Deepsky September model rocket news

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Well-Known Member
Aug 20, 2003
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We've had some great flying days thus far in September and let's hope we get many more because there are a lot of NEW Estes products in the Deepsky Rocket Shop that want to feel some thrust and get some fresh air. In our latest shipments a few old favourites re-appeared, as well.

In the "new" category, Estes has a range of Launch Sets with some highly detailed and unusual rockets. And some are just attractively priced like the Taser ;-) The Taser Launch set is a 3FNC (three fins and a nose cone) design that includes a launch pad and launch controller. It is a new low entry point for people who are just getting started. The building chore is minimal and no painting is required.

The Air Show and Search and Destroy Launch Sets both come with flight controllers and pads and contain TWO rockets each. Air Show has a pair of boost gliders that are Almost Ready to Fly (ARTF) while the Search and Destroy set has full detailed and assembled RTF models of the SR-71 Blackbird and the AGM-86B Cruise Missile.

There's also a SpaceShip One Launch Set, also fully assembled and detailed. All Launch Sets are nearly ready to fly out of the box - just add four AA batteries and rocket motors. They are perfect for gift giving as long as you remember to add the a la carte motors and batteries.

Estes new range is also graced with E versions of Big Daddy and Space Ship One. These are BIG kits to handle big motors. In the case of the reissue of the familiar stubby Big Daddy, it flies on C11 and D12 motors as well as Es. The SpaceShip One, however, needs at least an E. What a shame that the 24mm Aerotech Fs are in such short supply due to EU import problems.

Speaking of Es, we also have the Estes Eliminator back again. We were out of these for a long while but they are popular because you don't have to paint them, they have one piece perfectly aligned fin cans and can fly on C11s and D12s as well as an E motor. From the packet to 1400 feet in an hour or less! We also have Estes Exterminator back in stock - another big E one and deadly looking into the bargain.

That old favourite, the Mean Machine, is gone... but maybe not for good? While we wait to see if the tall skinny one comes back with an E motor mount, we have lots of Sunward CFS Six Footers on hand. They are every bit as tall as the retired Mean Machine but fly a bit faster and higher due to superior aerodynamics and lower weight. They are cheaper than MM ever was and can be modified (lightly!) to fly on E motors. Don't forget the Sunward rocket fighters - the most exciting flight profile in model rocketry.

Deepsky has commissioned its first HPR kit: Deepsky Starship is a High Power Rocket with a 38mm motor mount for flyers with the requisite paperwork. However, a version with three 24mm motor mounts will be available soon so that model rocket fanciers can fly it on an E-and-a-half (3 x D motors) or an F-and-a-half (3 x E motors). Stay tuned!

E motors provision is still a bit tricky so you may want to stick with Ds for most flights. You don't need a special license to buy them but we can't ship them to you, even by courier. You'll have to meet us at a local launch, collect them from our HQ in north Hertfordshire or at our office in London. They are worth the hassle because they pack twice as much power as a D but are fairly gentle with your rocket. They have about the same thrust but just burn twice as long.

But rocketry isn't all about big motors... little ones are fun as well. We had a scare when someone told us that all Quest motors now require an explosives license. We're still looking into it but thanks to the comprehensive chart published by the UKRA our fears of a MicroMaxx ban have dissipated. And just in time time, too, for a whole new line of fun (but teeny) rockets from Fliskits who have taken over the MicroMax model business from Quest. Clustered ones, too. Imagine a seven inch long Richter Recker instead of seven feet long. Tee hee!

Schools are back in session so we brought in a bumper supply of Estes Special Designer Sets that allow a class or youth group workshop to build up to 15 different rockets from the set's supply of assorted tubes, cones and balsa. They'll keep a room full of kids quiet for hours!

More Quest Payloader Ones are on the way. We built and flew 200 of them with a school in Anglesey so we know they are easy to build and fun to fly. Bright Hawks, another workshop favorite from Quest, will be here next week.

We recently added class packs of the easy-to-build pre-painted Alpha IIIs at bargain prices that fly on As, Bs or Cs. For very young rocketeers we have the Firestreak SSTs - no glue, no paint just fun. They snap together and come with wild decals. They fly on thrifty mini A motors and are suitable even for cub scouts or brownies.

If it's raining and blowing outside, a site license of SpaceCAD can save the day for a rocket club or cadet squadron. If you buy a license for ten seats or more, the price per copy is considerably cheaper than our everyday discount price of £32.99. LOTS cheaper, in fact. If you need more than ten seats, call or email for a quote.

The UK distributor closed out some out-of-production rockets that we love so we bought them out. Look for special deals on the Condor A.R.V, Mercury Redstone, X-Flyers and even a few Snitches. A new shipment of C and D motors is expected early next week so the drought may be over soon - thanks for waiting. It's been as aggravating for us as it has for our friends and flyers.

