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  #1  
Old 09-19-2020, 10:41 AM
dholvrsn dholvrsn is offline
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Default History of Quest?

Is there a thread already about it?
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  #2  
Old 09-19-2020, 01:26 PM
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I was present at the 'birth' of Quest but I did not know it at the time.

In 1988 I was in Phoenix working at Enertek. Bill Stine was my boss.

One day Bill mentioned to Scott Branche and myself that he and his father, G. Harry Stine, were trying to locate the MPC plastic molds from their rocket kit line along with the motor making machines.

Bill told Scott and I not to talk about it.

G.Harry flew back east to the National Archives in order to research the location of the MPC equipment and did plenty of old-fashion shoe-leather investigating.

Eventually, the MPC plastic molds were found in a climate controlled warehouse in either Wisconsin or Michigan, I forget which. The molds were in good shape and would only need some polishing to be usable again.

The MPC motor making machines were also located but Bill was too late as FSI had found them the week before and bought them. These machines were stored in a barn and would need work to become operational again.

By this time Enertek was in the midst of closing down and Bill ended up accepting a job with MRC to refresh their rocket line. This would become the Concept II products.

In 1990 or 1991, when I was working at AeroTech, the NFPA held their meeting in Las Vegas.

The group was having a demonstration out at EL Dorardo Dry Lake (Future site of NARAM-34).
The NFPA group carpooled out to the Dry Lake and I tagged along. I rode with Bill and Dane Boles. By then Bill's contract with MRC had ended.

As we drove out to the lakebed, Bill told Dane that he was working on 'something' but wanted to talk to him alone at some point, indicating that I was in the same car.

That 'something' turned out to be Quest Aerospace.

There's much more to the story but it will have to wait until I have time to post about it.
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Old 09-19-2020, 02:23 PM
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Thatís a wonderful story! We wonít tell anyone that you squealed.

Oh, wait......
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Old 09-19-2020, 04:24 PM
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Bob,

Cool story! Anxiously awaiting Chapter 2.
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Old 09-20-2020, 12:03 PM
rocket.aero rocket.aero is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Initiator001
G.Harry flew back east to the National Archives in order to research the location of the MPC equipment and did plenty of old-fashion shoe-leather investigating.

Eventually, the MPC plastic molds were found in a climate controlled warehouse in either Wisconsin or Michigan, I forget which. The molds were in good shape and would only need some polishing to be usable again.


These documents are still contained in the G. Harry archives at the NASM Udvar-Hazy center in Virginia. They are a fascinating read, as you can see the enthusiasm that MPC has in building a new product line, and they want Harry advising on the market and future products. Harry, needless to say, is all in on this opportunity. The correspondence begins to sour as MPC realizes that the model rocket market is not producing the returns expected. MPC stops responding to Harry's correspondence, and eventually the line is discontinued.

The story picks up again as Myke Bergenske, the person running the product line at MPC, secures the rights, molds, and motor-making machines and resurrects the line as AVI (the acronym decoding escapes me at this time). Harry was again brought on as an adviser.

Everything was moved to a ricketry building (a large farm shed?) in Wisconsin, I believe. The AVI experience reflected in Harry's files is much the same as MPC; big plans, but the market fails to respond. It has been several years since I read through the documents and the details are a bit hazy, but those are the broad strokes.

The Stine archives at NASM are fascinating, BTW. I've spent 10-15 days there over the years, and have barely scratched the surface.

James
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Old 09-20-2020, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocket.aero

The story picks up again as Myke Bergenske, the person running the product line at MPC, secures the rights, molds, and motor-making machines and resurrects the line as AVI (the acronym decoding escapes me at this time).


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Old 09-20-2020, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocket.aero
These documents are still contained in the G. Harry archives at the NASM Udvar-Hazy center in Virginia. They are a fascinating read, as you can see the enthusiasm that MPC has in building a new product line, and they want Harry advising on the market and future products. Harry, needless to say, is all in on this opportunity. The correspondence begins to sour as MPC realizes that the model rocket market is not producing the returns expected. MPC stops responding to Harry's correspondence, and eventually the line is discontinued.

The story picks up again as Myke Bergenske, the person running the product line at MPC, secures the rights, molds, and motor-making machines and resurrects the line as AVI (the acronym decoding escapes me at this time). Harry was again brought on as an adviser.

Everything was moved to a ricketry building (a large farm shed?) in Wisconsin, I believe. The AVI experience reflected in Harry's files is much the same as MPC; big plans, but the market fails to respond. It has been several years since I read through the documents and the details are a bit hazy, but those are the broad strokes.

The Stine archives at NASM are fascinating, BTW. I've spent 10-15 days there over the years, and have barely scratched the surface.

James


James,

Were the Stine archives at the NASM moved to the Museum of Flight?
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Old 09-20-2020, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocket.aero
These documents are still contained in the G. Harry archives at the NASM Udvar-Hazy center in Virginia. They are a fascinating read, as you can see the enthusiasm that MPC has in building a new product line, and they want Harry advising on the market and future products. Harry, needless to say, is all in on this opportunity. The correspondence begins to sour as MPC realizes that the model rocket market is not producing the returns expected. MPC stops responding to Harry's correspondence, and eventually the line is discontinued.

The story picks up again as Myke Bergenske, the person running the product line at MPC, secures the rights, molds, and motor-making machines and resurrects the line as AVI (the acronym decoding escapes me at this time). Harry was again brought on as an adviser.

Everything was moved to a ricketry building (a large farm shed?) in Wisconsin, I believe. The AVI experience reflected in Harry's files is much the same as MPC; big plans, but the market fails to respond. It has been several years since I read through the documents and the details are a bit hazy, but those are the broad strokes.

The Stine archives at NASM are fascinating, BTW. I've spent 10-15 days there over the years, and have barely scratched the surface.


James


We are so fortunate that one of the founders of our hobby (G. Harry Stine) took the time to document and write about the history of model rocketry. His writings have brought the beginnings of our hobby to an audience that can appreciate his efforts.

I try to write about the history of the hobby but I am not the wordsmith that G. Harry was.
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:10 PM
rocket.aero rocket.aero is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Initiator001
James,

Were the Stine archives at the NASM moved to the Museum of Flight?


No, these are a separate set of documents and artifacts that were donated to NASM in 1973. As near as I can tell, Harry went through his files at that point and donated what he thought he would not need again. He appears to have retained some critical formative documents, such as his correspondence with Orville Carlisle. He also appears to have retained the manuscripts from his fiction and non-fiction writing.

There are 13 (or perhaps 14?) archival boxes at NASM, consisting primarily of correspondence. Harry seems to have been pretty conscientious about making a carbon copy of everything he typed.

James
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:14 PM
rocket.aero rocket.aero is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Initiator001
We are so fortunate that one of the founders of our hobby (G. Harry Stine) took the time to document and write about the history of model rocketry. His writings have brought the beginnings of our hobby to an audience that can appreciate his efforts.

I try to write about the history of the hobby but I am not the wordsmith that G. Harry was.


To be clear, the NASM Stine holdings are a raw document dump, and are not organized in any useful manner. In order to use them, one must have a general working knowledge of the early history of our hobby, including background info on the major players and companies. Plowing through the documents requires a fair amount of interpretation and dot-connecting.

I suspect that the MoF archives will be much the same, albeit slightly better organized and more voluminous.

James
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