Saturday, December 27, 2008

WANT motors

Estes carries 27 different motors in their catalog. There are 6 13mm motors (1 plugged), 12 18mm motors, and 9 24mm motors (1 plugged, 3 3.75" E motors). That's a pretty good selection. Add the Quest Micromaxx, A6-4, and D5-0/P motors and Aerotech and Apogee D composites and you've got a pretty good low power range. There are a number of motors I'd like to see, though:
  • More MMX motors: The 1/8A.5-1 is nice, but maybe a booster (1/8A.5-1) and a 2" long, full 1/8A (0.31Ns vs. 0.18 Ns) for slightly bigger models would be nice. It's essential for them to improve the igniter design, especially if Estes would try their hand with 6mm motors, so they can be launched without a special MMX pad. Even using toothpicks as igniter plugs, I have only about 30% ignition rate.

  • Improved mini motors - including the 1/2A and A 18mm motors. The system now is rather wonky, with several nearly identical motors and no boosters. Currently, the A10-3T, A8-3, and A3-4T motors are almost identical. Excepting the plugged A10, there are 8 1/4A thru A motors is Estes's lineup. I say change the system to:
    • 1/4A3-2T

    • 1/4A3-4T

    • 1/2A3-2T

    • 1/2A3-4T

    • A3-0T

    • A3-3T

    • A8-3

    • A8-5

    This only requires 3 new motors, adds a booster motor, eliminates all but 1 duplicate (the -3 motors, but in different sizes) and replaces the crappy 1/4A3-3T, which is useless for gliders and streamer duration models, the main uses of 1/4A motors, with a -2 delay for the gliders and a -4 delay for the high-altitude models. In addition, it chucks the 1/2A6-2, which can't get any 18mm model about 100 feet but costs almost as much as a full C6. Personally, I'd be fine chucking the 1/4As altogether and getting 2, 4, and 6 second delays on the A3-xTs, but the 3 people who actually fly 1/4A competition would complain.
    Note that A10 and A8 motors are misnumbered and are really both A3s. Motors ending in T are 13mm motors, all others are 18mm.

  • More booster motors! The current C6 and D12 are all fine and good, but any 2-stager on a C6 is gone from any small field and a D12 requires at least a 1000-foot square field by NAR rules (Although I safely fly my 24mm saucer in 300ft soccer fields, but it's not a normal rocket). I want a 13mm booster, an A8-0, the return of the B6-0, the return of the C11-0 (for flying Comanche-3s and actually getting the top part back), and an E9-0 for big rockets; the biggest booster currently available is the D12 because composites don't make good booster motors. I realize that big motors get Estes more money because people lose more rocket kits and pay to replace them, but they should be aware that most of their customers fly off small fields and want their rockets back. Their kits are too light for D and E boosters anyway. The only Estes-weight rockets that can be recovered on those boosters are saucers like mine.

  • Longer-delay motors Most Estes kits do fine on, at most, the -6 delay B6 and -7 delay C6 and D12, but very light, competition-type rockets need some longer delays. We're talking A3-6Ts, A8-7s, B4-6s, and D12-9s or the return of the D11-9, plus maybe and E9-10. We could also use an A8-1 for gliders on small fields, too small even for a b4-2 with a well-trimmed glider.

  • The return of the C11s. They used to be great for flying light 24mm models without losing them, but now all we have left is the C11-3, which is the least useful because it can be replaced with a D12 in low, slow rockets and still get them back.
  • One last request: a slow-burning C, like a C2 or C3, for gliders and competition. T'would be nice.

But dreams are just that. I'm pretty happy with what we have already.

1 comment:

The EGE said...

Ulch. I hate the way my stupid font displays numbers above and below the rest of the text. It makes the motor codes look all wonky.