Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thoughts on Value Rockets

I fully support Aerotech's ValueRockets concept, but I just don't think it's going to be very sucessful.
First of all, the real problem with selling their D-F composite motors is simply that most people don't have a place to fly them. Up to a C can easily be flown on a football field with careful planning, but composite Ds require larger spaces and larger rockets - BT-55 Estes models will easily hit 1500 feet (gone) on a D13 or D21. I would buy an 18/20 casing if C loads were available, but I'm not gonna spend 30 bucks on a casing that i'll get only a handful of flights out of before I lose it. E and F motors require 1000 foot fields - a raity in most suburban locales. I'm lucky for have a 600 by 800 fott field on public land with lowish winds, on civic property, and with no nasty neighbors, that can handle Ds and Es in heavy and draggy rockets, and even Fs in saucers and the like. However, the average flier with half a dozen estes models and a 300 ft baseball field is simply noy gonna buy Ds, especially not reloads. If they want any chance with the 18mm Ds, then they need to get half a dozen 24mm models - interesting ones, not the typical AT 3FNC stff - with 18mm adapters out there that can fly off a football field on Ds. Simple as that.

Second, their motor choices are not well-advised. The SU 18mm Ds are nice and useful, and not big loss if lost. The 24mm x 70mm Es are great for flying Estes 24mm models on marger fields like mine, and the 24/40 reloadable system is perfect for those like me. However, as said before, the 18/20 system, with little variety, one impulse range, and easy to lose, will never sell, and the 24/60 system with ONE motor - the F35 - that doesn't fit 70mm long mounts is doomed. if they can get, say, an F20 and F50 for the 24/60, and maybe a low-end G, then it'll sell. The F32 is cheap, plus it's a 24mm F, a rare bird, so it'll sell. 16 bucks is a lot, though, for 1 F when you can pick up a 3-pack of E9s for that much or less. However, very few motors are designed for the longer 24mm motors, and that's a sticking point. I say either trash the 18mm RMS or add a C6, C12, or even low-impulse E (if they can make a 3-pack of 30Ns E9 18mm reloads, and sell it for under $12 (compared to about 18 for 3 Estes E9), then they've got a winner.



Sascha Grant said...

I've got 2 18/20 cases and a handful of reloads (more on order) and think they're a great little case! I've got a bunch of rockets that are that bit too big for a C - they fly fine and are stable, but don't go very high. The 18/20 really throws them up there !

I agree, though, C6 would be nice *if* I could get them cheaper than the Estes BP ones. I'm currently paying AU$21 for a 3 pack :'(

The EGE said...

Thinking about it again, I do have some rockets that would do well on D reloads, notably my SpaceShipOne and Rama. The only problem is, I don't want to spend 25 or 30 bucks for a casing that I might lose very quickly. I think I might get one, though, just for D motors that cost under 3 USD ( under 4 AU) a piece. That's about 20% cheaper than I can get Estes D12s.