Pro Series II going away?

Discussion in 'Mid Power Rocketry (MPR)' started by Sonic, Aug 6, 2019.

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  1. Aug 6, 2019 #1

    Sonic

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    Hello,

    Launched a few rockets for the first time in many years last year. Bought one of Estes Pro Series II rockets and really liked the beefier build and wanted to continue building these, but it looks like there are only 4 shown on their site. Are they doing away with these? I thought they had maybe 10 last time I checked.
     
  2. Aug 6, 2019 #2

    LostMosquito

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    Most are gone (Ventris, Argent, Mega Der Red Max, Nike Smoke, Leviathan, Panavia). Only a few remain (Star Orbiter, Super Big Bertha, Majestic, and maybe one or two more).

    I still would like to hear a good reason why these kits were discontinued. Builders are clamoring for them.
     
  3. Aug 6, 2019 #3

    BBowmaster

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    The Super Big Bertha is new-ish, so I don’t think they’ve abandoned PSII. I do wish they’d bring back the Mega Der Red Max.
     
  4. Aug 6, 2019 #4

    K'Tesh

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    The 29mm AP motors were made by Aerotech... I was told that the money makers are motors, and since Estes doesn't manufacturer those motors it wasn't really cost effective. That was before Estes sold. I too hope that they come back.
     
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  5. Aug 6, 2019 #5

    ThirstyBarbarian

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    This is my understanding too. Estes makes more money on motors than it does on rockets, so they focus on rockets that use their own black powder motors.

    The first PSII “builder kit” rockets like the Leviathan, Argent, Ventris, etc. had heavier tubes and plywood parts, so they required the higher thrust and impulse of AP composite motors, and those rockets are almost all gone now. They weren’t making money on motor sales for these rockets.

    The second wave of PSII kits were RTF type rockets like the Ascender and Majestic that were smaller than the earlier kits and light enough to fly on Estes BP motors, and you can still get those,

    And the third iteration of PSII kits are the new lightweight builder kits like the Super Big Bertha that use lightweight tubes and balsa and paper parts — those are light enough for Estes BP motors. As long as Estes keeps making the 29mm black powder motors, they will probably keep making rockets like these and the RTF kits for them. But I think the bigger PSII kits are gone for good.

    If you like heavier cardboard kits with plywood parts similar to the earlier PSII builder kits, other companies make them. LOC precision and Madcow come to mind, and I’m sure there are others.
     
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  6. Aug 6, 2019 #6

    Buckaroo

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    At the manufacturers forum at NARAM last week, John Langford was asked about the status/fate of the PS II line and his response was that they were still committed to it, and were working on a plan to revive/expand that area. That being said, he talked about a lot of things that Estes has “in the works” so I imagine there is a long “to do” list in Penrose at the moment, which was exciting to hear.

    John also talked quite a bit about “filling out” the stable of scale manned space flight vehicles, and showed off a box full of new kits being released exclusively through Hobby Lobby, including a few that I hadn’t heard of before. (Cherokee E).
     
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  7. Aug 6, 2019 #7

    Tyler P

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    Plus 1 on the LOC stuff. Nice, heavy duty parts. They have a good selection of mid-power capable rockets in several tube sizes.
     
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  8. Aug 6, 2019 #8

    Initiator001

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    Builders only started clamoring for the PSII kits after Estes discontinued them and many stores sold them at 'clearance' prices.
    There were many threads here dating back to 2012 when the kits were released complaining about the perceived high price of the PSII kits and how 'Company XYZ' sold better/less expensive MPR kits.

    If I were Estes I would keep the PSII line and have it all be upscales of classic Estes kits (Cherokee-D, Goblin, etc.) built around 2.6"/BT-80 diameter tubing and use D12/E12 motors.
     
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  9. Aug 6, 2019 #9

    rharshberger

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    +1 Bob, though the 3" nosecone (BigDaddy and PS Patriot ) is nice.
     
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  10. Aug 6, 2019 #10

    LostMosquito

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    I think that the clearance prices on the PSII kits got them into the hands of a lot more hobbyists who then posted videos and threads about their experiences, which then led to more people seeking them out. They are hot commodities now.

    We all know that motor sales are the goal, so your idea of going to a BT80 makes sense. Hopefully TTW fins, too. I hope the series comes back. I think that BT80-based builder kits that are upscales of classics (Goblin, Der Red Max, etc) and are good fliers on 29mm BP motors would do very well. I would definitely be interested.
     
  11. Aug 6, 2019 #11

    dr wogz

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    To elaborate a bit on what i heard / understood. Estes had Aerotech 'private label' the AP motors, so they could sell the 29mm kits, and use their "new" AP motors. And I believe they planned to produce a new launch set for these new 'more powerful' motors. At least that was the intent, make kits that uses a new Estes motor.

    Only problem was, few stores carried said 'new motors', some people couldn't launch these new motors with their current 'E' launch system, and many (us) discovered that these were just AT motors in an Estes label. We soon went back to AT & RMS motors. (We also started to use 29mm H motors in some!) If I recall, the label sometimes interfered with insertion..

    Seasoned flyers loved them. New flyers (back-yard flyers) found frustration..
     
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  12. Aug 6, 2019 #12

    SaintJohn

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    The Estes PSII stuff is pretty sweet. The Langfords have said a few times that they’re keeping it around, I have faith in them that we’ll see some awesome stuff soon enough from that line. Maybe not the kits that use composite motors, but being the mad scientist that he is, I’m sure that if John Boren is set loose he’ll come up with some awesome kits to fly on the 29mm E and F engines.
     
