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-   -   Aerobee Hi Model Missle Kit Information (http://www.oldrocketforum.com/showthread.php?t=16924)

Junkhead 11-04-2017 12:58 PM

Aerobee Hi Model Missle Kit Information
 
4 Attachment(s)
Hello all,

I recently acquired an Aerobee Hi Model Mossle Kit that appears to have all the original parts. I have no knowledge when it comes to rockets and was just curious about this particular missle kit as the only other one I can find is listed in the Smithsonian Air and space museum. Any feedback and information is appreciated regarding rarity, possible value, etc. As I said I think it has all the original parts, although the rubbber bands are deterorating and the balsa wood has broke in a few spots. Any other information I can provide to help as well please let me know and thank you all for your time.

Thanks,
JH

PaulK 11-04-2017 02:52 PM

There are experts here who can tell you more about the history of this kit, and what it might fetch, but this is definitely *very* valuable in the rocketry community, especially if it's complete. This was just about the first marketed kit in the hobby, and kits in the box are very rare.

Royatl 11-04-2017 08:25 PM

That *is* the very first model rocket kit on the market. It came in a few different versions; the one you have being the "Deluxe" model, with six motors, and launcher base and 36" launch rod. I think the one you have is from a later production run, with vinyl nose cone (first run came with maple wood nose cones). It would be interesting to see which motors you have (whether they were manufactured by Brown or by Estes -- the first run of motors was made by Brown)

Junkhead 11-05-2017 12:13 AM

Thank you for all the feedback so far. I appreciate all the information. The rocket pack says itís made by Model Missle Inc. I donít see a marking for Estes or Brown. I can get a better picture of it in the morning if that helps as well.

Royatl 11-05-2017 02:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkhead
Thank you for all the feedback so far. I appreciate all the information. The rocket pack says itís made by Model Missle Inc. I donít see a marking for Estes or Brown. I can get a better picture of it in the morning if that helps as well.


No, you wouldn't see either name on it. You'd have to open it and photograph one of the motors inside and we could tell from that. However, don't. Mainly because they are packed tightly with other stuff and it might be hard to get everything back in properly!

Royatl 11-05-2017 02:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkhead
Thank you for all the feedback so far. I appreciate all the information. The rocket pack says itís made by Model Missle Inc. I donít see a marking for Estes or Brown. I can get a better picture of it in the morning if that helps as well.


Brown Manufacturing was the company first approached by Model Missiles to make their motors for them. Brown's other company was/is Zenith Fireworks. Those early motors had some reliability problems so MMI contacted a local Denver contractor with fireworks ties, Vernon Estes, to be a second supplier. The machine Vern made to make model rocket motors, Mabel, was so successful that Vern spun a business off to sell motors and eventually rocket kits himself. That business became Estes Industries, now Estes Rockets. And Vern himself might be lurking here looking over these messages (Hi Vern! Feel free to correct anything I got wrong!).

Bill Stine, the son of the man who founded Model Missiles, also visits the forum from time to time and may be better positioned to give you some idea of the value of the kit. His company, Quest Aerospace, produced a 50th anniversary reproduction of the Aerobee Hi kit nearly ten years ago.

A kit like this is pretty rare, though I have no idea how many were ultimately produced. I've seen Aerobee Hi kits go for a few hundred dollars on eBay depending on condition, but it also depends on who's watching eBay at the time it goes up! You might get better offers just from having shown it here.

Junkhead 11-05-2017 07:01 AM

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Well I carefully was able to get a couple more pictures to help determine itís origin. I was able to find a listing for one on eBay that sold ($400) without the motors, as it appears to be against their policy to sell and ship them. I love hearing the history on it and all this information helps me be prepared if I ever find another, altougb that seems like it will be rare lol. I am genuinely interested in itís history and gravitate towards all things vintage, so thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Royatl 11-05-2017 03:49 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkhead
Well I carefully was able to get a couple more pictures to help determine itís origin. I was able to find a listing for one on eBay that sold ($400) without the motors, as it appears to be against their policy to sell and ship them. I love hearing the history on it and all this information helps me be prepared if I ever find another, altougb that seems like it will be rare lol. I am genuinely interested in itís history and gravitate towards all things vintage, so thanks for sharing your knowledge.



