Escape towers

JPalmer621

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Over the years I have read many threads that complained about building and losing the escape towers on the Estes Mercury Atlas, Redstone and Little Joe II. I like launching scale rockets so I will alway launch with escape towers. To this point I do have some kits for display and some for launching. Over the years I have lost many escape towers so I have come up with a way to build them fast and cheap. Some people might ask about 3D printing and that is fine for some but if you launch you will still break or loose them and for me the cost of a 3D printer is not worth it. Here is my build thread for escape towers.
 

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Funkworks

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I think escape towers should available by the dozen and each rocketeer should have boxes full of them. If you consider them as disposables like wadding, the problem is solved.
 
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JPalmer621

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Lets start by finding the parts. I start with skews. Next comes the toothpicks. A little measuring length si about 87 mm on the skews. Toothpicks are cut at 13 mm. Because I plan on loosing these I mark the skewers into 4th and glue the three dividers to 2 of the skews, laying the third skew to one side lining them up to match. After the glue drys, Three drops of glue on both sides. Install the single skew on one side angling it over and installing a single 13 mm toothpick in the middle so it forms a triangle. Make sure all the cross peices match up together. Let them dry. CA makes quick work of this.
 

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JPalmer621

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Here are the last few pictures including comparing to an original Estes capsule. 13mm motor some extra balsa, twist on wire ties and some paint.
 

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Funkworks

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I suspect this would be a great project for someone with a 3D printer. If I had one, this is probably the kind of thing I would use it for.
 

jqavins

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That's a nice, serviceable replacement/substitute tower. Do you keep the originals for display and fly these?

I think escape towers should available by the dozen and each rocketeer should have boxes full of them. If you consider them as disposables like wadding, the problem is solved.
I suspect this would be a great project for someone with a 3D printer. If I had one, this is probably the kind of thing I would use it for.
So buy a 3D printer, download tower designs from Thingiverse, and make your fortune selling disposable towers by the dozen. 😁
 

JPalmer621

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Yes I have some for display and some for launching. I inherited an old broken missing parts Estes Mercury Redstone. That is the one I launch I just got through refurbishing it with new paint, lettering and new escape tower
 

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georgegassaway

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Info on how I built Little Joe-II Apollo LES towers is on my website.

This link goes to an article about building my first one, after testing out some methods:

Then scroll down to "More Building Notes" where you can see more about the jig I made.
3pEJn8F.jpg
 

Jimmy

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Yes I have some for display and some for launching. I inherited an old broken missing parts Estes Mercury Redstone. That is the one I launch I just got through refurbishing it with new paint, lettering and new escape tower
Looks great! I have always loved the Estes Mercury Redstone. It's a good flier too!
 
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