A Tribute to Mike Kalmar, Elmira, NY

Mike's "Fleet"


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                        

 18mm                                                                                      18mm                         



  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



Boost Gliders

       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



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