Yes, those are the original Brown Manufacturing motors. I've attached a photo of my box of motors, with Estes manufactured motors, along with a modern Estes motor (with the green ink).

Also attached is a photo of the contents of Quest's reproduction kit from 2008. The built model in front is from a company called Semroc.

Junkhead 11-06-2017 09:05 AM

Well good to know, thanks. I think I'd like to sell it, just curious as to shipping the rocket motors through the USPS and if I didnt how much that would affect the value. The one I saw that sold on ebay for $400 didnt include the motors. Imagine they are not easy to ship.

Royatl 11-06-2017 02:19 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkhead
Well good to know, thanks. I think I'd like to sell it, just curious as to shipping the rocket motors through the USPS and if I didnt how much that would affect the value. The one I saw that sold on ebay for $400 didnt include the motors. Imagine they are not easy to ship.


Basically if you're not a hobby shop or distributor who has filled out the paperwork, or you are shipping to one of those (they have to send you an exemption form to put on the package) you can't do it.

Of course, that doesn't stop people from doing it, but maximum penalties if you're caught are $55-75K. That said, I don't know any examples of that happening with casual shipping, like grandparents shipping an old Estes starter set (which usually included three motors) to grandkids for Christmas. Though for the past ten years or so, Estes no longer puts motors in their starter sets for just that reason.

It's a shame, because over 60 years, they've been proven quite safe.

$400 for the kit only is a good price. I remember one going many years ago for much higher, though it was in amazing condition. If I were still wanting to collect, I'd make an offer.

I bought the box of Estes-made Rock-a-Chutes about 15 years ago for $60, and I would have paid a little bit more if they had been Browns.

jetlag 11-06-2017 04:18 PM

I would think this kit could fetch $1000 or more, obviously for a serious collector. Such as it is, I would not hesitate to ship it with the motors, et al.
I have bought a ton of motors over the years, and they are nearly always shipped thru USPS without any issues whatsoever.
It's your choice, though, for sure.
Look at eBay and see all the motors for sale at 'regular' shipping prices, and you'll see what I mean.
Allen

Junkhead 11-06-2017 04:44 PM

Thanks for the reply and info Allen! Shipping the motors seems simple enough but Iím just not sure about it. Itís good to get an idea of what people value it at so I can make a better decision on all of it. It seems like such a rare piece itís been hard to gauge a few things. Iíve learned so much about rocket history in the past few weeks itís incredible. Seems like a great community here and I appreciate the help so far.

blackshire 11-08-2017 04:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkhead
Thanks for the reply and info Allen! Shipping the motors seems simple enough but Iím just not sure about it. Itís good to get an idea of what people value it at so I can make a better decision on all of it. It seems like such a rare piece itís been hard to gauge a few things. Iíve learned so much about rocket history in the past few weeks itís incredible. Seems like a great community here and I appreciate the help so far.
If you ever come across an MMI Arcon (see: http://rocketshoppe.com/forums/atta...tachmentid=9654 and http://rocketshoppe.com/forums/show...19&page=1&pp=10 ), their second (and last, I think) kit, they too are quite valuable.

Junkhead 11-08-2017 05:23 AM

I will definitely keep me eye out. Probably wonít pass on another rocket in my lifetime. Although as rare as this seems Iíll probably never find another one again. But it helps a lot I actually know what I am looking for now. With that being said I would like to sell this kit if anyone knows a serious collector.

blackshire 11-08-2017 05:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkhead
I will definitely keep me eye out. Probably wonít pass on another rocket in my lifetime. Although as rare as this seems Iíll probably never find another one again. But it helps a lot I actually know what I am looking for now. With that being said I would like to sell this kit if anyone knows a serious collector.
I'll be the first to say, sadly, that your odds of coming across an MMI Arcon are quite low; but then again, original MMI Aerobee-Hi kits (especially that "long-box" Deluxe one, with the launch pad and motors) are as rare as--as the Romans said--"when a mule foals," yet you found one!

