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  #11  
Old 12-22-2011, 02:27 PM
zog139 zog139 is offline
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Bob who did the Phoenix belong to and do we know where it is today ?
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  #12  
Old 12-23-2011, 03:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zog139
Bob who did the Phoenix belong to and do we know where it is today ?


Jim,

The Phoenix in the picture is one of the original models built by Bob Parks.

I do not know what happened to it.
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  #13  
Old 12-23-2011, 08:15 AM
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Great stuff as usual, Bob! Thanks.
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  #14  
Old 12-24-2011, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Initiator001
Jim,

The Phoenix in the picture is one of the original models built by Bob Parks.

I do not know what happened to it.


I asked Bob Parks if he still had the model and got this back in reply:

"Nope. That model had about 200 flights on it, and then got grabbed to be a display model at trade shows. (did not even redo the covering on it, it was still in great shape). So, Gary had it, but not sure what happened to it."
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  #15  
Old 12-25-2011, 01:15 AM
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(Continued)

The static model photography had been completed and catalog design/layout moved into high gear.

It was during this time that AeroTech had to deal with some major issues caused directly/indirectly by the Estes management, the biggest one being the 'exploding' reload video created by Vulcan Systems and distributed by Estes to the DOT and CPSC (Among others).

Gary and Paul dealt with these issues while I concentrated on things related to the LA RCHTA Show and getting sales.

As the catalog took shape, there were a few more ideas/projects that appeared.

The first was did we want to highlight more information about the three different propellant types AeroTech was producing (White Lightning, Black Jack, Blue Thunder)? It was decided that there should be pictures of AeroTech models being flown with the three different propellants in the catalog. We couldn't use any of the new models as we only had the prototypes of each one and they were needed for the RCHTA Show.

I did have flight models of the original AeroTech kits (Initiator, Mustang, Arreaux and IQSY Tomahawk). The flight model HV Arcas was damaged and couldn't be flown. I was asked about having a flight model Astrobee D. We only had the photo model which could not be risked being flown. I contacted the builder of the Astrobee D photo model, Marc McReynolds, to ask if he could build another Astrobee D but this time make it very sturdy and flight capable. It did not have to have alot of detail, just look good from about ten feet away. Marc said he could and do it in a hurry. I shipped him a box of parts and less than two weeks later we had a 'flight' Astrobee D model. It looked pretty good. The main thing I noticed was that Marc had used 1/4" thick balsa wood for the fins and they were strongly mounted to the body tube.

The day of flight photography arrived. Gary, Paul and I headed out to El Dorado dry lake outside of Las Vegas and future site of NARAM-34. While I readied the models, Paul and Gary set up the Mantis launch pad and launch controller. Gary would be the photographer because he had the best camera (SLR, It could shoot multiple frames per second).

Each model was flown several times with different propellant loads and we hoped that we would get some good pictures.

Paul really liked the Wart-Hog model. It was his favorite of the new kits. Paul had a different finishing scheme in mind for the model and had built a Wart-Hog to reflect his idea. Paul preferred a more sounding rocket look as opposed to my military missile look. Paul's Wart-Hog was flown and photographed but the pictures were not used in the catalog.

After the pictures were developed, we were glad to see there was at least one good picture of each propellant type that could be used in the catalog (The Blue Thunder propellant was the most difficult to photograph).

As the catalog moved to completion and Paul and I wrote copy for it, another major issue arose. Bob Parks, designer of the Phoenix glider, had another R/C rocket glider he thought would make a good product to sell. This was the Raven which was an S8E design he had used in international rocket competitions. Bob thought AeroTech could sell it but it would need to get into the catalog.

After many discussions on the subject, no decision had been made and the absolute final cut-off date for catalog design/layout was approaching. One final meeting/conferance call occurred with all of the major participants. We had some layout artwork for the Raven to be used in the catalog but it was going to be a push to get it finished in time. Production time for the Raven was also an issue.

None of the principals could make a decision. So I did. I stated that there wasn't any more time, that the Raven would NOT be in this catalog and could always be added in a future catalog. It was quiet for a moment then everyone else said "okay".

I won that round.

The catalog was now in production and I could turn my attention more to the logistics for the LA RCHTA Show. As I was putting things for the Show together, i received a call from the Show management staff. It seemed one of the major exhibitors had to drop out and their space was now available.

"Where was the location", I asked?

"First aisle, on the right as one enters the exhibit hall, facing the entrance", I was told.

I didn't say anything. I was so surprised. What a prime location!

Usually I would check with Gary and/or Paul but a decision had to be made fast before another company secured the space.

"I'll take it", I told the caller.

He said, "Fine" and put AeroTech in that location. There was no increase in the booth space cost, either.

Things were coming together nicely for AeroTech at the LA RCHTA Show. The Phoenix glider, five new rocket kits plus the Astrobee D, the RMS-18/24/29 reloadable motors (With 'B' and 'C' loads for the RMS-18) and a new, multi-page catalog would be making their appearance. I was psyched.

