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How Long? Have You Been Flying Model Rockets, That Is???

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tfrielin

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I first flew an Estes WAC Corporal so long ago, I don't remember the year, but I'm guessing 1965. Have been building and flying them on and off ever since.

Firsr discovered Estes from their ads in Boy's Life magazine and was fascinated at the idea of actual flying rockets since I was already a space geek kid.

In the '70s I loved the Camroc as I had access to a darkroom back then and could develop and print blow-ups of those grainy, but large negatives. Lost most of those prints over the years, but got some good shots (MacElwain Elementary School's field, Birmingham, AL).

Anyone out there flying longer than that?
 

Bkdoubleu

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I was born in the 60's. Would have loved to watch Apollo as it happened. My first Rocket was an Astrocam and believe it or not it took pictures.
 

tfrielin

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I was born in the 60's. Would have loved to watch Apollo as it happened. My first Rocket was an Astrocam and believe it or not it took pictures.

I was fortunate to see the last Saturn V launch (Skylab) from in front of the VAB. It was an awesome sight ad sound, the like of which I'll not see again.
 

Bkdoubleu

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I was fortunate to see the last Saturn V launch (Skylab) from in front of the VAB. It was an awesome sight ad sound, the like of which I'll not see again.
That's cool. I missed that, The Shuttle program, but I will be at the first SLS launch in 2018. I got this feeling something will be historic about it.
 

markkoelsch

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I am 48 and started at age 5 with the help of my Dad. I blame it on him.
 

pyrobob

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My first rocket was an Estes Laser when I was around 6 or so. My dad introduced it to me sometime after we shot some fireworks with friends way back then. I'm 38 now and don't see an end in sight. Geez, over 30 years now. Wow.
 

mhanna

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Estes Thor Agena-B in the mid 60's, almost 50 years ago. Pulled it out of retirement, cleaned off the dust and flew last spring. Still flew great but keeping those plastic fins on was always a real pain.
 

DavieRockets

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My first rocket was an Estes Scout that I flew in 1963. I bought a Estes Mark that year too. Been flying on and off since then.
 

mccordmw

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I first flew about 1978 when I was in the scouts. Got away from it for about 8 years. Flew again a year or so. Got back into rocketry about 6 years ago again and have been flying ever since.
 

TRFfan

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started in 2011, had a 5 year break then went back to it in 2017.
 

aerostadt

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I started building model rockets about 58-59 years ago (around 1959-1960 time frame). I was in either 7th or 8th grade and was in my local hobby store, which had plastic model kits everywhere. On the back wall on a high shelf I saw an Aerobee-Hi kit made by a company called Model Missiles, Inc. The model had a flexible rubber nose and came with several solid BP motors and Jetex fuse. Model Missiles, Inc. was a company formed by Orville Carlisle and G. Harry Stine and was the pre-cursor to Estes Industries. When Model Missiles couldn't keep up with the demand to produce BP models they turned to Vern Estes, who invented Mabel, the first mass production machine for model BP motors. When MMI failed, Vern Estes took over.
 
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RocketFeller

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I flew rockets as a kid, somewhere around 1980-1985.

I bought a Bullpup 12D an a whim in 1999. Before I knew it I was running a rocketry club at the school where I was working. By 2001 I was getting into HPR. I had a few years hiatus while my kids were babies, but otherwise it has been a constant preoccupation...
 

qquake2k

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1972, Estes Alpha III. It's still in my blood.
 

Todderbert

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1987 age 13, walked around the hobby shop looking for batteries to run my new Marui Galaxy R/C car. Found a rack of rockets and thought it would be cool to see how high they would go. Picked up the Wizard as my first rocket, along with a mosquito because I didn't know better.:)

I miss that R/C car more now. Was a blast, my friend got a Grasshopper and was upset his couldn't keep up with the stock 380 motor. Fun times.
 

Trident

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I got started in 1964. Always preferred model rocketry over other hobbies I tried along the way. Got started in HPR in early 90s but still did modrocs while doing HPR. After getting my Level 2 I decided to quit climbing the alphabet of motors and go back to basics. I still have 29mm reload gear but prefer doing upscales of old classics for any HPR. All my building and flying for the past few years has been modrocs.
 

Woody's Workshop

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It was June of 1970 and my first build/flight was the Big Bertha at the sweet age of 10.
I didn't have any more shelf room for plastic NASCAR kits.
Picked up an Estes Catalog for free at a hobby shop.
Placed an order and it's been on and off ever since.
So, almost 47 years.
 

gdjsky01

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I don't know the exact year. My first rocket was an Orbital Transport. I actually built it pretty well. If flew great. The biggest mistake I made was using fluorescent yellow for the paint. I did not know it needed a white coat underneath. As a kid at 12 or 13, I got a hold of an FSI kit and F motors. OMG it was amazing. Of course I have both Estes and Centuri kits.

That was in the early 70's and I'd have been 11 or 12. Me and my best friend built rockets on his enclosed backyard porch. Then we rode our bikes with launcher and rockets in baskets to Long Ridge Jr High's playground and launched there. Greece NY off Mt Read Bvld. The field is still there.

As far as being a child of the space age... from the Apollo 7 on, I would 'have a fever' the morning of the launch. How? Tell mom I was feeling really bad... and when the thermometer was in my ass, pull it out, hold it near my night stand lamp, then shake it down to a 'reasonable' temperature, and put it back it. :eyeroll:

Walter Cronkite and Wally Schirra were my companions for hours and hours. I remember being so bummed when they would sign off... for soap operas!

