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The Future of this hobby.....

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Blast it Tom!

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Ah, but me and my little collection of Estes LPR's would be pipsqueaks at such an event... Still, I'm counting dow to retirement, and a lot more time for such pursuits!
 

jd2cylman

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We welcome all sizes. And you can always spectate when you're not flying...
 

Blast it Tom!

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True, true.. thanks!

Now to the future of this hobby... There is a ton of promise in it. Everything from elementary arts and crafts to advanced chemistry, chemical thermodynamics, aerodynamics- from an elementary consideration of Newton's laws to concepts of drag to trajectory analysis and advanced numerical solutions to the equations of motion... from elementary electricity (I explained using the battery to launch the rockets as the same thing as a toaster wire getting hot to my young granddaughters) to the wild stuff I see with air starts, remote fired ejection (i.e not in the motor - controlled separately), dual deploy recovery controlled electronically using altimeters; GPS tracking, cameras, accelerometers and flight data systems - I see people winding their own tubes, cutting their own centering rings, scratch-building incredible designs - all very applicable skills that a youngster can grow into and give them a wonderful "real world" feel for applied science, manufacturing and engineering that is often sadly lacking in today's engineering graduates. I see CNC lasers and 3D printing used alongside good ol' Titebond, sandpaper, and rattle-can paint! It's sooo important to see yor design though to something you can hold in your hand - and then fly!

Now we are seeing solutions to small field problems so prevalent on the East Coast, and crazy enough they are "home grown!" @georgegassaway is combining rocketry and quad-copters - I was following his "Mars Lander" thread and was thinking how I just about put my Mercury Redstone on the roof of the Municipal Building. And isn't that one good looking machine! Wouldn't it be great to boost a quadcopter up a ways and know you can fly it back home? Or the other fellow (maybe even more than one) here developing active guidance (thrust vectoring) to control the flight path, another great small field aid. These involve college-level feedback control theory and control system stability, there's the radio aspect, and I could go on and on. The great thing about active direction control is that we become somewhat freed from CG/CP type stability - we can make dramatic slower launches, and keep the rocket over the field more easily. But as I said - this is a true, wide-spectrum, multidisciplinary hobby that you can take as little or as deeply as you'd like, and for a youngster growing up it's a great way to develop real-world engineering and manufacturing skills.

It seems to me that the big thing is marketing and developing liaisons with schools and local authorities, and also possible advertising or otherwise contacting property owners who would be willing to host a club. Out here I know of a field that is at least 2000' long and about 800' wide on average, one of the largest I've seen in our hilly, tree-covered area. But it's a horse pasture for an event enterprise; still the positive publicity they'd get for also hosting local school clubs would be good for both parties (though you might not always bee to happy about what your rocket lands in...). And then, the more responsible we are with said priviledges, the better - no marginally stable rockets ripping across the field like Wile E. Coyote, 100% cleanup, stuff like that.

But it can be done, and I think it can be done even in the cramped, tree-covered confines of the Eastern US, especially with promise of the new developments. Hopefully I can participate at some level.
 

rklapp

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C. All of the above. :)
I'm confused. If the schools are not getting catalogs because Estes is running out, why do they continue to include one in each mail order? Seems like preaching to the choir (not to say that schools are bastions of paganism)...
 

Initiator001

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It might be worth noting that Estes has run out of printed copies of their 2020 catalogs. What that indicates I’m not sure. Hopefully thousands of young impressionable minds are going through them like we used to do.
I just received an order from Estes today.

Yes, there was a 2020 catalog in the box.

I am puzzled by your comment.
 

Cape Byron

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I'm confused. If the schools are not getting catalogs because Estes is running out, why do they continue to include one in each mail order? Seems like preaching to the choir (not to say that schools are bastions of paganism)...
It may be financial. I'm sure there are more schools in the US than Estes posts mail orders in a year. Also, if you send cattledogs to schools you have to pay postage on each one. Throwing them in with an order doesn't increase your mail costs.

If you have more than one catalogue, give it to the science teacher at your local school. Or your scout leader. Maybe even your local hobby shop, 'cause I'm sure mine doesn't have one.
 

Initiator001

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I’m a data driven person. NAR reported 7,400 members and approximately 195 affiliated clubs. Both are all time highs for the organization. Five years ago, those numbers were 20% less. I see no evidence of the hobby declining. May have seemed that way this year because narcon, ldrs, and other big draw events were canceled.
I see Estes now in the hands of real enthusiasts, a reinvigorated aerotech pushing on both ends of the spectrum (new O motors, and new quest A/B/C motors). Heck, even rocksim had a major version this year, 11 years after the last release.
I agree.

