Airstar introduced the electronic trigger Nova and Super Nova ET versions around 1999-2000. This was shortly after Airstar’s first recall and before the second which led to Airstar dissolving. While researching Airstar’s ET versions I came across several links that I thought would be best laid out in a brief article on Airstar’s later history.
The link below gives some background on AIrstar and lists two names, Mike Woods, as the creator of the Nova design, and Bruce Gillette, Director of Sales and Marketing for AirStar. They write:
“AirStar, manufacturer of the revolutionary Nova series paintball markers, is the creation of inventor, Mike Wood of Irvine, CA.”This page dated between 1999 and 2000 also mentions, “their soon to be introduced SuperNova E.T. (electronic trigger).”
Find the Airstar info page at:
And here is an archived copy of the “going out of business” press release from AIrstar’s site:
In this press release Airstar writes:
“Dear AirStar Customers, We are sad to announce that on August 31st, 2000 the board of directors of Pneu Systems Inc. dba AirStar voted to dissolve the company. We had committed a large amount of money to new product development and when the recall was announced; both sales and our cash dried up. As you know and have heard, one of our suppliers drilled the regulators too deep which would not allow the poppit to seal thus causing the marker to go to full pressure. The fix is easy but the damage has been done. Right now, selling AirStar markers is like trying to sell Firestone tires.”
This combination of Nova and Super Nova ET parts will help me assembly one of these electronic trigger models. Since my knowledge of Novas is limited I might need to acquire a complete Nova or Super Nova before I complete them though.
Warpig write up on the Super Nova ET (Likely published mid 2000) clearly lists some of the differences between the Nova and the Super Nova:
“The Super Nova looks very similar to its predecessor [, the Nova 700]. Both have cylindrical receivers with a shroud over their barrels. The Super Nova can immediately be identified by the shorter foam patting on its shroud, and porting near the muzzle. This feature is cosmetic, as the barrel remains unported. The Super Nova is also distinguished by a 45-style grip frame and bottom-line mounted regulator.”
It appears both the parts for the ET Nova and the Super Nova ET were originally set up as 45 frames equipped with the same bottomline regulator that was later used on various PGI paintguns including the ram driven electronic Firestorm Autococker, the Mayhem, the FROG and the ACI/PGI ram driving Griffin conversion.
Many of the Super Nova models had solid anodizing colors instead of Airstar’s signature “Heavenly Body” Anodizing. This leads me to believe that the body shown was from the E.T. Nova 700 Rail.
Here is a link to Andy / “Ynda’s” timeline on Airstar’s production and going out of business:
And Pete Coffey’s Super Nova Breakdown and info page:
Pete Coffey’s also posted a helpful Nova parts assembly illustration: