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  #11  
Old 04-22-2009, 10:24 PM
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billspad billspad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus
Bill,

Did you buy it as a kit, or fully assembled?

And is the square baseboard that it sits on something that came with it or something you added?

It looks like the one Bill Stine is standing next to didn't have that type of base board.


It came unassembled. Lots of pieces of metal, nuts and bolts.

I added the square piece of wood on the bottom. I don't think it came with anything for a base.
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  #12  
Old 04-23-2009, 07:07 AM
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Rocketflyer Rocketflyer is offline
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Gus, Looking at your tower, there are two "T" rails for the model, correct? I think yours might have been built "mission specific." Are there any exhaust burn marks on the tower at all?

The workmanship on that tower is just outstanding!
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  #13  
Old 04-23-2009, 07:11 AM
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Gus, I'm wondering if it might be an early MMI tower, perhaps even a prototype, before they went to the commercial metal one. Is yours 6" x 6"?

Joe
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  #14  
Old 04-23-2009, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketflyer
Gus, Looking at your tower, there are two "T" rails for the model, correct? I think yours might have been built "mission specific." Are there any exhaust burn marks on the tower at all? !


Blast plate looks like the tower was used. I really doubt this was built for a specific rocket, since it has both the rails and a launch rod holder. From what I'm seeing of the MMI towers they weren't a whole lot more flexible than this tower, and wouldn't have accomodated a much bigger rocket.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo1986
Gus, I'm wondering if it might be an early MMI tower, perhaps even a prototype, before they went to the commercial metal one. Is yours 6" x 6"?

Joe


Tower is 5 .5" X 5.5". Base is 10.5" square. As for this being a prototype, I've seen photos of early model rocket launch towers and those that I've seen were metal.

As for it being a prototype, it's possible. But take a look at the quality of the work on the tower top corners (2nd pic). The corner piece itself looks like corner molding. The cross pieces are mitered and rabbet cut, all on a piece of 1/4" stock. Very high quality joinery work on such tiny pieces. That's what makes me think this was a professionally produced product. Either that, or it was the personal launch tower of a cabinet maker.
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  #15  
Old 04-24-2009, 03:48 PM
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Default It's not an MMI tower

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus
Anybody have any idea who manufactured this launch tower? (I included the Semroc Mars Lander next to it in the photos to give a sense of size.)

It is similar to the metal towers seen in the first edition of Handbook of Model Rocketry and offered by Estes in the 1961 catalog.

But this tower is not metal, it is wood. It is exceptionally well crafted so I doubt it was home-made or a kit. The fit of the pieces is remarkable. Most of the tower is apparently glued together but on several levels there are small screws. Again, very professionally crafted.

The paint on the tower appears original and does not appear to be a home-built job. Lines are remarkably clean and crisp.

While the tower seems to be very well built, functionally it is unusual in that the rails down the middle are not adjustable and appear to have only been suitable for a four finned rocket of the proper size.

There is a holder in the base for a launch rod as well. It is slightly off-center to accomodate a launch lug on the side of a rocket but, again, only about a BT55 will fit between the rails.

Anyone with knowledge of who might have produced this tower, I'd appreciate what you know.


Steve


This looks like a very nicely made replica of an MMI tower - but it is NOT an MMI tower. I have several of them here in the Museum archives both assembled and in the orginal packaging. One of the nicest condition towers from the collection is currently on display at Museum of Flight in Seattle. If any of you guys want to see the current best display of early MR memorabilia, go see the exhibit. I believe it will be open for another year.

Bill
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  #16  
Old 04-24-2009, 04:10 PM
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Bill,

Thanks for responding. By any chance would you have a photo you could post of an unopened kit and/or pics of an open kit?

I didn't think this tower was MMI, and am beginning to lean toward believing it might have been a one of a kind thing, since no one here seems to have ever seen another one like it.

Was the MMI tower designed by your dad? Any idea who actually manufactured it? I know the surplus went to Estes when MMI closed, but I wonder if prior to that they did more than one production run, and how many were made in total.

Of all the early model rocketry stuff it seems like the towers would have been the most durable, yet you rarely see them, and I don't recall ever seeing one go up for sale on eBay.
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  #17  
Old 04-24-2009, 09:45 PM
lmerdan lmerdan is offline
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That's a pretty cool tower made of wood. Can you take some more photos of the blast plate area on the interior?
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  #18  
Old 04-26-2009, 10:35 PM
lmerdan lmerdan is offline
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I was performing some cleanup and stumbled across instruction sheet for that recent "retro" re-release of the Aerobee-Hi and saw the metal tower was shown on the launch drawing.
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  #19  
Old 01-13-2014, 08:17 PM
Fireman Fireman is offline
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Default Tower packaging and instructions

Question about MMI towers for Gus, Bill, or anyone else who might know.

The tower I have was purchased already built up as a floor display, but I know they were shipped as kits. What kind of packaging was used for the kits? Was it an illustrated box, a plain corregated carton, or what?

And was there an instruction sheet that came with it, or were you on your own to figure it out?

If anybody has information about this, or better yet, a picture of an un-assymbled kit, a pic of the packaging, or a copy of instructions, cold you please post them here? I would dearly love to see any of the above.

The Fireman
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  #20  
Old 01-13-2014, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireman
Question about MMI towers for Gus, Bill, or anyone else who might know.

The tower I have was purchased already built up as a floor display, but I know they were shipped as kits. What kind of packaging was used for the kits? Was it an illustrated box, a plain corregated carton, or what?

And was there an instruction sheet that came with it, or were you on your own to figure it out?

If anybody has information about this, or better yet, a picture of an un-assymbled kit, a pic of the packaging, or a copy of instructions, cold you please post them here? I would dearly love to see any of the above.

The Fireman

Sorry, I've never seen one of the kits.

Steve
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