At last!

One long standing project that was sidelined in our busy season was an illustrated guide to installing Deepsky Recovery Upgrade Kits. Version 1.0 is full of tips and hints about how to get the best out of your recovery system. It will evolve into a full chapter length guide to getting model rockets back in one piece. If you want a copy send us an email via the Deepsky web site asking for a copy of DRUK docs. Sorry 'bout the delay - it's been a great summer!


We work hard to keep our price list up-to-date and in the past, that has meant lowering quite a few legacy stickers. Lately we have had to raise a few prices. Blame it on what you like: Katrina, currency fluctuations in China, the US or the Eurozone, regulatory burdens, the oil situation or just that old bogeyman inflation. They all have an impact. Even so we've been able to lower a few prices lately but the trend is in the other direction. If you have a question about a price or think we are out of line, let us know by email via the Deepsky web site.


We get very few returns. The majority arise because the post office or our courier company crunches the box. We always replace a kit immediately if requested promptly as required by our terms and conditions. We ask you to hang onto the twisted remains in case the post office wants to investigate our claim for compensation.

We had one case recently where a few bits weren't quite right in an Estes kit from the factory. We replaced the whole kit. Once the builder was sure that he had enough good parts did we ask for the leftovers to be returned. Future spares for a future customer!

Shock horror! We had missing fins in the new Semroc Texas Firefly (a great new two stager!) as a consequence of hurried preparations for NARAM last month. The missing bits were sent over almost as fast as an email! Semroc kits are always top quality and if there is anything wrong, they make sure that Deepsky gets the bits to send out to our customers. From time to time our order packers may leave something out so we know the feeling. Our desire to make it right is no less than Semrocs, or Fliskits or any of our other top tier model suppliers.

If you have any questions about a kit or how some gizmo is supposed to work, email us for prompt attention. We had a query about a Pratt MicroBeacon recently. With the right battery fitted it worked like a charm. Those MicroBeacons really help find rockets. One of our customers "lost" their Eliminator after a dusk launch last week - but found it the next day, MicroBeacon still beeping away. The powerful 12 volt MN21 battery gives you plenty of chances to successfully recover your rocket! Name and phone number stickers might help if it gets really lost!

Rarely, we have a problem with a return. Complex instructions can be easily misunderstood and we have nightmares about intermittent faults. We recently collected a SureFire III from a dissatisfied customer that said it didn't work right after he had used it to launch three rockets. SureFire IIIs are solid bits of gear for advanced rocketeers... out of a dozen sold we haven't had a problem until now.

After it was delivered back to us, we set it up and it worked perfectly. >>Then<< we tried to break it. It still worked fine after a bit of calibrated abuse so the best we could do was offer a refund with a small offset for the courier collection of what appears to us to be a fully functioning launch controller.

Send us a priority email if ever you have problems with one of our products. We will work with you and the manufacturer to make it right as quickly as possible. Complex issues may take longer than the clear cut ones.

3..2..1.. Blast Off

We love rockets! And kids! We will be in Milton Keynes with Kangaroo Kids on Sunday 11 September to have some fun with chip cups, and if conditions are permitting, maybe have another go at the elusive St Louis Arch.

On Sunday 18 September we'll be at Black Knights launch at Milson, Shropshire. Team Deepsky will be there on Saturday so if you want to meet up for a snack and a pint at a local pub, drop us an email.

Details are nearly finalised for the first Highland Invitational Rocketry Weekend. We will notify our friends about plans for the 24th September within a few days once we confirm important details like the maximum impulse we can fly - and the catering. This will be an official launch of both BO4B and Tripoli Rocketry UK so we should be well covered for everything including boating mishaps while recovering our spent rockets ;-) Temporary (and full) memberships will be available so no one need fly without coverage. NAR members are cordially welcomed if they are in the neighborhood!

If you have the day free and you want to fly, pick up some rocket bits or just have a chin wag, drop us an email via the Deepsky web site. It's Captain Tetrahedron's birthday so it is meant to be a day of stress-free fun. The site is about 2.5 hours drive from Edinburgh.

We are working with Tripoli to get the last t's crossed and i's dotted for their Birmingham-area seven day a week flying centre. It won't be just a bare spot in a field, either. Protected areas for prep, gear storage and proper sanitary facilities are available. With the days drawing in and weather getting dodgy, it will be great to have the flexibility of both weekend days (or even during the week) for an important project.

We hope to have a new site in Leicestershire soon. Fingers crossed. There's a dearth of friendly club events that welcome beginners as well as experimentalists in the Shires and we are working hard with local and national organisations to increase the opportunities to fly.

As Jim Flis sez, aim for the sky and try not to miss!

The Deepsky Team