Notes from the UK on foreign adventures

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Well-Known Member
Aug 20, 2003
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Caveat Emptor was invented by the Romans... and not much has changed since

An opinion by Paul Lavin

Rocket emporia aren’t exactly found on every high street. The handful of
specialist companies that exist to serve the hobby here in the UK do a
reasonable job supplying the needs of the small UK rocket
fraternity/sorority. Some, like Deepsky, visit launch sites on a more or
less regular basis. Some take a crack at mail and phone orders but only
one that I know of (Deepsky!) is switched on and plugged into email and the
web big time.

Since the tightly knit (allowing for the occasional dropped stitch) band of
British rocketeers knows each other on sight, especially when they are
carrying two meters of 3FNC over one shoulder, there’s not a lot of caveat
emptor wariness required. This bunch of gossiping old wimmin would soon get
the word out, don’t you worry, boyo. Sadly, sometimes the Chinese whispers
lose in accuracy what they gain in rapid dissemination but that's another
complaint ;-)

The remaining UK vendors, the odd slip up and unreturned Ansaphone message
aside, usually deal with their customers in a prompt and efficient way. I
can say this with some authority because I have done business with every
one of them, most more than once. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to any of
them EVERY time (including my own shop!) but for two niggles.

Price and selection. There are very few born and bred UK rocket products
that you can’t get elsewhere. Rowes Retainers and Space Craft models stand
out. Aside from the Rebel Rocketry and Caveman stuff from Clogland, not
many continental ones exist, either. Let's don't worry about the Forbidden
Motors of former Commieland. Most of the cool rocket gear comes from the
land mass to the west, the Home of the Free, Land of the Brave, where the
buffalo roam, etc.

It is pretty poor advice to suggest that the UK vendor community should be
by-passed to buy your kits and bits in the US. The small fragile rocket
brethren (and sisterhood, for the PC obsessed) need to support the home
team if they want home suppliers to be here when they need them. If the
retailers here sell what you need, when you need it and at the right price,
they are doing a great job and should prosper. So, call me the anti-Christ
II (sorry Mark), but when it’s my money we are talking about, it can on the
rare occasion be better spent elsewhere... just like yours.

The US rocket market is huge compared to our motley band of pyromaniacs and
ballistic artistes. In the States, rocketry’s not as big a past time as
golf, tennis or adultery but, aside from governmental interference and
occasional wanton acts of industrial negligence, it’s stable if not
growing. There’s enough market to sustain numerous manufacturers of kits,
components, motors and all the other assorted bits and bobs needed to have
fun blasting things skywards. The goodies are all available from a wide
assortment of retailers in meatspace and cyberspace.

I suppose having a real space programme to spur the New World kiddies
onwards and upwards helps a bit, too. Thanks to the Lord Grocer and his
predecessors, we have low taxation and much better public services
instead... gaaaakkk urrrppppp. Sorry, just let me clean up a bit before I
go on...

With a bigger market and a wider assortment of vendors and a soupcon
(cedilla on the c, pleez) of competition to keep prices within reason,
there are more neat unguided missile things ready-to-hand and under
development over there. The economist Keynes would not be
surprised. When a new carbon fibre, Kevlar and titanium gizmo gets
invented, it’s in front of the ooo-ing and ahh-ing Yank rocket
fraternity/sorority long before we get the first sniff of it coming from
the back of a van and into the mud and gale force wind at a local rocket do
in Cambs, Lincs or Staffs.

If you are treading on unmarked paths towards your rocketing nirvana, you
will find that deeply technical stuff is available in the US that just
isn’t worthwhile maintaining stock here in the UK where anything other than
3FNC flying on a CE-marked motor is eyed with suspicion the bully boys
wearing the RSO vests.

Aerocon Systems is one vendor that shoots straight, prices sharp and has a
myriad of odd ball model and HPR stuff that wouldn’t cause a stampede here
in a million years. You have to envy the Yanks and their almost
laissez-faire ability to pursue amateur and experimental rocketry. Even the
BATFE’s crackdown pursuant to outrageous legislative malfeasance can’t stop
‘em. Whereas here, the HSE will slap you in irons if you make 51 grams of
non-explosive propellant - which they deem to be explosive because they can.

