Thursday, December 22, 2016

Quest Motors Are Dead - Long Live Quest Motors

Tonight, we recorded another episode of The Rocketry Show podcast with AeroTech General Manager Charles Savoie.

There's some fascinating news coming forward from Quest Aerospace.

As some long time rocketeers know, it has been hard the last couple years to get hold of Quest model rocket motors, the only other black powder motor comparable to Estes engines available in North America.



I have an update.

Quest will no longer be making black powder motors. This is unfortunate, especially for rocketeers who liked the slightly lower thrust but longer burn as compared to Estes motors, but things became complicated as Quest is shifting motor manufacture back to the United States from China.

However... There will be a brand new line of Quest model rocket motors - composite motors.

I promised not to give too many details, other than that Quest, now owned by AeroTech, will make motors for model rockets using ammonium perchlorate composite propellant, the same propellant used in high power rockets (and the Space Shuttle solid rocket boosters), but in smaller form.


More info will be released by AeroTech at NARCON 2017. I hope to be there to do some Rocketry Show coverage.

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10 comments:

  1. Ooh! I'd love to see a composite MicroMaxx motor!!

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    1. MicroMaxx motors are composite motors already AFAIK.

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    2. I meant to reply to this a while ago, but it slipped my mind.

      MicroMaxx are black powder motors. What Charles told us is that they will remain so, because it would be quite difficult to get a composite of that size to light reliably.

      So, sadly, Sascha, you'll have to keep flying your MMX rockets on BP for now. Maybe you could build a little piston launcher for them.

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  2. I'd love a slightly more "beefer" 18mm A motor for my 4th graders!

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  3. Wow...love that they will be making motors here in the U.S.

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  4. The low power composites are not exactly news, Gary Rosenfield was talking about this at NARCON last February. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LUR_oWEHxA . Cessation of black powder motors was not definite then, though.

    What about MMX motors?

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  5. Yes, the motors are still undergoing the certification phase. The A3 motors have already passed certification, and were on display at NARCON. The others will be officially announced when they pass.

    The motors will be released for sale when all motors have passed the test.

    According to Gary Rosenfield of AeroTech, these are the hardest motors he's ever attempted to release - much tougher than larger, HPR composite motors. Getting a reliable package of composite propellant in such a small amount is apparently tricky.

    But having composite propellant in a standard 18mm model rocket motor casing *may* mean that we in the U.S. will have easy access to something like those little Klima D motors. Stay tuned!

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