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  #21  
Old 11-10-2007, 12:01 PM
Rocket Doctor Rocket Doctor is offline
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Default Skywriter prototype photos

I have sent Scott a photo of the original prototypes for the Estes Skywriter.
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  #22  
Old 11-10-2007, 12:05 PM
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Here is Ken's pencil rocket.

"This is a photo of two origninal prototypes for the Estes Skywriter, the one on the left has the original nose cone design, the one on the right is the final nose cone.
I just called them the "pencil rocket.""
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  #23  
Old 11-10-2007, 02:41 PM
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Ken,

Very cool. Thanks for finding the picture.

I'm fascinated that the prototype has the same fins, foil wrap, eraser color, and 2 part yellow body tube of the eventual production model. Did you make the foil and eraser wraps yourself?

Any idea what considerations went into making the fin unit white instead of clear? A BT-50 clear fin unit would come in really handy for a number of scale projects.

I do have to admit that I really like the modified PC50-BB that they came up with for the nosecone. Any idea who did the graphics work and how they actually make it? A nosecone with pre-printed graphic is really unusual.
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  #24  
Old 11-10-2007, 04:02 PM
Rocket Doctor Rocket Doctor is offline
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I searched around for "foil" material and found a company on the internet for someone, I asked for samples of different colors and materials. I choose the material that best suited the color of the eraser and gold furrel. It just so happens that Estes was able to recreate what I had found.

The reason why the fin unit isn't clear, and it was originally discussed, is that the engine mount, which is blue, could be seen through the clear fin unit distracting from the overall looks.

At first when it was discussed, I was all in favor of it, but, then, I realized that the engine mount would protrude through the center and it didn't look good.

I used a basic nose cone and tried to make it look like the end of a pencil, but, those in marketing and R&D came up with the pointed nose cone, which is molded to color, and then, it is colored in a second process.

I must admit, the nose cone as it is now looks much better than my original, but, I think it is much too pointed.

That is what prototypes are all about, you get a general idea for a rocket, the color, the name, and you pass the idea around, and everyone puts their 2 cents in, then the final design is approved.

Like I had mentioned previously, when they saw this for the first time, it got an immediate GO, and then the required steps were taken to put it into production.

It a hit with the kids in school and has gotten great reviews.

I will tell about the 36 D Square soon, it's interesting......
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  #25  
Old 11-10-2007, 04:06 PM
Rocket Doctor Rocket Doctor is offline
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One more consideration regarding clear fin units, for the very same reason, the motor mount tube will go through the center of the fin unit, so, it would distract from any rocket that you would build, there is no getting around that.

If a fin unit made of clear material could be attatched to the outside, say, of a scale model, that would work as long as the engines are part of the rocket, protruding engines that shouldn't be there will distract from the overall decor of the kit.

Many considerations that you need to keep in mind while designing rockets.
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  #26  
Old 11-10-2007, 06:17 PM
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Ken,

Very interesting about the motor mount being visible through the clear fin unit. I never thought of that. You're absolutely right though, that it wouldn't look right.

Dave from Red Arrow once made the comment to be about the Skywriter that he'd had lots of requests for it in a school bulk pack, which he'd communicated to Estes, but they'd never made it available. I agree with him, seems like a natural.

The Skywriter Launchable was also a great idea. I can't believe they discontinued it.



I thought you'd appreciate the following Skywriter photos.

The first is five Skywriters included in the lineup I launch for Science Day at my daughter's school. It is always a big hit and I use it to demonstrate the classic "4FNC with a parachute" style of rocket.

Second picture is Vern at NARAM 49 signing the Skywriter my daughter built.

Final picture is of my daughter's E-Super Roc which she entered at NARAM 49. It was a minimum diameter BT-50 design. She chose a Skywriter cone for the nosecone and, inspired by your creation, painted the rest of the rocket to match. She chose to paint the ferrule green and turned the entire fin section into the pink eraser. I tried to convince her that since the event was Super Roc altitude she should leave it unpainted to save weight. She argued that the smoother finish would help. Apparently she was right.
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  #27  
Old 11-10-2007, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus
Second picture is Vern at NARAM 49 signing the Skywriter my daughter built.



Hey, Steve, what's the deal?

You have Vern signing a rocket he didn't even design. Yet, when the designer of the Initiator is present on the NARAM-49 field for seven days you can't find the time to have him sign THAT model.

Bob
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  #28  
Old 11-10-2007, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Initiator001
Hey, Steve, what's the deal?

You have Vern signing a rocket he didn't even design. Yet, when the designer of the Initiator is present on the NARAM-49 field for seven days you can't find the time to have him sign THAT model.

Bob

LOL,

Bob, I simply couldn't afford the "honararium" that Initiator guy requested for his signature.

Vern was free!

I've been really good about saving up, though, and maybe at NARAM 50 I'll finally get my Initiator signed, hopefully over a nice dinner (consider that an invitation).

As for having Vern sign something he didn't design, it was the only Estes rocket Emma had with her. If Ken is going to be at NARAM 50 we'll bring it back so he can sign it too. Emma saw the prototype picture and thought it was just too cool that that was "the real first original one before they made it into a kit."

When I explained that the Skywriter inventor was also the inventor of the Baby Bertha she built (and turned into one of Excelsior's "Love Bugs") she thought Ken must be a pretty great designer to have designed two of the rockets in her collection! I happen to agree.
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  #29  
Old 11-11-2007, 05:09 AM
Rocket Doctor Rocket Doctor is offline
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Gus

They were really great photos and I wish your daughter all the luck in the world on her rocketry projects.

I had requested that Estes put both the Skywriter and Baby Beertha in bulk packs, both of these rockets have been used in many school settings, if you look at reviews of these two kits, they have high marks.

The Skywriter is a quick build for school setings and the Baby Bertha is the next step kit inwhich as you know, more building techniques are needed. Also the fact, that the Baby Bertha has been converted to many other rockets as well.

The Baby Bertha is in the top 5 selling rockets at Estes, and the Skywriter isn't that far behind.

I am planning on being at NARAM 50, and I would love to have the opportunity to meet you and your daughter and sign her rockets, bring the Baby Bertha and Skywriter.

Also still available are the Converter and 36 D Squared.

Best wishes,
Ken
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  #30  
Old 11-11-2007, 09:22 AM
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tbzep tbzep is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket Doctor

The Baby Bertha is in the top 5 selling rockets at Estes, and the Skywriter isn't that far behind.


There is a really good reason for the Baby Bertha's success, outside of being a neat little rocket. PRICE. It's $5.50 or less online. You can't buy bulk packs of anything other than minimum diameter throw away Vikings and Gnomes for less than that. Bulk pack kits are overpriced for their intended purpose....to get kids into rocketry.
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