Reading the prices of stuff in the States on the slick, colourful and
e-commerce-enhanced American web sites is enough to make your wallet
weep. Yep, I know and can recite by heart all the arguments about why
stuff is more expensive here. I know personally because I run a business
that buys a lot "over there" and sells a lot here. Adding a sensible
margin to the cost of goods for small volume orders, trans-Atlantic
shipping, VAT, customs handling fees and duty makes stuff appear a lot more
dear on the Deepsky web shop page.

However, being a veteran of many sorties to the North American continent
for their cut throat sport my girls call ‘shopping’, the occasional whinges
you read in the national newspapers about “rip off Britain” ring true from
comparisons of groceries, cars, houses, appliances, guns and ammo, you name
it... and sometimes rocket oddments, too, if you buy them and use them OVER
THERE. Bringing stuff home is a whole 'nother game.

For instance, Blast Off for Britain (BO4B) needed beau coup 10.5mm
cardboard tubes. I completely bought out the few that Apollo had at 80p
each (plus £4 shipping... doing my patriotic bit) but then ordered 100 at
20 CENTS each from a US company. They came to 27p each, delivered, VAT

It’s not economical to buy onesies and twosies of fragile relatively
inexpensive stuff like model kits or tubing but, if you need a bunch,
ordering from the US can save. Deepsky and BO4B use that principle when it
comes to bulk buying rockets for schools and youth groups: buy a shedload
well in advance and ship 'em cheaply on a boat that takes a couple of
months to arrive. Deepsky shares the savings with our customers when
advance orders are placed. But if buyers ring the week before asking for
100 rockets, you can multiply the cost by two or three. Fedex don't work

The aforesaid box of tubes took less than a week to arrive and there was no
duty or VAT assessed. The shipping time can vary from less than a week to
a couple... unless, of course, HM Customs want to take a peek and then all
bets are off. Or as has happened with lamentable frequency, stuff
accidently goes by surface after you paid for airmail.

I buy my low volume model rocket components from Apo11o and they usually
get stuff off in a few days. Local is by far the preferable source when
time is tight. Given the hassles with the posties, the amount Apollo
charges for packing and shipping is wholly justified. I have yet to get a
mangled order from their new Midlands base.

Buy motors in the US and have them sent over? You're cruising for a
bruising. Some stuff you just can't get cheaper (or at all) once it passes
through the shipping and HM Customs mangle in personal quantities. Pro38
AP motors ordered from the US can't be sent by sea (usually the cheapest
route) unless you pay for a whole container. Scratch that idea.

By air they have to come by cargo craft. Fedex is the one that can do
it... for a very nice price. Assuming that all the paperwork is correct
(sometimes it isn't or at least HM servants think it isn't) you have to
engage a custom's clearance agent to clear the shipment and reimburse them
for their services, VAT and duty. Did I mention that you have to pick up
the motors yourself at Stansted? If you want motors at the old UK list
price, plan on buying £2000 worth if you can get them. And then once they
arrive where are you going to store them legally? That's a pile of AP!

Motors are an extreme case. But if you are skint, or don't like Deepsky's
terms and conditions, there are some caveats, however, and a few stories to
tell about buying abroad...

When you tick the virtual box that says “price and selection are
paramount”, you give up some important things: technical support and
nearby warranty resolution to name a couple. Sometimes these are of great
value, sometimes the value is completely illusory. You can’t expect a
spurned British vendor to hold your hand when something you got Over There
doesn’t work or there are some bits missing or you are just afeared of
cocking it up dreadfully. You pay your money and take your choice.

Even if you do get a foreign vendor to fess up to a screw up, it costs a
lot to send stuff back for repair/replacement. In the case of something
missing, the delay while the lost bit finally soars over the Pond can mess
up your launching schedule. If it got scrunched in the post, don't expect
the vendor to replace it and you'll be old and grey before you get a
settlement from the post office.

Time is worth money. I was in a hurry to finish a Magnetic Apogee Detector
and accidentally fried one of those microscopic SMT devices. My fault
entirely. There were no spares here though the kits are sold locally and
needing only one teeny capacitor, the electronics suppliers here weren’t
interested in selling me less than a 100. The vendor in the US was
extremely helpful and sent one promptly, gratis, but it still took a week
and I missed my first launch date for my Level 2 attempt. Deepsky now
maintains a kit for spares in case this happens again so no one misses
their launch by a month like I did.