Product-wise, things haven't been this good in a long time.

As for flying fields, it will take a lot of shoe leather and digging to find a place to fly rockets anywhere in the country.
Take whatever size field you can find. If that means you are limited to 'C' motors that's better than nothing.

One thing that will help in getting the word out about the hobby is the large manufacturers need help with marketing.
The hobby rocket industry has a small number of people with experience who have been doing it for 50 years or longer.
They don't have a connection with how social media works and how to use it.
What is needed is young people who are social media savvy and know how to set up websites for the manufacturers.
They don't have to be 'rocket-people' but they must know how to drive visits to the websites.

I did sales and marketing for AeroTech thirty years ago. I know that today I do not have the skills to be effective in this new world we live in.
 

rklapp

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It may be financial. I'm sure there are more schools in the US than Estes posts mail orders in a year. Also, if you send cattledogs to schools you have to pay postage on each one. Throwing them in with an order doesn't increase your mail costs.

If you have more than one catalogue, give it to the science teacher at your local school. Or your scout leader. Maybe even your local hobby shop, 'cause I'm sure mine doesn't have one.
Actually I was thinking of donating a few rockets that I’ve built over the past months. My shelf is getting full. I need to get rid of some before my family has an intervention.

I know a 5th grade teacher who did taxidermy with the kids. People would donate dead animals to him. It was kinda creepy.
 

jadebox

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Throwing them in with an order doesn't increase your mail costs.
Trust me. It does. :)

Any little bit of weight is enough to occasionally push a package over the next pound increment increasing the cost to send it.

But, yes, not nearly as much as sending individual catalogs.

There are better ways for Estes (and the rest of us) to reach out to educators than sending a catalog (which likely would be tossed out as junk mail). For example, Estes has an Educator program that promotes rocketry as a STEM activity.

Maybe we can help teachers learn about the Estes Educator program and let them know that our local clubs are willing to support using rocketry as a STEM activity.

I included a "Teachers" tab on a web site we created with information about local rocketry clubs. It includes links to Estes publications for teachers. (I just discovered that the links are broken. I will fix that today.)
 
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Blast it Tom!

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Roger, you are correct. The best way is always presented as a path. I think (also as you noted) it is also best presented in person, or at least in a mailing form local clubs to local schools, scouts, church youth groups, etc (some of which have started their own scouting-type groups). A science teacher may not feel comfortable presenting rocketry, but with outside support would do just fine. A club presentation/launch at a school to kick things off, or a field trip to a club launch, woudl sure light some fires under some of the attendees! Local clubs could perhaps have members who have time supporting after school clubs in their area, etc.
 

dr wogz

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I wonder if the schools know what to do with the catalogs or with "actual" rocket & kits.. How to incorporate it / them into eh class session.. Then there's the perceived "dangers".. And, who pays for eh kits? the motors? the launch equipment?

And, how many parents would start screaming "danger danger danger"

(Has this been mentioned? I assume so..)
 

Blast it Tom!

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I've thought of the "danger" aspect myself, even as I went for my first BAR launch a few weeks back, some panicked soul thinking I'm bombing the neighborhood or something (despite the fact that the police station was immediately adjacent to the field, little grandkids running around, obvious family affair...). One cannot overestimate the touchiness of people these days, I suppose...
 

dr wogz

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I remember my mum complaining that my 1st year college art supplies were expensive.. (Illustration & Design program: drafting equipment, quality paper & board, etc, Letraset sets, etc..)

so I gave it up, and taught myself drafting instead.. Took a few 'drafting / mech design' courses over the years, then some engineering & CAD courses..

Just making the statement that some parents (and kids) might see this expense as frivolous; a waste of $20.. "just do the theory or just do one for the whole class to see"
 

Blast it Tom!

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Oh, very, very true. My wife sees the whole affair as frivolous! "Boy, you sure are putting a lot of effort into your toys!" :rolleyes:

(I think college supplies, texts, etc. rank as one of the biggest rip-offs south of the North Pole. What a shame to gouge kids who have hopped tables, mowed lawns, delivered papers and flipped burgers for peanuts to get charged top dollar for stuff they have to have.)
 

dr wogz

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(I think college supplies, texts, etc. rank as one of the biggest rip-offs south of the North Pole. What a shame to gouge kids who have hopped tables, mowed lawns, delivered papers and flipped burgers for peanuts to get charged top dollar for stuff they have to have.)
I had one college teacher say:

