View Full Version : The Big and small of it...

08-07-2008, 08:04 AM
Well, there is no thread for motor collecting on YORF, so I figured this should go here....

I brought a stash of vintage motors to my local section meeting last night (ASTRE #471) and did some show and tell, and some trading.

I managed to pick up both the largest and smallest BP motors of my collection:

08-07-2008, 08:09 AM
Ok, nice picture, but what are they?! :D i.e. manufacturer

08-07-2008, 08:24 AM
Sorry, I am at work and received a call before I could finish the second post.....

The big motor is a 1991 Rocketflite F50-5. It is 38mm in diameter and 7 inches long.

The little guy is a 1976 AVI 1/8A1.9 SP. It is 8.75mm in diameter and 12mm long.

As per the AVI catalog, this motor was to be used for stage seperation!!

And yes.... the AVI 1/8A fits inside the nozzle opening of the F50.... :cool:

More details are here:


Motor collecting is fun!!


08-07-2008, 09:31 AM

Is that Rocketflite F50m casing PVC plastic?

terry dean

08-07-2008, 10:04 AM
Nope, it is a BIG honkin paper tube!

08-07-2008, 10:37 AM
ahhh okay the photo makes it look like white plastic to me. This must be one of the eariler Rocketflite motors, as it doesn't appear to have the aluminum casing or the fluorescent labels?

How about a front on nozzle shot with an ruler?

terry dean

08-07-2008, 10:45 AM
I was told thatthis was a special run of F50s done up for a few people. That is why it has no official label. I am not sure why there is no aluminum tube.


08-07-2008, 11:19 AM
I was told thatthis was a special run of F50s done up for a few people. That is why it has no official label. I am not sure why there is no aluminum tube.


I don't think they started using the aluminum tube till the middle of '91. First time I saw one with the liner was at Danville Fall '91.

The first Rocketflite motors I saw were in Monroe, GA in 1989. 38mm H motors. A couple worked, one didn't (Big Excitement!).

oh, and the casings looked like they were made from cheap paper, like carpet roll cores.

08-07-2008, 12:19 PM
This motor is dated Jan 1991, so it may be pre-aluminum tube.

The guy I got this motor from actually launched a rocket with an F50-5 at our last NAR sanctiond old motor launch. The motor performed well, but is spit out at ejection, which was not fun. The empty casing is heavy and came down like a brick.


08-07-2008, 01:14 PM
I bet that the "flying brick" ejected case was a real riot to dodge at the launch.
Probably was worse than an old FSI F100 or F7 casing being ejected.
Back in the late 70's I saw a giant version of an Astron Invader launched on an F7 that actually intentionally ejected the F7 at Apogee before semi-gliding down.
Totally idiotic to intentionally eject an object this large with no recovery system.
The F7-4 powr-ejected down like a rock.
Needless to say, after one semi-flight the "rangemaster" (they didn't really have RSO's at the launches in my hometown back then) declined to allow the second flight the owner proposed.

Mark II
08-08-2008, 01:04 AM
Yeah, they might have needed to declare a new kind of flight for that one - instead of a "Heads Up" flight, they could have called it a "Hard Hat" flight - and warned everyone to get ready to hide under the truck! :eek: :rolleyes:

You know, this could have been the start of a new game - Catch The Casing! "OK, kids, are you ready? Does everyone have a baseball glove? Good! Now, as soon as the man at the launch panel gets to zero in his countdown, I want you all to start running like mad out into the field... "

(Semi off-topic: Wow, gh, whether they called them rangemasters or RSO's, you really did have people in your town who actually organized and supervised rocket launches back then? I'm not being sarcastic here; I'm genuinely surprised and impressed. That was really kind of sophisticated for the time - late '70's - wasn't it?)

Mark \\

08-08-2008, 10:22 AM
Yep, we had organized launches back then in my home town in Michigan.
They would announce them about 2 weeks in advance and would have about four throughout the spring/summer/fall.
There were always 3 large multi pads there and a couple of vendors as well.
The LCO was actually one of the vendors.
Ath those they launched all the way through multi-stage "G" composites on thermalite ignition at those launches.