Another case in point: I personally bought one of those delightful
porta-potty rockets from Newton’s 3rd Rocketry and there were some nuts
missing. I didn’t have easy access to anything other than metric or
BA. The local B&Q didn’t have the right size lag bolt so rather than burn
£3 a gallon petrol (80p a gallon in the US), I sent the vendor an
email. The errant nuts turned up a week later.

I suppose I could have hunted around and found substitute metric fasteners
and made it a EuroBog but I was in no hurry. Besides, petrol is dear with
no hope of cheaper-by-mail. That road tax on every litre goes to a good
cause... more Gatso cameras and better enforcement of parking restrictions.

eBay rocket items can get you drooling but... the difference in language
can gull the incautious. Sometimes it’s just my putting 2+2 together in
new and interesting ways that causes confusion.

I bought a ginormous Hobbylabs SR-71 rocket glider kit off eBay. My EMRR
researches revealed that the RC version indeed sold for the amount I was
willing to pay but alas, my researches didn’t turn up the existence of a
cheaper free flight glider model before the hammer fell. The listing
wasn’t crystal clear. When the big bird finally landed (and great customs
duties were levied) I found I bought the free flight model. Adding to my
chagrin, there were no instructions.

E-correspondence followed and a scanned copy of the crucial docs was
promptly emailed but the artful wording of the listing left me as the
dullard who didn’t know enough to ask the right question before
bidding. The simple, hard working customs folk were just responding to
the honest and forthright declaration of full value-plus-shipping that my
church-going Minnesota buddy put on the little green duty sticker. Oh,
well, Gordon Brown needs the money for more NHS managers or asylum housing...

The provincials in the US of A don’t like to mess with the intricacies of
sending stuff abroad and the bewildering perplexity of a Zip Code that has
both LETTERS and NUMBERS – oh my! And the difference between
“England” “Great Britain” and “United Kingdom” is great for furrowed brows
and frenzied queries. A friendly and secure US shipping address is
essential. I use my US lawyer’s ;-) YMMV as they frequently disclaim in

eBay, despite the efforts of the company and the community, has some pretty
odd characters aboard. I never send money off on an eBay item unless I can
kiss it goodbye without a qualm... there is a certain per centage of deals
that burn.

The best laid plans oft gang agley, sayth the Bard. With the starter grain
imbroglio still flapping, I wanted to get a bit of hybrid flying done while
my RATT motor was still propping the door open in my workshop. A
reasonable alternative is a non-pyro/non-GOX West Coast Hybrid motor from
far Canada. There are no local dealers so I ordered up one from NOW
Hybrids, a company of good repute in California with sharp
prices. Importantly, they had one on hand. (Deepsky is now a dealer).

Since I was going to see my mum in New York it made sense to ship it to
her. I planned to bring it homewards in my luggage, sneaking it through
the green channel while they were preoccupied defending the country from
powdered rhinoceros horn or lizard skin cowboy boots. A bunch of other
rocketry ephemera arrived Chez Lavin the Elder but not my motor.

Repeated contacts with the US posties make our squabbling bunch look like
Swiss accountants on amphetamines. NOW Hybrids didn’t send it by courier
or registered or recorded or special delivery (never lost one before...he
said) so there was no tell-tale signature. All the US postal jobs-worths
could/would do was to reiterate that it was delivered. There wasn’t even
an anthrax-scare to blame...

A month later, once home and over my jet lag but still suffering from
chronic overdraft, my aggrieved vendor was getting ready to expensively
ship the replacement to me here at home. Only then came the knock on the
suburban NY door. My mum’s elderly neighbour from No. 465 turned up with a
tubular parcel in his gnarled fist. He said that he found it wedged in a
spot he seldom visits around the side of his house. My mum lives at No.
456. All I have to say is that I am glad that dyslexics in NY can get
steady employment delivering the mail. It’s a job with lots of fresh air,
exercise, a good pension... and everything gets delivered eventually. No
problems, mon. Be happy.

Being less than happy, mon, the courier cost me £55 to bring it over. The
customs and VAT whack weren't zero either but not breath taking. I guess
Mrs Kelly will have to close a few more schools if this keeps up.

Being from over there originally, my friends are precious and the trouble
that they take to get my mildly amusing rocket paraphernalia over this way
is touching. I’m increasingly afraid, and they are too, of the jackboot
heel of the US Transportation Safety Administration, however. The airport
security nazis usually pay more attention to the foil wrapping on a packet
of aspirin than a four inch diameter nose cone and parachute reeking of
rocket propellant (true story!).

