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ALPHA info ?

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atticus

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Last week on a very hot and humid central Virginia day with NO WIND my buddy and I took his boys and their friend to the local elementary school soccer fields with their rockets.
After a few great flights, two local boys saw the action and came over to join the fun. These kids fired them as fast as I could load them.
Now the sad part.
Evidently, these boy's single father recently died (details unknown) and are being raised by the grandmother.
They go home and come back with what appears to be an Estes Alpha of some sort, a Comanche 3 (still in the bag) and two 3 packs of engines(B4-6,C6-6) that he had bought for them.

Here's the problem. The Alpha has been opened and dry fitted - everything seems to be there but no instructions or bag card. They asked if we could put it together for them. Sure, no problem, that's what I live for.

SO- I paint the BT with Krylon blue and white vertical stripes and it turned out so nice, my friend says that the red plastic nose cone and fin can should be repainted red. The only red in stock in this part of the world was the recoat in one hour or wait a week variety. Two days and it is still sticky!
While waiting for the paint to dry, I was just thinking - does this thing need nose weight? They did not bring any but it could have been tossed with the instructions.
The last Alpha I built was about 1960 - all balsa NC and fins.
This one has a red plastic NC approximatly 2.65" shoulder to tip ogive, 2.25" long fin can with three swept fins. The body tube is BT-50 and 5.5" long. 12" red and white parachute with blue and white 'Estes' logo center.
I checked JIMZ and only found earlier (balsa) versions.
The plastic NC is open with an offset screweye.
If anyone knows what we have and if it needs noseweight please reply.

Thanks
 

Fishhead

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Nah, just pop it together and fire it up. That's the beauty of the old Alpha III's. (And of the others of the ilk.) Sounds like you have a chance to do something nice for someone and to pick up a few flying buddies on the cheap. You're like the Big Rocket Brother. Consider my hat tipped.
 

Hauptmann

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Very sad to hear about these boys' father. I think it's awesome that you are keeping them involved in rocketry!

Regarding the Alpha (BTW it sounds like you have an "Alpha III"), my son built one recently. You shouldn't need any nose weight, unless you've modified the design (shortened the tube, etc.). It's a great flyer right out of the bag. You'd have to add A LOT of paint to screw up the stability.

I can't wait to hear how that Commanche-3 turns out... :D
 

DynaSoar

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Originally posted by ATTICUS
The only red in stock in this part of the world was the recoat in one hour or wait a week variety. Two days and it is still sticky!
Being plastic, you can use Testors or similar plastic model paint rather than spray. It'll dry.

Or, you could slip the nose on the tube, pile the guys in the car and drive from Bumpass to Old Bandana and back with them holding it out the window to dry it. That'd thrill them no end, and you could make use of the time to teach some light aerodynamics with this artificial wind tunnel.
 

Fishhead

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Originally posted by DynaSoar
Or, you could slip the nose on the tube, pile the guys in the car and drive from Bumpass to Old Bandana and back with them holding it out the window to dry it. That'd thrill them no end, and you could make use of the time to teach some light aerodynamics with this artificial wind tunnel.
I'm not so sure about this. I'm seeing multiple trips back to pick up dropped Alphas. Kids will be kids and I know my attention span at that age was.........HEY! Smilies! Cool!
:D :p :confused:
What were we talking about again?
 

shreadvector

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OK. Why am I the only one to post the following?

http://www.estesrockets.com/images/alpha3.pdf

Estes has a website.

If you are annoyed by the goofy graphics, use the "low speed" option. Y9ou can pop right in.

Then look on level 3 which is for rockets.

In the "Education Center" is a pull down menu and at the bottom is "Instructions". Click it and you get a list of instructions that they currently have on-line as PDF files.

http://www.estesrockets.com/instructions112.html

Poof.



Originally posted by ATTICUS
Last week on a very hot and humid central Virginia day with NO WIND my buddy and I took his boys and their friend to the local elementary school soccer fields with their rockets.
After a few great flights, two local boys saw the action and came over to join the fun. These kids fired them as fast as I could load them.
Now the sad part.
Evidently, these boy's single father recently died (details unknown) and are being raised by the grandmother.
They go home and come back with what appears to be an Estes Alpha of some sort, a Comanche 3 (still in the bag) and two 3 packs of engines(B4-6,C6-6) that he had bought for them.

Here's the problem. The Alpha has been opened and dry fitted - everything seems to be there but no instructions or bag card. They asked if we could put it together for them. Sure, no problem, that's what I live for.

SO- I paint the BT with Krylon blue and white vertical stripes and it turned out so nice, my friend says that the red plastic nose cone and fin can should be repainted red. The only red in stock in this part of the world was the recoat in one hour or wait a week variety. Two days and it is still sticky!
While waiting for the paint to dry, I was just thinking - does this thing need nose weight? They did not bring any but it could have been tossed with the instructions.
The last Alpha I built was about 1960 - all balsa NC and fins.
This one has a red plastic NC approximatly 2.65" shoulder to tip ogive, 2.25" long fin can with three swept fins. The body tube is BT-50 and 5.5" long. 12" red and white parachute with blue and white 'Estes' logo center.
I checked JIMZ and only found earlier (balsa) versions.
The plastic NC is open with an offset screweye.
If anyone knows what we have and if it needs noseweight please reply.

