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View Full Version : To fly or not to fly...


dbrent
09-27-2007, 11:19 AM
I'm curious what everyone's opinion is on the subject of flying older classic models...

When I have a old classic kit that I spent many painstaking hours building to look as good as the "catalog" model, I always struggle with the decision of whether to fly it or not. I mean you are risking the model...right? If it's irreplacable (or would cost $100+ to replace on ebay), is the enjoyment of flying it worth the risk.

I use to have a belief that you have to fly everything at least once or it's not a "model rocket", however now that I'm getting older, it's getting harder to push that button on some of my "classic" oldies...

Any thoughts?

Doug Sams
09-27-2007, 11:41 AM
I'm curious what everyone's opinion is on the subject of flying older classic models...
[snip]
I use to have a belief that you have to fly everything at least once or it's not a "model rocket", That's my belief. I think every restored rocket and/or clone should be flown at least once, then you can retire it. But that doesn't mean I won't change my mind. For example, there's a 1/100 Centuri Sat 1B in the stash that could give me cold feet :)


however now that I'm getting olderPerhaps it's time to change your configuration settings. Right now, you're still listed as a "junior rocketeer" :D


Doug

Rocket Doctor
09-27-2007, 12:53 PM
Unless you have a very large field, excellent weather and a recovery team, personally, I wouldn't fly any classic rockets.

I would get clones from Semroc to build and fly. Some original rockets just cannot be replaced at ant cost.

Thinking back when I git into the hobby 43 years ago, I built and flew my rockets for fun and enjoyment, if one got caught in a tree, flew away or was destroyed, so what, but now, since many kits aren't availabr, I would say, don't build the original classics, rather the clone. Preserve a piece of model rocket history.

And I bet that Vern and Gleda and Lrr and Betty wished that they had preserved at least one of each of their kits.


My addage is, once it's gone it's gone, the final JUDGE is YOU..........

Rocketking
09-27-2007, 03:01 PM
While I agree with both sides on this 'debate' here, It has to be flown Once to be called a model rocket. If it has a flight on it, it can be given a place of honor in the collection.

I know what you mean about the Saturn 1B, Doug. I flew the Centuri Saturn 1B on twin B6-2s at an area camp, biting fingernails the whole time. Got it back fine, too.

Now it is displayed with honor on my 'collection' table for area scouts to look at and ask questions about.

Now R.D., I have to ask... Is that an unintentional 'plug' for Dr. Zooch's birds?

Some original rockets just cannot be replaced at ant cost.

cas2047
09-27-2007, 03:01 PM
I struggle with this one also... I recently completed and launched an Estes Saturn V, kit no. 2001. That single launch is it for a while for that particular rocket. I'm not saying it's shelved forever, but it will be on very limited duty.

I'd like a to see a vendor come along and offer a similar Sat V kit that I could build and launch more frequently.

My policy up till now has always been that it's got to fly once, but going forward I'm not sure if that policy will remain in place for the oldies.

If you launch a rocket odds are that it won't come back without at least some battle damange and on a beautiful model like the Sat V, where you have tons of hours into it, battle damage is an unwelcome event...

Rocket Doctor
09-27-2007, 03:32 PM
While I agree with both sides on this 'debate' here, It has to be flown Once to be called a model rocket. If it has a flight on it, it can be given a place of honor in the collection.

I know what you mean about the Saturn 1B, Doug. I flew the Centuri Saturn 1B on twin B6-2s at an area camp, biting fingernails the whole time. Got it back fine, too.

Now it is displayed with honor on my 'collection' table for area scouts to look at and ask questions about.

Now R.D., I have to ask... Is that an unintentional 'plug' for Dr. Zooch's birds?

Some original rockets just cannot be replaced at ant cost.


No plug for Dr Zooch, I do believe I mentioned Semroc though.
I launched a Cox Saturn V once, the top section landed in a very tall tree, noe, the rocket is useless....

But, I also mentioned the flight parameters to have a successful recovery, large field, no trees, recovery team, good weather. As lomg as the motor doesn/t decide to CATO, then, launch away.

Good luck on you flight.

A Fish Named Wallyum
09-27-2007, 03:37 PM
If you take the time to build it, give it at least one shot on a nice, big field. Otherwise, pull your panties up like a big girl and join the Barbie Yahoo group. :rolleyes:

tbzep
09-27-2007, 03:54 PM
At this point, the 1976 Astron Interceptor that I recently finished is the only kit I probably won't ever fly. (I now have possession of the re-release kit, so it will be built and flown and the Astron version will likely remain a hanger queen.)

