Would you buy a new Centuri model kit?

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

Tramper Al

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2013
Messages
372
Reaction score
26
Estes owns both of this brand name, yes? Would you not be twice (or more) as likely to consider a new model kit if it were marketed as a Centuri model? Particularly if it had some link to those brands storied past? I would totally fall for that. I've often wondered why acquiring companies don't make better use of the brands they buy out - beyond eliminating the competition.

Note: I addended my original post to reflect my recollection that likely it is Aerotech who owns the Enerjet brand. I would think that one would evoke an even stronger response if used to market a new kit or two.
 

les

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
3,117
Reaction score
860
Honestly, the manufacturer name means little to me. It is the looks and quality of the rocket/kit that is my driver.
Sure, some manufacturers have either a great or terrible reputation. The latter would make me hesitate.
But if the kit was from Estes, regardless whether it was marked Estes, Centuri, or ACME, I would expect high quality for the kit and the branding would be unimportant. A coyote may be more partial to the ACME brand though.... 🤣
 

Scott_650

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2015
Messages
1,515
Reaction score
1,027
Location
Louisville OH
For me it would depend on the kits themselves - are we talking repros of Centuri classics like the Skylab, Orion, Taurus Flagship, Quasar, Black Widow, Laser-X - or new designs in the spirit of the Centuri originals? (A couple of those classics are popular Semroc kits, not sure what the current status is between eRockets and Estes with the Semroc retro repro designs.)

It might make sense if Estes we’re to make Centuri their sort of premium brand - a place for limited run retro bring-backs, new spirit of Centuri kits and maybe the bigger Super Kits line (Maxi Brute, if they ever use that name again, would need to stay strictly Estes - along with PSII).

But is there really a sound business case for the expense of rebranding what most people outside of old-timers and true-believer enthusiasts would call “Estes rockets” anyway? Reviving defunct (or mostly defunct in the case of Norton) motorcycle brands is a “thing” lately - for example Indian tractor giant Mahindra has three lines of bikes using the Jawa, BSA and domestic Yezdi brands - motorcycles using rehashed styling cues of the original designs. But would the cost of reviving Centuri add enough sales to Estes bottom line to make it worthwhile?
 

Paul Howard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2022
Messages
62
Reaction score
27
Location
Corvallis, Oregon
Semroc from erockets.biz sells a bunch of their current newly improved-version kits of discontinued Centuri (and Estes) kits. That might be of interest. I also like buying their kits since they're made in the USA and based in Ohio. Unfortunately, like most USA-made rockets nowadays, you mostly have to order off the internet since local hobby shops are supplied by suppliers who have a "deal" to only sell Estes (made in China kits, but engines-only made in Penrose Colorado).
 
Last edited:

hobie1dog

Subaholic
Joined
Jul 26, 2009
Messages
8,022
Reaction score
4,490
Location
Cornelius,NC
[QUOTE="Paul Howard, post: 2225793, member: 377
Unfortunately, like most USA-made rockets nowadays, you mostly have to order off the internet since local hobby shops are supplied by suppliers who have a "deal" to only sell Estes (made in China kits, but engines-only made in Penrose Colorado).
[/QUOTE]
Estes only makes engines here?
 

Initiator001

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
3,082
Reaction score
493
If keeping the Centuri name alive would have been profitable/helped sales Damon would not have closed down the company fifty years ago.

The AeroTech kits and the Quest mid-power kits are being rebranded as "Enerjet By AeroTech". We also have 'Enerjet' motors again.
 

Scott_650

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2015
Messages
1,515
Reaction score
1,027
Location
Louisville OH
[QUOTE="Paul Howard, post: 2225793, member: 377
Unfortunately, like most USA-made rockets nowadays, you mostly have to order off the internet since local hobby shops are supplied by suppliers who have a "deal" to only sell Estes (made in China kits, but engines-only made in Penrose Colorado).
Estes only makes engines here?
[/QUOTE]
The kits have been made in China for a long time - motors and wadding (and maybe the starters?) are all made at Penrose.
 

Scott_650

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2015
Messages
1,515
Reaction score
1,027
Location
Louisville OH
If keeping the Centuri name alive would have been profitable/helped sales Damon would not have closed down the company fifty years ago.

The AeroTech kits and the Quest mid-power kits are being rebranded as "Enerjet By AeroTech". We also have 'Enerjet' motors again.
Not exactly the same circumstances today as when Damon acquired Estes and Centuri - Estes is owned by the Langford family, not a corporation with aspirations of riding the wave of the pre-video game “Toy Boom”.

But the end result is most likely the same - the cost of reviving Centuri probably wouldn’t yield much of a return.
 

bjphoenix

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 4, 2011
Messages
1,019
Reaction score
190
I would buy from either brand, equally.
I would like to see some of the classic Centuri kits reissued, like from the mid-60s. I need to look up Semroc again and see if they have anything I'm interested in. Otherwise I'm in the process of scratch building a few of them.
 

