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tmacklin

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.....discontinue the PSII Leviathan? This has been a very popular mid sized kit and has been frequently used in Level 1 attempts. I purchased two kits a couple of years ago on speculation and recently sold both. We are now out of stock on this kit as is every vendor I checked. Does anyone know why Estes dropped this excellent kit?
 

dhbarr

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Estes isn't reselling AT propellant in E livery anymore. Star Orbiter is the only one left AFAICT.
 

smugglervt

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Same could be asked about the Mega Der Red Max.
 

rstaff3

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I would guess, as mentioned above, that they don't want to offer any kits that don't use engines they produce/sell.
 

EXPjawa

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This isn't new, we've been discussing it for months. Estes has discontinued all of the original PS2 kits (save the Nike Smoke, which may just be because stock is available), and rearranged their components into new (lighter) kits that can (theoretically) be flown on 29mm BP motors. And they've added the light-duty Star Orbiter. I strongly suspect that the revised kits (Sahara, Scion, Panavia) will continue until stock of the sub-components has also depleted, and they'll be discontinued too. One can still build the original PS2 models by mixing and matching the revised kits. But I think that we all should accept the fact the PS2 line, in its intended form, is essentially dead now. Buy what you can while it remains. This is just my observation, but the writing on the wall seems clear.

But to the original question - as noted above, they don't want to be in a position to rely on an outside company to make SU motors for them. And they aren't interested in selling kits that require someone else's motors, even if in actual practice, that's what happens at launches all across the country.
 

Nytrunner

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Tada! My alltime personal favorite quote from JumpJet regarding the rekitted Executioner but likely contributing to the demise of the PSII builders.

Go to post 4

Plywood inedible in the state of California

I'm building the original 4 with upgrades and electronics, but I've had to mash a Scion pack to make a Leviathan (fortunately they still send the extra fin)

They may still have the Ventris, The Leviathan can be made out of a Scion, and the Argent and partizon can be made by swapping parts from the Sahara and Panavia. May need an extra tube or coupler somewhere (ask Mikeydslagle, he has an odd assortment of PSII remains around his place ;D)
 

cavecentral

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Remaking them to cluster 2 or 3 of the f15s would be cool.
 

Cabernut

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That's what I was thinking too. All because of California and the fact that plywood fins can't be eaten. Soon everything except yoga and tofu will be banned there.

Since they get to put that label on everything "This product contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause...", why can't they just put a label on the PSII kits that say "This product may not be sold in California" so the rest of us can enjoy.
 

DavidMcCann

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Having large mid power kits and especially hazmat free access to SU motors was really cool. It got a lot of new people out looking for clubs.

The trouble is, no one is going to stay in that market long. There are better kits for the price, and the cost of 29mm SU motors makes L1 reloads look real good. Few people can fly the kits on even F50s locally, somyou wind up in clubs and access and info for bigger kits and cheaper larger motors.

Still, it was nice to fill a pocket with SU motors and fly off 5-6 flights one right after another. Prepnin the field and just drop it back on the pad.
 

Banzai88

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Yeah, the Estes PSII builder kits were my gateway drug to BAR, L1, and beyond.

It's a shame that they're re-aligning to only rockets that use their own BP motors.

Still, as some have pointed out, they were always really just transitional kits. If that's as high up as you'll go, you won't fly them much due to costs (expensive SU motors). If you're going up the Levels, you also won't fly them much due to costs (better kits for the money and cheaper reloads for the newton).
 

K'Tesh

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Estes really is in the business of making motors. Kits are just the gateway to selling motors.

While clusters would mean more motor sales, the problem with clusters is that they are clustered. You'd need a launch controller with a little more oomph than the standard design to make sure that the igniters all fired, and fire at the same time, and the wire whips needed to ignite them. Then there's the issue of motors failing to ignite. You'd have issues with kits not being able to get to an altitude for safe deployment of the laundry, and possibly wild flights. I wouldn't bet that Estes will go for clustered PSII kits in a big way, nor clusters in general anymore.
 

Nytrunner

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I want to say that the original Pro Series (PS1?) used D clusters. That was before my time, so others will have to corroborate or refute.

Originally Posted by Banzai88 Still, as some have pointed out, they were always really just transitional kits
Unless you use them as cheap and simple training tubes for advanced techniques 8D

Never forget the PSII!
 

Banzai88

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I want to say that the original Pro Series (PS1?) used D clusters. That was before my time, so others will have to corroborate or refute.



Unless you use them as cheap and simple training tubes for advanced techniques 8D

Never forget the PSII!
Wouldn't that fit within the definition of transitional? One day you're going to want to use stronger, better suited material for the same price, and that aces out PSII parts.
 

EXPjawa

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The original Pro Series had several models that clustered D and E (remember the BP E15?). But the business model and rules of rocketry have changed since then; I really doubt they'd go down that path again. It would be nice if JumpJet would lend us his thoughts on this matter (his own thoughts, not necessarily Estes stance), though I understand why he might want to avoid a thread like this. This kind of thing puts a company rep in a murky middle ground that I'd try to avoid if it were me...
 

Banzai88

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Last year when we discussed it, John politely abstained from making any definitive statements. That's the thread that got me sent into time out for a week.

In any case, last year, Estes stated position was 'we're slowly restocking'. That hasn't happened. I think that, other than the stock levels of the Smoke being what they are, the rest of the builder series are SPEVs, and they'll slowly reduce down to obscurity.
 

