At the last NSL Semroc introduced two new kits. The two kits were the VF-261 and the OSO. The OSO is a Retro-Repo release of the 1967 FSI rocket.
FSI (Flight Systems,Inc) was started sometime around mid to late 1966 by George Roos in Louisville, CO. George Roos had worked on the composite motors of the Minuteman missles in the 1950s. The first FSI catalog was released in 1967. You can view it here. The OSO was one of FSI’s first rockets and continued in production throughout the life of FSI.
FSI marketed the rocket with this blurb:
The OSO rocket is the answer for all model rocketeers who wish to fly large experimental payloads to high altitudes. the large forward section is all payload compartment and is separated from the parachute recovery mechanism. Payload section and rocket are gently recovered by a large parachute as one unit”
In the 1967 catalog it says that
“the OSO kit has been designed to make maximum use of the new FSI F-18-8 high performance rocket engine”
I can’t imagine this light rocket on a F-18-8 unless the payload was substantial.
FSI produced 21 and 27mm motors and later 18mm. The OSO was designed to use the 27mm variety. Take a look at the FSI motor line here.
Sometime between 1971-1974 FSI moved to Raytown, Missouri where Lonnie Reese served as president.
Things became quiet for FSI in 1984 when Lonnie Reese was killed in an auto accident. They continued to produce motors and a few catalogs were released up to 1993. Harold Reese who made the motors for FSI died at this time and family did not continue production. It is rumored that Quest obtained some of the FSI motor machines at this time.
The Semroc OSO release continues Semroc’s great line of quality Retro-Repos. There are a few small changes. The rocket includes an ejection baffle and a kevlar to elastic shock cord. The Semroc version is also 18mm. The build is quite easy. The rocket is a nice addition to my repo collection.
Here she is: