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  #1  
Old 07-03-2018, 12:49 PM
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eljefe eljefe is offline
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Default Alpha VI

I just noticed the Alpha VI commemorative listed in the new Estes catalog has shown up on the coming soon list at the Estes site. Estimated arrival date is "mid-July."

https://www.estesrockets.com/coming-soon/

I was hoping to find some good Fourth of July deals, but doesn't look like any of the vendors are having sales this year.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:52 PM
astronwolf astronwolf is offline
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I know of the Alpha II, III, and IV, but I missed out on the Alpha V.
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Old 07-03-2018, 01:04 PM
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The thing I took note of was the $15 price and the plastic not balsa fins.

Although its part number is 1958.
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Last edited by Jerry Irvine : 07-03-2018 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 07-03-2018, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Irvine
The thing I took note of was the $15 price and the plastic not balsa fins.

Although its part number is 1958.

The part number is cute. Nice touch.
These commemorative models are just different color Alpha IIIs, so of course they'll have plastic fins. I like that this one mimics the original red plastic Alpha III, albeit in metallic red.
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astronwolf
I know of the Alpha II, III, and IV, but I missed out on the Alpha V.


So far as I know there is not/has not been an Alpha V. When I first heard about this the explanation I got was around it being the 60th anniversary (not unlike the Alpha IV being released for Estes' 40th).
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:01 PM
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I have a Maxi Alpha 3 kit to build, might look nice with an enlarged version of this 60th logo on it... hmmm...
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Old 07-04-2018, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenP


I have a Maxi Alpha 3 kit to build, might look nice with an enlarged version of this 60th logo on it... hmmm...

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Old 07-12-2018, 11:23 AM
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Having been born in 1958 I have celebrated that same 60th Anniversary milestone this year, so this kit is of particular interest to me.

I would however note one possible disagreement with a portion of the kit's description on the Estes web site, which states in part:
"Young and not so young Rocketeers will want to add this rocket to their collection for sure! And you just might want to buy two - one to launch and one to build and proudly display on that shelf of yours."

My question is, why settle for only two? Not only is the Alpha such a classic 3FNC design, but the relative low cost, ease of construction and durability of the plastic components of the Alpha III version (and its derivatives) makes it an ideal rocket to sacrifice to the rocket gods.

I composed a poem a few years ago to eulogise the loss of an Alpha III on just such an occassion. IIRC, the poem went something like this:
I launched a weather-check Alpha
On an A8-3
And watched as it swiftly streamered
Into a nearby tree.

It took weeks of rain and wind before that tree eventually released its captive. The body tube of course was structurally compromised, as was the engine retainer assembly; but that plastic nose cone and fin can were as reuseable as a Falcon thruster is today. And I must say that the "Hallowe'en" colours of the stock Alpha III made seeing and recovering those "pre-colored" orange parts so much easier when they finally hit the ground. I suspect the same could be said of the metallic red sheen of the new Alpha VI components.

It's just too bad that this new Alpha isn't being sold for the same price as the Cat. No. 671-K-25 Alpha was back in the day... "Only $1.50" !!
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  #9  
Old 07-12-2018, 08:31 PM
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You must not launch in the desert; every Alpha III I've ever launched has eventually broken a fin on landing. Even a full-deployed parachute is not enough when most if not all landings involve rocks of various sizes or God-forbid, asphalt or concrete. Around here, it's just a matter of time. . . .

And a broken fin on an Alpha III is terminal.

So no, I think any Alpha III, IV or V is a terrible idea. Give me an Alpha or Alpha II with balsa (repairable) fins any time.

On the other hand, I love the commemorative logo and would love to see that on a Scout.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkB.
You must not launch in the desert; every Alpha III I've ever launched has eventually broken a fin on landing. Even a full-deployed parachute is not enough when most if not all landings involve rocks of various sizes or God-forbid, asphalt or concrete. Around here, it's just a matter of time. . . .

And a broken fin on an Alpha III is terminal.

So no, I think any Alpha III, IV or V is a terrible idea. Give me an Alpha or Alpha II with balsa (repairable) fins any time.

On the other hand, I love the commemorative logo and would love to see that on a Scout.

I never broke a fin on an Alpha III, but I did break one on a vintage Centuri Screaming Eagle that I got from Australia in 2001. You're right about it being terminal, but I suspect it would be fairly easy to replace the fin with balsa or basswood. Wouldn't look perfect, but it would fly again. Guess I'll hunt up my Screaming Eagle and put my money where my mouth is, eh?
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