Junkhead 11-10-2017 05:23 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackshire
I'll be the first to say, sadly, that your odds of coming across an MMI Arcon are quite low; but then again, original MMI Aerobee-Hi kits (especially that "long-box" Deluxe one, with the launch pad and motors) are as rare as--as the Romans said--"when a mule foals," yet you found one!


Now that I know what I am looking at and looking for I am good to go. This needs to go to a good home, if anyone is interested feel free to PM me and see if we can work something out!

Junkhead 11-12-2017 12:52 PM

Any collectors interested I was hoping for $600-$750 if youíd like to make an offer.

Royatl 11-12-2017 02:32 PM

I really wish I could. That's been my Holy Grail all this time (came >< this close to winning a MMI Arcon at a NAR auction 12 years ago), but events of the past year have put the kibosh on my collecting. I've put the word out on the NAR and Rocketry Show Facebook groups.

BobC 11-13-2017 10:09 AM

The long box MMI Aerobee Hi kit was the first one that was introduced. The idea was to provide a person with everything they needed to launch a model rocket, including the launch pad and launch rod. Because everything was done by mail order at the time, MMI found out that these long kits created a big problem when they were delivered. Because they didn't fit in conventional mailboxes, the postman would simply fold the box is half and stuff them into the box. This resulted in MMI removing the launch rod and making a much shorter kit.

blackshire 11-14-2017 12:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobC
The long box MMI Aerobee Hi kit was the first one that was introduced. The idea was to provide a person with everything they needed to launch a model rocket, including the launch pad and launch rod. Because everything was done by mail order at the time, MMI found out that these long kits created a big problem when they were delivered. Because they didn't fit in conventional mailboxes, the postman would simply fold the box is half and stuff them into the box. This resulted in MMI removing the launch rod and making a much shorter kit.
I wonder if this--or the memory of it, to Vern Estes and Leroy Piester--prompted Estes and Centuri to use two-piece 1/8" (and later, also 3/16" Maxi-Rods) launch rods? (Before Maxi-Rods came along, a third piece could also [optionally] be added to the two-piece 1/8" rods, for a total length of 53"). Also, the shorter but wider and deeper (yet possibly larger-volume than the long MMI boxes) starter set "range boxes" that Centuri and Estes used might possibly have been cheaper to mail to mail-order customers (some postal classes cost more for unusually-sized and/or unusually-shaped parcels, and may have back then as well).

Junkhead 11-28-2017 12:31 PM

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who responded and helped me out. I have sold the rocket and it is now in the care of its new owner. I appreciate the abundance of information and look forward to learning more about the history of the hobby. Cheers!

blackshire 11-28-2017 01:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkhead
Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who responded and helped me out. I have sold the rocket and it is now in the care of its new owner. I appreciate the abundance of information and look forward to learning more about the history of the hobby. Cheers!
Wonderful--you were compensated, and the very rare rocket outfit found a "preserving, deserving" new owner! While I was far from the only one who helped you (or provided the most help), I feel--as Snoopy once thought to himself after digging up Linus' blanket after Lucy had buried it, for which Linus was overjoyed--"Every now and then I feel that my existence is justified." :-)

Junkhead 11-29-2017 08:59 AM

Indeed. I am a collector of the collectibles so to speak however as a collector I know how quickly things can turn into hoarding. So I am glad to have found a much more deserving and preserving home as you say. Again thanks to all. Cheers.

Ltvscout 11-29-2017 11:17 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkhead
Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who responded and helped me out. I have sold the rocket and it is now in the care of its new owner. I appreciate the abundance of information and look forward to learning more about the history of the hobby. Cheers!

Just curious. Did you sell it to one of the members here?


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