AeroTech was founded by Gary Rosenfield in Sacramento, California in 1982 to develop, manufacture and market specialized composite propellant hobby rocket motors. The first motors offered included the "G30" "moonburning" motor and "E6" and "F10" long-burning contest motors which were later sold through Apogee Components of Colorado Springs, CO. Sales were by mail-order and "rocket product only" dealers that typically operated at hobby rocket launch sites.
In 1985, Gary co-founded Industrial Solid Propulsion (ISP), Inc. with Daniel Meyer to design and manufacture composite propellant rocket motors for aerospace, military and industrial applications. 1985 also marked the year that AeroTech and ISP first moved their facilities to Las Vegas and in 1987 they moved again to an industrial complex at 1955 South Palm St.
By 1988 AeroTech had established itself as the largest supplier of technically advanced rocket motors for the hobby rocket market. In 1989, AeroTech acquired the assets of Enertek, Inc., a Phoenix, AZ-based model rocket company that sought to enter the "E" through "G" power portion of the model rocket market. Also in 1989, AeroTech was acquired by ISP in a transaction that brought Paul Hans, an Enertek co-founder and model rocket pioneer, into the company.
After the acquisition, AeroTech began to design and develop an advanced line of rocket kits, ground support equipment, igniters and propellant formulations for the "E" through "G" segment of the hobby rocket market. These products were designed to be innovative, durable, easy to assemble with precision, of high quality and with large-rocket adult appeal. AeroTech received a number of patents for these design innovations. The new products first began to be introduced at the end of 1989.
In 1990, AeroTech debuted the revolutionary "RMS" or Reloadable Motor System to the high-power (initially "H" through "K" class) hobby rocket motor market, under the ISP trade name. The RMS was partly based on work that had been performed by ISP during the development of man-rated parachute extraction systems for light aircraft. RMS, then a breakthrough technology, consists of a reusable aluminum alloy casing and separate solid propellant "reload kits". For the first time, hobbyists could fly their rockets for about 1/2 the cost per flight of single-use motors. In 1991, the reloadable motor concept was expanded to include the model rocket portion of the market as well.
In 1995, AeroTech introduced its "RMS/Hybrid" line of hybrid rocket motors to the high-power rocket motor market. These nitrous oxide and cellulose-fueled reloadable motors offered an alternative to the traditional solid propellant technology and have a per-flight cost of about 1/2 that of solids. AeroTech received a patent for the pyrotechnic valve technology used in the RMS/Hybrid motor in 1996. The hybrid product line was later expanded to include a variation of the hybrid technology that AeroTech has dubbed "RMS/Turbo". RMS/Turbo combines nitrous oxide injection with a fuel-rich conventional solid propellant for a significant boost in delivered performance at a slightly increased cost per flight.
In 1997, AeroTech introduced the "Econojet" line of single-use motors. AeroTech combined features of performance, design and packaging in the Econojets to create a line of motors that could be sold at a price point midway between its traditional single-use motors and RMS reload kits.
In November 1999, AeroTech was acquired by RocketAdventure, an investment partnership formed by Ken Biba, Dr. Michael Reiner and John Coker, and later joined by Dirk Gates. Also in November, AeroTech introduced its first new kit in several years, the 4" diameter "G-Force", and expanded the Econojet line with the F23 and G38 "Black Max" propellant motors.
In 2000, AeroTech announced two major upgrades to its line of high power RMS motors, the RMS-Plus advanced delay sealing system and the FirstFire two-lead igniter. AeroTech and Dr. Franklin Kosdon revealed that an agreement was reached whereby AeroTech would manufacture the Kosdon TRM line of reloadable motors under an exclusive licensing arrangement. AeroTech expanded its website to include instructional videos in QuickTime format to assist customers in the assembly of its products. In addition, AeroTech announced the upcoming availability of its new Redline propellant formulation.
In May of 2001, AeroTech introduced the Sumo, its second 4" diameter kit and the first to be "convertible" for the use of high power motors. Throughout the Summer of 2001, AeroTech released the previously announced Kosdon TRM line under the "Kosdon by AeroTech" (KBA) trade name, as well as the Redline propellant high power reloads in a wide variety of motor sizes.
On October 15, 2001 AeroTech suffered two devastating fires, the second of which completely destroyed the 1955 South Palm St. propellant and motor manufacturing facilities. Plans were quickly made to rebuild the plant and a suitable site was located in nearby Cedar City, UT. AeroTech initiated construction in early 2002, and the first shipments began from the new facility in April of 2003. Shortly after the fire, AeroTech forged a business relationship with Ellis Mountain Rocket Works of Jacksonville, TX to produce many of its products under a contract manufacturing arrangement.
In April of 2004, the intellectual and physical assets of AeroTech and ISP were purchased by RCS Rocket Motor Components (RCS), Inc., a Utah corporation. RCS initiated the manufacturing of AeroTech and ISP products under the "AeroTech Consumer Aerospace", "Econojet", "Kosdon by RCS", "Industrial Solid Propulsion" and "ISP" brand names.
AeroTech has been producing rocket motors for the motion picture special effects industry since the early 1980's. AeroTech rocket motors have been featured in numerous motion pictures since then, and you can look for them in "Iron Eagle", Delta Force 2", "Tank Girl", "Star Trek: Generations," "Tomorrow Never Dies," and "October Sky". AeroTech also supplies rocket motors to educational institutions and rocket parts to other hobby rocket kit manufacturers. AeroTech kits and motors have been featured in a National Geographic article and PBS television show on thunderstorm research, a Travel Channel special on Ray Halm's "Aries" project, a "Junkyard Wars" episode and a Discovery Channel "Mythbusters" program on the legend of Wan Hu.
The core strength of AeroTech's product line is its composite propellant rocket motor technology. Compared to conventional black powder propellant, composite propellant can produce up to three times the power for the same propellant weight. In addition, composite propellant technology permits the creation of rocket motors with performance characteristics and sound and visual effects not possible with black powder propellant technology.
Since its founding in 1982, AeroTech has grown to become the largest supplier of "D" through "G" power composite model rocket motors, mid-power rocket kits and related products and "H" through "N" high power rocket motors in the world.