Anything still in production is fair game to fly at least until I get some liftoff shots I'm happy with...even the Semroc Saturn 1B, if I ever get around to building it. :rolleyes:

I've got a 25th anniversary Saturn V about half finished that I plan to eventually finish and fly until destruction. My old Centuri kit is now retired and won't fly again, but it's had a lot of successful flights over the years. The new Estes kit (with Centuri wraps) is still in the box. It might get built as a display model if the older Estes kit lasts long enough, but I imagine I'll eventually fly it since I have the old Centuri model to look at. :)

cas2047
09-27-2007, 03:54 PM
If you take the time to build it, give it at least one shot on a nice, big field. Otherwise, pull your panties up like a big girl and join the Barbie Yahoo group. :rolleyes:

Thanks I needed that. ;)

Rocket Doctor
09-27-2007, 03:55 PM
If you take the time to build it, give it at least one shot on a nice, big field. Otherwise, pull your panties up like a big girl and join the Barbie Yahoo group. :rolleyes:




Are suspenders required ?

ScaleNut
09-27-2007, 05:20 PM
model rockets were meant to fly so I say ...fly em atleast once.
I have a halfway finished k-29, when it's done ,it will fly, if it flys well enough, I will fly it again

ofcourse I will be much more carefull , and wait for the right situation with the older rockets, they are indeed hard to replace

But i couldn't just set it somewhere and look at it ,after all that work.

Green Dragon
09-27-2007, 06:32 PM
This question was touched on in another thread a while back, as I recall ( could not find the thread to link to, but my answer is still the same :

There is only one rocket I have that will never fly again - all others are fair game, although the original vintage Laser X might not get flown if I build the Semroc version ... but I'd have no problems flying it at a large site on a nice day, as Rd noted.

I actually have no issue flying my vintage SCRAMBLER, but it has mucho sentimental value - plus I have a repro in the que .

( history: I;d always wanted a Scrambler since I got into rocketry circa 1976, never got one in the sotre - missed the last closout one at the local hs, half off, too :-(
finally got one in the mid 80's and built it up to the best of my abilities / desire then.
The only flight it ever made was at a Manassas,VA launch carrying a Herb Desind Cineroc.
With Herb gone, I feel like saving it as a momento and will not fly the rocket, or modify / upgrade ( kevlar,etc), so it will remain with one flight forever. )

all others are fair game, just lost a vintage Cherokee D last fall at a NEPRA launch, bummer, too... but knowing I can replicate it, I will just build anew over the wonter and noone but me will know the difference :)

~ AL

Green Dragon
09-27-2007, 06:33 PM
If you take the time to build it, give it at least one shot on a nice, big field. Otherwise, pull your panties up like a big girl and join the Barbie Yahoo group. :rolleyes:

Does that mean I have to give up my Barbie dolls, since I actually do fly all my rockets ?

:(

~ AL

Arley Davis
09-29-2007, 04:14 PM
This is just my opinion, for what itís worth.
But I have built close to a hundred rockets or more over the years from Low to High Power and I have just as much fun flying the cheaper rockets with my Grandson as the classic rockets I have. So way risk flying a Classic rocket that takes weeks even months building and finishing when you can fly a E2X rocket and if it gets lost or destroyed, go buy another and build it in minutes. Flying a rocket dose not make it a rocket, because you know a rocket just like it has been flown before and your rocket will fly, but way risk it getting destroyed or damaged after all your hard work.
I spent many hours on several rockets that are for display and I am just as happy looking at them as I was building and looking at my plastic models of Superheroes and Famous Monsters I built many years ago when I was a lot younger.
For example I spent close to 30 or more hours on the Centuri SSV Scorpion or Mars Lander, and there is no way Iím going to risk them crashing just to see it fly.

barone
09-29-2007, 04:50 PM
Hey Arley....long time since we've seen you on the forum. I saw your display stands and thought someone had bought some more from you but then I noticed it was you :rolleyes: How's it coming on those Mach Industries rockets?.. Oh, that's another thread...anyway, glad to see you back.

Doug Sams
09-29-2007, 05:12 PM
Some original rockets just cannot be replaced at ant cost.Is that a Freudian-Dr Zooch slip? [vbg]

Doug

stantonjtroy
09-29-2007, 08:15 PM
Ultimately any rocket is only as valueable as you're willing to pay for it . My opinion, Fly them. God knows I've lost my share but for me it's worth it as I grt my value from building them and launching them ( and hopefully recovering them); Otherwise I just have a bag o parts. To each his or her own.

Gus
09-29-2007, 11:00 PM
If I build it, I fly it.

Now as for all this Barbie stuff....see the pictures below. :D

(And before you go getting all testosteroney and stuff, I'll have you know the Barbie Chucker flew a command performance at NARAM 49 for none other than Gleda herself. :) Her hubby got a pretty good laugh out of it too. :p )

A Fish Named Wallyum
09-30-2007, 12:59 AM
If I build it, I fly it.