Alas, some of the little electronic assemblies that I fancy getting from
the US are indeed designed to set off explosive charges when a certain
altitude is reached. I have to be careful that I’m not letting my old
buddies in for a strip search and body cavity probe followed by long term
state-funded accommodation with Richard Reid as a cell mate.

However, sometimes friends just misplace stuff. I had buddy willing to
shuttle a pair of stunningly inexpensive five foot surplus parachutes over
for me. BUT my friend the lawyer, who kindly let me ship them to her
earlier, couldn’t find them and couldn’t recall ever having received
them. A few weeks of anxious queries uncovered a delivery receipt signed
by her PA a month earlier.

A bit of mid winter spring cleaning followed and the chutes turned up in an
out-of-the-way cupboard. My free ride across the pond had now come and
gone so it cost me £20 to get the silly things over surface mail (six weeks
to the day) but no duty was charged. They were still a bargain (£55 all
in) and I didn’t mind the extra time as the rocket they are meant for
(MOAT) still isn’t ready to fly.

The size of shipments can be awkward. I’m still trying to get my daughter
Genni’s Level 2 rocket back from Casper, Wyoming inexpensively. She
brought the chute and the nose cone back with her but there’s this ten foot
long bit of garishly painted four inch PVC pipe that she treasures,
languishing still in an industrial unit near the Natrona County airport
where she built it. Try ordering some phenolic tube from the US in less
than dealer quantities... half of it arrives unusable so figure that the
real price is double what you think you are paying.

Unsurprisingly, you have to pay for stuff you order in the capitalist
system. The Yanks are addicted to using plastic. They will usually bend
your flexible friend without hesitation. However, for reasons unknowable,
sometimes plastic that is good here doesn’t work there. Sometimes it just
means trying again a day later... or the dullard inputting the number just
needs to get it right. At least I don’t have to listen to remarks about my
cute accent or whatever it is they say to Glasgowegens...

Disabuse yourself of the notion that you are going to transact any business
in anything other than US Dollars. YOU will pay for the conversion, too;
it’s not their problem and Mr Master Card or Visa will tool you as part of
their rake off. Our cheques are worthless even with bank
card. International money orders are subject to huge negotiation fees at
the other end making them impractical. For a good laugh, ring your bank
and ask how much a bank check for $50 will cost. Send cash? My, you are a
babe! Sending signed traveller’s cheques is only slightly more secure if
you seal the envelope... not to be recommended.

For online purchases, a lot of places now take Paypal. Sometimes it even
works for Deepsky purchases!

Once you call your distant supplier or send off your 12 digits and
expiration date (NEVER IN EMAIL), or do your Paypal bit, you still have the
worry of your goods making it all the way to your door, assuming that the
postal gods have smiled upon your tithe. It is a sad fact that some rocket
vendors go out of business (remember Aardvaark?) and a very few don’t play
with a straight bat before they are torpedoed by the rocketry underground
telegraph. And some that I know are just, well, flakey. Your order
shiping date can be determined by an interaction of the local tide table,
the best three out of five dart throws and the phase of the moon. Ah,
California! Or indeed all of the West Coast from the Alleutians downwards.

Aardvark left a few unhappy faces here when it went tits-up last year and
several are following it down the plug hole. It’s a fact of life and
sometimes there’s no real fault. You need only mention ‘t-shirts’ and ‘US
Rockets’ in rocketry newsgroups to be regaled with a many-faceted tale of
one American rocket vendor’s (alleged) perfidy. And the current
regulation-induced malaise is causing more bailouts: Magnum and ??? are

This is where a purchase with a credit card (NOT debit card) or using the
good offices of Paypal can be a god-send. You can get your money back with
a few hoops to jump through, if the goods don’t appear. Always request a
method of shipping that provides a tracker number (expensive!). If the
number is not forthcoming, get concerned. Maybe Tony will make us the 51st
state and we can revel in American consumer protection legislation? Could
it be worse than being European?

Remember that a sparkling US-based web site is not predictive of good
business practices, ready availability, error free descriptions, high
quality goods or limitless support (though Deepsky endeavours to provide
all that!). Communications is an art unevenly practiced. Ask around
before you spend $$$ far away. Advice is always plentiful and cheap... and
sometimes worth more than you pay for it.

