Athena RC RG: This one is for you, G. Harry Stine.

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

tab28682

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
1,730
Reaction score
293
While waiting on suitable painting weather for the Japanese rocket fighter and the custom nose cone for the Coaster Dynasoar Centauri, I had a sudden overwhelming urge to get on with a RCRG I have wanted to do ever since I acquired a copy of the Spaceship Handbook by Jack Hagerty.

The Athena was the name of a fictional rocket created by G. Harry Stine, writing as Lee Correy. It appears in “The Day the Rocket Blew Up”, published in the Saturday Evening Post on August 15, 1953.

The Spaceship Handbook contains a large serving of fantastic rocket drawings. A huge labor of love from Hagerty and Jon C. Rogers, who did the drawings. One that instantly caught my eye a few years ago was the Athena. It is just about a perfect layout for a Depron RC RG.

The drawings include extensive detailed fuse station measurements of many of the features of the craft. They even include station measurements for the panel lines! Makes it super easy to scale for a model, as you can see from the drawing picture. In fact, I did not make a drawing. A scale factor of 1/46.15 scales the model to match a BT-80 tube. I converted the measurements on the drawing and applied them directly to the tubing and Depron. It turns out that the scale factor that sizes the model for BT-80 sizes the tip tubes to exactly BT-5 size, which is handy. An assortment of Estes PNC-5 cones supplied three cones that were close enough for the tip cones.

The Athena is complete, except for a more “scale-like” nose cone, canopy fairing, windows and a little painting. I have a custom 3D printed cone on order to better match the original design. Might add a paper hat to the PNC-80 cone to get by in the meantime. The original has quite a harpoon attached to the cone, I will model that spike for display purposes, but the spike will be removable for flight.

I did the markings on my Silhouette 4 vinyl cutter. Took some artistic license and made the tail markings oversize. I ended up wrapping the vertical tail and the wingtip body tubes in red vinyl, which worked out nicely. However, I am still looking for matching red paint for the wingtip cones...:).

It turns out that G. Harry evidently built a display model of each (or at least most) of his fictional spaceships. The entry in the the book has two pictures of his original model, as well as a copy of the painting of the rocket published in the Saturday Evening Post.

One weirdness in the drawing is the canopy. The drawing sort of replicated the WWII style birdcage canopy shown in the painting, which does not make a lot of sense. The painting has a number of details different from the model. Note that the pic of G. Harry’s model shows a much more sensible X-15 style canopy fairing, which is what I will put on the model.

Current plan is to maiden this at the little local RC RG gathering in April or May that I mentioned in the Vulcan thread.

More to follow.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

burkefj

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
3,344
Reaction score
812
That looks great, it's always amazing to me what we can do with fairly similar parts yet come up with an almost unending amount of designs that have a unique look!

Frank
 

tab28682

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
1,730
Reaction score
293
You are right about the ability to mix common parts and various shapes to get a nearly infinite number of designs. True of rockets in general as well as what we do here.

Having said that, I am working on getting a 3D printer so I can more easily do different nose cones, since there are only a couple of suitable lightweight nose cones for BT-80. Nothing of any type available in the 2" ID Centuri tubing that I like and not much for the 2" OD PSII tubing.

Will be fun to be able to do custom cones with built in canopy shapes and windshields as well as other classic nose cone shapes in between the pointy and the blunt PNC-80 cones.

Made the canopy fairing for the Athena last night. Decided to do it in balsa with white monokote covering. Repainted the wingtip cones in a better matching red as well.

At some point, will make the landing pads and struts for the wing and tail tips. They will be plug in units that are removable for flight.

The Athena has been a lot of fun to do.

More to come.
 

tab28682

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
1,730
Reaction score
293
While waiting on the custom 3D printed cone for the Athena, I decided to build a place-holder temporary nose cone, bashed from a PNC-80B.

I cut the cone in two at the shoulder and removed the first 5/8” of the cone at the shoulder. Next, I generated a cone pattern from an on line tool and rolled two layers of .010” styrene into a 2” long “hat” for the nose cone.

Lastly, I turned a balsa tip for the last 2.4” of the cone, to get the unique spiky shape seen on the Athena and I re-attached the nose cone coupler.

Needs some body filler and more sanding and it will serve well enough for now. Not perfect, but close enough for my purposes.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

tab28682

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
1,730
Reaction score
293
Was able to complete three of RC RGs this weekend, including the Athena.

The Athena finally got its small canopy and the side windows. After a couple of attempts, I was able to a decent finish on the temporary nose cone, which is a combination of a modified PNC-80B with a wrapped polystyrene, “hat” and a carved hard balsa tip. The thinner in the paint was affecting the plastic wrap differently than the balsa and the blow molded PNC-80B, causing some cracking.

Installed the RC gear and control linkage, so It is now ready to get the final balance, test glide and launch. With the generous wing area, I have a feeling it is going to be a nice flyer
Hope to get the first flight on it later this week. The second pic shows the Athena with the Dynasoar Centauri and my new Dynasoar Rocketry Avro
 

Attachments

burkefj

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
3,344
Reaction score
812
That looks really good Tom, very 50's/60's looking sci-fi
 
Top