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  #1  
Old 07-06-2010, 02:36 AM
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blackshire blackshire is offline
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Default Earliest Akela-1 reference

Hello All,

Awhile back there was a discussion about the Centuri Akela-1 Cub Scout rocket (see: http://www.oldrocketplans.com/centu...654/cen1654.htm ).

I just found what is apparently the earliest reference to the Akela-1, in the September 1973 issue of "Boy's Life" magazine (the article link is below). The article also mentions Ricky Piester, who launched the first Akela-1 flown by a Cub Scout pack; I presume he is a son of Centuri founder Lee Piester (see: http://books.google.com/books?id=SR...0rocket&f=false ).

I hope this information will be helpful.
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  #2  
Old 07-06-2010, 06:53 AM
jdbectec jdbectec is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackshire
Hello All,

Awhile back there was a discussion about the Centuri Akela-1 Cub Scout rocket (see: http://www.oldrocketplans.com/centu...654/cen1654.htm ).

I just found what is apparently the earliest reference to the Akela-1, in the September 1973 issue of "Boy's Life" magazine (the article link is below). The article also mentions Ricky Piester, who launched the first Akela-1 flown by a Cub Scout pack; I presume he is a son of Centuri founder Lee Piester (see: http://books.google.com/books?id=SR...0rocket&f=false ).

I hope this information will be helpful.



Rick Piester is indeed Lee Piesters son. Although I haven't seen him in a few years, Rick occasionally attends a club event here in Champaign, IL. Interestingly enough, He works for Hobbico, or at least did when I last saw him.
Luckily, his dad was in town visiting, and they took the time to come to one of our club meetings and visit. It was great to have a chance to talk to Lee, he's a great guy. In fact, they both are!
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  #3  
Old 07-06-2010, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackshire
Hello All,

Awhile back there was a discussion about the Centuri Akela-1 Cub Scout rocket (see: http://www.oldrocketplans.com/centu...654/cen1654.htm ).

I just found what is apparently the earliest reference to the Akela-1, in the September 1973 issue of "Boy's Life" magazine (the article link is below). The article also mentions Ricky Piester, who launched the first Akela-1 flown by a Cub Scout pack; I presume he is a son of Centuri founder Lee Piester (see: http://books.google.com/books?id=SR...0rocket&f=false ).

I hope this information will be helpful.



Hey Black****e,

You realize that the Akela is a Viking is an ~Estes Black Diamond is an ~Estes Viking ...

Ricky is a part owner of Great Planes and sits on the board of directors, IIRC.

This is why Lee's remaining 2 Hobby Shops sell mostly Hobbico Planes/Cars/Boats and products. They do sell a small amount of Horizon Hobbies. They really should enter into deals with direct manufacturers from China (as 90% of all hobby products on the planet are made there) but because of image and loyalties, they sell the cookie-cutter products distributed by the big 2 American importers. Too bad because there are many products that are better in price and value to the consumer.

If I ever open another Hobby Shop, I will not deal with Great Planes or Horizion ... they are middle-men that jack the price up several hundred percent.

Instead I would just order 'containers' of goods direct from China and sell them mail-order and walk up brick and mortar shop. There are dealers who do just that and are making $$$ in the process.

Jonathan
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:01 AM
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hcmbanjo hcmbanjo is offline
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The first time I saw a reference to Ricky Piester was in the opening pages of the Centuri catalogs in the early 1970s.

http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/no...a/72cen004.html

All the way down on the lower right is a small head shot.
That type is too small to read in the Ninfinger page, but it says:

A Phoenix boy writes: I like rockets. "I eat, sleep and drink rockets", my Mom says.
But then she says the same thing about my dad.

Ricky Piester


I thought that was a little hokey back then. But it got their son into print!
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hcmbanjo
The first time I saw a reference to Ricky Piester was in the opening pages of the Centuri catalogs in the early 1970s.

http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/no...a/72cen004.html

All the way down on the lower right is a small head shot.
That type is too small to read in the Ninfinger page, but it says:

A Phoenix boy writes: I like rockets. "I eat, sleep and drink rockets", my Mom says.
But then she says the same thing about my dad.

