronauts. In one set of photos there was a group standing on the dry lake looking at the camera with their helmets under their arms.

The next shot is the same with helmets on. Next shot was again with helmets on - but it took me a minute to figure out that all the pilots were turned around with backs to the camera and helmets on backwards!

Talk about defying gravity and laughing in the face of fear :^)

Thanks again for the walk down memory lane.

Cheers

(Evil) Bob
 

shockwaveriderz

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The Cox LJ2 was one of my favorite models.....I could take it out in my backyard and shoot it up...loved it......
 

Initiator001

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Originally posted by Bob Stephenson
Bob,

is that an X15 that I see in the bottom right corner next to the Honest John ? This is one flying model I've *always* wanted to build. (Evil) Bob
Yes, that is an X-15.

When the Cox X-15 was re-issued in the early 1990s, I spent quite a bit of time trying to get one fully successful flight out of it.

Oh, it would go up all right. It was getting the parachute to come out that was a problem. I could never get the paracute out of the rocket.

I 'commented' often to my contacts at Cox about this issue. I guess I must have hit a nerve.

One day, at the AeroTech plant, my Cox contact and two of his associates from the R&D Dept. showed up. They brought me a pre-packaged Cox X-15 and showed me how they had been packing the parachute and this had always worked for them. They packed the parachute in the X-15 and left it with me.

Shortly thereafter, I went out to El Dorado dry lake to fly the X-15. I was carefull while taking out the parachute to install the recovery wadding. I prepped the rocket and loaded it on the launch pad.

The rocket launched as usual. I don't remember much about the recovery except either the 'chute never ejected or it ejected but never opened.

I decided I had had enough of this rocket and never tried to fly it again.
 

mikeyd

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I can understand where the recovery dployment can be a problem on these smaller Cox rockets. I have only had one 'chute not deploy, on my Honest John, as it actually got "wedged" in the nose cone base. But I have had a couple of seperations of the shock cord, I believe because of how the mount is inside the tube. It sticks out in the body, making it suceptable (SP) to the ejection gases, as well as a place for the recovery componenst to get hung up. On one seperation my X-15 received substanial front body tube damage when it came in without the nose cone and 'chute. At that time I was able to rebuild it with sheet styrene, and later was able to order a new body assy from Estes, but was unable to get any new decals for it, so as yet have not replaced it. It is still flying with the orginal repaired body. The damage is hard to see now, it is on the left, right where the nose cone fits. The one that is harder to get to deploy properly is the smaller Estes A10 powered unit.
 

Initiator001

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I always had good luck flying the Estes RTF X-15 model. I flew it several times for school demonstrations. It always gave a good flight and recovery.

Here's a launch shot of my Estes RTF X-15 on a A3-4T.
 

Initiator001

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I've been scanning pages from Cox catalogs which show their rocket products.

First off, here's the page from the 1990 catalog.
 

Initiator001

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Here's the page from the 1991 Cox catalog.

Sorry, the quality is somewhat lacking.
 

Initiator001

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The 1970 Cox catalog contained many more pages of rocketry information than their catalogs twenty years later.

Also, their catalogs were a nice, small, pocket-size.

First up, the rocket models.
 

Initiator001

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Next, here is the accessories page.

Igniter, Altitude Finder and Launch System.

The Altitude Finder mold was later bought by Estes and turned into the Alti-Trak unit. Just changed the logo on the handle.

There must have been a 'stash' of those Cox Altitude Finders discovered around 1990-1991. Scott Pearce and I each bought one, factory sealed, at a hobby shop outside of Las Vegas in the early 1990s.
 

Initiator001

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Here's the information page for the Cox rocket motors, including the D8. The D8 was a whimpy impulse motor for a 'D' (around 12n-sec, as I recall from the NAR S&T). However, it was cool to have an 18mm 'D' motor.

Not until the advent of the AeroTech D8 would there be another mass-produced 18mm 'D' motor. However, the AeroTech D8 was a full-impulse motor.

Note: I haven't forgotten about the 18mm Enerjet D21. I have just never heard about anyone being able to buy one of these 'mythical' motors. I have seen empty molded casing made for the Enerjet D21 but never a factory loaded motor.
 