Thanks
 

JRThro

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Originally posted by shreadvector
OK. Why am I the only one to post the following?

http://www.estesrockets.com/images/alpha3.pdf

Estes has a website.

If you are annoyed by the goofy graphics, use the "low speed" option. Y9ou can pop right in.

Then look on level 3 which is for rockets.

In the "Education Center" is a pull down menu and at the bottom is "Instructions". Click it and you get a list of instructions that they currently have on-line as PDF files.

http://www.estesrockets.com/instructions112.html

Poof.
I have a hard time getting around Estes' site, so I had no idea those instructions were there. Thanks for the link!
 

rabidsheeep

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the mount on the alphaIII is different right? i remember theres something wierd, like you put somehting in the fin can then the mount goes in the opposite way? am i close lol? i built one of the little things in 7 minutes but i cant remember what i did exactly :D

edit:

atticus as in... the bands?
 

JStarStar

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Originally posted by JRThro
I have a hard time getting around Estes' site, so I had no idea those instructions were there. Thanks for the link!
You know, this is something that really hacks me off and I'm glad somebody brought it up!! I almost wanted to create my own thread on this topic.

Most people who are involved with model rocketry are fairly competent with computers. ** I ** am fairly competent with computers. I use them at work to design things, I am the assistant website geek at work etc etc yadda yadda...

and I can hardly make head or tails out of the Estes site!!

I go on there and I can't find where a certain kit is or other information or any other stuff and I CAN' T GET THERE!!!!!!
:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

And then once you actually manage to find something you want, you can't find your way back. :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

I don't know who sold Estes the bill of goods that the average visitor to their website is a marginally retarded 7-year old with an attention span of three seconds, but I don't know if I've ever seen a website that is LESS effective and actually more of an obstacle to potential customers getting information and maybe buying your product.

Whatever huge sum of money Estes is paying for this Buck Rogers production, they ought to just junk it and use some $29.95 EZ-Page Designer program or something and just create a simple page that people can actually USE.
 

JStarStar

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Back on ATTICUS' original topic.... ;)

I think the Alpha III, based on the original Alpha design, is an inherently very stable design. When Vern (or whoever actually designed it) came up with the design in 1967, he wanted a very safe, very basic design that would work for any beginning rocketeer almost no matter how you fouled it up.

The swept-fin design helps to move the CP back, which improves its inherent stability. I've seen Alpha I kit mods done where the balsa fins were cut to a different, straightedge rectangular shape, and the rocket was still stable.

I doubt the paint job you put on it will shift the CG any substantial amount, since paint has a consistent weight all over the rocket surface.

Just for fun go ahead load it up with an engine, wadding, etc, and do the 'string test' with the kids to double check, and I will betcha it will nose into the wind just fine. Kudos to you for helping out some kids get involved in a fun sport and good luck to all of you! Just watch out for those rocket-gobbling trees!! :D
 

SwingWing

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Originally posted by JStarStar

I think the Alpha III, based on the original Alpha design, is an inherently very stable design.
Precisely! Back in the day, we actually launched an alpha (balsa nose) without a launch rod! I can't remember what motor and , I DON"T suggest it but it launched just fine.
 

JRThro

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Originally posted by JStarStar
You know, this is something that really hacks me off and I'm glad somebody brought it up!! I almost wanted to create my own thread on this topic.

Most people who are involved with model rocketry are fairly competent with computers. ** I ** am fairly competent with computers. I use them at work to design things, I am the assistant website geek at work etc etc yadda yadda...

and I can hardly make head or tails out of the Estes site!!

I go on there and I can't find where a certain kit is or other information or any other stuff and I CAN' T GET THERE!!!!!!
:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

And then once you actually manage to find something you want, you can't find your way back. :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

I don't know who sold Estes the bill of goods that the average visitor to their website is a marginally retarded 7-year old with an attention span of three seconds, but I don't know if I've ever seen a website that is LESS effective and actually more of an obstacle to potential customers getting information and maybe buying your product.

Whatever huge sum of money Estes is paying for this Buck Rogers production, they ought to just junk it and use some $29.95 EZ-Page Designer program or something and just create a simple page that people can actually USE.
Please go ahead and create that new thread! I bet it will be very very popular.
 

johnnwwa

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Please start a new thread . I to get real tired of trying to plow my way through the Estes site I give up:mad: and just go to hobbylinc or jimZ or shut down my computer. Maybe Estes should UNTHINK this Great WEB SITE hey try this, The KISS System. But in all fairness to Estes I do look forward to each new kit. I just don't use there web site.

BAR
John
 

atticus

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I should have checked the Estes site, but I thought this one was older.
The instructions seem to be right except for MMT and CR colors. Ours are plain.
It does seem to be the general consensus that the Estes site sucks. I must agree, maybe somebody's brother-in-law does web sites.

As to Atticus, its my cats name, after Scout's father in the Harper Lee novel.
I have not seen him for three days now, but he always comes back, usually no worse for wear.We've been thinking about fitting him with a camera just to see what he is up to.

Thanks for the help.
 
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