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Quest switching to AP, discontinuing BP?

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dhbarr

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I know it's wild nonsense, but part of me hopes they pour warp9 into an MMX sized endburner.

Sadly I rather think they'll just kill the whole line, instead.
 

Nytrunner

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But.....What about the Q2G2?......

How scan they overlook such an adored item?
 

Woody's Workshop

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I think Aerotech knows on the BP side of things they can't compete with the Estes Engines.
Since Aerotech's bread and butter is their higher power single use and reloadable engines,
And with the lack of attention to, and "Coming Soon" (that never materialize's) to the Quest Line of products...
Who knows what will happen beside the insider's at Aerotech.
But if you think hard enough about the above mentioned facts, I think a reasonable outcome can be assumed.
Personally, I hope they keep the Micro Maxx line going, and put back in some of the really cool kits from 2010 catalog to the Quest Line of Rockets'
And add a broader line of Aerotech Rockets using better tubes than fiber paper wound tubes.
I think there could be a competitive Line there for them.
They NEED to keep the igniter line going, they sell well, and I think they know that.
As for BP, unless they beef up the Engines to compete with Estes, it's not a real money maker for them.
I think that the BP line was confined to logistics, but with internet shopping that has vanished.
Some area hobby shops only carried Quest products, Some only Estes, Some both.
Time will tell the story, and we'll all be discussing it here......on TRF.
 

pyrobob

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This is true. It's been a work in progress for a while now.
 

markkoelsch

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But.....What about the Q2G2?......

How scan they overlook such an adored item?
They are not. Every item they produce has a cost with getting production up and running, marketing, and distribution. That cost and potential profit has be weighed against current production and planned future items. If it makes sense in that framework then they will likely do it, but maybe it does not make sense. Time will tell.
 

Daddyisabar

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Let's face it. MYSPACE is dead. We no longer use film in cameras. These are really hard facts to accept for older folks as time goes on. Now we must all face the fact that Q2G2's with the lovely, old formula and nice shinny round tips are gone. Replaced by non pyrogenic and legally shipable new ones that don't work for BP clusters. Those slow and hot burning, low thrust Quest motors will soon be a fond memory. Estes is the only game in town. Starters rule! Monopolies are good if it means there are BP motors on the shelf! Keep market entry barriers very high! Think of safety!

If some idiot wants to get an explosives permit and manufacturing license, put the hydraulic press, ball mill, and Lexan blast shield out in the barn, then so be it! He can mix and dip his own ignitiers too. Making one at a time by hand will give him plenty of time to reminisce about the good old days flying BP cluster oddrocs on reliable Q2G2s.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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As an outsider, it's always puzzling to figure out what is going with a company and why they are doing something.

It's always been my theory that the big model rocket companies like Quest, Estes, and Aerotech are mostly motor companies, and the rocket kits may also make money, but they mostly exist to drive motor sales. Sort of like cheap computer printers that mostly exist to drive sales of expensive ink cartridges.

So I thought that when Aerotech bought Quest, they wanted the black powder motor company and igniter company, not the rocket kit company. I figured they wanted to compete in Estes motor market. Quest makes some kits that can fly on existing E and F motors made by Aerotech, but mostly what they make are kits for A, B, C motors made by Quest and Estes, and a few D and E Estes motors. So if they stop making BP motors, they'll have a line of kits that mostly fly on Estes motors. Are they planning on releasing a line of composite A, B, C motors that can compete against Estes black Powder? If so, they could have done that without buying Quest. Basically, I don't understand what they got by buying Quest if they are shutting down the BP motor line. Maybe the Quest kits make more money than I thought.
 

Daddyisabar

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My understanding is reloadable and SU 18mm composite motors were a bust with AT. Lets just hope the profit margin holds up for our last supplier of BP motors and legal, safe starters; ESTES!
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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My understanding is reloadable and SU 18mm composite motors were a bust with AT. Lets just hope the profit margin holds up for our last supplier of BP motors and legal, safe starters; ESTES!
That's what I thought too, 18mm composites were a bust. There are still composite D10 and D21 motors, but I'm not aware of anything smaller.

I would think that if you wanted to sell composite A, B, and C motors, they would need to be kid-friendly, single-use, with set delays. No hardware, no drilling delays, no handling of BP, no chance of mis-assembly by an 8-year-old kid. And if Aerotech wanted to go that route, I don't understand why they needed Quest to do it.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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If Quest stops production of BP motors in China, what happens to the Chinese expertise, factory tooling, and supply chains? I wouldn't be surprised if a new brand of BP motors materialized.
 

Initiator001

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So I thought that when Aerotech bought Quest, they wanted the black powder motor company and igniter company, not the rocket kit company. I figured they wanted to compete in Estes motor market. Quest makes some kits that can fly on existing E and F motors made by Aerotech, but mostly what they make are kits for A, B, C motors made by Quest and Estes, and a few D and E Estes motors. So if they stop making BP motors, they'll have a line of kits that mostly fly on Estes motors. Are they planning on releasing a line of composite A, B, C motors that can compete against Estes black Powder? If so, they could have done that without buying Quest. Basically, I don't understand what they got by buying Quest if they are shutting down the BP motor line. Maybe the Quest kits make more money than I thought.
AeroTech did not buy Quest. It was a merger.
 

rharshberger

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So according to the OP's link Aerotech will be releasing more info at Narcon 2017.
 