Initiator001

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Finally, the back cover page of the catalog, announcing dates and times for tours of the Cox plant. Too bad rocket companies today can't or won't do this. :(

I'm going to have to find my Cox tour certificate, scan and post it.

Someday, I'll have to write about my tour of the Cox plant back in 1975.

Someday...
 

Initiator001

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Back in 1989, when Cox announced the re-issue of their RTF rockets, I made it a point to get to know which folks had any involvement in the production of these rockets.

I met and spoke with Bill Selzer (President) at several trade shows. I also got to know some of the folks in the R&D dept. and marketing.

You see, I was on a crusade. ;)

One thing I wanted to come out of this was a CORRECT paint scheme for the rockets, specifically the Saturn V.

The most obvious painting error was the interstage area between the S-I and S-II stages on the Saturn V. It looked like the part was painted while upside-down! It turned out that is what happened when the the model was first produced. The painting mask had been made incorrectly.

Not this time, I thought.

I was on the phone to my 'contacts' at Cox, explaining the painting error and that I could provide them with more accurate information.

However, I was too late. :(

They had already gone into production months earlier on any new tooling that was needed for the rockets, including the painting masks. They wanted to get the product to market quickly so they just copied what had been done the first time.

Sigh.

In the long run, I don't think it made any real difference. The Saturn V was the last model to be produced as there were problems with getting the mold to work. By then, I think the market had started to change and the 'window' for the Cox rockets was closing.

Anyway, I attended the 1990 Los Angeles Radio Controlled Hobby Trade Association Show. Cox had a display, there. I made some informal arrangements with those good folks. I brought with me my 1972 Cox Saturn V kit that I had built and painted nearly 20 years before. It was closer to the true paint scheme of the actual Saturn V.

I received permission to place my Saturn V next to the Cox display rockets and take pictures. I snapped a few shots and then removed my model. The Cox staff was most gracious and I thanked them for their indulgence.

Here, then, is a picture of my Saturn V with the Cox display rockets.

L-R: My Saturn V, Saturn V, Saturn 1B, Honest John & S.S. America.
 

jflis

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Well you've answered a question that's been on *my* mind for a number of years... LOL

Back a while ago (i'll have to dig through my library to find the issue) there was an issue of American Spacemodeling with a model rocketeer standing next to the Saturn V on display at NASA, holding a model rocket Saturn V.

The paint scheme was ALL wrong and I often wondered how someone could put such effort into a scale model yet screw up the interstage paint job that badly...

...Now I see that it must have been the COX model that he was holding.

what a hoot! LOL

jim
 

mikeyd

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When Tom Hanks did the "mini-series" on I believe HBO "From the Earth to the Moon". At one point when they first introduced the Astronauts to the Apollo rockets, they showd them handling models of the Saturn V and the 1B. I noticed the Saturn V was, the COX improperly painted rocket.
 

Bob Stephenson

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Sorry for the delay replying guys, I've just got from a 'trans continental' trip to the far side of Australia and back. Three timezones in three days...

OK, so now I'm thinking that when I retire in (at least) 10 years I'm going to have to come to the US and spend a chunk of superanuation money on 'classic' rockets (that and attend as many launches as I can :^)

Thanks for all the great photo posts and stories in this thread. I really appreciate this stuff as I'm probably as much a history buff as anything else. That and the fact that launching rockets is currently off the agenda due to the prolonged drought down here *sigh*

Cheers

(Evil) Bob
 

Initiator001

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[QUOTE
When Cox re-issued the Saturn V in 1991, I flew one of those many times until an E15 failed to ignite and the El Dorado lakebed hit it. :( [/QUOTE]

While looking for pictures of Scott Pearce's various Mustang models, I found pictures of my 1991 Cox Saturn V which was flown at the same launch.

Here's the Saturn V on the pad, ready to go. There were two AeroTech E15-4 White Lightning loaded aboard.
 

Initiator001

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Here's the liftoff shot of my Cox Saturn V.

As can be seen, there is only one flame trail.

Seconds later, OUCH! :(
 
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