Ye Olde Rocket Forum

Go Back   Ye Olde Rocket Forum > The Golden Age of Model Rocketry > Model Rocket History
User Name
Password
Auctions Register FAQ Members List Calendar Today's Posts Search Mark Forums Read


Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #31  
Old 04-14-2009, 08:23 PM
MDorffler MDorffler is offline
Craftsman
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canon City, CO
Posts: 100
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mycrofte
I would like to know why R&D takes so long. Kinda makes it hard to jump on some things doesn't it?!?

P.S. When you do trade it all in for the fishing pole, can I have your job?


Be a little more specific - what part of R&D do you feel takes so long?
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 04-14-2009, 08:31 PM
MDorffler MDorffler is offline
Craftsman
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canon City, CO
Posts: 100
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman
Mike, I'm real glad you are here!!! WELCOME!

WOW! Where do I begin?

I guess everybody on this forum knows, especially through my kits, that I am a scale nut.

My impressions of Mike D is you are too.

First question for today.

In your tenure at Estes did you ever come up with a scale design that you were excited about but just never made it to production or even the light of day?

Second question.

I know you did a lot of designs but specifically what was your favorite "scale" design?


Yes, I put in an awful lot of time into a really nice Ariane 4 only to be side-swiped by their corporate suits who demanded we pay a 10% royalty. Estes by principle, doesn't pay royalties on either rockets or planes funded by taxpayers. We have always considered scale kits as free advertising and promotion for those affiliations wherever they may be. We still can't legally produce the Ariane without paying a royalty.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 04-14-2009, 08:50 PM
MDorffler MDorffler is offline
Craftsman
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canon City, CO
Posts: 100
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketflyer
Hello Mike. Thank you for your time and willingness to post and answer questions.

My questions are mainly about motors. Has the overall performace of some of "todays" motors diminished since the motors of the past? It seems that the "C" impulse motors are a little weaker than the bygone days (then again it could be memory loss on my part ).

Secondly, why have the longer delays for the 13mm motors been discontinued? A 3 sec delay in most little rockets usually results in shredded chutes, etc.

Thank you once again. I really look forward to hearing of your time and experiences at Estes. The knowlege, insights and asides will be priceless to all of us, I'm sure!


This is a great question. This sould make for interesting excahnges with the engine guys here.

Many of you may not realize that there has never been two like batches of black powder ever made. That includes the one that may have been made yesterday, and the batch made today on the same equipment, and from materials from the same bags or sacks.

Terry - feel welcome to jump in on this if you think I miss something----

While potassium nitrate stays relatively constant, both the sulfer and charcoal change ever so slightly from lot to lot. The charcoal is the ingredient that has the greatest overall control over the burn rate of a particular batch. Hickory has historically been the preferred source of charcoal, but woods such as pine can in a pinch be uased as well.

Trees as a species morph over time, which side of the hill they were grown on and where they were harvested changes, the ingrediants in the soil changes, and so does the temperature while they were growing. The variables are staggering that affect the tree before the wood is harvested. And do you use the branches or the truck, or both? Then there is the process of heating the wood to produce the charcoal. Getting to repeatable charcoal for black powder is a serious issue.

To get to your essential question - yes, black powder made today is 'slower' than it was ten years ago, and it's getting slower. That changes the burn rate of our motors just as it does everyone else's motors. We do burn rate tests on every single lot of powder we buy to characterize it. We press and burn a lot of motors in this process. We have to know how many clicks to adjust engine manufacturing equipment in order to maintain the NAR impulse standards we have always adhered to.

Does this help?
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 04-14-2009, 08:56 PM
InFlight InFlight is offline
Craftsman
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 286
Default

Mike,

Thanks for joining the forum and sharing your life with us!

That was a great story about Wayne Kellner. Monty Python was/is still fun to watch.


1. How did you and Wayne come up with the Goonybirds?

2. What inspired you to design the Blue Bird Zero?

PS: the BBZ is one of my favorites!

.
__________________
My clone kits on eBay
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 04-14-2009, 09:05 PM
MDorffler MDorffler is offline
Craftsman
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canon City, CO
Posts: 100
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Royatl
Welcome Mike, and bravo!

Only last August did I finally get my hands on my own copy of your initial contribution to the hobby, a Cineroc (I have a long story somewhere else on YORF about mowing lawns to buy one in 1971 only to have the funds diverted to a 35mm camera to cover my trip to NARAM 13 that year).