  13. Aug 6, 2019 #13

    Sonic

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    Yes, the plywood fins and the heavier tubes are exactly what I liked.

    I actually picked up the Prowler with the launchpad because I saw on a post on an unrelated forum about it being on sale. I picked up the Sahara too and instead of just enduring building it to fly it, I actually enjoyed building it. I feel like the small rockets and balsa fins take a more delicate touch that make them more difficult to build (or I just don't have a delicate touch). I prefer to keep the altitude around 500' because of my launch field.

    I plan on checking out some of the other brands as well.
     
  14. Aug 7, 2019 #14

    Scott_650

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    This seems like the logical way to go - building upscale versions of classic Estes and Centuri rockets light enough to fly on 29mm BP motors. As far as plywood fins go, if the past conversations with John Boren on various forums/FB pages are correct, there are no plywood suppliers who meet both California consumer safety standards and Estes cost requirements. In other words, no one makes inexpensive eatable plywood strong enough for rocket finso_O
     
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  15. Aug 7, 2019 #15

    BBowmaster

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    Exclusive to Hobby Lobby? That seems odd. They’re not as big a distributor as Meijer or Walmart. Also seems a bit of a slap in the face to the faithful small hobby shops who have carried Estes for decades.
     
  16. Aug 7, 2019 #16

    K'Tesh

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    I built, and wish Estes would kit, an upscale of the Cherokee D (29mm POWER) using the 2.5" PSII body tube.
     
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  17. Aug 7, 2019 #17

    kuririn

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    No reason why Estes HAS to make kits that use only their own motors. Lots of manufacturers produce only kits and no motors and still make a profit. The key is to make the designs competitive in a stiff market.
    With the exception of the MDRM, what about the PS II line is exciting or different? Mostly 3 or 4 FNC.
    The early PS IIs didn't even have decals (Leviathan, Argent, Partizon, Ventris).
    The SBB is just a reissued #2165 with laminated fins and a 29mm mount instead of 24mm.
    Even the graphics are the same.
    Plywood fins and centering rings, heavy wall tubes, but most importantly exciting modern designs is what will rejuvenate the PS II lineup! Who cares if they cannot use BP motors.
    Rant over.:D
     
  18. Aug 7, 2019 #18

    K'Tesh

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    I think there is also an issue with California and the glues involved in the plywood that may play a role in the PSII line.
     
  19. Aug 7, 2019 #19

    Sonic

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    The Star Orbiter says it has wood fins. The price is also really low so I think they may be getting rid of it soon.

    Edit: Sorry, though it had hardwood fins, but looks like they might be balsa.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  20. Aug 7, 2019 #20

    Scott_650

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    Star Orbiter has always been a bit of a value and yes the fins are balsa/tung wood - but they’re thicker than typical Estes fins. Hopefully it’s not going away, it’s a great if simple rocket!
     
  21. Aug 7, 2019 #21

    K'Tesh

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    IIRC California had a fear that the glues involved may be toxic if injested... Like we regularly taste our rockets.
     
  22. Aug 7, 2019 #22

    walterb

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    I think hobby lobby might be the biggest brick and mortar distributer.
    i have not seen anything at walmart recently and meijer seems to only add them, ironically, for the Christmas set when they do the other models. And the stuff they have is RTF stuff and not builders kits.
    Small hobby are shops are cool but are harder to find all the time.
     
  23. Aug 7, 2019 #23

    mikec

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    If we have to have off-topic conversations about California regulations on this forum we could at least get it right about what the regulations are: https://ww3.arb.ca.gov/toxics/compwood/implementation/faq.htm

    Somehow I can still buy hobby plywood in CA, I'm not sure how cheap it has to be to be acceptable to Estes.
     
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  24. Aug 7, 2019 #24

    cwbullet

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    I am very happy with the 29mm black powder motors. I would like to see more of the AP motors from Estes or Quest.

    The Pro kits did wonders for our local club. Lots of folks came into the hobby to fly them. I hope Estes reconsiders.
     
  25. Aug 7, 2019 #25

    Wallace

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    Balsa is a species of hardwood, just tends to be on the "softer" sideo_O
     
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  26. Aug 7, 2019 #26

    Bruiser

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    The Star Orbiter does have balsa fins. I have several sets as I would buy these kits at Hobby Lobby for the parts to scratch build my rockets with. Now that Hobby Lobby is not carrying my favorite parts donor kit I don't know what I'll do :(

    -Bob
     
  27. Aug 7, 2019 #27

    Gerald

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    Sounds to me like California should leave and become its own country. All the weird laws and prohibited item lists come from there.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2019
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  28. Aug 7, 2019 #28

    Nytrunner

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    If I heard correctly, Hobby Lobby made the exclusive kits a condition of their willingness to continue carrying estes rockets/motors.

    Decals are overrated
     
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  29. Aug 7, 2019 #29

    SaintJohn

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    I heard this as well. I think it is a great idea. I also like that all of the Estes stuff is permanent 30ish percent off. Seems like a good deal for Rocketeers and for the store. I know I bought a few packs of engines the other day as opposed to just one with a coupon. I went back today and scored two of the exclusive kits. IMG_2285.jpg
     
  30. Aug 7, 2019 #30

    Nytrunner

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    Yeah, that Cherokee E is going to SCoot.

    The Magician would drift 1/4 mile on an E9, I imagine this will perform pretty similar.

    (and it confirms my Cherokee up/downscale naming sequence hypothesis)
     

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