Daddyisabar

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It will be cool if they have a way to just use a little composite to make a small, reliable and profitable model rocket motors! The last guy who figured out how to make small, reliable and profitable black powder motors did quite well.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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AeroTech did not buy Quest. It was a merger.
Thanks for clarifying. That is different.

I'm still failing to see the synergy between the two if it results in dropping the Quest BP motors. It's a maker of mostly mid- to high-power motors, merging with a maker of mostly low- to mid-power kits, dropping the product that completes the motor range and supports the kits. Maybe the motors aren't making any money. As an outsider, it's impossible to know (but still fun to speculate).

It will be interesting to see what the new motors are going to be. I guess we will need to wait until NARCON for details.
 

The_Lone_Beagle

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Hopefully they will keep importing the MMX motors from Germany...unless they decide to make composite MMX motors here!
 

mikec

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There are still composite D10 and D21 motors, but I'm not aware of anything smaller.
Last time I looked, the D10 wasn't on the AT price list any more.

There has been some discussion over the years about the line of Klima motors made in Germany, which AFAIK are not BP and not AP but some type of composite, but which are available in sizes from A to D. Before the merger Quest was talking about importing them, but it never happened. They are fairly cheap ($17.22 for a pack of 6 at one site I found, current exchange rate. On the Estes web site B motors are $10.79 for 3!)
 

Fred Garvin

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For the 18/20 kit, they have D13 and D24....just bought some a couple weeks ago. They've got D9's in the 24/40 but I don't have any of those.

B and C RMS in 18/20 would be cool, in White Lightning, Redline, Mohave Green......
 

lcorinth

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That's what I thought too, 18mm composites were a bust. There are still composite D10 and D21 motors, but I'm not aware of anything smaller.

I would think that if you wanted to sell composite A, B, and C motors, they would need to be kid-friendly, single-use, with set delays. No hardware, no drilling delays, no handling of BP, no chance of mis-assembly by an 8-year-old kid. And if Aerotech wanted to go that route, I don't understand why they needed Quest to do it.
I think a lot of these questions and concerns will be answered shortly. We talked a lot about this last night, during the recording of The Rocketry Show podcast. Some of it was on record, some not. When the episode hits podcatchers, you'll get a bit more information. Even more information will be released by AT and Quest at NARCON.

But I think we mentioned on the earlier AT episode that getting pyro stuff - motors and igniters - from their Chinese source became difficult after a major explosion in a port in China which shipped a lot of fireworks and HAZMAT stuff, so just getting their hands on the stuff became harder and harder. We talked more about that last night. That wasn't off record, but I think it was after we stopped recording. Still, it already came up in an earlier episode, so I don't think it's a secret, just not something everyone knows about.

But I can tell you the new motors sound really cool. That' about it.

Still, I wish I had been able to try out some of the longer burning C6-5's. I should've started in rocketry earlier.
 

caveduck

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Non-AP composite motors in small sizes (down to 10mm and maybe less) are pretty widespread and successful in Europe. A Russian guy (user name 'round') posted some photos of Russia-made motors a couple of years back...very impressive. Some have 3-5 second burn times. I bet Aerotech has little interest in setting up a new BP manufacturing operation in the US if they could do it with safer and less regulated composites at a reasonable price point. Reloads don't make much sense for small motors, but I'd love to see top-drilled adjustable delays and configurable ejection charges. Casing and closures all molded high-temp plastic? There are so many possible benefits to leaving BP behind.
 

rharshberger

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Non-AP composite motors in small sizes (down to 10mm and maybe less) are pretty widespread and successful in Europe. A Russian guy (user name 'round') posted some photos of Russia-made motors a couple of years back...very impressive. Some have 3-5 second burn times. I bet Aerotech has little interest in setting up a new BP manufacturing operation in the US if they could do it with safer and less regulated composites at a reasonable price point. Reloads don't make much sense for small motors, but I'd love to see top-drilled adjustable delays and configurable ejection charges. Casing and closures all molded high-temp plastic? There are so many possible benefits to leaving BP behind.
I like the paper casings due to their environmental impact, a paper casing will dissolve in a few months depending on location if it is spit (like we see with some friction fit BP motors), thats really the only reason I like the paper casings though.
 

blackjack2564

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If Quest stops production of BP motors in China, what happens to the Chinese expertise, factory tooling, and supply chains? I wouldn't be surprised if a new brand of BP motors materialized.
Nothing....Q-motors are/were made by Chinese fireworks manufacturer. They are one of the most popular size, used for consumer large bottle rockets, different config for Q. They will continue to make them by/for fireworks industry by the millions.

A new brand has materialized, just not here, there is a large company, now importing them from China.[past 2 yrs]


I have seen, held in my hand, watched them flown..... these motors. They are in every way identical, just different labels. So no they will not go away, just get re-born.
 

Winston

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Hopefully they will keep importing the MMX motors from Germany...unless they decide to make composite MMX motors here!
Making licensed Klima motors in the US (Klima has no plans to make enough motors to supply the US market) would be an entirely open market for them. The much higher total impulse for a given motor diameter could wipe out low/mid power BP motor sales. Last time I checked, the Klima motors at German prices were cheaper than US BP motors in the same total impulse range.
 
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