When it went away in the mid 70's, the scuttlebutt was that Estes could no longer obtain the motors used in it. I thought this was a rather odd reason, as from my examination of John Langford's and Mike Myrick's Cinerocs (usually after they had crashed!), the motors looked like standard issue motors you could find in Allied or Lafayette catalogs back in the day.

My first question: Was motor un-availability the real reason the Cineroc was discontinued?


(and of course, by "motors" I mean the small electric ones, for our readers who are more easily confused! )


Roy - there wer a number of issues that all came about in a short amount of time that helped put the Cineroc down.

Yes, there was the motor issue. The manufacturer got up and evaporated. Our search for a replacement did not go well. I designed the film advance around a certain motor that ran at 'X' rpm at at 'Y' current. Then the case had a specific mounting method and the plastic of the camera were designed to match. If a suitable motor was found with different mounting, then we woul have to go back and spend the money to correct the molds.

Secondly, the original lens mold was one of a kind. We had that tool made just for the Cineroc. It certainly was not an Edmunds lens as so many have speculated. We had lost first one, then two of the four cavities by carelessness of the manufacturer. Then they played a numbers game with us to try to increase the price of the lens with only two healthy cavites.

Then the people who processed the film said they didn't want to do it anymore. We couldn't find anyone anywhere who would custom process little 10' lengths of Super 8 film.

Then on top of this came the new Damon management with their cost cutting games. That pretty well ended any hope to put some money into repairing Cineroc tooling.

And pretty much everyone who wnated a Cineroc had bought one by then and sales were down. So it was many things that ended the Cineroc. Sure was a great product though.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 04-14-2009, 09:07 PM
InFlight InFlight is offline
Craftsman
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 286
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Irvine
...May I take you fishing during the next five summers? I would ask Mary Roberts to join us, but she scares me. She can totally handle a gun and dress her prey, and I'm not so sure she considers me human. Jerry
Mary Roberts is a very nice person.

My wife can totally handle a gun and dress her prey, so I guess I don't see a problem with this

.
__________________
My clone kits on eBay
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 04-14-2009, 09:22 PM
rokitflite's Avatar
rokitflite rokitflite is offline
Master Modeler
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 951
Default

Hi Mike,

Thanks a lot for your tremendous contributions to this hobby. I have to say that it is your fault and your fault alone (bashing you not Estes) that I am as deeply involed in this hobby as I have become. I was mildly interested in the hobby in the late 70s and early 80s... Then I attended one of the Pearl River model rocket seminars in NY. That is where I met Herb Desind and saw his Cineroc films for the first time. I began hunting for a Cineroc like crazy and actually ended up getting one from Oakie Six out of your returns department while I was on a tour of Estes. That got me looking at the older designs and as a result the large collection and interest I have in the hobby today.

No questions, just a big "THANK YOU"!

-Scott Branche
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 04-14-2009, 09:42 PM
MDorffler MDorffler is offline
Craftsman
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canon City, CO
Posts: 100
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by foose4string
Mike, welcome. I look forward to reading this segment of the forum.

With over 250 of your designs that went into production, what was your favorite? Which design was the most successful in terms of numbers? What was your least favorite design(or one that came back to bite you in the rear?)


Honestly, this is a hard one for me. I don't really have one design that stands out as my favorite. I have always preferred my kits with simple lines and simple decors over the rest. Kits such as the Optima and Scorpian come to mind.

While Bill Simon is the original creator of the Estes Alpha, my conversion of that kit from balsa to all plastic helped place it as the all time best seller. While we kept both kits in the line, the numbers produced and sold of the original kit simply fell through the floor. We have sold several million of the plastic Alpha since the early 70's. And we have re-tooled the plastics with no changes many times. They just wear out seeing so many molding cycles.

The kit I have always wished I hadn't done was the Swat. I thought that a camo scheme on a large Satellite Interceptor would be super cool. It wasn't.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 04-14-2009, 09:58 PM
scigs30 scigs30 is offline
Master Modeler
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,947
Default

Will Estes ever go back to the Red and white Alpha III?
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 04-14-2009, 09:59 PM
tbzep's Avatar
tbzep tbzep is offline
Dazed and Confused
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: TN
Posts: 8,718
Default

What was the competition with Centuri like for you guys doing all the designing? Were there many designs (not just rockets) that were meant to directly compete with a specific product they produced, or vice versa? I know the products eventually intermingled, so I'm referring to the days before that happened. Mr. Estes said he always had a friendly respect and competition with Mr. Piester as a company, but I never saw anything specific printed about it.
__________________
I love sanding.
Reply With Quote
Closed Thread


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:31 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Ye Olde Rocket Shoppe 1998-2018