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

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bernomatic
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#11 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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#12 Re: Rumor about Estes not producing cluster kits anymore- Is it true?

Post by tmacklin » Sat, 04 Feb 17, 15:59 pm

Rocket Babe wrote:
Trident wrote: ... 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)

I don't get it. :?:

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

Post by luke strawwalker » Mon, 06 Feb 17, 02:39 am

Rocket Babe wrote:
Trident wrote: ... 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)
The Dude... was that the giant rubber rocket??

Maybe they should have sold them as a set... LOL:) :lol: :lol: :lol:

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

Post by Joe Wooten » Mon, 06 Feb 17, 18:27 pm

Rocket Babe wrote:.

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

More engines = better! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :mrgreen:
Their big LJII three engine cluster
Image

Their Saturn5/1B models
Image

The Defender
Image

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

Post by Rocket Babe » Mon, 06 Feb 17, 20:17 pm

Joe Wooten wrote:
Rocket Babe wrote:.

Their big LJII three engine cluster
Image

Their Saturn5/1B models
Image

The Defender
Image

Awesome! Thanks! :D

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

Post by Rocket Babe » Mon, 06 Feb 17, 20:33 pm

bernomatic wrote: 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.
Speaking for myself, there are lots of reasons I like clusters more than single engine, to me it makes it more fun and slightly more challenging. There's more to build, more to prep, more to consider, tests your flying skills, etc.

To me if you're going to go to the trouble to build an accurate sacle model you should be accurate with power as well. If the real thing flys on 2, then do that, if 5 then 5, etc.

As a side note, I find it odd that there's no REAL progression to Level 1. Even if you begin the hobby as an adult I don't understand why a person isn't required to build model level 1-4, then stage, cluster and cluster and stage, before you go HPR level 1 with very little actual hands on flying experience. Any adult can get their level 1 on their very first flight, so what real value does it have? To me, not much. You built 1 rocket, made 1 flight and presto-changeo you're level 1??? :roll:

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

Post by luke strawwalker » Tue, 07 Feb 17, 02:47 am

I think the entire certification system is ridiculous anyway. I've seen too many HPR guys doing stupid stuff that basically is akin to "hold my beer and watch this" type stunts, just with a bigger, heavier rocket and more motor power to push it. Basically the certification process is, intentionally or unintentionally, designed to turn out guys capable of building a fiberglass-covered anti-tank round and shoving a motor in it big enough to lift it, and putting a recovery system together capable of pushing out the laundry and landing it back on the ground. Otherwise I see little "skill" being learned or applied.

I'll take TRUE craftsmanship and skill over the "overpowered anti-tank" round crowd ANY day of the week. Why we don't allow HPR to be flown on our farms-- 95% of it is just bigger "whoosh-pop" but with a LOT more risk.

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

Post by bernomatic » Tue, 07 Feb 17, 05:04 am

Rocket Babe wrote: Speaking for myself, there are lots of reasons I like clusters more than single engine, to me it makes it more fun and slightly more challenging. There's more to build, more to prep, more to consider, tests your flying skills, etc.

To me if you're going to go to the trouble to build an accurate sacle model you should be accurate with power as well. If the real thing flys on 2, then do that, if 5 then 5, etc.

As a side note, I find it odd that there's no REAL progression to Level 1. Even if you begin the hobby as an adult I don't understand why a person isn't required to build model level 1-4, then stage, cluster and cluster and stage, before you go HPR level 1 with very little actual hands on flying experience. Any adult can get their level 1 on their very first flight, so what real value does it have? To me, not much. You built 1 rocket, made 1 flight and presto-changeo you're level 1??? :roll:
To be fair to NAR (and you won't find me supporting them for much here. In the old cantina, I had a few conversations with Jerry Irvine regarding NAR. It's too bad he hasn't visited the new Cantina. I think he is like numerous others in that they won't take the time to post here feeling it is just a few souls drifting in space congratulating themselves that President Trump won. :P Without some of the opponents on the other side of the aisle signing up it can be a bit one sided, but as been said previously, Some believe they won't sign up here because there is no safe space here. damn sorry went way off on a tangent).
As I was saying to be fair to NAR, they have the NARTREK program, but it isn't mandatory to do it to then go to level 1.
I don't even hear much about it in the NAR propaganda I'm sent from time to time. of course it could be because it is a model rocketry program and not mpr nor hpr and that may be the reason not much chatter on it.
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#19 Re: Rumor about Estes not producing cluster kits anymore- Is it true?

Post by luke strawwalker » Tue, 07 Feb 17, 23:22 pm

Yeah, that's my beef with the NAR... seems like they're only about three things anymore-- 1) HPR, 2) TARC, and 3) competition. Everybody else need not bother.

