Monday, December 19, 2016

John Boren, Estes Designer

Estes designer John Boren. Image from his website.

I'm working on the last installment of my "Weight of Paint" series. Longtime blog readers won't be surprised - it's a tad long. This one is longer than most, because I'd like to wrap up the series and move on to another subject. On top of that, I had to delete an entire section I'd written, because I realized it was all wrong.

In the mean time, if you haven't already, check out the latest episode of The Rocketry Show podcast. This is a good one. We interview John Boren, who is the designer at Estes Industries.

We often discuss high power and advanced rocketry topics on The Rocketry Show. As The Rocket N00b, I was excited to talk to someone who works in low and mid power model rocketry, and especially someone who works for Estes.

Any new kit that has come out in the last six years was designed and tested by John. Many re-releases were updated or redesigned by John. It's a fun, fascinating interview, with some behind-the-scenes information about the largest model rocket company in the world.

John kept chatting with us for a good hour and a half after we stopped recording. He told us lots of great stuff, and I could have listened to him for hours - he was certainly willing to keep chatting with us.

Since I had to get up early the next morning, I had to say goodbye. But it was a great interview, and John followed up with us, sending us photos of some of his own scratch built rockets.

* * *

Speaking of Estes, I'm sad to say that it seems the Mini Max, the downscale version of Der Red Max, is now out of production. It's one of the rockets which have recently been drastically reduced in price on their Specials page. I was considering getting one, but I waited too long, and missed out.

The rocket is still available from a number of online model rocket vendors, so you can still get one. But not nearly as cheap as the Estes markdown price.

If you see a drastically-reduced rocket you like on Estes, buy it - quickly. It may soon be gone forever.

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  1. What are the dimensions of this mini max rocket? Height? size of motor? Fin spread? It would help me guage the size of this thing called "mini".

    1. I'm not sure of the exact dimensions, but I think the body tube is a BT-50, about 24.8 mm or 0.976 inch diameter. I don't know the length or fin span, but it's meant to take the 13mm diameter mini motors. It's not tiny, but pretty small. I'm guessing maybe 8 inches tall.

      The original Der Red Max is BT-60 based, 1.637 inch diameter.