Scott_650

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2015
Messages
1,515
Reaction score
1,027
Location
Louisville OH
I would buy from either brand, equally.
I would like to see some of the classic Centuri kits reissued, like from the mid-60s. I need to look up Semroc again and see if they have anything I'm interested in. Otherwise I'm in the process of scratch building a few of them.
eRockets is really hurting when it comes to inventory right now - balsa sheets and stock for nose cones seems to be the big problems - so there’s a lot of Semroc kits OOS ☹️
 

Paul Howard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2022
Messages
62
Reaction score
27
Location
Corvallis, Oregon
BALSA (and Semroc)- It's now hard to come by in general, Hobby shops in general have a hard time getting it so that does not surprise me to hear about Semroc (erockets) having difficulty getting Balsa for their kits, I would guess the same goes for other companies.

ESTES and "Made in China" - Yes, look at the package of any/all Estes rockets in production for the last (?) years, and they all say "Made in Quandong(sp?), China". I suspect the recovery wadding is also but not sure on that.

Estes Motor Manufacturing Date Codes (printed on the engine casing and still made in Penrose, Colorado) - No one at Estes (in Penrose at the factory) seems to know how to decipher the current 7 character code (Capital Letter, Number, Number, Number, Number, Number, Number) such as: "J201200". I've asked 3 times. Even those super-handy, knowledgeable fun kids at APOGEE Rockets don't know how to decipher the current 7 character Estes Motor Manufacture Date Code. I and several others have theories/suppositions but we're not sure either.
 

Scott_650

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2015
Messages
1,515
Reaction score
1,027
Location
Louisville OH
ESTES and "Made in China" - Yes, look at the package of any/all Estes rockets in production for the last (?) years, and they all say "Made in Quandong(sp?), China". I suspect the recovery wadding is also but not sure on that.

During the video tour that Bill Stine did during vNARCON last year the wadding making process is shown - factoid: Estes is one of the largest single buyers of toilet paper 😆
 

Paul Howard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2022
Messages
62
Reaction score
27
Location
Corvallis, Oregon
Hmm, good to know. One more thing to know about ESTES RECOVERY WADDING- It can and does burn and "hold an ember to the ground" which I've had happen several times in the past year. So, I now try to install "Ejection Baffles" when building new rockets of any diameter (just make sure the design allows shaking and rotating to get chunks of blast-detritus out of the rocket and the baffle). I still use recovery wadding for parachute insurance, but at least it seems to not get scorched much and more importantly, Not maintain a burning ember to the ground.
 

boomtube-mk2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2014
Messages
2,238
Reaction score
1,908
I've often wondered why acquiring companies don't make better use of the brands they buy out - beyond eliminating the competition.
If you want a perfect example of this just look to the BNSF railroad an amalgamation of the Burlington Northern, itself a collection of several "Fallen Flag" railroads, and the iconic Atchinson Topeka and Santa Fe which had one of America's most recognized symbols in business and industry.

The people who run the BNSF have s🤬canned all the great AT&SF history and imagery and reduced it all down to four letters and a swish.
 

GlenP

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2014
Messages
2,701
Reaction score
1,101
Isn't the Langford family a LLC that owns Estes?
I think the Langford group formed a company called Estes Industries LLC for the purpose of purchasing the Estes company.



you might say they bought Estes with Boeing’s money. (Proceeds from the sale of Aurora)


they have been active in educational STEM outreach programs for a long time.
 
Last edited:

neil_w

OpenRocketeer
Joined
Jul 14, 2015
Messages
13,712
Reaction score
6,952
Location
Northern NJ
If you want a perfect example of this just look to the BNSF railroad an amalgamation of the Burlington Northern, itself a collection of several "Fallen Flag" railroads, and the iconic Atchinson Topeka and Santa Fe which had one of America's most recognized symbols in business and industry.

The people who run the BNSF have s🤬canned all the great AT&SF history and imagery and reduced it all down to four letters and a swish.
Have to say the BNSF logo really is pretty lackluster, almost completely devoid of character. AT&SF and its logo will, however, live on forever on model railroads. :)
 

dpower

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
1,593
Reaction score
323
86 the tp and use dog barf.
I've given up dog barf, found that it really wasn't as effective as wadding or nomex. As a supplement, I suppose it could work, but burning embers too often came through. I really like the Q-Jet wadding, nice big pre-cut sheets, easier to handle than the TP, easier to wrap around chutes & streamers, and it comes included in motor packs.

Oh, and I suppose I would buy a Centuri branded kit, if it was a bring-back of an old Centuri kit, but for new kit designs, it wouldn't matter one way or the other. In brick and mortar stores, it probably wouldn't sell as well, since it doesn't have the name recognition of Estes.
 

TigerHawk

Reliving the good ole days
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
1,262
Reaction score
745
Location
Tennessee
I really like the Q-Jet wadding
That wadding to me has bigger and thicker material which protects my recovery gear a lot better. The local NAR club wants everyone to use dog barf instead of wadding. I use dog barf, but also use a square of the q-jet wadding to wrap around my chute/streamer up to BT-80 size rockets. Anything bigger I use a nomex blanket. Top flight has 3” x 3” chute protectors that work great in up to 1” diameter BT.

