Launch Pad Options

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Active Member
Jan 22, 2009
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I was a fan of the old Quest Launch Pad. Their new one is not my absolute favorite. I was wondering beside Estes and Quest does anyone else manufacture a good launch pad?
Lowes is clearing out survey tripods for $35. You would need to fabricate a head to attach the launch rod/rail.

I like not having to get on the ground, or even bend over, to connect clips.

(and some post offices carry move packets with a 10% off coupon for lowes)
I will put in a good word for F-T-B pads. My wife got me a Lightning pad for Christmas and it is excellent. Anyone who was going the mid-power or higher route ought to take a serious look at F-T-B if they want a commercially produced pad. It took maybe 5 minutes to put together and folds up really well so it doesn't take up a lot of space. It is worth the extra money that you have to spend over buying a Mantis from Aerotech. The Mantis doesn't hold up as well - too much plastic.
Personally I love the looks and feel of the mantis pads. but I also stil love my estes pads I have a few. Though recently I picked up the old canaroc/smi pad and I really like it's design. and hignt for lpr but wish it was made if better meterials
I just checked out fade to black's website and notice they have a simpler launch pad consisting of the PVC tubes. Anyone have experience with that one? I do not launch the big stuff yet.
I've had a FTB Thunder pad for almost 2yrs and wouldn't trade it for anything. I just recently upgraded to the angled legs to get more ground height for easier hook-up,and the hiem-end turnbuckle for launch rail inclination. Fred is a great guy to deal with and builds a quality product,almost bulletproof!!
While both Estes and Quests starter set plastic tripod launchers are very nice.

I've always make my own for the the earliest days. Don't like all the bending over and getting on the Knees these days so the little very low tripods just don't do it for me.
I really like my everyday, optional solar powered, self-contained launcher for flying Standard and Mid powder/clustered birds. for micors a little camera tripod keeps me off my knees:)

Solar Launcher-k1-sm_15pic Everything Pg (60dpi)_11-23-05.jpg

I just built mine from 1 1/2 inch PVC and then purchased the adjustable head from Heavenly Hobbies. It works great. :D
I still use my old mantis pad. I installed a drill chuck so I can swap 1/8-3/16-1/4 in a matter of seconds and don't have to crouch down to hook up ignitors.

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