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Goonybird Rockets: “Zaniest Flying Freaks in the Universe” Ed Chess & Mark Bundick Fox Valley Rocketeers Feb 7, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Goonybird Rockets: “Zaniest Flying Freaks in the Universe” Ed Chess & Mark Bundick Fox Valley Rocketeers Feb 7, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Goonybird Rockets: “Zaniest Flying Freaks in the Universe” Ed Chess & Mark Bundick Fox Valley Rocketeers Feb 7, 2009

2 Goonybird Background GOONYBIRDS were first released in 1973 by Estes Industries. They were described as the "Zaniest flying freaks in the universe". The idea was to appeal to kids, and they featured wacky designs. Wayne Kellner and Mike Dorffler have been attributed as the primary creators of the line that was in production only two years. Some love them, others hate them, but the GOONYBIRDS are a true oddity of model rocket history.

3 The Original Goonybirds Star Snoop Cloud Hopper Galaxy Guppy Zoom Broom Missile Toe Sky Shriek All six kits were about 8” long and featured a plastic nose cone, die-cut fins, quick-change mini- engine mount, parachute recovery, stick-on decals, and a unique, goofy design.

4 Pages from 1973 Catalog

5 Star Snoop

6 Cloud Hopper

7 Galaxy Guppy

8 Zoom Broom

9 Missile Toe

10 Sky Shriek

11 Fred Talasco Loves Goonybirds! Fred loved Goonybirds as a kid, but his Dad wouldn’t let him own them. Thus the lifelong fascination started. Had the idea of finishing a Baby Bertha as a Goblin, and the resulting look spawned more ideas for “squat, mutated versions of older kits, dopey looking originals, and even squished 'scaled' models.” Built some prototypes and flew them at NARAM 46, where the phrase “you can build anything from a Baby Bertha” was heard a lot.

12 Retro-Bash at Fred (Phred) sells Retro-Bash decal/plansets at his webstore. Retro-Bash decal/plansets are not kits, but decals, instructions, and patterns that allow modelers to kit-bash Baby Bertha kits (and a few extra parts) into models that have the flavor of the original Goonybirds. Some examples from Phred phollow.

13 Goony Ghost Designed by Fred Talasco’s Niece, Alexa Now, for some fun and games… Name the inspiration rocket!

14 Der Fat Max

15 Und Der Red Max

16 Goony Max

17 Der Red Max, again!

18 Honest Goon

19 Estes Honest John

20 Goonydent

21 Estes Astron Trident

22 Apogoon

23 Estes Astron Apogee II

24 Not So Nice…..Device

25 Estes Mean Machine

26 V-10/6

27 Estes V2

28 Goonybird Zero

29 Estes Blue Bird Zero

30 Nike-G

31 Estes Nike-X

32 Goony Goblin

33 Estes Goblin


35 Estes Mark II

36 Iron Wombat

37 Estes Wolverine

38 Mosquito Mike’s Upscaled Goonybirds Missile Toe, Cloud Hopper, and Zoom Broom kit- bashed from Estes Fat Boy, which has the right height to width ratio, resulting in ~1.6X scale-up. Use everything except the engine mount, which is replaced with a “D-engine” mount. Galaxy Guppy and Star Snoop are based on 4.5” diameter tubing with 29mm motor mounts and fly on F and G motors.

39 Mike’s Upscaled Goonybirds

40 Other Goonybird Designs Goony Marc 2GR-71

41 Other Goonybird Designs Goony Marc 2 (Bomarc) GR-71 SR-71 Blackbird

42 More Goonybird Designs Optigoon Guzzler Nike Goon

43 More Goonybird Designs Optigoon (Estes Optima) Guzzler (Estes Sizzler) Nike Goon (Nike Hercules)

44 More Goonybird Designs Space ProbeAIM-54A Goonix

45 More Goonybird Designs Space Probe (Estes Alien Space Probe) AIM-54A Goonix (Estes Phoenix)

46 More Goonybird Designs Cheroon Goondromeda

47 More Goonybird Designs Estes Cherokee and Cherokee Goon Goondromeda (Estes Andromeda)

48 More Goonybird Designs Goony LTV Scout Goony Alien Space Probe

49 More Goonybird Designs Goony LTV Scout (Estes LTV Scout) Goony Alien Space Probe (Estes Alien Invader)

50 More Goonybird Designs Goonie Disrupter Goonie Vega 1

51 More Goonybird Designs Goonie Disrupter (Estes Photon Disrupter) Goonie Vega 1 (Estes Starship Vega)

52 More Goonybird Designs Goonie ViperGoonie X-Wing

53 More Goonybird Designs Goonie Viper (Estes Colonial Viper) Goonie X-Wing (Estes Star Wars X-Wing)

54 More Goonybird Designs Goolantis Goontron Shrike

55 More Goonybird Designs Goolantis (Estes USS Atlantis) Goontron Shrike (Estes Astron Shrike)

56 Goonybird Gliders Sky GoonSwingWing Goon

57 Goonybird Gliders Sky Goon (Estes Sky Dart) SwingWing Goon (Estes Scissor Wing Transport)

58 Goonyceptor (by Mark Bundick) Goonyceptor (topside) Goonyceptor (underside) (Estes Interceptor)

59 Semroc “Groonies” Bill Simon, formerly of Estes Industries, recently posted some original sketches of early ideas for the Goonybirds on a rocketry forum: more military, more “Mad magazine,” more “grown-up.” That led to the Semroc Groonies, Goonybirds that “grew up” with grown-up themes. Slightly bigger to fly reliably with available standard size engines (B and C). Have balsa nose cones and waterslide decals, along with laser-cut balsa fins and Kevlar shock cord mounts.

60 Semroc Saki Saki Bomb (original Goony concept)

61 Semroc Ruskie Russian Interceptor Original Goony concept

62 Semroc Gee’hod The Gee’hod is the 3 rd of the Semroc Groonies, and inspired by the insanity of 9/11 and its aftermath. Note that this is the Command Ship, and has wheels and a parachute so it can land. The rest of the fleet does not have wheels or parachutes, so for safety, this is the only one Semroc will release in the Al Qaeda series. Look for some future “Anti-Geehod” Groonies….Carl McLawhorn

63 More Original Goony Concepts (next Semroc offerings?) MatterWerkens (V1 Goony) Sopwitter

64 Acknowledgments and References Phred at Mosquito Mike at Jim Z’s Rocket plans at Mark Bundick

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