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  #1  
Old 02-03-2017, 06:20 PM
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BEC BEC is offline
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Default Golden Anniversary of the second-longest running model rocket kit

Estes' K-25 - the Astron Alpha - first appeared in the 1967 catalog, so it has been in production for 50 years this year. Perhaps we should all build an Alpha with some kind of golden livery.

No, Estes Industries isn't doing a commemorative kit/livery - I already asked 'em.

Hmmmmmm......maybe we should have an Alpha gathering at NSL along with the already-planned V-2 mass launch.

Thoughts?


(Oh, of course the Big Bertha is the one that has been in production longer than the Alpha, in case anyone here didn't know that. It first appeared in the 1966 catalog, and was an MRN design before that.)
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Old 02-03-2017, 06:40 PM
Scott6060842 Scott6060842 is offline
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Good old Alpha. I'll have to pull out a vintage kit from my stash for the occasion.
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Old 02-03-2017, 09:06 PM
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hcmbanjo hcmbanjo is offline
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I did a build of the 1969 catalog Alpha a few years ago:
http://modelrocketbuilding.blogspot...alog-alpha.html
Lots of home print decals on it.
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Old 02-03-2017, 10:06 PM
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Let's get designer Bill Simon on the thread to talk about his baby!
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Old 02-03-2017, 10:08 PM
stefanj stefanj is offline
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The Alpha was probably the first kit I built, or TRIED to build. My friends and I were able to buy motors from a couple of hobby shops, but didn't have the scratch to get rockets too. So we cobbled rocket-shaped things together and shoved motors in them. They often flew straight, surprisingly.

Eventually I mail-ordered the $2.25 "Here's a rocket, motors, and literature, go build your own launcher" outfit. I really horribly messed up gluing on the fins. I remember gluing on gauze reinforcement, having seen this in the technical manual, but that ended up making the crookedly placed fins impossible to remove. Poor first Alpha! I suppose I threw you away eventually, but your cone kicked around my parts box for a while. ( If my father had spent a an hour with me helping maybe it would have been flyable, but he was a neglectful jerk and I had to learn things on my own.)

I should build an original Alpha to commemorate the anniversary. I think eRockets has a all-balsa clone.

http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/no...a/70est008.html
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hcmbanjo
I did a build of the 1969 catalog Alpha a few years ago:
http://modelrocketbuilding.blogspot...alog-alpha.html
Lots of home print decals on it.

I did mine based on an old Boy's Life ad about 10 years ago.

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Old 02-03-2017, 11:29 PM
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Jerry Irvine Jerry Irvine is offline
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My first model rocket. B6-4.

Should have used B6-6.

1966.
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pterodactyl
Let's get designer Bill Simon on the thread to talk about his baby!


I thought of that, too. I met him briefly at NARCON 2015 in Seattle and I know he lives in this general area....but I have no contact info and don't know if he gets on this forum or not. He helped me settle a big debate that was running on that other forum about what, exactly, was the real definition of the Alpha's fin shape......


My first Alpha was probably my third or fourth model rocket (did a Streak and a Sprite at least before). I remember I finished it mostly with fluorescent orange Aero Gloss (yes, there really were fluorescents in the Aero Gloss line back then) but I left one fin the white base coat. I have no idea what became of it (or most of my models from that time).
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Old 02-04-2017, 08:31 AM
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The Alpha was my brother's first rocket and mine was another one of Bill Simon's designs the Antares.
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Old 02-04-2017, 11:05 AM
Rob Campbell Rob Campbell is offline
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The Alpha was my first rocket. My parents bought me the Alpha starter set for Christmas back in 1973. I love the Alpha, it's always a great performer. The current Alpha is actually more of an Alpha II. The original Alpha did not have die cut fins and the original had a balsa nose cone.

Just for fun, I just looked through the Estes 1973 catalog and there are only three kits from that year that have been in continuous production since '73, Big Bertha, Alpha, and Alpha III. Several others have been reintroduced as limited runs, such as the Sky Dart, Interceptor, Red Max, etc.
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