Discussion in 'Low Power Rocketry (LPR)' started by LostMosquito, Sep 22, 2018.
... in addition to these kits, how about also bringing back the B8 and B14 motors?
I would jump in and say...
BRING BACK THE TOMCAT, .....please?!
I wouldn't complain about a modern/updated SR-X
The Skywinder is high on my personal list,
BSG VIPER mk2 or 7 (either way)
and some of the kits mentioned can be found on 'MoreRockets.com,' particularly the blackhawk .
SR-71 and Greyhawk
I’d be surprised to see any bring backs that involve licensing fees - Morerockets.com is a very small operation in a very niche hobby but Estes is too high-profile to not call attention with unlicensed use of other people’s IP. And as cool as the BSG Viper is not sure the price would fit the market.
The Tomcat is intriguing - since Estes used a burn string for the Mini Heli A using that method on a new Tomcat would greatly simplify the kit.
I second this on the Pershing, always regretted I didn't have the money for one of these when I was in high school. I actually would love to see all of the maxi-brutes available again, as well as the slightly larger X-wing with the 24mm motor mount.
Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
B8 I don't remember, but to the B14 I say "Yes, yes!" Put one of those in a sustainer atop a C6-0 and with the lightest recording altimeter you can get to read the speed afterward. Get it going then kick it in the ass!
I still have a few B8's in my range box, along with a couple of Centuri A4-4m's and "super" C5.
Thanks to a local old time toy store clearing out its dusty shelves about 8-10 years ago, I managed to scarf up a partial carton -- about 50 diamond packs -- of B14's for a buck a pack, so I have, i suppose, one of the world's largest existing stashes of B14's, which I've been burning off about a half dozen per year. They are specifically ideal as first stage boosters of multistage rockets. (Happily my stash is about 2/3 B14-0's with the rest split between 5's and 7's.)
I've heard stories that the B14 production process was time consuming and dangerous, that it involved hand-drilling the core-burning port in propellant slugs, so I don't doubt restarting production would be a hassle, with probably very limited niche demand.
But it would certainly be fun to see them back (along with their totally theoretical vaporware siblings, the C18) in the lineup.
Oh man...I hope Estes considers bringing back.....from the 1982 catalog: Rigel 3, Pegasus, Falcon Commander and the Orbital Interceptor. And last but not least from the 1990 catalog: the Geo Sat LV!!!!!! One can only hope and dream.
More on the B14 . . .
The "B3" was the inspiration for the "B14" ( I think ) . . . These images show the "hand-drilled port", needed to make it a core-burner.
B3 In "English" notation = B14 In "Metric."
There was a large Pershing in John’s work area when we went through on the Estes tour at NARAM.
How do they make the Pershing sable as a model? Seems like it lacks sufficient fin area regardless of nose weight.
At NARAM I witnessed John being bombarded with requests to bring models of olde back.
Pretty sure that's common at any launch where one of the Estes team members shows up, we had Ellis and Kiki Langford at our SodBlaster event (it was just luck for us they happened to be in Spokane, WA that weekend and came down to spend the day with us) we all talked rockets and ones we would love to see come back, and the difficulties of bringing some of the OOP kits back. We also got to talk igniters, and they are aware of the issues hopefully we will see some remedy in the near future.
Been part of some very interesting production feasibility issue discussions with a couple of manufacturers. There are a ton of factors that you wouldn't normally think of unless you've been involved with product designs, materials/parts sourcing, licensing/naming, and manufacturing engineering. Surprising regulatory stuff too, and sales curve profiles. Some things that everyone would like to see re-issued simply cannot be, for reasons beyond the manufacturer's control.
That said, here's some ideas anyway
Some version of the Estes FS-1 or FS-5 launch controller. Simple, reliable, use any battery.
Astron Avenger - the first great 2-stage kit, no production complications.
Astron Space Plane - easy laser-cut for the win
Boeing ALCM Cruise Missile - does the tooling still exist? May have licensing issues now.
Star Speeder - maybe a maxi flavor with 24/29mm power, easily producible
Sky Raider - sure a 4FNC, but underrated 24mm BT-55 screamer
Centuri Space Shuttle - much easier to produce than the Estes one, still very cool
Bring back the MAXI-ALPHA . . . NOT the MAXI-ALPHA III ! ! !
