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Old 06-05-2018, 02:32 PM
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Default Who invented the Estes 3-fold shock cord mount?

Anybody have any idea how the 3-fold shock cord mount came to be?

Seems so obvious now that I've done it a million times but who thought it up, when was it first used?

Steve
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:05 PM
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Steve,

In researching the history of the Astron Alpha for the 50th celebration last year, I looked at lots of old catalogs, instruction sets, and spent an afternoon with Bill Simon, the designer of the Alpha (and a bunch of other memorable models), at his home.

From that work I came to the conclusion that the Alpha, which first appeared in the December 1965 MRN but first appeared in the Estes catalog in 1967, was the first model to actually use the tri-fold shock cord mount AND the metal quick change engine hook as such.

Bill attributed the tri-fold mount itself to Gene Street.
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:26 PM
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Thanks, Bernard! Very interesting.
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Old 06-05-2018, 06:04 PM
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Steve,

Your question got me to wondering myself. I just went though back issues of MRN here on YORP and the trifold shock cord mount is detailed in the same issue that also marks the first appearance of the Alpha. The starter set with the Alpha is on page 3, the shock cord mount in the "Idea Box" on page 5: http://www.oldrocketplans.com/mrn/m...3/MRN_V5_N3.pdf

This particular issue has credits of Publisher - Vern Estes and Editor - Bill Simon. Some earlier and later issues name Gene Street the illustrator. That's at least circumstantial corroboration for what Bill Simon told me about the mount.

Here are the illustrations from MRN V5 #3 and the first version of the Alpha instructions. Pretty durn similar.
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Last edited by BEC : 06-05-2018 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 06-05-2018, 06:22 PM
BARGeezer BARGeezer is offline
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Thank goodness for the invention of the tri-fold shock cord mount. I remember the days of my youth when the only method in popular use was a double slit in the body tube, then feeding the rubber or elastic cord through and knotting the end. Quite unsightly.
However, most modelers nowdays use a kevlar leader tied to the motor tube. Yet Estes still clings to the tri-fold mount. I haven't seen a single Estes kit that uses kevlar. Have you? Time for Estes to come into the 21st century, methinks.
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Old 06-05-2018, 06:24 PM
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No, I haven't seem them use it. I have been using Kevlar with the tri-fold with good results - usually putting a foot or two of Kevlar in the tri-fold and then tying the kit-supplied shock cord to that.
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:35 PM
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The knowledge in this place is staggering. Just wonderful.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbomb Turk
The knowledge in this place is staggering. Just wonderful.
Agreed! Wonderful research, Bernard.
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BARGeezer
However, most modelers nowdays use a kevlar leader tied to the motor tube. Yet Estes still clings to the tri-fold mount.

Why fix what isn't broken? I've never had a tri-fold mount fail. I really disliked having them in BT-20 sized tubes when I was a kid, because they took up precious space. I mostly use a kevlar leader in rockets I build these days, and I still sometimes use the trusty tri-fold. It's a tried and true shock cord mount.

Thanks Gene!
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Old 06-06-2018, 12:56 PM
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Wow. Geeky question. Well researched answer. Good read. Anybody that posts to this thread is obsessed with model rocketry.
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