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  #91  
Old 07-20-2017, 12:48 PM
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Default MOF history

Video of rocket history

Estes:

https://youtu.be/sLn8UX2UYaQ

Centuri:


https://youtu.be/DtfS540a5Ck
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  #92  
Old 07-20-2017, 01:17 PM
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It's nice seeing you give the opening speech for Vern at the MOF 2014
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  #93  
Old 07-21-2017, 09:50 AM
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Default MPC: Secrets of the Minijets

The first issue of Model Rocketry magazine I ever saw was on the rack in a store in Revelstoke, British Columbia in July, 1971. The fact the magazine somehow made its way into the Rocky Mountains of Canada always puzzled me until decades later when Trip Barber (former magazine staffer) explained my find was a result of Model Rocketry's brief foray into mass marketing publication. We know that experiment didn't end well, but as a new rocketeer the magazine opened a door to an entirely new universe. Thank you Editor/Publisher George Flynn.

In that July, 1971 issue was G. Harry Stine's Old Rocketeer column entitled "Engines: Full Circle" which describes the history of model rocket engine development from Orville Carlisle to the newly released MPC Minijets developed by Myke Bergenske. This is G. Harry Stine's writing at its absolute best, so if you haven't read the piece you can find it here: Model Rocketry magazine, July 1971.

In the article Stine describes the process he followed to design and test the first MPC Minijet kits. Some of the people who read this might have attended that MIT Convention and witnessed the first flight of the MPC minijet Pipsqueak at the convention demonstration launch.

If you saw the Minijet launches at MIT please do tell us about your recollections!

The Pipsqueak's design stands up very well today, even though its a tiny "fire and forget" model almost guaranteed to be lost under anything but the smallest motor. An MPC minijet B motor? Adios baby.

Here's a very clean example of a Pipsqueak in the National Collection.



Who knew the Pipsqueak had an ugly, rejected cousin who had been locked away for decades? Here it is, revealed to the world for the first time. I'd say somebody made a good call to kill this design.



This shot looks pretty funky due to the detached fin, but it gives a perspective on the overall lines of the model. The fin would be repaired if/when the model was exhibited. From a museum perspective it doesn't make sense to expend finite resources to repair things that aren't about to go on exhibit. As a modeler that does not sit well, but I get it!

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  #94  
Old 07-22-2017, 09:40 PM
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Default MPC Minijet Demo

I was the chairman of the 1971 MIT Convention, and that is where I met Harry Stine for the first time. I was an MIT sophomore, not yet fully accustomed to running things and public speaking, and he was a mythic god-like figure to me.

The plan that Harry had developed for the mini-jet rollout involved press coverage at the MITCON launch, which was supposed to be out at a large flying field outside of Boston. We were planning to bus the MITCON participants to the launch, the normal practice for MITCONs.

The year before I arrived at MIT the convention had its cash box stolen and ended up with a big debt to MIT for convention expenses. I had held MIT off from collection when I ran the 1970 MITCON (and paid part of the debt from that event's profits), but shortly before the 1971 MITCON the school demanded full payment for the balance. I had to make a major cut in the MITCON 1971 expenses at the last minute, so I canceled the buses and shifted the launch to be on the MIT athletic field, not a large launch site.

When Harry arrived at MITCON and heard the news, he was absolutely furious at the disruption to his public relations plan. He got right in my face, and used not very pleasant language to express his displeasure. You can imagine how a 19-year-old college student felt about this introduction!

We did the launch on the MIT fields and it went fine.

Harry and I became good friends over the subsequent years of working together on rocketry safety issues and NAR business, and he even dedicated one of his sci-fi books to me due to my career Navy service. But I'll never forget how I met him!

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  #95  
Old 07-23-2017, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip Barber
I was the chairman of the 1971 MIT Convention, and that is where I met Harry Stine for the first time. I was an MIT sophomore, not yet fully accustomed to running things and public speaking, and he was a mythic god-like figure to me.

The plan that Harry had developed for the mini-jet rollout involved press coverage at the MITCON launch, which was supposed to be out at a large flying field outside of Boston. We were planning to bus the MITCON participants to the launch, the normal practice for MITCONs.

The year before I arrived at MIT the convention had its cash box stolen and ended up with a big debt to MIT for convention expenses. I had held MIT off from collection when I ran the 1970 MITCON (and paid part of the debt from that event's profits), but shortly before the 1971 MITCON the school demanded full payment for the balance. I had to make a major cut in the MITCON 1971 expenses at the last minute, so I canceled the buses and shifted the launch to be on the MIT athletic field, not a large launch site.

When Harry arrived at MITCON and heard the news, he was absolutely furious at the disruption to his public relations plan. He got right in my face, and used not very pleasant language to express his displeasure. You can imagine how a 19-year-old college student felt about this introduction!

We did the launch on the MIT fields and it went fine.

Harry and I became good friends over the subsequent years of working together on rocketry safety issues and NAR business, and he even dedicated one of his sci-fi books to me due to my career Navy service. But I'll never forget how I met him!

Trip Barber
NAR 4322


LIKE!

Doug

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  #96  
Old 07-23-2017, 09:15 AM
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Default Secrets of the Minijets Part II: The Delta Katt

As Trip's account suggests, Harry Stine was feeling the pressure of the Minijet debut. MITCON was one of the largest model rocket conventions in the country and a lot rode on the performance of the new MPC Minijet line in front of one of the most influential audiences in the hobby.