It was a magical time. Astronomy, Rocketry, Science. It made the world an accessible place. Wondrous but accessible.
 
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cerving

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Estes Sprite in 1967. First catalog was the 1966 with the Mars Snooper on it... a classic. Wish I still had it...
 

JStarStar

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First kit was an Alpha starter set for Christmas 1967 with the Electro-Launch. In the spring of '68 I built an X-Ray, the first kit I actually flew. (I found out why you're not supposed to sand rocket fins with lifting airfoils).
:facepalm::y::y:

That spring i built a Mark II, a Big Bertha (my first of many), a Sky Hook, a Sprite, a Scout, a WAC Corporal, a V-2, a Delta-Camroc, and a Falcon. By winter 68-69 I was moving up to bigger stuff.

I drifted out of rocketry bit by bit in 1972-74 when I was 14-16. I didn't fly at all for about 15 years. But I never threw my box of rocket stuff out. And every time I went into dime stores I checked out all the toys and knickknacks for things I could scavenge for rocket parts.

My grandmother had bought me a Centuri Saturn V kit for Christmas 1969 that i never built. I had taken one look at the kit and instructions and knew my then 11-year-old skills would have totally botched it. I kept saying,"I'll wait until I'm a little older."
That turned into 25 years. But in 1994 I looked at the box that had been stuck in the closet of my old room at my parents house, and said "what the hell."
Among the things I had learned in those 25 years was that it was actually a good idea to follow the instructions. And it came out fine.

I even got to fly the finished kit for my grandmother, by then 98. She remembered buying the kit, because I was so insistent on that specific model.
I guess the hobby stores didn't get too many 73-74 year old grandmas coming in and insisting specifically on the Centuri 1/100 Apollo-Saturn V.

She had forgotten all about it, until I stopped at her house one day in 1994 and mentioned it to her. After a few minutes she started to remember. I said, "come out to my car and take a look."

She had forgotten it was a flying model; she thought it was just a static model for the bookshelf. So she wasn't really sure what I was doing when I drove her to a soccer field a half mile or so away and set her up in a lawn chair.

I had the rocket pretty much pre-prepped, so it only took me a couple minutes to get set up.

She said, "The rocket looks really nice," and then I said, "Hang on, that's only part of it." So I called out the countdown, and let her push the button a-la "October Sky" (although this was well before the movie.) Perfect liftoff, great low-and-slow flight, all the chutes came out and the rocket sections landed about 30 feet away.

She was amazed! I launched a couple more. She said "so that's what you were doing with the rockets."
She said, "That was so much fun! If I was 15 years younger i might build one myself." She said the black powder smelled like one of the Cuban cigars my late grandfather used to smoke 50 years ago.

"My friends will smell the smoke and think I've taken up with some man who's a cigar smoker," she said. I said, "Just tell them you spent the day launching rockets."
And she did!

Since then, I've been off and on, but usually get out to fly at least once or twice a year.
 

LOC

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I'd say 1983.... Estes Alpha III. Pissed off the neighbor something fierce!!! Always worried about her lama's getting scared??? Then this thing called the internet explained to me, what E-F-G and 2-G motors were back in 1993!!! well... here we are!!! =) This is the perfect hobby for a mid life crisis!!! HAHAHA
 

Steve Shannon

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I first flew an Estes WAC Corporal so long ago, I don't remember the year, but I'm guessing 1965. Have been building and flying them on and off ever since.

Firsr discovered Estes from their ads in Boy's Life magazine and was fascinated at the idea of actual flying rockets since I was already a space geek kid.

Snip
Almost exactly this same thing except maybe 66 or 67 and in my case it was the Orbital Transport which I ordered from Estes. I built my own launch rod using a brazing rod and my own launch controller in a Sucrets can. I found the launch controller about 10-12 years ago. My mom had kept it. I've still got it.


Steve Shannon
 
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GlennW

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Late 70's for me, think my first was also the much mentioned Alpha III.

Glenn
 

MALBAR 70

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Like a lot of the people here I've been in and out of the hobby for years. I started in 1977 with an Estes Mark II, built Estes and Centuri models till about 1983. Lost interest for a few years (Dads model railroad took front seat) but always would check out the rockets at the LHS whenever I was there. Then in 1991 the urge to build and fly hit so off to the LHS I went and picked up a Solar Sailor II (still have it) and a SR71 Blackbird as well as a Mercury Redstone. I built the Solar Sailor and Redstone and flew them but the Blackbird sat in the box. I lost interest again (new girlfriend) and my rocket stuff got packed away in Dads garage.
In the summer of 2010 I was looking for a good family activity to do with my then three year old twin boys so I dug my stuff out of the garage and found the Blackbird and built it along with a few Custom kits I picked up at the LHS. I was happy flying at the local high school football field for a few years until I went to my first club launch (CMASS) and saw the vast array of models being flown. It was at that launch I witnessed my first G motor flight and said to myself, "I want to do THAT!" Later that summer I went to my first HPR launch and as they say, it was all over after that. I still build everything from MMX to L2 HPR rockets and I love it!
 

Nytrunner

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First rocket was a Space Camp Space-Eagle while on a weed co-op/intern job in early '13.
Other co-ops and I built a Ventris and launched it on an Estes G80 (barely got it back after 45 minutes of trudging through some woods and driving on side roads).
I built a few models over the next couple years, but really picked up last year (new job, new rocket money)
 
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