Thread: FSI Kit Eras
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:07 PM
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Mark II Mark II is offline
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Default Kit number trivia

Interesting trivia: in the original MRK-# series, there was no MRK-XIII (13). The numbering went straight from MRK-XII (Viking IV) to MRK XIV (Black Brant II). There was also no kit with a number 19, either MRK-XIX or #1019. The series goes from MRK-18 (Maverick) to #1020 Hercules. (More on that in a minute.)

In the printed catalogs, both the WASP and the Viking V are shown with catalog #1025, in the same catalogs! No kit was ever designated as #1029, even though the series continues through #1032. It is likely that the Viking V was mislabeled in the catalogs, and was actually the otherwise missing #1029.

The Hercules, a rather sizable rocket for FSI at the time, was introduced in 1987. The year 1987 happened to be the 20th anniversary of the opening of Flight Systems, Inc. The Hercules carries catalog #1020, and it is possible that it was released to commemorate the milestone. As I mentioned, there was no kit #19. The Hercules might have originally been intended as kit #19, but was given the next number for symbolic reasons. The 20th anniversary year also saw the start of the company's new 4-digit catalog numbering system, replacing the alphanumeric scheme that had been used up until then. (Other companies, like Estes and Centuri, had made exactly the same change in their systems in the 1970s.) FSI may have felt that it was a good idea to start the new system with a number that ended in "0", so they decided to just skip #19 entirely.
Mark S. Kulka NAR #86134 L1,_ASTRE #471_Adirondack Mountains, NY
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