I would buy a Centuri kit if it was an old school type of kit, like these.
 
Last edited:

smstachwick

LPR/MPR sport flier with an eye to HPR and scale
Joined
Jul 30, 2021
Messages
1,067
Reaction score
912
Location
Poway, CA
I already kinda have. The Star Trooper was a Centuri original, if I’m not mistaken. The difference between the Centuri and Estes ones is that the Centuri version had a rear-ejecting streamer, which is really different (as the catalog so perfectly stated).

Apparently that version also included a “long body” option.
 

dr wogz

Fly caster
Joined
Feb 5, 2009
Messages
8,099
Reaction score
3,697
Location
Land of Poutine!
Apparently all food can be traced to 10 companies:

everyone eventfully buy everyone out..

1642382442594.png
 

GlenP

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2014
Messages
2,701
Reaction score
1,101
That wadding to me has bigger and thicker material which protects my recovery gear a lot better. The local NAR club wants everyone to use dog barf instead of wadding. I use dog barf, but also use a square of the q-jet wadding to wrap around my chute/streamer up to BT-80 size rockets. Anything bigger I use a nomex blanket. Top flight has 3” x 3” chute protectors that work great in up to 1” diameter BT.

I would buy a Centuri kit if it was an old school type of kit, like these.
There were a few Estes Classic Series re-releases of Centuri kits a few years ago, like the Phoenix Bird, you might be able to find some at the typical web market sites.

Flutter by for example

 
Last edited:

TigerHawk

Reliving the good ole days
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
1,262
Reaction score
745
Location
Tennessee
There were a few Estes Classic Series re-releases of Centuri kits a few years ago, like the Phoenix Bird, you might be able to find some at the typical web market sites.

Flutter by for example

I have two of those currently.
 

bjphoenix

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 4, 2011
Messages
1,019
Reaction score
190
I would buy a Centuri kit if it was an old school type of kit, like these.
I want to go back farther- http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/catalogs/centuri67/67cencat.html
I think many of these designs were more interesting than the Estes designs of the same era and they still hold interest for me. Maybe part of that is just nostalgia.
Aero-dart, Hustler, Chuter-two, Jaguar, Javelin are some that I'm interested in.
I'm working on cloning a few of these.
 

Woody's Workshop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2011
Messages
4,557
Reaction score
374
Location
Reed City, Michigan (Lower)
Estes Motor Manufacturing Date Codes (printed on the engine casing and still made in Penrose, Colorado) - No one at Estes (in Penrose at the factory) seems to know how to decipher the current 7 character code (Capital Letter, Number, Number, Number, Number, Number, Number) such as: "J201200". I've asked 3 times. Even those super-handy, knowledgeable fun kids at APOGEE Rockets don't know how to decipher the current 7 character Estes Motor Manufacture Date Code. I and several others have theories/suppositions but we're not sure either.

I would guess that the date code is more of a batch run and powder purchases/used with a slight note to a manufacturing date.
I think how would I do it if and when a incident report is filed on a failed engine.
I would want to know who was running the machine (everything related to manufacturing date would be filed under the batch run) and want to know in which canister the powder came from in case a report was filed to in act a recall if need be.
A company that keeps correct records would almost be able to tell you in which hour of which day the engine was made, and information regarding paper wrap, clay nossel, thrust powder used, delay powder used and sealing cap. You should also be able to track down what batch of igniters were put in with those engines. We are in the age of information after all.
I would also guess not giving out the code would hopefully make people file reports triggering the process of seeking out this information. Something the company wants to do itself, not have everyone on the internet saying such n such engine manufactured on this date is going to cato. That's something a company just don't want to happen. And I'd have to say I agree. They need first chance at figuring out the problem and taking the proper action before a premature conclusion spread across the world before they even know anything about an event.
 

Ez2cDave

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
5,292
Reaction score
1,749
Location
Raleigh, NC Area
It might make sense if Estes we’re to make Centuri their sort of premium brand - a place for limited run retro bring-backs, new spirit of Centuri kits and maybe the bigger Super Kits line (Maxi Brute, if they ever use that name again, would need to stay strictly Estes - along with PSII).

One major problem would be "Centuri" Nose Cones. The originals were all Injection-Molded, with the exception of a few Balsa cones.

Unless Estes still has all of the original Molds and injection-molding equipment, "Blow-Molded" Nose Cones would take their place, requiring new molds.

Also, with the lighter Blow-Molded Nose Cones, CG issues might crop up on certain models.

Centuri kits would be great, provided that no "corners are cut".

Dave
 

sjh1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2011
Messages
186
Reaction score
56
I used to love the OLD Centuri better than the Estes.
 

GlenP

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2014
Messages
2,701
Reaction score
1,101
I liked them both, my local hobby shop only had Estes in the store, so I had to mail order from Centuri. Centuri would send you coupons with each order to give you discounts or freebies with your next order.
 
Top