Ye Olde Rocket Forum

Ye Olde Rocket Forum (http://www.oldrocketforum.com/index.php)
-   Ask the Doctor (http://www.oldrocketforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=22)
-   -   Aerobee Hi Model Missle Kit Information (http://www.oldrocketforum.com/showthread.php?t=16924)

Junkhead 11-04-2017 01:58 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 03:52 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 09:25 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 01:13 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 03:02 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 03:29 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 08:01 AM

2 Attachment(s)
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 04:49 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 10:05 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 03:19 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.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:39 PM.

Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.