Now as for all this Barbie stuff....see the pictures below. :D

(And before you go getting all testosteroney and stuff, I'll have you know the Barbie Chucker flew a command performance at NARAM 49 for none other than Gleda herself. :) Her hubby got a pretty good laugh out of it too. :p )

We had Testosteroni for dinner one night a few weeks ago. It had a nutty taste that I didn't care for. :rolleyes:

mrhemi1971
09-30-2007, 04:11 PM
I'm a firm beleiver in the build it and fly it club. Granted, I think if you're afraid of losing that kit, CLONE IT AND FLY THE HELL OUT OF IT! I know it's difficult if it has parts that arent available or hard to find, but look at it as a challenge of bulding skills. I thank god I found YORP and JimZ's plans, because now I can practically clone anything made (short of complex molded parts. And the classics I havent built yet, I'm gonna build the clone right beside the original. FLY BOTH, then keep flying the clone.

moonzero2
09-30-2007, 09:59 PM
It's your hobby, you get out of it what you want.
Building museum pieces is OK, if that's what you want.
Good for you and I'm glad someone is doing that.
For me, I like the building very much so,... but to se it fly,... OH MY GOSH!!! That thrill cannot come from anything else,... and sometimes they fail,... but that's rocketry. But the thrill I get from a sucessful flight, and the memory of watching it go up, and seeing that chute pop out and sucessfully bring it back down,... I cannot put that feeling into words.
Have fun at whatever you do!
It you enjoy it, it's worth doing!

usterwop
10-05-2007, 01:59 AM
I have a lot of rockets and I plan to launch each at least once(if I live long enough). I've been building and flying rockets for a lot of years and have always kept them safely stored. Or so I thought until a pack of rodents invaded and destroyed a Centuri Saturn 1B, Laser-X, Centurian, Taurus, Lance Corporal, Estes original Honest John, Mars Snooper Saturn V(simi-scale), Delta, Andromeda, etc.
I also have a Mars Lander that I just recently launched only to have it hang on the launch rod just long enough to send it into a nose dive resulting, fortunately, in only moderate damage. In short, anything can happen to our precious collections at any time but I would prefer to lose a rocket in flight than to a rat.

A Fish Named Wallyum
10-05-2007, 04:53 AM
In short, anything can happen to our precious collections at any time but I would prefer to lose a rocket in flight than to a rat.

(Bill stands up and starts "THE WAVE"!) :cool:

mrhemi1971
10-05-2007, 06:24 AM
(wave)

Phred
10-05-2007, 08:02 AM
To build or not to build... to fly or not to fly....

I do collect some original old kits, but I also believe that rockets were meant to fly.
I have a set of rules I follow for myself:

1) If the rocket is a vintage, original, sealed kit in good condition I do not open it.
If I do not want it for my collection, I sell it on ebay aand use the money to either buy other collectible kits, or clone supplies. Even if I want to build that particular model, the money I get from an ebay sale allows me to buy a ton of clone supplies from BMS, Totally Tubular, or Semroc.

2) If the kit is open, I will usually build it. There ain't nuthin' like original parts!!

Vintage built model rockets:

I LOVE model rockets that were built 'back in the olden days'. I especially like 'kid built' models with awful paint jobs. I have over 75 now, and I fly them all. Of course, I like to fly when the weather is perfect, and on our large NAR section field, as I do not want to lose the models. Last weekend I flew my old Mars Snooper, Centuri Orion and Starlab, and even lost an original Streak. It happens!!

There are no hangar queens here.

Phred

Rocket Doctor
10-05-2007, 11:42 AM
I have a lot of rockets and I plan to launch each at least once(if I live long enough). I've been building and flying rockets for a lot of years and have always kept them safely stored. Or so I thought until a pack of rodents invaded and destroyed a Centuri Saturn 1B, Laser-X, Centurian, Taurus, Lance Corporal, Estes original Honest John, Mars Snooper Saturn V(simi-scale), Delta, Andromeda, etc.
I also have a Mars Lander that I just recently launched only to have it hang on the launch rod just long enough to send it into a nose dive resulting, fortunately, in only moderate damage. In short, anything can happen to our precious collections at any time but I would prefer to lose a rocket in flight than to a rat.




Teach the rat a lesson..................Launch 'em.................the first Astrorat !!!!!!!!!

scigs30
10-05-2007, 12:49 PM
Phred, you are so right about flying the vintage rockets. It is amazing how rockets built when I was a kid are still flying today. I would build these rockets in one or 2 two days, a coat or two of dope or sanding sealer on the balsa and 2 coats of Testors rattle can spray. Fins not on straight, Elmers school glue and the old rubber shock cord with tape disk for the the shroud lines. No fin guides, titebond, primer, Kevlar just a desire to build and fly. I am still amazed these rockets are still flying. When did it all get complicated? :confused:

ScaleNut
10-05-2007, 07:54 PM
when our skills got better ?