Woody's Workshop

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I wish California would experience the 11.0 predicted earth quake and fall into the Pacific Ocean.
Then all of their bull **** will gone and the rest of the 49 states won't have to suffer because of idiot politicians in California.
Then Estes could make kits with plywood fins again for the rest of us.
Thanks California!
Just drop into the ocean, would ya?
(None of the above comments should be personally if you live in California, unless you are a ploitician)
 

rharshberger

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I wish California would experience the 11.0 predicted earth quake and fall into the Pacific Ocean.
Then all of their bull **** will gone and the rest of the 49 states won't have to suffer because of idiot politicians in California.
Then Estes could make kits with plywood fins again for the rest of us.
Thanks California!
Just drop into the ocean, would ya?
(None of the above comments should be personally if you live in California, unless you are a ploitician)
While I am not a fan of the State of California (and Washington is becoming more like it everyday) such an event would lose the rocketry community such fine suppliers as Eggtimer, Jolly Logic, among others.
 

Initiator001

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The reason for the discontinuation of the original PSII 'Builders' kits had to do with sales.

Or, rather, the lack of.

When Estes releases a new product they set expectation goals for how many have to be sold per year to justify keeping the item available.
The PSII kits did not make the expected sales goals and were discontinued.
This goes for all Estes products.

If the PSII kits had sold as expected (or better) Estes would have bought more motors from AeroTech.
 

Initiator001

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That's what I was thinking too. All because of California and the fact that plywood fins can't be eaten. Soon everything except yoga and tofu will be banned there.

Since they get to put that label on everything "This product contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause...", why can't they just put a label on the PSII kits that say "This product may not be sold in California" so the rest of us can enjoy.
I blame the Chinese.

Remember a little while back there were stories about Chinese made building materials imported to the United states that had radon/formaldehyde in it.
A least one major business got in trouble because of that.

I say buy American made plywood and the problem would be solved! :)
 

DavidMcCann

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The original Pro Series had several models that clustered D and E (remember the BP E15?). But the business model and rules of rocketry have changed since then; I really doubt they'd go down that path again. It would be nice if JumpJet would lend us his thoughts on this matter (his own thoughts, not necessarily Estes stance), though I understand why he might want to avoid a thread like this. This kind of thing puts a company rep in a murky middle ground that I'd try to avoid if it were me...
It's either not profitable, or leads too many customers into looking for clubs, which is away from Estes. Either way, I wouldn't publicly discuss it either.

Then Estes could make kits with plywood fins again for the rest of us.
Thanks California!
I blame the Chinese.

Remember a little while back there were stories about Chinese made building materials imported to the United states that had radon/formaldehyde in it.
A least one major business got in trouble because of that.

I say buy American made plywood and the problem would be solved! :)
There have been a number of issues and problems since moving to china. This is just another. People will jump in and claim they wouldn't be able to make enough money if they built in the USA. I call BS on that. Too many others are doing it and making a profit. They'd be just fine on the production scale we're talking about.

The only reason to move to china is that you care more about getting as much profit as you can, and don't care about QC or your customers. Blunt but true.
 

cavecentral

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Bundle 7 is out. Remaining 3 PS2-E2X kits bundled together with launcher for $45.
 

smugglervt

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This was posted on NAR FB page today. Not sure when this conversation took place.

FB Este Post.jpg
 

Nytrunner

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Admittedly, we got E2Xs (which I shall still refer to as the Pro Series III) and Builders rekits, plus the Star Orbiter
 

EXPjawa

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The trouble I have with the Star Orbiter is that it reverts from the medium-duty tubing that made the PS2 line transitional back to the classic light wall tube. Aside from its 29mm mount, there's nothing really "Pro Series" about it. If that is to be the design direction of new builder kits, then color me unimpressed. With that said, there are a number of other recent offering that John has come up with that I am very happy about. And I'm not displeased with the Star Orbiter on the whole, just that it really isn't appropriately called "Pro Series 2". Much like Jeep's current Cherokee doesn't fill the XJ's shoes. Call it anything else, fine. Just not that...
 

rharshberger

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This was posted on NAR FB page today. Not sure when this conversation took place.

View attachment 321660
After reading this people are missing the point of the Estes statement. Estes said they are continuing the Pro Series BUT with new designs. So the Leviathan, MDRM, Ventris, Partizon etc are gone and new designs will be replacing them. I believe the statement also included the Pro Series E2X versions like the Trajector and Mammoth. Then again maybe I missed the point.
 

dr wogz

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I think there' another aspect we're missing: Walmart.

It may very well be that Walmart has done their market study, and found the anticipated "want" for these larger kits never materialized. (How many sat on the shelves, vs. the mini Alphas flying off the shelves.. Cost?!) Or maybe they (Walmart) doesn't want to be associated with a kit that can lead to potentially damage if not built / flown / recovered in a positive method. And with that, and maybe Hobby Lobby as well, have changed the marketing for the PSII kists.

Yes, we want them, but what about little Timmy down the street, who flies with his dad at the local soccer field. The MDRM, while cool, and big, and overall awesome!, is expensive, big, and maybe too big for the field, not to mention requiring a new launch system, and motors that are in the $upper-teens for ONE launch..

I have a local hobby shop that had 4 of the PSII kits hanging up when they first came out. Sold for the MSRP.. Two are still there.. He moves a lot of the regular Estes stuff.. (but then again, that's all he sells)..
 
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