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  #1  
Old 01-13-2013, 09:32 PM
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Earl Earl is offline
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Default Centuri Akela Boy Scout Rocket Kit Experiences

I wanted to conduct a quick survey to see how many folks here had their early rocketry experiences through the Centuri kit made specifically for the Scouts in the early 1970s, the Akela.

I recall an earlier discussion about this kit by someone who I think was trying to clone it, but I wanted to see how widespread the exposure to this kit might have been.

So.....if you had your first exposure to rocketry by way of this kit or were influenced to get into rocketry because of it, please provide a brief response here to that effect (just a sentence or two is sufficient).


Earl
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  #2  
Old 01-13-2013, 10:31 PM
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Talking Centuri Akela-1

I remember seeing them on display in the Cub/Boy Scout section of a local department store.

I bought a box of 8 and built them all with different fin configurations.

...Which, of course, was the whole point of that design.


Doug Holverson once posted somewhere (maybe here?) a question to the effect of, "Wasn't the Akela-1 just a minimum diameter version of the Centuri Vector-V?"

I think my reaction was, " "


Cheers,
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:33 PM
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I bought one at J.C. Penny's and built it, but was not allowed to buy any motors. The body tube eventually got damaged, but I kept the nose cone and fins. In a way it was my first rocket, but it never flew.

A few years later I finally convinced my parents to let me get into rocketry, thanks to my cousins and a trip to their farm to launch some rockets. They had a non-ejection with a DRM and gave me the crashed rocket and an old catalog. I repaired it and ordered a Challenger-1 starter kit and a pack of motors for the DRM. The rest is history.

BTW, I eventually bought a couple more Akela-1 kits and still have all the nose cones and a few fins. That's how I know the current Estes Viking fins are slightly different from the classic Akela-1, but nobody seems to believe me.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:18 PM
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I was at the 1977 National Scout Jamboree walking around and saw the Space Exploration Merit Badge class launch a
bunch of rockets. I have no idea what they were launching, but it was so cool I had to get one when I got back from the
Jamboree. I got y parents to buy me the Challenger-1 launch set and was off and running. I enjoyed rockets for a really
long time after that.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:48 PM
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I was already a rocketeer when the Akela set came out.

The kit, bulk pack, and motor packs were carried by a men's clothing store in the next town that supplied uniforms and gear to scouts.

I remember helping supply my 6th grade class with Akelas. I don't remember if we got around to launching them.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:48 PM
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Talking NOT identical fin shapes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
BTW, I eventually bought a couple more Akela-1 kits and still have all the nose cones and a few fins. That's how I know the current Estes Viking fins are slightly different from the classic Akela-1, but nobody seems to believe me.
I believe. I've done the math *and* the side-by-side image comparisions.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:45 AM
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I never had an Akela-1, but I wanted one. (I wanted to join the scouts, too, but by the time I came along my parents were older and didn't have the energy--my five older siblings were all scouts, though). If, speaking hypothetically, Akela-1 kits were produced again, I would buy some; and yes, tbzep is right about the differences between the Estes Viking and the Centuri Viking (which the Akela-1 is, just in a different [Scout colors] livery).
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Last edited by blackshire : 01-14-2013 at 12:47 AM. Reason: This ol' hoss done forgot somethin'.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tau Zero
I believe. I've done the math *and* the side-by-side image comparisions.


We won't even get into the nose cone differences.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
We won't even get into the nose cone differences.
...Which is, in turn, due to the body tube difference...while Centuri/Semroc #7/ST-7 tubing makes a great replacement for Estes BT-20 in motor mounts, when used as a body tube it *does* illustrate the difference between "equivalent" and "equal"; swapping one for the other is a bit like those OEM car body parts that say "Style may vary slightly" on the labels. :-)
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackshire
...Which is, in turn, due to the body tube difference...while Centuri/Semroc #7/ST-7 tubing makes a great replacement for Estes BT-20 in motor mounts, when used as a body tube it *does* illustrate the difference between "equivalent" and "equal"; swapping one for the other is a bit like those OEM car body parts that say "Style may vary slightly" on the labels. :-)


There's that, plus the tip has a larger radius than the Estes version.
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