Rocketry is a pretty small community globally and its downright village
sized on this side of the pond. Hang together or hang separately seems to
be the lesson of the moment with all sorts of European and American rocket
bending laws in the offing. In order to keep the UK vendor community
alive, we need to buy stuff from them. Buying what you need when the
peripatetic rocket shopkeepers are around your launch site doesn’t go
amiss. It makes it more likely that they will be there the next time you
need them.

Our gaggle of rocket retailers aren’t running charities. It is sensible to
support them. For those things that they are NOT adding value to, however,
you can reasonably acquire your rocket fixes elsewhere even if it’s not PC
to say so...but there is a longer term downside for cutting the locals out
of the loop. It will be a long long time before Red Arrow or Countdown Hobbies turns up at a
launch gig here in old blighty.

Hopefully once the CE marked motors are on stream, HSE and the cops are
placated on Pro38s, Aerotech joins the party, Congreve gets going and the
hybrid initiation rigmarole is successfully concluded, there will be a good
deal more building and flying going on to keep the local rocket shops
solvent. Roll on the 2005 flying season! Bring a friend. Support British
rocketry by flying and buying!

Paul Lavin
I have a regular UK/ Europe customer base, my understanding right now is that the pound is killing the dollar, so the exchange rate is excellent for people wanting to make purcahses in the US. I do understand your frustration and admire your honesty and candor.

But most of my overseas customers simply tell me the same thing over and over again. "I cant get this kit in the UK". Now I have to admit that I have never looked into kit/parts availability in the UK. So Im unsure what major lines are available Estes, Quest, Custom, Semroc, etc.

That having been said, alot of my overseas sales are not from the big rocket companys. they are from the smaller vendors that have a limited line of interesting stuff. Example Starlight rockets, Scale Kits and some other smaller companies.

My biggest source of overseas sales are from our Armed forces in Germany/Europe. they buy kits in bulk and quantity for use by their children to form clubs/groups. I have been told that its cheaper for them to have a US vendor ship to an APO/FPO from here to europe. From my stand point this is the most critical part of the rocket/hobby, to expose as many children to the hobby as possible. And get them involved they are the ones we will have to pass the torch off to in the end.

As to the postal service itself, perhaps Im very lucky I looked over my shipping records and discovered I have sent 54 Packages overseas. All arrived at their destination eventually, shipping time varies like a roller coaster. I once had a box make it from the US to the UK customer in 4 Days!!! And one time a box took 6 weeks to arrive although that was a customer in the Ukraine. Again I will be honest and admit I dont understand the underpinings of the postal system in europe, just the basics. however aside from having a box opened up from time to time. Ive had good luck shipping overseas.

Just some thoughts from a vendor "across the pond"
OK Paul, I get the message. If you have a Skyangle 24" 'chute in stock then e-mail me and I will buy from you. As for the Afterburner then I think you might well reverse the trend and be sending them over there. I'll buy mine when you have the multi injector D version.

I have bought direct from the states and only had one problem, the goods normally arriving within a week. The problem was a chute vendor who frequently writes on this forum, swears he despatched the goods but 5 weeks later refunded the money. It's obvious he never sent the chute in the first place. In the meantime I was set back five weeks and am still looking for a suitable chute.

When you visit us in Devon I'm sure I'll be buying but I can't speak for the other tight gits.
Hi Guys,

Thanks for your responses!

First of all, let me just clarify one point to avoid any possible confusion! Any posts by "deepsky" are from me, and I'm Andy, the guy who started the deepsky operation. An American guy called Paul Lavin now owns and operates the business, and I help out here and there, and look after newsgroup and TRF postings from "the Master" amongst other things!

Okay, first of all to Mike. Some very valid points. UK supplies of major lines like Quest and Estes have suffered greatly in the past at the hands of the UK distributors for said companies, who have zero interest in anything rocketry. From the very start with the deepsky operation, I always tried to obtain the widest possible range of kits and bits for UK flyers to choose from, and this often meant I was buying in the States because the UK importers simply didn't have, or couldn't be bothered to get them. Things have changed a bit since that time, but there are still some issues we have to look at. We're hoping for big things from Quest amongst other things, especially now there's a proper "rocket guy" at the helm!

