BAR Fleet #142- Mountaineer IV

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Well-Known Member
Apr 26, 2016
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Castle Rock CO
Mountaineer IV 01.PNG
Source: Scratch-built, Modified Omega
Estes Industries # K-52 / 1252
Designed by Mike Dorffler
Type: Sport / Payload
Stages: Two
Engine Type: 24mm both stages
Recovery: Parachute / Tumble
Booster Length: 12.8cm (5.0 in.)
Sustainer Length: 35.5cm (14.0 in.)
Payload/Nose Length: 30cm (11.8 in.)
Total Length: 78.3cm (30.8 in.)
Diameter: 42mm (1.64 in.)
Booster Weight: 41.6g (1.47 oz.)
Sustainer Weight 78.5g (2.77 oz.)
Total Weight Empty: 120.1g (4.24 oz.)
Nose Cone: Tangent Ogive
Fin Type: Trapezoidal
Number of Fins: 4 each stage
Color Scheme: Yellow, Red, Black
Date Completed: April 25, 2023

A Classic Estes Model Rocket

The Mountaineer IV is a clone build of the famous Estes Astron Omega. Introduced in 1970, the Omega was designed by Mike Dorffler as the recommended launch vehicle for the Cineroc 8mm movie camera, which was also his brainchild. The rocket was a mainstay of the Estes stable through 1981. Flying on the ‘Mighty D Engines’, the two-stage work-horse was capable of lofting the Cineroc to quite a respectable altitude.

Why do I call my model the ’Mountaineer’ instead of ‘Omega’? The story goes back to the mid- 1970s. There was a certain science teacher from Silver Spring Maryland named Herb Desind. Mr. Desind was an avid flier of the Cineroc. So much so that he was known far and wide as “Mr. Cineroc”! Over his model rocketry career he must have flown thousands of Cineroc flights all over the country and even around the world. Herb also would send his specially modified cameras and carrier rockets to other rocketeers around the country so that they could fly them in other scenic locales.

I became acquainted with Herb through the Starlords International Association of Rocketry, a Hawaii-based organization of which we were both members. One thing led to another and Herb ended up sending me two Cinerocs and two Omegas to fly for him here in Colorado. I would send him the completed film packs for processing.

Herb re-named both of those Omegas ‘Mountaineer’ I and II. Later on I built another Omega for my own fleet with which I continued the tradition by naming it Mountaineer III.

The Mountaineer IV has been on my build list of old-fleet re-makes for quite some time, so here in 2023 I finally got around to it.

The model is scratch-built according to the original plans. There are a few differences from the original. First, the rocket’s nose came from a current Mean Machine kit, meaning it won’t be an exact match to the original. It’s close enough for me.

The Mountaineer IV first stage booster has some modifications that were not on the original kit. On my version the fins are papered and feature some 1/16” thick balsa ‘gussets’ along the root edges. Both are measures for strengthening the booster fins to better withstand the rigors of tumble recovery while carrying a relatively heavy D motor casing.

I also added some vent holes to the fore end of the booster airframe to aid with pressure release for gap staging.

Mountaineer IV 02.PNG

The payload section utilizes a thin plywood plug and a piece of heavy duty paper clip epoxied into a stage coupler. The original Omega kits used a balsa nose block. Does anyone even still make an NB-60? I would probably have to turn one.

Mountaineer IV 03.PNG

The overall color scheme is a near-exact duplication of the ones adorning Herb’s Mountaineers I and II from the old days. The Mountaineer IV was completely brush painted with hobby acrylics. Most of the decals are home prints.

The Mountaineer IV is slated to be my go-to fleet vehicle for higher altitude video camera and altimeter flights.

I anticipate many great launches of this bird!
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Looks great.

love the balsa “gussets”. I have been calling them balsa fillets for a decade now. I put one on the tube at each mounting site lined up with the placement mark BEFORE mounting the fins, let it dry, then tack the fin to it. Perfect alignment every time.

looking Forward to your videos!

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