Ricky Piester


I thought that was a little hokey back then. But it got their son into print!
*That* was what was making my head tingle with near-recognition last night! The boy in the larger color photo on the left also looks like Rick Piester. Thank you all for your replies. Yes, I know the "family history" of all members of the Centuri and Estes "branches" of the Akela-1/Viking/Black Diamond "family"; I wish Estes would offer a Viking kit version with Akela-1 decals especially for Scouts (although Sandman has perfect duplicate Akela-1 decals with both "Akela-1" and "Viking" kit name decals on the decal sheets that are available now!). I'm glad to hear that Rick Piester is still involved in model rocketry (and in "flying" hobbies in general).
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Black Shire--Draft horse in human form, model rocketeer, occasional mystic, and writer, see:
http://www.lulu.com/content/paperba...an-form/8075185
http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6122050
http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6126511
All of my book proceeds go to the Northcote Heavy Horse Centre www.northcotehorses.com.
NAR #54895 SR

Last edited by blackshire : 07-06-2010 at 11:27 AM. Reason: This ol' hoss done forgot somethin'.
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  #6  
Old 07-06-2010, 11:47 AM
jdbectec jdbectec is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cohetero-negro
Hey Black****e,

You realize that the Akela is a Viking is an ~Estes Black Diamond is an ~Estes Viking ...

Ricky is a part owner of Great Planes and sits on the board of directors, IIRC.

This is why Lee's remaining 2 Hobby Shops sell mostly Hobbico Planes/Cars/Boats and products. They do sell a small amount of Horizon Hobbies. They really should enter into deals with direct manufacturers from China (as 90% of all hobby products on the planet are made there) but because of image and loyalties, they sell the cookie-cutter products distributed by the big 2 American importers. Too bad because there are many products that are better in price and value to the consumer.

If I ever open another Hobby Shop, I will not deal with Great Planes or Horizion ... they are middle-men that jack the price up several hundred percent.

Instead I would just order 'containers' of goods direct from China and sell them mail-order and walk up brick and mortar shop. There are dealers who do just that and are making $$$ in the process.

Jonathan


Jonathan, with all due respect, how familiar are you with these companies that are based in my hometown?

Here are some links you might find useful:

http://www.hobbico.com/career.html

http://www.manta.com/c/mmqhg0y/grea...s-model-mfg-inc Yes they really do manufacture stuff here.

http://www.horizonhobbycorp.com/WhoWeAre/

These companies employ over 900 Americans, I'd hate to see them lose thier jobs because everyone started buying direct from China.

Nor the peaple that work here:

http://www.estesrockets.com/

I apologize for derailing the thread, but, I had to say that.

Now back to the topic, I do not believe the other picture is Rick. although I think he is in another catalog.
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  #7  
Old 07-06-2010, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdbectec
Jonathan, with all due respect, how familiar are you with these companies that are based in my hometown?

Here are some links you might find useful:

http://www.hobbico.com/career.html

http://www.manta.com/c/mmqhg0y/grea...s-model-mfg-inc Yes they really do manufacture stuff here.

http://www.horizonhobbycorp.com/WhoWeAre/

These companies employ over 900 Americans, I'd hate to see them lose thier jobs because everyone started buying direct from China.

Nor the peaple that work here:

http://www.estesrockets.com/

I apologize for derailing the thread, but, I had to say that.

Now back to the topic, I do not believe the other picture is Rick. although I think he is in another catalog.


Jeffrey,

I have to go where my dollar goes the furthest ... just like Hobbico and Estes do and did... they caused 100,000's of Americans to lose their jobs over the last 30 - 40 years.

Jonathan
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  #8  
Old 07-06-2010, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cohetero-negro
Hey Black****e,

You realize that the Akela is a Viking is an ~Estes Black Diamond is an ~Estes Viking ...


Almost, but not quite. The original Akela-1/Centuri Viking had a different nosecone and the fins had ever so slightly different dimensions, showing that they weren't cut with the same die. It goes without saying that the BT-20 is thinner than the series 7 Centuri tube also. However, the spirit of the design is the same throughout.

The nosecone difference is easy to see. The fin difference isn't quite so easy unless you stack them. I can't seem to find the pic of the fins, but here are the nosecones.

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  #9  
Old 07-06-2010, 04:52 PM
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Shreadvector Shreadvector is offline
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The original was more stable than current design - mostly because the original nose cone was heavier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
Almost, but not quite. The original Akela-1/Centuri Viking had a different nosecone and the fins had ever so slightly different dimensions, showing that they weren't cut with the same die. It goes without saying that the BT-20 is thinner than the series 7 Centuri tube also. However, the spirit of the design is the same throughout.

The nosecone difference is easy to see. The fin difference isn't quite so easy unless you stack them. I can't seem to find the pic of the fins, but here are the nosecones.

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  #10  
Old 07-06-2010, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreadvector
The original was more stable than current design - mostly because the original nose cone was heavier.


Yes, it's quite a bit heavier. I don't have an unpainted Estes nose cone or I could give a comparison. Also, the Centuri kits have just a tad more fin area.
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