Since I don't particularly give a rip about ANY of those things, that means NAR is basically irrelevant to me. I USED to be a member just to get the magazine, but no more... $60 bucks a year for dues is simply TOO MUCH for a magazine that is almost SOLELY dedicated to those three topics and none other, or if anything else IS in there it's an abbreviated footnote or afterthought at most.

NAR has gotten away from its roots, which is why, IMHO, membership has virtually stalled and they can't keep anybody for more than a couple years. The mandatory insurance has driven the price of membership to insane levels (even for kids its pretty ridiculous now) and a lot of that cost is probably being driven by HPR... lets face it, HPR is inherently a riskier activity, like it or not, believe it or not. I'm not saying its IMPOSSIBLE for someone to get seriously injured or killed in model rocketry-- we've had several incidents to the contrary (usually idgits trying to recover their rockets from power lines, but also the kit that got darted by the X-15 years ago at a scout thing). So far the only flight-related fatality has been that guy that got nailed by a ballistic HPR a couple years ago out in California at a scout HPR thing... although there has been a SIGNIFICANT number of VERY near misses, which would have almost certainly ended in instant death and some which resulted in burns or other injuries, or expensive damage to property. That's why we don't allow HPR on our farms... take that crap somewhere else...

Anyway, NAR is seemingly only interested in the HPR flier, so they can get more money out of them for certs. They like the TARC thing because it creates a lot of hoo-hah for them, and probably gets them a few new (transitory) members... and then there's competition, which the NAR boo-hoo's is dying out, but then they've allowed a handful of old graybeards to control competition with an iron fist, and make the rules to their liking and in their favor, so most folks simply say "why bother". Add that with the fact that most younger people nowdays simply don't have the time or money to go to the far end of the country for a week of competition (NARAM) and they refuse to streamline that either to create more appeal to younger members, (mostly because the graybeards want to hang out for a week and stretch it out as much as possible methinks) and only a select handful are considered "worthy" of participating in the internats, let alone have the time or money for it...

Is it any WONDER that the NAR is becoming irrelevant?? Most HPR fliers are Tripoli members, as that organization was MADE by and for the HPR rocket enthusiast... NAR opposed HPR for a LONG time, even "regulated" against it, until they figured out they were losing money as people with money decided "if it comes down to a choice between HPR and LPR, screw NAR and LPR I'll just jump ship to Tripoli and fly with them exclusively". NAR quickly deduced that their stance in opposition to HPR was getting them nowhere and the money was leaving with the guys jumping ship, and quickly recanted their position and created their own HPR base, basically mirroring Tripoli (except in a few respects I think). Now they seem to want to cater to the HPR fliers and LPR/MPR non-cert fliers are just "free to hang out with them"...

No thanks...

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

Post by luke strawwalker » Tue, 07 Feb 17, 23:26 pm

I agree with Jerry on a lot of things... chief among them the stupidity of the certification system.

That's what happens when your "advocates" for a given activity figure out they can make money off it on the side through certifications, etc...

We are plagued with that sort of thing in ag... it's called "national organizations" (which thankfully are voluntary) and "commodity checkoffs" (which sadly are mandatory, collecting fees at the point of sale). Neither does a damn thing for the "average" (little) guy, exist solely to cater to the bigshots and fatcats, and collect money out of my pocket and then blows it on stupidity like lobbying (usually for stuff that benefits the big guys or big agribiz corporations and stuff, at the expense of the "little guy" like me) or lavish junkets all over the world to "promote" the crop or livestock your raising...

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

Post by Trident » Wed, 08 Feb 17, 04:32 am

I occasionally browse TRF to see if there is anything exciting. Occasionally I find something I follow, like a really detailed build thread on the Estes Little Joe II. Mostly I see "anyone got a good kit recommendation for my Level 2?" I usually ignore, but occasionally I reply. "For L2, you should be scratch-building." :)

I actually scratch-built my L1 and L2 for Tripoli cert, but moved over to NAR when I got out of high power. I still like to support NAR, and belong to a NAR section, so I'll continue to support the cause. I do miss the old days when the magazine had some plans for rockets, and not all the coverage on HPR and competition.

By maintaining my NAR membership, I can still buy H motors, and larger if I ever decided to reengage. The whole cert process is crazy, because so many of those getting the certs have little knowledge of what it takes to build stable rockets. Worse, so many just flat out overbuild. Fiberglass or carbon fiber, or 1/2" thick plywood centering rings (or worse, composite centering rings!), and monstrous amounts of epoxy slathered everywhere. Most L2 stuff could be done with PVA glues.

OK, rant over ...
Lee

Bulds: Estes Saturn V, Super Sky Hook, Farside-X
Awaiting Paint/Detailing: Estes Saturn 1B
Completed!: Der Saturn Max, Bandit XL

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