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Old 05-30-2018, 12:22 PM
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mojo1986 mojo1986 is offline
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Default Looking For Info On MPC/AVI

Going through an old box of rocketry stuff today I found these MPC-packaged engines. In the two blister packs MPC was selling what appears to be their own branded engines and engines made by AVI. Did MPC get their start by buying out AVI?

The last package of engines is boxed...........was this type of packaging older or newer than the blister packs? I could probably answer my own question if all of the motors have production dates on them, but I hesitate to open them, possibly damaging the packaging, in case they have any value to someone as a collectible.


Joe
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:26 PM
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo1986
Going through an old box of rocketry stuff today I found these MPC-packaged engines. In the two blister packs MPC was selling what appears to be their own branded engines and engines made by AVI. Did MPC get their start by buying out AVI?

The last package of engines is boxed...........was this type of packaging older or newer than the blister packs? I could probably answer my own question if all of the motors have production dates on them, but I hesitate to open them, possibly damaging the packaging, in case they have any value to someone as a collectible.


Joe


Model Rocket Industries by Myke Bergenske was first.
Model Products Corporation bought MRI, kept Myke on, hired G. Harry Stine as consultant and had a pretty successful run, starting the market for 13mm motors, and driving the move to regular plastic parts (vs. specialty parts that Estes and Centuri were already dabbling in), and different types of packaging (retail bubble packs for motors is the lasting legacy).
By 1972 model rocketry was cooling down and MPC shut its rocketry division down.
In 1973 Bergenske bought everything back from MPC and set up shop as Aerospace Vehicles Incorporated (AVI). He developed some interesting products then (mostly in motors, his wheelhouse), but apparently didn't have the capital to fund them and keep up with the expectations of the considerably larger market that MPC had grown and left for him. I remember lots of complaints of unfulfilled or very late orders, 'vaporware' product announcements, etc.
Seems like he tried to pivot the company into a warehouse/clearinghouse that limped along into the 80's I think.

As to the AVI motors in MPC bubble packs, he probably got lots of pre-existing MPC packaging in the deal with MPC so why not use it?
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:33 PM
stefanj stefanj is offline
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Another problem that MPC had:

Inconsistent laws on model rocket motors.

Back in 69 - 72, there were still lots of states that made getting motors difficult or impossible. Like, my New Jersey cousin having to go to Trenton to get a license from the Bureau of Mines.

So, kits that made their way into K-Mart ended up getting returned.

* * *

I was a steady AVI customer in the mid 70s. Bought lots of stuff, won a gift certificate, bought even more. As I recall, my last order (for around $15) was never filled. This was in 1978 or 1979.

I can testify as to the vaporware. Bergenske kept announcing the "metrix" system, which would let you create nose cones, transitions, and boat tails from a set of nested tubes, 1mm apart. The set would include a plug for the nose cone tip, and filler material.

There was also an announced series of UFO / alien space ship models.

What you could get were really cheap MPC and MRI kits. Some of the latter were original stock, others re-releases with photocopied instruction sheets. At least one AVI kit was actually produced, the "Lineas Gigantus," which was about 5' of T-20 tube with a Pioneer style fin can on one end, and a plastic transition and a section of T-25 tube and a cone on the other. I think I flew mine a few times.

* * *

I remember getting AVI motors in plastic bags and in MPC blister packs. The "Gold Line" motors, which included tiny 1/8 A and 1/4 A motors, and 35mm E and F motors, came in plastic bags.
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:34 PM
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As for the boxed vs. bubble motors, they may have been comtemporary to each other. The blister packs for retail and the boxes for mailing, or for hobby shops that were used to putting their model rocket motor stock on shelves, as with Centuri boxes, or Estes tubes/diamond packs.
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stefanj
What you could get were really cheap MPC and MRI kits. Some of the latter were original stock, others re-releases with photocopied instruction sheets. At least one AVI kit was actually produced, the "Lineas Gigantus," which was about 5' of T-20 tube with a Pioneer style fin can on one end, and a plastic transition and a section of T-25 tube and a cone on the other. I think I flew mine a few times.


Now, THAT I'd like to have seen.
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Old 05-31-2018, 06:28 PM
stefanj stefanj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Fish Named Wallyum
Now, THAT I'd like to have seen.


It would be really easy to recreate! You can get the tubes from eRockets. Quest used to sell the fin unit, even. I'm sure someone has scanned it in for printing by now.

I might have the instruction sheet for this. I'll look after my upcoming vacation.
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