A Tribute to Mike Kalmar, Elmira, NY
Mike Kalmar's rockets and gliders were purchased as two huge eBay lots requiring local pickup during 2009. Now I believe readers will understand why it was necessary to drive a Toyota Tacoma pickup from Raymond, Maine to Elmira, New York and back in the same day to retrieve Mike's collection. Suffering from a disabling health issue, Mike was not longer able to work with model rockets and his family decided to sell the collection as massive lots on eBay. I could not resist the opportunity to acquire what appeared to be well built Low Power through High Power rockets for my BAR interests.
I am proud to be the owner and curator of Mike's magnificant collection. The non Estes collection includes a variety of rockets and boost gliders, some are kit based while most are custom designed. The collection includes LPR, MPR and HPR designs. Many rockets are of museum display quality indicating Mike's skills as a master builder. Others needed repairs and restoration; that process is nearly complete.The B36 Bomber and Thunderbird are most original designs and drawn attention anytime they are brought to a launch site.
Mike Kalmar, back row left. The First PSC Launch June1, 1986
Using Google, considerable information about Mike Kalmar was located. Mike was a charter member of the NAR Pittsburgh Space Command Section effective August 1986. The PSC rooster indicated Mike was a resident of Pittsburg, PA at the time. By 1990, Mike had moved to Elmira, NY as a PSC membership photo did not include Mike. For a complete history of the Pittsburgh Space Command by Art Nestor NAR #29623, please visit this link. There are several 1986 Team Pittsburgh pdf reports on the web. The first is dated August 1986 and the second dated October 1986. In the latter report, there is a reference to Mike Kalmar winning several competition categories at PSC section launch including C Spot Landing and C Streamer Duration. Art Nestor comments that Mike easily won these events and during sports flying, launched a unique mini engine cluster rocket.
As of 2012, Mike is listed as being 75 years old and still having a home address on Charles St. in Elmira, NY.
CMASS and MMMSC (Maine Missile Math and Science Club - Berwick, Maine) members typically enjoy several rocket launches from Mike's Fleet at each event. Mike's rockets are perfectly balanced and fly straight as an arrow. They are just lots of fun to display and fly.
Low Power Rockets
Thunderbird B-36 Bomber
Cluster Power Unknown Comet Payloader
24mm or 2x 18mm 24mm 18mm + 4x 13mm
Short Range Missile Mike 1 Roadrunner
24mm 18mm 18mm + 4x 13mm
High Thrust Rocket Star Searcher D-Phantom
4x 18mm 24mm 24mm
Pink Panther U.S. Air Force -Mike Ready To Blast Off Again
24mm 18mm 24mm
U.S. Air Force
D-Flying Jenny (MRN) Robin (Estes #33 Plan) Unknown Double Mini Engine
Medium Power Rockets
Static 2 NY NCR Viking 2 Orange Lightning 1
5x 18mm 29mm + 2x 18mm 3x 24mm
Twin Tier Advanced Model Rocket Equalizer 1 NCR Quantum 1
3x 24mm 3x 24mm 29mm
High Power Rockets
Magnum 2 U.S. Space Copter Shuttle Red Thunder
No Engine Mount 38mm 2x 29mm
NCR Replica 2650 Full Size Equalizer 2 Unknown
3x 29mm 2x 29mm 3x 29mm