The six new MiniJet kits were Stine's babies, and none more than the Delta Katt. In the April 1971 of his Old Rocketeer column, Stine promised an article on the glider, and in the November issue of Model Rocketry the Delta Katt article would appear.

Stine's article goes into a lot of the technical thought behind the design. Terms like "vortex lift", a discussion of the dihedral on the canard, and the angles of the tip rudders all are bandied about. However, Stine never once acknowledges the real reason behind the overall design of the model.

Here's very clean example of a Delta Katt in the National Collection, carrying an inconspicuous "2" as its only marking.



Here's another view of Stine's Delta Katt.



So what was Stine's unstated design motivation behind Delta Katt? The answer is a completely different flying machine, that like its smaller B/G cousin, looks completely at home in the 21st century.

Here's an example of the unbuilt MPC kit in retail packaging.



Here's the wikipedia entry on the North American XB-70.



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  #97  
Old 07-23-2017, 10:31 AM
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Default Interesting history

This is valuable history not well known. Thank you for sharing this interesting behind the scenes of the hobby.
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  #98  
Old Yesterday, 11:33 PM
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FWIW and maybe this is already known, but the Heinlein Archives http://www.heinleinarchives.net/upload/index.php contains a lot of correspondence between RAH and GHS. Heinlein was outraged when Harry was fired from his job at White Sands and wrote to newspapers and everyone in authority he could find.

I have some of the pieces from the archive, but it's all copyright and for profit. Not sure that I could even find the bits I have now.
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  #99  
Old Today, 12:36 PM
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Default MPC Secrets: The Titan III

Over forty years ago, in April 1977 the Alberta Association of Rocket Clubs held what was at the time the largest model rocketry convention ever hosted in Canada. The three day event was held at the Calgary Centennial Planetarium in Calgary, Alberta and the guest of honor was G. Harry Stine.
At the time the Alberta government was flush with cash from oil revenues and was distributing money to community groups and associations like the AARC. Under the leadership of Roger Lufkin, the owner and founder of Canaroc Industries, the association had formed and held at least 5 member clubs which likely totaled somewhere around 200-250 rocketeers. AARCON 77 was the first rocketry convention hosted by the group.
Trip Barber earlier mentioned experiencing some nerves the first time he met the model rocketry demi-god known as G. Harry Stine at MITCON in 1971. In similar fashion, as I waited for Stine to clear Canadian Customs at the Calgary airport, there were a few Flat Cats catching thermals in my stomach.
Finally he appeared well attired in a blazer and tie carrying a suitcase and a smaller well-travelled looking attaché case. I was to learn that the smaller case held what even then were considered extremely rare artifacts. They would go on to become the crown jewels of the National Model and Sport Rocketry Collection.

Stine at AARCON '77 in April, 1977.



We exchanged greetings and Harry commented on how the flight’s cabin altitude had enhanced the effects of alcohol during the first class service he had enjoyed on the Western Airlines flight from Phoenix. I have no idea what that first class airline ticket cost in pre-Deregulation dollars, but it’s a good indication how well financed the Alberta association was at that time.

Some of the rare rocketry goodies that Stine brought northward to Calgary, Canada.



Stine hooks up his FlatCat at the AARCON '77 launch at Calgary in April, 1977.



Those first class drinks might also have made for a more candid and revealing conversation from Stine than might otherwise been volunteered. We made our way to my father’s shiny new blue Plymouth Fury sedan for the ride to Stine’s five star lodging at the Calgary Inn (now the Westin) in downtown Calgary.
On the drive to the hotel the conversation would reveal another MPC secret.

The MPC Titan III kit (www.spaceistheplace.ca)




Perhaps somebody here knows why the Air Force Titan III was selected as a subject for MPC’s first American scale rocket kit. Maybe the movie Marooned had something to do with its suspenseful Titan III launch. Here’s a link to the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 send-up of Marooned (MST3K Marooned ). If you go to the scene at the 55:00 minute mark you’ll find a scene with a funny crack most of us can appreciate. The object of the comment is no other than G. Harry Stine’s friend Martin (Marty to Harry) Caidin who authored the sci-fi novel version of Marooned. He's the guy in glasses, with lambchop sideburns and the "interesting" hat.

In our drive to the hotel I mentioned to Stine that the MPC Titan kit was one of my favorites.
His response was “it turned out pretty well-except its wrong. The strap-on diameters are way off; they’re too small”.

The parts from the MPC Titan III (scalemodelnews.com)



Today over forty years later I checked his statement out with a ruler. With reference to Alway's Rockets of the World, measurement of the MPC reissue of the Titan III confirms it. The kit’s core stage is pretty close to 1/100 scale’s 1.2 inches at 1.125.
The strap-on boosters are way out of scale. The kit boosters are 1 inch in diameter versus the 122.3 advertised in Rockets of the World. In real measure on the kit that’s about 1/8 of an inch, on the real beast it would be a difference of 22.3 inches. Oops.

-Folks: I'm headed to NARAM. Updates should return in a week or 10 days. If you're at NARAM please say hello. I'll be the guy sweating in the sweaty MOF tee shirt.-
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