Even so, the Estes management was expending quite a bit of effort to disrupt AeroTech's reputation and existance. I fielded calls from hobby distributors and shops about rumors that AeroTech was going out of buisiness/had already gone out of business. I told the callers that AeroTech was fine and if they wanted to be sure, come see us at the LA RCHTA Show.

As Gary and I packed to leave for the RCHTA Show, the catalogs were still not ready. It was going to be close. Gary requested that the printing company send several thousand of the catalogs straight to the RCHTA exhibit hall.

As Gary and I left Las Vegas bound for Los Angeles, we had good thoughts about the upcoming RCHTA Show. Our only concern was the catalogs. Would they arrive in time?

For the answer to this question and what transpired at the 1992 LA RCHTA Show, you will just have to wait for my next installment. What happened at the show would send shockwaves all the way back to Penrose.
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  #16  
Old 01-02-2012, 07:52 AM
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Bump.
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  #17  
Old 01-07-2012, 09:29 PM
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(Continued)

Gary Rosenfield and I made the drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles in 5-6 hours. It was uneventful (If one can say that about Los Angeles traffic).

We decided to go straight to the exhibit hall, get our name badges/passess, unload Gary's Nissan Pathfinder of the Show items (booth, models, etc.) then check in at the hotel.

The next day, Thursday, Gary and I started putting the booth together and getting everything set up. A one point Gary left to pick up Paul Hans from LAX. Bob Parks would be arriving from the Bay Area. This would give us four people to staff the booth. It also meant that each of us would have plenty of time during the Show to look around and view the other exhibits.

The booth went together fine and eveything was set. We organized our handouts and I took pictures of the booth. Even so, the catalogs did not arrive.

Friday was the opening day of the Show. The booth looked great. The location was great. The only missing element was the catalogs.

An hour before the Show opened at 10:00 AM, an UPS delivery driver stopped at our booth with a cart full of boxes. He said he had a delivery for AeroTech. Gary signed for the boxes. It was the catalogs!

We tore open one of the boxes and pulled out sveral catalogs. The two of us proceeded to review it page by page. We thought it turned out pretty good. Next, we had to insert the Motor Matrix sheet into each catalog. The Motor Matrix was a list of all the motors (single-use and RMS), their specifications and which ones worked in the AeroTech kits.

The Show opened and our booth received alot of attention. We passed out quite a few catalogs and answered many questions.

Other hobby rocket companies were present, too. Impuse Aerospace and THOY had booths. MRC had a window display of the Concept II products. Estes had a booth (More about Estes later).

One of AeroTech's biggest distributors, California Hobby Distributors (CalHobby), had asked if we would give a presentation to their sales staff during the Show. The AeroTech buyer for CalHobby was a fellow named Alan Iwig and he really thought AeroTech rocketry was the next big thing. Alan was a very positive, energetic person who in the past had been a Captain in the USAF and was assigned to Project Blue Book (He told me some stories but that's not for this thread).

I was to give the presentation away from the exhibit hall at a hotel where CalHobby had rented a meeting room. I made sure that plenty of the new product had been shipped to Alan early to be placed around the room. This was a very big deal as CalHobby had been around for about fifty years and was respected in the industry. CalHobby only selected six to eight companies to give presentations to them so alot was riding on me to get this right. Each presenter was given 45-60 minutes to make their presentation and answer questions. I was ready.

It was great. I really had my 'A-game' that day. My presentation ended up lasting nearly two-hours. The interest and excitement level from the CalHobby sales staff and management was high. They asked other presenters to wait. After my presentation, Alan told me I hit one out of the park. He told me I did a great job, even the company owner/president was impressed with the product and my presentation.

I went back to the exhibit hall and reported on what happened. We all felt like things were really going well for AeroTech. We were one of the few companies exhibiting new product at the Show. Both the indutry and public days saw many people stop to see what was happening with a company named AeroTech.

The Show ended Sunday afternoon. We felt pretty good about our efforts. Several buyers for hobby distributors told us to expect order for the new product shortly. Paul and Bob took off while Gary and I took down the booth and packed all the models, etc. Gary and I then drove from Los Angeles back to Las Vegas. Even though we were tired out we were psyched and kept talking about the Show and future product ideas.

The week after the Show, we started getting orders for the new products and re-orders for the original products. Things were going to get busy for us.

Oh, about Estes. That will have to wait until my next installment.
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  #18  
Old 01-08-2012, 08:45 PM
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Bob,

For the people that are new/newer to the hobby, can you give names to the four gentlemen in the last photo?
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  #19  
Old 01-09-2012, 01:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ltvscout
Bob,

For the people that are new/newer to the hobby, can you give names to the four gentlemen in the last photo?


Be glad to, Scott.

The four people in the last picture are (L-R): Gary Rosenfield, Bob Parks, Me, Paul Hans.

More to come, soon.
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  #20  
Old 01-09-2012, 09:58 AM
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Good stuff, Bob!

Can't wait for the next episode.

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