Back in the day, I used to mod it, using FSI parts ( with glassed fins ), and fly it on a cluster of 3 F7 "Steam Machines" . . . 9 seconds of FUN !
In addition to the obvious one everybody always asks for (GT, Mercury Atlas, etc) I think they would do well to return to the catalogs of the late 70s and early 80s and get away for the 3FNC types.
I think returning to the production of kits like the Starfighter combo, USS Atlantis, Starlab, Deep space transport, Manta Bomber and such would not require any large spool up or retooling of a kit, like the Mercury/Atlas will, since they are mainly constructed of common stock. These kits appeal to both the BAR market and to new rocketeers as well. And yes they are cloneable but the average buyer doesn’t want to spend time hunting for parts they want to see the face card and get that Oooooh feeling and take it home
There is at least one person at Estes that does have a preference for fancy designs
This raises some interesting issues.
There are many areas where Estes has better information than we do, particularly regarding their sales and their customer base. Given that Estes is pretty much the only rocket vendor that has a widespread retail presence, they presumably have a wide customer base of folks who are very different from the typical TRF member. I imagine that the preponderance of 3FNC models in their lineup is because those are the ones that sell well at the retail level. They have plenty of complex builder models available right now; John Boren certainly seems to enjoy designing those. But do they sell in volumes sufficient to satisfy Estes' high volume (at least as far as the model rocket business goes) business model? Hard to say from here.
The wants of the TRF community probably align more cleanly with smaller independent vendors, who don't need to sell many thousands of each kit in order for them to make it worth producing at all.
Also interesting is whether or not clonability is a factor in the sales of any particular kit. I don't know. Certainly, unique molded parts or complex laser-cut parts would increase the desirability of purchasing a kit vs. cloning it. But does Estes make decisions based on that? We won't ever know that unless John Boren (or the higher-ups) decide to divulge it.
I can't remember if I posted or not, but if I did it can be said more than once. I'd like to see more PSII builders kits. After getting my hands on a couple of Argents, I didn't realize how nice the builders PS kits were! I'd like to see more of that!
The Star Orbiter and Super Big Bertha are probably good indicators of the future for PSII builder kits - larger/longer rockets using standard Estes components with 29mm motor mounts so the big BP motors and 24mm motors with an adapter will fly them safely. Unless Estes has plans for either building bigger BP motors, developing their own composite motors, or going back to buying composite 29mm motors from another manufacturer the days of the “classic” PSII builder kits - MDRM, Leviathan, Nike Smoke, Partizon, etc are over. As nice as those kits are, and I have more than a few myself, there are plenty of vendors selling 2-4 inch diameter kits just as good or better.
This will probably happen the day I finish the restoration of said rocket for sopwith21.
And to throw an idea out there for a modern-day version, for a new release, rather than a bring-back:
the Lockheed LRASM: (this is not your father's ALCM)
Depends on Target Audience...It would make a cool scale rocket, true, but it lacks some of the 'cool factor' of the ALCM.
I would like to see Estes bring back some of the PS II builder kits. If I could pick just one it would be the Leviathan. You can fly it on an F15-4 or F15-6. Notice on my profile photo that the last rocket on the right is a Leviathan. I built it from parts I bought from Estes and Balsa Machining Services. I got the fin pattern from the Estes Scion. I had a woodworking shop cut out the fins from 1/8 basswood. I used making take from Michael's Arts and Crafts for the striping.
If anyone is interested I can post the part numbers and vendor. I can post a photo of the fin pattern and include dimensions.
Very nice! What’s the weight without a motor? Did you paper the fins?
Parts from BMS are the T300-34 airframe, C300-6 couplers, and CR 52H-300 centering rings, and T52H-34 motor mount tube. The nose cone for a Leviathan clone is the same one the Big Daddy uses, the BMS PNC-300K is almost 2" longer than the Estes NC.
I use a lot of BMS parts the 4 rockets in the picture are with the exception of the yellow nose and the nose on the PS Patriot clone all BMS tubes. The tailcone on the Arapahoe-E upscale is a BMS PNC-300K. The left 2 Uhaul boxes are mostly BMS airframes and full length couplers, the one on the right is mostly Loc or GLR parts.
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