What kind of improvements in products would you like to see in the rocketry community?

Harrison Vance

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Curious to see what you all might want to improve in the rocketry community such as kits, electronics, building materials, recovery systems, etc. New ideas are always a wonderful option as well!
 

hobie1dog

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1. fin material that uses an internal honeycomb structure like what is used in yachts, super lightweight, super strong.
2. someone who offers a complete line of fiberglass nosecones, all shapes, all sizes like Scottglas use to make.
3. someone to make a 2X Mars Lander kit with no paper or balsa used, something strong like a Scott Binder rocket.
4. airframes made of 4 layers of veneer like was made years ago, lightweight and strong enough to put your entire weight in the middle of a 6ft section.
CqBPt1t.jpg
 

Rocketjunkie

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dhbarr

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mh9162013

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1. More plastic nose cone options, especially for BT-55 body tubes.
2. More plastic transition and boat tails options.
3. A small, lightweight tracker that can be used in most BT-20 sport rockets. Maybe something that provides directional finding to almost any smartphone at a range of several hundred feet (not sure if this is possible or what legal hurdles may exist...)
4. Fly-away guides that don't require a special rail to use. Instead, they can be used with any old 1/8 or 3/16 standard launch rod (I detest launch lugs). I believe you can make these, but having an option to buy would be nice.
5. A really easy to use and cheap cutting tool (that uses regular #11 blades) for cutting smaller circles, such those with a diameter 13 mm or so.
6. FS Mini (or a similar product) available again.
 

techrat

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I recently discovered that Estes offers "Snap together" model rocket kits. Basically an all plastic, prepainted flying rocket that can be assembled and flown the same day. It's a brilliant idea for budding STEM programs and could definitely get younger kids interested in model rocketry from an even younger age before they can utilize glue and other materials in more advanced kits (even the Alpha III requires some glue).

I don't have sales figures on any of this stuff, so I can't say if it's worth developing such things, but it seems the best way to grow this hobby is to grab the imagination of kids as soon as possible.

Kids love LEGO, and when I first discovered the building blocks (at the age of 6), I was instantly fascinated by the way you could assemble and disassemble and then assemble something else using the exact same pieces. While I don't yet have the idea firmly in my head as to how to make this work, I'd love to see someone create rocket kits for kids that allow them to put the pieces together any way they like, and see how it flies, and if it doesn't work, they get to re-use the same pieces until they've got something that does work.

Basically a "rocket lab" of sorts. Maybe the way to make it work involves software and a 3D printer, where you play with the idea on the computer first, and then the 3D printer creates the designs that do work out. But somehow, I still love the feeling of creating with my hands from the pieces and then rebuilding, so what I'm trying to verbalize is that someone needs to make rocket kits that work like LEGO does. Snap together, but also snap apart and then snap together again, but modular enough that you can change the design.

Anyhow that's my stupid idea for the day.
 

Bill S

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I would love to see more options in BT-60 PLASTIC nosecones. I would like to see ANY plastic BT-70 cones. More choices in BT-80 cones would be nice but less urgent.

Another brand of composite 18mm motor that doesn't malfunction near as much as the Q-Jets would be nice, but I am not holding my breath on that one.

I like the idea of 3d printed rocket parts, but weight/durability issues are of concern to me.
 

dr wogz

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@techrat
the Estes MACH-12 had a choice of 3 fin sets, and you assemble it with the one(s) you liked.. they were plastic, and were interchangeable at any point..

the danger with your intent, is that it can be easy to build a rocket that is unstable. Not bashing you or the thought, but this is easier done than said! (Building a cool looking rocket, but that is unstable!)

see page 6:
 

Big Red Rocketeer

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Not really a new idea but silkscreened waterslide decal sets. You just can't beat them for color opacity (especially light colors), brightness, or strength. I just applied a set of Semroc's silkscreened Andromeda decals and they were a joy to work with and they look really good, especially the white lettering on black. They are also pretty strong without the tendency to fold or curl during application, or wrinkle when adjusting their position.
 

teepot

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I agree on the nose cones. More variety in all sizes. A simple off the shelf turn key GPS. Altimeter 3's available again. An inflatable pillow that surrounds the rocket so they won't keep breaking on the dry lake bed.
 

smstachwick

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I don’t have any earth-shattering tech ideas, but here’s something that I think we could all use: Improved packaging. Closeable and sealable all around. I don’t care if it’s ZipLoc brand or a generic plastic bag seal or a goddamn metal zipper, but I don’t want motors and igniters and reload kits bouncing around my range boxes, nor do I want to deal with all the trash.

I’d also like an extra decal sheet or, even better, decals printed on white paper so I can make a backup set.

Fliskits was great about both. AeroTech was great about the resealable bags when I ordered MicroMaxx motors from them but I’d like to see this with reloads too (haven’t bought an airframe kit from them yet). Estes…I love you and I’ll always be loyal, but I’d love you a lot more if you’d get with it.

More use of sustainable materials and supplies would be nice too. Who wants microscopic igniter plug bits in their great-great-granchildren’s bloodstream?
 

Back_at_it

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A selection of low powered kits with better materials. Ply centering rings, Kevlar shock cords, thicker tubes, TTW fin attachment. Basswood or Ply fins. An example of this are the 1.0" kits from LOC. In my opinion the best on the market. Just wish they had more designs. Would love a selection similar to Estes with better materials.
 
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jmasterj

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A selection of low powered kits with better materials. Ply centering rings, Kevlar shock cords, thicker tubes, TTW fin attachment. Basswood or Ply fins. An example if this are the 1.0" kits from LOC. In my opinion the best on the market. Just wish they had more designs. Would love a selection similar to Estes with better materials.
What about Mach1's small FG kits?
 

Tyeeking

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3. A small, lightweight tracker that can be used in most BT-20 sport rockets. Maybe something that provides directional finding to almost any smartphone at a range of several hundred feet (not sure if this is possible or what legal hurdles may exist...)
Look into Tiles. They’re used as a locator for wallets, keys, etc. I consistently get about 300’ of range on them. Once you’re in range follow the signal strength indicator on your phone until you’re within hearing range of the ring tone on the Tile
 

mh9162013

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Look into Tiles. They’re used as a locator for wallets, keys, etc. I consistently get about 300’ of range on them. Once you’re in range follow the signal strength indicator on your phone until you’re within hearing range of the ring tone on the Tile
Those won't fit in a BT-20 sized rocket, though.
 
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