Thursday, May 10, 2012

Rocketry inflation

Let no one say that high power rocketry is cheap. It has always been expensive to fly large rockets, and that is fine. No one expects to send a 6 ft tall, 4 inch thick rocket to two miles and the speed of sound for nothing. Yet compared to the hobby when I first started, in 1998, prices seem much higher. I happened to come across an old Giant Leap Rocketry catalog in the back of my closet. Below you will find a few items at the 2004 price and current 2012 price. This in no way is to suggest that Giant Leap prices are unreasonable, or that they are the only company that has increased prices. I am fairly certain that these cost increases are hobby-wide, and also certain that Giant Leap is still a great place to shop. Also, some of the increases seem reasonable. The only way to really know is to do the math:

As you can see above, the cost of hardware has not increased significantly.  The 29mm phenolic airframe price did increase about 10%, but most other items selected for this informal survey simply responded to inflation.  There is no doubt that many items are also more expensive because the cost of oil is drastically higher than it was at this time.  However, I would expect increasing costs to be canceled out by the size of the hobby, significantly larger than it was in 2002.  So the fact is, if one were to blame someone for this problem, it would have to be the government.  That is not entirely shocking.

I have yet to check motor prices (but I do have an old Magnum Rockets motor list, also from 2002.)  Have you noticed a price increase since starting in the hobby?  And in what areas?  Leave a comment below.

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