Having said that, deepsky now sells the widest range of stuff in Europe - our manufacturers list has grown a lot since Paul took over. And we keep adding to it all the time, though it has to be said that sometimes there is a difference between what we like and what sells! We've always tried to offer something a bit different to the everyday stuff, but the fact is that it's the 3FNC stuff that moves the best. I jumped on the Sunward stuff for instance when it first came out ...nice big kits, nice unique designs and keen prices! I thought they were spot on...but I bet Paul still has a few of the original order sitting on his shelves! Ah well - we live and learn, even if it costs us a bit in static stock sometimes! We've also put a lot of effort into supporting small manufacturers, and in fact were talking about the Scale Kits line just before the original owner transferred the business to you! There may still be an approach from us for these kits, or some of them, but we did worry that this may be another range of kits that Paul and I thought were great, but that the great UK buying public might just ignore! We've been there already but I'll have another chat with Paul about it.

Couldn't agree more with your views on getting kids involved. Paul is also the chair of the Blast Off for Britain organisation which is all about introducing kids and youth groups to the hobby, so he's right with you there too!

I know exactly what you mean about shipping ups and downs! For instance, although we cannot legally supply rocketry stuff to Ireland (and do not), if we could, it would cost more to send it there than to Sweden! There are also some very silly regulations here and probably there too, and I do know of vendors who will flout the rules. Chances are they'll get away with it - but the problem comes on the one time they don't, and that's when the "officials" get involved and a whole load of new red tape descends on all and sundry.

Thanks for you input anyway...and we might well be in touch if I can persuade Paul to extend his overdraft a bit further!!

Glassfibreman. I've already referred Paul to your message, and no doubt he'll have an answer about the SkyAngle chute for you shortly.
He made the point too in his "opinion" lecture that he has bought stuff in the States when the need has arisen, so it's not that he considers it a heinous crime every time;) I think his main grouse is when people go and buy the odd little thing that could be had here for a very similar price, or when UK people are referring buyers to overseas suppliers for all and sundry requirements. I can personally vouch for the fact that he is doing absolutely everything he can to take rocketry forward in the UK. His main point is the old "use it or lose it" thing. There are items that it simply isn't practical (or possibly legal) for the individual to import for UK UK flyers will still need UK rocket shops at the end of the day. Those rocket shops will not exist just to supply the stuff that the individual cannot import, as it just wouldn't be worth it , so for UK flyers to direct prospective shoppers overseas is hardly a forward thinking way of doing things. Okay in the short term perhaps, but if the UK vendors find that the only demand they are getting is for the stuff that people can't ship themselves, they'll soon be pulling the shutters down. This applies to ALL the UK vendors - they need the sales from the everyday stuff too to give the income and the incentive to stay in the game. I had a day job as well as deepsky, and after 12 hours at the day job, I was usually still in the office after 11pm at night or downstairs packing orders etc. It's not the ideal way to make a quick buck I can tell you, and it can be a bit disheartening when you see people doing the cheerleading for US suppliers instead of sending them to you!

There are a number of issues that will come to light over the next few months that will demonstrate Paul's commitment, but for now I can tell you that there are situations affecting UK flyers that should have been cut and dried years ago, that are only now being sorted out thanks to Paul and a *lot* of money from his own wallet. Crikey - there's no wonder he likes me working for him is there;)

Anyway, I doubt that I'll see you in Devon - but I'm sure Paul will - so get that wallet oiled and ready for action!

Thanks again to both of you - opinions are always welcome and we don't hide from them.

All the best to you,

Andy @ Deepsky
Originally posted by deepsky
Caveat Emptor was invented by the Romans... and not much has changed since

An opinion by Paul Lavin

here in the UK where anything other than 3FNC flying on a CE-marked motor is eyed with suspicion the bully boys wearing the RSO vests.

Anti Great Britain rant snipped

As a Level 2 RSO I strongly resent that remark. If you want the UK regulations changed - get elected to the UKRA council. Until then the RSO will do his or her best to keep rocket flying in the UK safe in line with the regulations.

Originally posted by arthur dent
What regulations would those be then?

If it is my previous post that you wish expanding .......

The UKRA Safety Code and the Air Navigation Order are the main 'regulations' that rule the job of the RSO. The Safety code can be ammended by the UKRA committee (within limitations), the ANO - we are stuck with as it is an act of Parliament.
Paul, relax, Breathe deeply.

Quoting "In the States, rocketry’s not as big a past time as
... adultery." I don't don't think anything is as big a pastime as adultery ;-).

As for your post, I understand the frustration. Rules and regulations galore. As for shipping, even in Canada you can't ship motors in the mail. USPS has a specific exemption for the small stuff.

