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Old 04-17-2009, 07:12 AM
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gpoehlein gpoehlein is offline
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Default Will that be Balsa or Plastic, Sir?

A comment in an earlier thread about balsa vs plastic nose cones elicited a response from Mike, and got me thinking about this subject: With the large number of WM Sustainables and the Classic Series coming out with balsa nose cones and fins, is Estes phasing out the plastic nose cone and fin can? I, for one, would be sorry to see certain nose cones go away if that were the case. I really like the Alpha III nose cone and fin can, although I do wish the latter was not almost always warped in the package. And I have way too much fun with the PNC-5 nose cones from the Mosquito, Quark and 220 Swift in BT-5 downscale rockets.

Greg
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:50 PM
MDorffler MDorffler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpoehlein
A comment in an earlier thread about balsa vs plastic nose cones elicited a response from Mike, and got me thinking about this subject: With the large number of WM Sustainables and the Classic Series coming out with balsa nose cones and fins, is Estes phasing out the plastic nose cone and fin can? I, for one, would be sorry to see certain nose cones go away if that were the case. I really like the Alpha III nose cone and fin can, although I do wish the latter was not almost always warped in the package. And I have way too much fun with the PNC-5 nose cones from the Mosquito, Quark and 220 Swift in BT-5 downscale rockets.

Greg


Greg - Estes will make nose cones from the proper materials for each of the different model series we make or will make in the future. There has been a great deal of discussion at Estes of late reagrding whether we really should have gone with balsa nose cones for the new Wal_Mart series, or the Classics. The balsa nose cones cost roughly 3 times that of their plastic counterparts, and they can get dinged or dented in shipping. And that means additional QA to make sure those don't get through. They also require sanding sealer and sanding by you the rocketeers. But this is what you, the forum members said you wanted, so that's what we did.
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:28 AM
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Royatl Royatl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDorffler
There has been a great deal of discussion at Estes of late reagrding whether we really should have gone with balsa nose cones for the new Wal_Mart series, or the Classics. The balsa nose cones cost roughly 3 times that of their plastic counterparts, and they can get dinged or dented in shipping. And that means additional QA to make sure those don't get through. They also require sanding sealer and sanding by you the rocketeers. But this is what you, the forum members said you wanted, so that's what we did.


At first I thought you were being facetious about basing a decision like that on what "we in the forum" expressed, but since you've mentioned it more than a few times, I suppose you might be serious.

I hope you know that most of the people here have no earthly idea what goes into making parts, or the special requirements you might have for making/storing many hundreds of thousands of parts. I've picked up a little knowledge here and there and can usually make a edumacated guess at how a part is made and why it was made that way instead of another. Others may just be going with their heart.

It is true that when I was younger, I favored balsa exclusively. But that was for my ego, since I was the usually the only one around that could fill balsa to make it look like plastic!

It is easy for me to see why Estes went with all plastic nose cones. High part count, low per unit cost, durability, ease of painting for the user. I've mentioned recently in another thread that the problem wasn't so much the material, it was the selection. I suppose because you had to invest so much in a mold, you could only afford to make a couple different shapes? I kept waiting for that plastic version of the Midget nose cone that never came, and I wondered where the plastic version of the Sprint nose cone went after being available for many years. Same for the nose cone of the BBZ/Goblin. Or the various transition pieces. That was a big disappointment for many years, but BMS and especially Semroc now fill that void, and can copy most shapes. And if they can't do it, there's always Sandman.

So, yes, I think it is neat that you are making balsa noses again, but I just didn't expect you to go all the way to the other extreme! The Odyssey with a balsa nose cone? Just isn't an Odyssey -- or maybe it is if you put some cardboard do-dads all over it (I have managed to collect three Odyssey nose cones, so it won't bother me!). A Phoenix Bird with balsa nose and fins? To me, the whole point of it was the sturdy, straight-as-an-arrow fin can.

---

While we're on the subject, call me nit-picky, but I've also noted the change in shape of the Alpha and Orbital Transport nose cones many years back, which, to me, wrecked the classic lines, and makes them look cheaper. I'm talking about how both of those cones went from being a little fuller towards the tip, to having a slightly secant ogive shape (the 50Y nose even went from being blowmolded to being a two-piece injection molded part). Was there a reason for this change other than maybe losing the original drawings and having to come up with something quick?
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:47 PM
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rokitflite rokitflite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Royatl
...and I wondered where the plastic version of the Sprint nose cone went after being available for many years. Same for the nose cone of the BBZ/Goblin.


I saw this on Tower Hobbies recently... Obviously these cones are not in every assortment, otherwise I would have bought a whole bunch! I miss the PNC-50Y terribly .

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bi...p?&I=LXF585&P=7
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:03 PM
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gpoehlein gpoehlein is offline
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Yeah - but did you notice the note at the end:

"***These nose cones are now all pointed. *** cmc 06/26/02"

No more Goblin cones. And I really wish Estes still made some of the cones that they made the tooling for: PNC-50X (Sprint) and PNC-20B (Orbital Transport). Not to mention that the PNC-5 Mosquito nose cone is getting more scarce as well.

Greg
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  #6  
Old 04-19-2009, 12:44 AM
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Royatl Royatl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokitflite
I saw this on Tower Hobbies recently... Obviously these cones are not in every assortment, otherwise I would have bought a whole bunch! I miss the PNC-50Y terribly .

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bi...p?&I=LXF585&P=7


a few years ago I bought a bag on eBay because of such a picture. When I received them, they were the Black Brant and Arcas noses. I complained, and the merchant said that all the packages were like that, refunded my money, and said to keep the cones.
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