E9 demise

There’s been news recently about Estes, like that a new owner will be buying it from bankrupt Hobbico, but also that they’re discontinuing the C11 and E9 motors. Well hm.

I’ve seen some comments like this: “the E9 was noted for its unpredictability – you never knew whether the rocket was going to have a flawless flight or disappear in a fiery cato, with pieces flying everywhere” (Bill Cooke) I dunno, I always had the impression the E9s were a lot more reliable than the E12s. Then again, looking at my records, it appears I’ve never flown an E12. I do have 13 E9 flights recorded. One of them ― the third ― was a cato. Which I think I chalked up (purely speculatively, of course) to mishandling at Hobby Lobby, and flew only AC Supply E9s thereafter. The other twelve flights were great.

The C11s I never really caught on to. It’s like my head has a blind spot between C6 and D12. I’ve used the C11 satisfactorily in my Xarconian Cruiser, which I redshifted to 24 mm, and my Fat Boy clone, also built 24 mm.

I’ve got a handful of each left. It’ll be interesting to see whether Estes does anything to fill out the engine list between C6 and E15.




2 thoughts on “E9 demise

  1. I never flew an E12, but whenever I brought a rocket to the pad with an E9, it was jeered heavily, and with good reason. I’m guessing I had to be up near 10 CATOs with them.

  2. Funny, I’ve burned a lot of E9’s with no problems. I loved to burn two E9-Ps and two E9-8s in a scratch made Super Ranger; always a crowd pleaser. I still have one lonely E9-P which will get used this summer sometime.

    But then I didn’t know the E15s were “infamous” until after they were unavailable. My Mean Machine looked pretty small at apogee on one of those, and I flew it a lot.

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