Time and patience. I have already seen a change in attitude in everyone. The snow is going to be gone soon and everyone is talking rockets again. Spring is in the air.
Since U.S. Rockets was specifically mentioned . . .

And WRT t-shirts, that was a Jerry Irvine thing. I screwed up (bad CC vendor, Paypal was later invented) and I STILL refunded everyone from my own funds and apologized profusely. The transaction WAS fully resolved, albiet with only ONE t-shirt ever made.

As for U.S. Rockets, near as I can tell, is the only vendor that INSTASHIPS to UK for only about $10 flat (one kit).

I am actually surprised we do not get even more orders from UK and Europe and Sacndanavia generally considering how great we are on those orders.

As for CE and motors, nobody has it, nobody can get it and everybody tried. AT for over 3 years. The system prevents consumer "explosives" (don't get me started) companies from succeeding. It works.

Buy from U.S. Rockets. They know export too.

Hey Jerry,

I did actually mention to Paul that there has been a lot of positive feedback for you on here of late! I used to spend a lot of time on rmr where things seemd to be slightly different shall we say;) I personally have never had any dealings with you, but it seemed to me that whatever point of view you put across on that particular forum, it was always the completely wrong one as far as some people were concerned!

It's a pity he seems to be getting a similar response on uktr these days, as most of the people in there are obviously unaware of a lot of things that are happening behind the scenes that he has been largely responsible for, but I'm sure they'll thank him in the long run when everything comes out.

All the best from the UK,

Originally posted by deepsky
........ It's a pity he seems to be getting a similar response on uktr these days, as most of the people in there are obviously unaware of a lot of things that are happening behind the scenes that he has been largely responsible for, but I'm sure they'll thank him in the long run when everything comes out.
Quoted from utr in response to reply from Deepsky to the same posting as above

>Okay a quick word for the defence if I may!

Why? Is Paul incapable of speaking on his own behalf? Let the man answer for his own actions.

>Paul has a certain "style" if you will, and some of his comments should be
>taken accordingly. He is not full of vitriol for anyone and will describe
>his own countrymen in what appears to be just as scathing a fashion as
>anyone else. Don't take him so seriously - he's not really the anti christ!

For me Paul's style comes across as rude and offensive. He insults folks from other countries and members of the very community his is trying to "charm". I know that Paul's sense of humour can be odd and misinterpreted and is probably the root cause of a lot of the ill feeling that exists. Sometimes I find what he says quite amusing other times I have to ask myself why on earth he didnt think before opening his mouth, putting pen to paper or sitting down at the keyboard. However if you know it and he probably knows it then why not try to moderate what he says so that he dosent offend people? Isnt the idea *not* to offend your prospective customers? Dont you want them to come to you? Not send them away because you think it is funny to call them "Bully boys" or inhabitants of "clogland"? It's not like it isnt well known that the internet is one of the most easily misinterpreted means of communication that exists is it? Its a very funny way of doing buisness if you ask me.

>The point he is trying to make here is that the UK rocketry vendors need the
>support of UK flyers in order to survive.


>only sensible option. As he pointed out, he has done business with all of
>them and would go back to them again etc.

*snip the whole thing quoted again*

If you are trying to encourage people to shop with you then that isnt the way I would have done it.
As to Paul being responsible for much behind the scenes activities time will indeed tell and perhaps not quite as you believe it will. I hope to be proved wrong.

While on the subject of behinds the scenes activities ...... Perhaps Andy could explain why Paul has created a company called Triploi Rocketry UK ltd and set up a Tripoli Prefecture called Tripoli English Midlands which he then seems to refer to as TRA UK despite the prefecture Tripoli UK already having been in existance for some years and his not being at all involved with it?

Cheers Mike 8-{>
If it was not for deepsky then i would not even know that model rocketry existed.Deepsky are doing more to push our hobby forward than any other vendor especially in the LPR market.The shear choice of low power goodies is probably preventing me from getting into high power because i just don't need to:)
Originally posted by deepsky
most of the people in there are obviously unaware of a lot of things that are happening behind the scenes that he has been largely responsible for, but I'm sure they'll thank him in the long run when everything comes out.

I am not holding my breath.

I am not expecting thank you cards from CTI, Estes, and AT when their lines suddenly/magicly receive CE marking either.


No good deed goes unpunished.