A Fish Named Wallyum
10-05-2007, 09:39 PM
when our skills got better ?

I got skills? :eek:

Race58
10-06-2007, 01:10 AM
Even with a big field and plenty of people to recover you could have something go wrong beyond your control like what happend to me in the late 70's after finishing my Sat V with MANY hours of work in to it.
I built the cluster (3 C's) for it but decided to be safe on the first flight and use the single "D"only to have the engine suffer a side burn which destroyed the rocket.(I was sick.) I still have that cluster I never used but maybe someday ????

If I ever find one again I will build it and YES fly it at least once but i'll be holding my breath thru the flight. :D


No plug for Dr Zooch, I do believe I mentioned Semroc though.
I launched a Cox Saturn V once, the top section landed in a very tall tree, noe, the rocket is useless....

But, I also mentioned the flight parameters to have a successful recovery, large field, no trees, recovery team, good weather. As lomg as the motor doesn/t decide to CATO, then, launch away.

Good luck on you flight.

Arley Davis
10-13-2007, 11:31 AM
Thank you Barone! I just got my work area set up and started building rockets again last Month. I am putting primer coats and just about ready to paint the Estes 1929 Stealth, and the 2 stage Estes 2128 Long Shot, The Canaroc Warlock was damaged in the Move last year and I put it aside for now. I have also started the work on cutting out the fins for the Centuri E.E.S. Raven Clone from Bristol board; ouch thatís painful when you have arthritis.

When it comes to flying I get a much bigger thrall from flying High power rockets, until you build and fly your first J motor Rocket you will never view rocketry the same way again.

usterwop
11-09-2007, 06:49 AM
In what seems to be a cruel twist of fate in response to my previous posting about launching classic rockets before something else bad happens to them, the Witch fire here in Ramona, CA. has just recently reduced my collection of 837 mostly classic rockets to ashes. The rockets seem quite insignificant compared to My home and virtually everything else my Wife, Children and I owned, But we will rebuild our lives and, although rockets are rather low on my list of priorities right now, My collection, also, will slowly be rebuilt(four days after the fire, I received a Borealis kit that I ordered from Flis. The start of my new collection :).
The point seems more valid to me now than ever. By all means launch them.

Ltvscout
11-09-2007, 08:08 AM
In what seems to be a cruel twist of fate in response to my previous posting about launching classic rockets before something else bad happens to them, the Witch fire here in Ramona, CA. has just recently reduced my collection of 837 mostly classic rockets to ashes. The rockets seem quite insignificant compared to My home and virtually everything else my Wife, Children and I owned, But we will rebuild our lives and, although rockets are rather low on my list of priorities right now, My collection, also, will slowly be rebuilt(four days after the fire, I received a Borealis kit that I ordered from Flis. The start of my new collection :).
The point seems more valid to me now than ever. By all means launch them.
Wow. I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your home and possessions. I'm glad to hear that your family is safe at least.

Phred
11-09-2007, 08:41 AM
Gee, I do not know what to say. As Scott mentioned, I sure am glad that you and your family are safe. I know that my entire collection is not worth one of my family members... even the dreaded "Uncle Duh"....

Phred

Eagle3
11-09-2007, 10:25 AM
If I build it I "try" to fly it. If I take something rare, or something with a lot of time investment behind it to the field and the conditions aren't great then it stays in the back of the Explorer and looks pretty for another day. I've had too many nice finishes ruined by being dragged across a parking lot. I have other things to fly if the conditions are crappy.

JoeLaunchman
11-09-2007, 10:36 AM
If you're not going to launch it then you might as well buy a static plastic model from Revell or Airfix. The whole point of this hobby is to build flying models and see how they work in the air. However, it is reasonable to exercise caution in proportion to the time, effort and expense of your rocket. I have an Estes Saturn V that I've only launched 19 times in 13 years. If you're worried about losing them then try videotaping the launch so at least you can watch it over and over again and it won't feel like a total loss.

K.M.Knox
11-09-2007, 11:38 AM
Really glad to hear that the family is safe and sound. I bet most of us can't imagine losing everything and having to start over such as yourselves. Good luck and stay strong.

As far as flying rockets and vintage stuff... Fly 'em if ya got 'em! Makes sense to use some discretion as far as conditions go, but don't let a good day hold ya back from launching anything. Especially now-a-days with the ability to clone almost anything. Might not be able to clone everything but it seems that list gets shorter every week. They are made to be 'flying model rockets'...