The opposite is true. Most people PREFER to pay more for instant
But TRA decertifies SU motors and NAR S&T refuses to say if motors can
be submitted sans ATF permits.
Hence no go.
Even WITH shipping approvals.
I'm not sure what the issue with SU is. Entry level production tooling for
only a couple of medium volume calibers and sizes is $50~80K assuming you
already have propellant manufacturing infrastructure, licensing and
approvals. Product liability insurance is cheap. For $5 million in coverage,
premiums range from as low as $50K to 130K per year depending on your
options and assuming no previous claims. Even if you add a fully burdened
overhead rate of $150~250 (rent/mortgage, electric, HVAC, inventory, auto,
insurance, admin, taxes, etc, etc.) per hour it's a cash cow. Throw in a few
grand for approval, marketing and packaging and you're set to go. I'm at a
total loss why there is a shortage of SU product and manufacturers in such a
Anthony J. Cesaroni (no MBA)
Cesaroni Technology/Cesaroni Aerospace
(905) 887-2370 x222 Toronto
(410) 571-8292 Annapolis
Yeah, sure, that's why Ellis Mountain recently got several SU motors
certified. Sure shows that the organizations don't want 'em!
Oh, you mean the "approvals" that caused you to flagrantly mislabel a
shipment and be slapped with $40K in fines? Yup, sure sounds like you
thought those approvals were valid!
Sometimes that's true, but most of the time people generally prefer the low
cost of reloads over the higher cost of single-use. When reloads became
available, people gradually stopped buying single-use motors. The only thing
that ever slowed the change from single-use to reloads was the high initial
cost of the cases.
No, they decertified YOUR motors. AT still has certified single-use motors, and
now Ellis has certified single-use motors too.
So submit some and find out.
When did you get shipping approvals?
No. Almost always.
No they are COMPELLED to use them by a convoluted club and vendor
I was in the room. I saw WHY.
No it didn't, but it did increase the commitment once made.
SU motors, mostly.
Is that a rhetorical question and bait?
I was in the room.
Readers may have misunderstood what I meant by "the nature of the
beast". Rockets are small high performance vehicles that too often go
whoosh and are never seen again. By their very nature they are
expendable. Sometimes the motor is the most expensive component.
Clustering is good for a variety of reasons, but few people have
enough RMS cases to cluster. If motor manufactures decline to make
suitable SU motors available, they should at least be willing to share
the financial burden of lost cases as a cost of doing business.
I have no objection to the "hassle" of RMS assembly and cleaning.
Indeed, this just makes flying more interactive and fun.
Now I admit that if you fly a lot of motors of the same size in
relatively low performing models in wide open flying sites, RMS motor
reloads can save you a lot of money. However, you are probably
restricting your rocketry activity because you are hobbled by RMS, and
are unwilling to risk losing RMS cases.
Hmmm.... I've used big Aerotech reloads and they were fine, but
if similar SU were as readily available I'd prefer them... anything
much larger than H or maybe I, my consumption tends to be in single
digits per type, and buying a case just to fly a certain size motor
once or twice isn't such a good investment.
(I will admit that I've got my share of use out of the 29mm hardware.)
So why do the TRA board folks like reloads better?
No, I was addressing you. You proposed a business model that is
unique in such a niche market as rocketry. I thought you had some
insight into market dynamics and supply/demand curves that existing
manufacturers did not.
I would venture to guess that prices are where they are because of
the supply/demand curve. If the price went much higher, demand
would go down. If the market is unwilling to pay existing prices,
supply is cut because profit margins are too thin.
AR/EX only looks less expensive because you are trading off YOUR
time for someone else's. You don't factor in the cost of lost
opportunity (what you could do with the time if you weren't making
propellant). In a hobby, that's a perfectly acceptable approach to
take. But for the same reason people will pay over $3 for a cup of
coffee, people will pay for the convenience of aarstInpre-made
propellant. Additionally, some people just don't have the
capability (space, time, or knowledge). Look at the ammunition
market. Why doesn't everyone reload their own rounds?