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Estes Industries is a model rocket company that was started in Denver, Colorado, USA. The company was the first to mass-produce model rocket engines with consistent and reliable performance.

History

Estes Industries was founded by Vernon Estes in 1958; in 1961, the company moved to a 77-acre tract of land on the outskirts of Penrose, Colorado. Rapid growth followed and soon Penrose became known as the "Model Rocket Capital of the World". In 1969, Vernon sold the company to the Damon Corporation of Needham, a company which also purchased a number of other hobby companies including a smaller competitor of Estes, Centuri Engineering of Phoenix, Arizona. Damon merged the two companies under the name Centuri Engineering. The Penrose entity continued doing business as Estes Industries. Centuri Engineering model rocket products continued to be developed, marketed and sold from the Centuri offices in Phoenix as well, although the actual manufacturing of Centuri products was soon moved to the Estes facility in Penrose. Sales of Centuri model rocket products were never as successful as Estes brand products and the Centuri Engineering offices in Phoenix were finally closed and the Centuri product line was discontinued in 1983.

Following a hostile takeover of the Damon Corporation in 1989, Estes Industries was divested and became part of Hobby Products. The business name of the company was shortened to Centuri Corporation. In 1996, Hobby Products acquired the assets of Cox Products of Corona, California, a company involved with the design and manufacture of model airplanes and glow-fuel model airplane engines. Cox's assets were moved to the Estes facility. In 2002, the combined company was sold again and the company's name was changed to Estes-Cox Corp.

On August 30, 2002, Barry Tunick, who had been the Chief Executive Officer since 1991, acquired Estes-Cox Corporation from the private equity fund, TCW Capital, for the sum of $15 million. On January 15, 2010, Estes-Cox was acquired by Hobbico, Inc.[1] On January 10, 2018, Hobbico filed for bankruptcy protection under the auspices of the United States Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.[2] As a result of the bankruptcy, Estes-Cox was sold to Estes Industries LLC on April 12, 2018.[3]

Accomplishments

Mabel

Vern Estes created "Mabel".[4] "Mabel" was a machine designed to safely and inexpensively manufacture model rocket engines for Model Missiles Incorporated, primarily using compressed air for machine operations, effectively eliminating the risk of electrical sparks inadvertently igniting rocket propellant. Mabel was capable of producing a completed model rocket engine every 5-1/2 seconds. The operation began with an engine casing tube being loaded onto a rotating table. The table then advances through multiple stations where the nozzle, propellant, delay and ejection components are added. A paper end cap is then cut from a roll of heavy paper tape and inserted to retain the loose ejection charge. The completed engine is then ejected from the table, sent through the printer and dropped into the finished engine box below.[5]

Indoor launch of model rockets in Astrodome

Along with several smaller rockets, Estes sponsored an indoor launch of a model of a Saturn V at halftime of the BluebonnetBowl in the Houston Astrodome on December 31, 1969[6][7]

Estes rockets

Vernon Estes in 1958; in 1961, the company moved to a 77-acre tract of land on the outskirts of Penrose, Colorado. Rapid growth followed and soon Penrose became known as the "Model Rocket Capital of the World". In 1969, Vernon sold the company to the Damon Corporation of Needham, a company which also purchased a number of other hobby companies including a smaller competitor of Estes, Centuri Engineering of Phoenix, Arizona. Damon merged the two companies under the name Centuri Engineering. The Penrose entity continued doing business as Estes Industries. Centuri Engineering model rocket products continued to be developed, marketed and sold from the Centuri offices in Phoenix as well, although the actual manufacturing of Centuri products was soon moved to the Estes facility in Penrose. Sales of Centuri model rocket products were never as successful as Estes brand products and the Centuri Engineering offices in Phoenix were finally closed and the Centuri product line was discontinued in 1983.

Following a hostile takeover of the Damon Corporation in 1989, Estes Industries was divested and became part of Hobby Products. The business name of the company was shortened to Centuri Corporation. In 1996, Hobby Products acquired the assets of Cox Products of Corona, California, a company involved with the design and manufacture of model airplanes and glow-fuel model airplane engines. Cox's assets were moved to the Estes facility. In 2002, the combined company was sold again and the company's name was changed to Estes-Cox Corp.

On August 30, 2002, Barry Tunick, who had been the Chief Executive Officer since 1991, acquired Estes-Cox Corporation from the private equity fund, TCW Capital, for the sum of $15 million. On January 15, 2010, Estes-Cox was acquired by Hobbico, Inc.[1] On January 10, 2018, Hobbico filed for bankruptcy protection under the auspices of the United States Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.[2] As a result of the bankruptcy, Estes-Cox was sold to Estes Industries LLC on April 12, 2018.[3]

Accomplishments

Mabel

Vern Estes created "Mabel".[4] "Mabel" was a machine designed to safely and inexpensively manufacture model rocket engines for Following a hostile takeover of the Damon Corporation in 1989, Estes Industries was divested and became part of Hobby Products. The business name of the company was shortened to Centuri Corporation. In 1996, Hobby Products acquired the assets of Cox Products of Corona, California, a company involved with the design and manufacture of model airplanes and glow-fuel model airplane engines. Cox's assets were moved to the Estes facility. In 2002, the combined company was sold again and the company's name was changed to Estes-Cox Corp.

On August 30, 2002, Barry Tunick, who had been the Chief Executive Officer since 1991, acquired Estes-Cox Corporation from the private equity fund, TCW Capital, for the sum of $15 million. On January 15, 2010, Estes-Cox was acquired by Hobbico, Inc.[1] On January 10, 2018, Hobbico filed for bankruptcy protection under the auspices of the United States Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.[2] As a result of the bankruptcy, Estes-Cox was sold to Estes Industries LLC on April 12, 2018.[3]

Vern Estes created "Mabel".[4] "Mabel" was a machine designed to safely and inexpensively manufacture model rocket engines for Model Missiles Incorporated, primarily using compressed air for machine operations, effectively eliminating the risk of electrical sparks inadvertently igniting rocket propellant. Mabel was capable of producing a completed model rocket engine every 5-1/2 seconds. The operation began with an engine casing tube being loaded onto a rotating table. The table then advances through multiple stations where the nozzle, propellant, delay and ejection components are added. A paper end cap is then cut from a roll of heavy paper tape and inserted to retain the loose ejection charge. The completed engine is then ejected from the table, sent through the printer and dropped into the finished engine box below.[5]

Indoor launch of model rockets in Astrodome

Along with several smaller rockets, Estes sponsored an indoor launch of a model of a Saturn V at halftime of the BluebonnetBowl

Along with several smaller rockets, Estes sponsored an indoor launch of a model of a Saturn V at halftime of the BluebonnetBowl in the Houston Astrodome on December 31, 1969[6][7]

Estes rockets