"get this book. I don't care what version or edition, just get this. You can find them 2nd hand usually and only pay 1/2 of what it would cost new. The only reason some texts come out with a new version each year is to make sales. The info is there. It hasn't change that much (or at all) over the years... It may be on a different page or worded differently, but it's there. save your $$$"
 

ATJOE1972

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That is a good idea giving them to schools .I have about 5 of them so far. Good idea. 👍 🚀
That was my inspiration to get into Model Rockets. The local Hobby Shop left several catalogs with my 5th Grade teacher. Needless to say the Hobby Shop was full of anxious 5th graders wanting to buy Model Rockets.
 

arconhi

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That was my inspiration to get into Model Rockets. The local Hobby Shop left several catalogs with my 5th Grade teacher. Needless to say the Hobby Shop was full of anxious 5th graders wanting to buy Model Rockets.
This is what we been talking about to do. I got hooked when a Centuri MX774 landed in our back yard with chute. We gave it back to the Science club. I went to the drug store and bought my first rocket the ASTRO 1 for $1.75. Right next to it was an Iris rocket for $2.00. Got him too. I was amazed. Then I started being obsessed with it. Merc Redstone,Lil Joe, Orion , etc.
 

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arconhi

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This is what we been talking about to do. I got hooked when a Centuri MX774 landed in our back yard with chute. We gave it back to the Science club. I went to the drug store and bought my first rocket the ASTRO 1 for $1.75. Right next to it was an Iris rocket for $2.00. Got him too. I was amazed. Then I started being obsessed with it. Merc Redstone,Lil Joe, Orion , etc.
FYI I uploaded a video on youtube of my MTH GP38-2.
 

ATJOE1972

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This is what we been talking about to do. I got hooked when a Centuri MX774 landed in our back yard with chute. We gave it back to the Science club. I went to the drug store and bought my first rocket the ASTRO 1 for $1.75. Right next to it was an Iris rocket for $2.00. Got him too. I was amazed. Then I started being obsessed with it. Merc Redstone,Lil Joe, Orion , etc.
Talk about fate falling from the sky 😉 That’s a real cool way to discover a new hobby. I think it’s interesting you got started with Centuri rockets. I only had one of their rockets growing up. I guess having the Estes factory 70 miles from town, pretty much blocked the competition out. 🤔
 

ATJOE1972

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FYI I uploaded a video on youtube of my MTH GP38-2.
Great video of your LIRR GP38-2 👍 I think we’re both doomed. I just picked up a Citation Patriot today. Something to work on during the Winter 😉
 

arconhi

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Great video of your LIRR GP38-2 👍 I think we’re both doomed. I just picked up a Citation Patriot today. Something to work on during the Winter 😉
Fantastic. A nice looking bird. Over 2 feet and a good size body tube. This will put on a nice show. Happy for you. I still have to continue my 24mm Gabriell III Launchpad model. lol
 

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RobertH3

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I think, due to the voluntary cyborgi-ness of the millennial/post-millennial generations, the future is in electronic payloads. The rocket part, in the end, is a tech for lifting things. Even though it is an end in itself for most of us.
VR from a camera for the lift and a switch to a VR'd boost glider with a long burn H45 or RC motor? Who knows, I do know my son likes model building and carries the good painting gene, but is constantly PC gaming distracted.

Resistance is Futile.

Cheers / Robert
 

PayLoad

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I think, due to the voluntary cyborgi-ness of the millennial/post-millennial generations, the future is in electronic payloads. The rocket part, in the end, is a tech for lifting things. Even though it is an end in itself for most of us.
VR from a camera for the lift and a switch to a VR'd boost glider with a long burn H45 or RC motor? Who knows, I do know my son likes model building and carries the good painting gene, but is constantly PC gaming distracted.

Resistance is Futile.

Cheers / Robert
"...the future is in electronic payloads..."

100% Agree - The rocket is not enough in this age
 

jadebox

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"...the future is in electronic payloads..."

100% Agree - The rocket is not enough in this age
I think the small cameras that can be attached to rockets have created a lot of excitement. They certainly have generated a lot of YouTube videos!

I am hoping the new Astrocam starter set will be a hit. It seems to be a big improvement over earlier attempts like the Oracle.
 

Steven

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You guys have given me an idea. Along with free rockets and starter sets I've given away at the Starbucks I had been going too, I can also hand out catalogues. It was through a catalogue back in the early 70's that I became stuck to model rocketry. Hopefully when seating comes back I can hand these out to anyone interested. I've given away free starter sets, Estes Saturn V's, Apogee Saturn 1b's and a plethora of answers to the many questions that were asked of me. It's a ton of fun to do and you get instant recognition for being THE Rocket Man.
 
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