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  #1  
Old 02-19-2020, 10:51 AM
dholvrsn dholvrsn is offline
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Question Couple of Quest questions

What's with the history of MRI to MRC to AVI Astroport and then a decade and a half skip with a lot of that stuff ending up at Quest?

Also what's Quest getting out of the BP business? Especially after importing some cooler bigger Chinese engines?

Maybe these have been answered in previous threads?
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Old 02-19-2020, 11:00 AM
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I think it has something to do with orange paint.

There have been some threads on the motor making machinery history. I don't have time to search for it right now.
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Old 02-19-2020, 11:09 AM
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BTW, IIRC the machine(s) passed through Raytown (FSI) at some point also.
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Old 02-19-2020, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dholvrsn
Also what's Quest getting out of the BP business? Especially after importing some cooler bigger Chinese engines?

Quest's deal is that Bill Stine sold the company to Aerotech, and Aerotech doesn't do BP motors. There was a Rocketry Show interview with the new owner (don't recall his name) and there were no plans for reviving the BP motor line.
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Old 02-19-2020, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astronwolf
Quest's deal is that Bill Stine sold the company to Aerotech, and Aerotech doesn't do BP motors. There was a Rocketry Show interview with the new owner (don't recall his name) and there were no plans for reviving the BP motor line.

No need for Aerotech to "do" BP motors. They could keep importing the German or Chinese BP motors that Bill was using.
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Old 02-19-2020, 12:44 PM
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The German Quest motors were good ones, the Chinese ones were slow-burning lousy.
I'd like an official story behind their 29mm Thunderjets not coming to market. They supposedly were produced in "production" quantity, tested then shelved.
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:15 PM
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From what I recall Quest had supply/availability issues with their Chinese supplier especially after a major explosion at a Chinese harbor. So they had bulk packs of kits with no motor to fly them. So teachers and schoolkids either weren't buying and flying them or they were buying the Quest bulk pack kits and flying them on Estes engines. So they made the decision to go in-house on the motors. Since AT already had the APCP experience and tooling, it made good business sense. Just took a little longer than anticipated.
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Old 02-19-2020, 08:37 PM
zog139 zog139 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghrocketman
The German Quest motors were good ones, the Chinese ones were slow-burning lousy.
I'd like an official story behind their 29mm Thunderjets not coming to market. They supposedly were produced in "production" quantity, tested then shelved.


Yeah, it was a shame they didnt come to market. I have a friend who received several of those motors. Got to see some of them fly at a private launch. I actually liked the Quest Chinese motors because of the long burn times and all the sparks and smoke they spit out.
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Old 02-22-2020, 11:34 PM
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As to the question of Quest BP motors...

The first Quest motors were made on the old MPC motor making machines which were owned by FSI.

After AVI closed, the three MPC motor making machines (1 x 13mm, 2 x 18mm) ended up in a barn somewhere in either Michigan or Wisconsin (I forget which).

There the machines stayed for around ten years. The barn was not climate controlled and the machines fell into disrepair.

As Enertek was faltering, Bill Stine decided to find the MPC motor making machines and plastic parts molds. He and his father , G. Harry, tracked down the location of the MPC/AVI motor making machines. The machines were located but Bill and Harry were too late. FSI found them a week earlier and bought the machines.

FSI attempted to get one of the machines working but they had no directions or operation manuals. One of the MPC motor machines was blown apart when the wrong air pressure settings were used.

At this point Bill approached FSI offering to help get one of the machines running. In exchange, the machine would be used to make motors for Bill's new rocket company, later to be known as Quest.

Bill had one thing the FSI folks didn't, one of the actual machine operations manuals from the library of his father.

Bill worked with FSI and got one of the 18mm motor machines running. Bill was able to use the machine to make motors for Quest. Harold Reese told me that the machines could make a year's supply for FSI in one month.

The MPC/FSI motor machine cranked out motors for Quest but machine was wearing out and needed constant maintenance.

At this point Bill had specific motor making machines made for Quest. I believe it was three machines, one for 'A' motors, one for 'B' motors and one for 'C' motors. A micro-maxx motor making machine would come later.

These machines were set up on an Indian reservation and began producing motors. Tragically, there was an incident and at least one person was killed in the motor production facility.

The purpose built Quest motor machines were mothballed. Bill decided to get rocket motors from the German supplier who had made motors for Model Rectifier Corporation (MRC).

(TBC...)
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Old 02-22-2020, 11:53 PM
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Quest continued to purchase motors from Germany but the cost was not economical.

Bill learned of a Chinese fireworks company that could make motors and visited China.
This resulted in the 'Chinese' Quest motors and the Q2G2 igniters.

Bill also looked into having larger black powder motors made by the Chinese company. Some prototypes were made and sent over to Quest for testing but did not get into full-scale production.

Around this time there was some sort of issue with the Chinese company (Can't recall what it was) but now they wanted more money to make the motors. This was even more expensive than importing motors from Germany so Quest cancelled any more motor production in China. Quest still wanted to purchase the 'Q2G2' igniters but the Chinese company stated they would only sell the igniters if motors were also purchased.

Thus ended Chinese-made Quest motors and the Q2G2 igniters.

As this was happening the economy was taking a hit and Quest was in financial trouble.
In a bid to save the company Quest merged with AeroTech (As I recall AeroTech did not buy Quest, it was a mutual survival action to save both companies).

It was decided by the joint company to come up with another way to make motors for Quest which led to the multi-year project that resulted in the Q-Jet motors now sold under the Quest label.

The Quest BP motor making machines survive and are in storage at the AeroTech facility.
I saw these machines during a 'tour' of the Quest facility in Pagosa Springs, CO, in the 2000s.
The machines were stored outside with the top wrapped in heavy canvas material.

The big take-away in all this is that at no time did Quest have ownership of the MPC motor making machines. Quest used the MPC equipment which was owned by FSI to make their original production runs of motors.
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