Rumor about Estes not producing cluster kits anymore- Is it true?

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#1 Rumor about Estes not producing cluster kits anymore- Is it true?

Post by bernomatic » Tue, 31 Jan 17, 01:22 am

I heard a rumor that Estes was going to phase out cluster rockets and not pursue this facet of the hobby anymore. Not that I have seen a lot of kits from Estes ever with clusters, but to totally neglect this part of the hobby?

I suppose it is just a matter that no longer is it necessary to bundle together a bunch of engines to get enough thrust to lift a lard ass rocket off the pad. Instead you can just build an engine mount for a more powerful engine. Simpler and cheaper in the long run? I wonder.

I know Rocket will sound off about this, but I have little experience with clusters having only in the past couple of years building and flying a Estes Ranger clone.
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#2 Re: Rumor about Estes not producing cluster kits anymore- Is it true?

Post by luke strawwalker » Tue, 31 Jan 17, 07:04 am

HAVE they built and sold any cluster kits in recent memory?? The last one I can recall was one of the "X-Prize" kits that used a pair of motors.

I don't think they've been particularly big players in that part of the hobby anyway. Given that their new "starters" suck ass by all accounts and do well just to light off ONE motor, attempting to light two or more motors with the sorry things would be akin to suicide methinks.

Besides, with their entry into the larger BP motor territory with their F's, I think they probably don't want to mess with clustering... it's more parts in the kit and parts=money, plus they'd be competing against sales of th elarger motors. Plus, the "learning curve" is higher and the success rate is lower (as I mentioned previously in regards to their "starters", but anytime you add more motors there's more probability of something going wrong at various points in the flight, from ignition onwards). If they DO in fact "plan" not to offer cluster models anymore, I would say it is the "safe" decision and makes sense businesswise, even if it's not a good thing for the more advanced rocketeer...

Why not go straight to the horse's mouth and ask John Boren over on TRF??

Later! OL J R :)
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#3 Re: Rumor about Estes not producing cluster kits anymore- Is it true?

Post by Trident » Wed, 01 Feb 17, 18:20 pm

I hadn't really thought about this, but I'm not sure I recall the last cluster kit from Estes. Back in the 90s I bought the big Estes Patriot that flew on four D12s. I don't recall if it also flew on Estes Es, they might not have been out. I sold it to a friend that pestered me so long, and pitifully, that I finally gave in.

My favorite cluster rocket as a kid was the Astron Cobra. But I never bought one --the thought of spending almost a dollar for one launch was unthinkable, based on my allowance and money from mowing lawns. A friend had a Ranger, basically a Big Bertha lookalike with three 18mm motor mounts.

I cloned a Cobra several years ago. It has not flown, but I do plan to fly it this year. Probably start with B motors, then load it up with Cs. I also have all the parts accumulated to build a Super Cobra. It is an upscale using a 2.6" tube, and will fly on three 24mm motors.

I also have a Semroc Brighton, an upscale of the Estes Ranger. It comes with numerous motor mount options. I was shocked when I won it on an eBay auction for $39. That kit is over $90 now!
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#4 Re: Rumor about Estes not producing cluster kits anymore- Is it true?

Post by Joe Wooten » Wed, 01 Feb 17, 22:36 pm

if I can get time, I'll be building a cluster that will use 2 or 3 of the F-15's.......

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#5 Re: Rumor about Estes not producing cluster kits anymore- Is it true?

Post by Rocket Babe » Thu, 02 Feb 17, 19:24 pm

The last cluster kit Estes sold that I remember used 2 D's and was called, Double D. Guys... (you know who you are) stay on topic... :!:

Going all the way back to the 60's when many NASA and Russian rockets were multiple engine, I've never understood why any of the kit manufacturers didn't offer cluster kit options.

Did Centuri or any other company offer cluster kits, ever? :?:

Except for Red Squadron, I don't build or fly single engine and even then I couldn't stand it in the end so I made the Hyper Viper to fly on 4. It just goes against my grain to build anything with 1 engine.

More engines = better! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :mrgreen:

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#6 Re: Rumor about Estes not producing cluster kits anymore- Is it true?

Post by Trident » Fri, 03 Feb 17, 02:59 am

Verna, I think The Estes designer wanted to call it the Double D. But it is actually the "36 D Squared". I guess they got away with a wink on that one. Worse than the name, look at the fin shape. Hard to believe that kit made it to production.

I have one I bought on eBay for $18. Never have been able to open it and build it. It would make a cool bash, though, using the plastic transition from one tube to two tubes.
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#7 Re: Rumor about Estes not producing cluster kits anymore- Is it true?

Post by Commander » Fri, 03 Feb 17, 23:21 pm

Someone is just trying to get me into trouble..... :roll:

Maybe I'll have to visit Ted and go do some fishing to get out of it. I think he has a motorboat.... :lol:
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#8 Re: Rumor about Estes not producing cluster kits anymore- Is it true?

Post by luke strawwalker » Sat, 04 Feb 17, 02:08 am

Rocket Babe wrote:The last cluster kit Estes sold that I remember used 2 D's and was called, Double D. Guys... (you know who you are) stay on topic... :!:

Going all the way back to the 60's when many NASA and Russian rockets were multiple engine, I've never understood why any of the kit manufacturers didn't offer cluster kit options.

Did Centuri or any other company offer cluster kits, ever? :?:

Except for Red Squadron, I don't build or fly single engine and even then I couldn't stand it in the end so I made the Hyper Viper to fly on 4. It just goes against my grain to build anything with 1 engine.

More engines = better! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :mrgreen:
Yeah... Now I remember... the 36 D Squared... The one with the tacky tramp-stamp type decals and the profile titty fins...

I've got one of those over there in the box, but I'm going to build it into a sort of twin-motored Nike Ajax-esque type rocket... no titty fins and tramp stamp decals. No Bertha perky bulbous nosecone, either-- it'll have a good old fashioned 50's style pointy brassiere nose cone befitting missiles of the time... (or was it the other way around? LOL:))

Anyway, yeah, that was probably the last one... the X-Prize twin-engine kit was probably done before that.

Later! OL J R :)

PS. I HATE that the "report" and "quote" buttons are so damn close together... sorry bernie! LOL:)
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#9 Re: Rumor about Estes not producing cluster kits anymore- Is it true?

Post by luke strawwalker » Sat, 04 Feb 17, 02:10 am

Rocket Babe wrote:The last cluster kit Estes sold that I remember used 2 D's and was called, Double D. Guys... (you know who you are) stay on topic... :!:

Going all the way back to the 60's when many NASA and Russian rockets were multiple engine, I've never understood why any of the kit manufacturers didn't offer cluster kit options.

Did Centuri or any other company offer cluster kits, ever? :?:

Except for Red Squadron, I don't build or fly single engine and even then I couldn't stand it in the end so I made the Hyper Viper to fly on 4. It just goes against my grain to build anything with 1 engine.

More engines = better! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :mrgreen:
LOL YOU went there first!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Later! OL J R :)
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#10 Re: Rumor about Estes not producing cluster kits anymore- Is it true?

Post by Rocket Babe » Sat, 04 Feb 17, 02:13 am

[quote="Trident"] ... it is actually the "36 D Squared"

That was it! And yeah, no one will ever convince me it wasn't exactly what everyone thinks and by intent. I also can't help but think that it and The Dude, didn't come from the same warped little mind. (emotocon throwing up here)

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