Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Breaking news from the rocket vendors! (Part 2)

One of the best features of the NAR manufacturer's forum is that you are exposed to new ideas and products beyond your normal hobby experience. This was the case for me and vendor #6, Cris Erving of Eggtimer Rocketry. Cris is noted for producing various rocket electronic kits - many high power rocketeers love his trackers for their low cost, reliability, and fabulous technical support. The only downside is that these are KITS, not preassembled items like you get from Altus Metrum or Perfectflite. Kits mean soldering, and I absolutely suck at soldering - just ask my dad, the electronics man. Despite his best efforts, I could not be taught how to properly handle a soldering iron. This explains why I have no Eggtimer products; however, if you are good at putting together electronic thingies (or know someone who can do so), I encourage you to pay his web site a visit. There are some excellent products there!

Gary Rosenfeld of Aerotech (Click to enlarge).
The next guy to present was rocketry's premier motor guy, Gary Rosenfeld of Aerotech. Gary wasted no time getting down to business, starting out with the continued rebranding of Aerotech's mid power motors under the Enerjet name, and the impending release of the Enerjet Classic F motor, which will emulate the smokeless glory of the old Enerjets from the early 70's (I can't wait to get one of these for my Enerjet 2250 clone). The White Lightning Q-Jets have been submitted for testing, so they should be out in a few months - fire and noise from 18 mm motors! There is a new forward closure for the 29 mm high power case, and Gary is working on a bunch of long burn motors, which will make the altitude seekers very happy.

eRockets owner, Randy Boadway, then took the stage to talk about various offerings from eRockets. In addition to their own brand of sanding sealer and tracking smoke, they also have plenty of piston tubes for contest rocketeers. Randy has also managed to lay his hands on some Estes Wacky Wiggler and Zombie rockets, which you can only get in starter sets from other places. I'm going to order a Wacky Wiggler - I've never flown a rocket designed to come apart like that. But the big news from eRockets lies in the kit arena. Not only is their reproduction of the Estes Scissors-Wing Transport (improved, of course) nearing release, but he also showed off two prototype rockets in the eRockets "Pro" series - a nice upscale of the Blue Bird Zero and an awesomely big version of the Estes Orbital Transport. I bet these are going to sell like hotcakes!

eRockets Randy Boadway (Click to enlarge).
And of course, there are already rocketeers looking into placing the Orbital Transport's glider under R/C control. It hasn't even hit the shelf yet...

Vendor #9 is the newest on the block. IMPLS Launch Systems is putting out a line of launch controllers and pads that are targeted towards clubs and small groups, like scout packs. Their IMPLS Fiver controller and IMPLS Sport pad handle 5 rockets and look very professional and robust. A little pricey for an individual, they are definitely an option for groups looking for launch equipment that will hold up for years.

Rick Randol's NewWay Space Models is known as the "square rocket company." Their models feature square tubes, are very creative in design and are quite popular with low power rocketeers. In addition to their own designs, they have square versions of the Goblin, the A-20 Demon, Honest John and other Estes kits from days of old. These kits are available from eRockets and other vendors - I hear they are very fun to build and fly!

The last vendor to present was definitely not the least. Dynasoar Rocketry's Frank Burke makes the absolute best RC rocket gliders, and there are a fair number of them. My favs are the Klingon Battlecruiser, the Fireball XL-5, and the Bomarc. Unfortunately I don't have the skills to fly them (I can only handle ballistic paths through the air), but my colleague Chuck Pierce has several of Frank's kits and they are wonders to behold in the sky. If you like R/C and rocketry, Dynasoar has a way to give you both worlds in a single kit. While you are at his website, don't forget to check out the video collection of his birds in flight.

And that is my summary of this year's NARAM manufacturers forum - It was a very fun time!

P.S. I just received a note that NAR has posted the forum video here. Go watch it for yourselves!

1 comment:

  1. The whole forum was so exciting! You're not the only one who's going broke this year, I can assure you.