Estes Cold-power Covertable Shark #1111 Build

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Jan 19, 2009
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For a while now I have wanted one of the Estes Old Cold-power Model rockets. So when the opportunity to get one arose I did. A steal at $12.00 not including shipping and the fact that it was still shrink wrapped. When the package arrived the other day I first took a photo of the box and set out opening it.

The cold-power motor was intact and in great shape. All parts where there for a complete Assembly . This will most likely be mounted in a shadow box as a display. Along with the launch control system.

The launch control system was in great shape though it is missing the plunger. (poo) It also came with and old x-style Launch platform and 2 part 1/8” launch rod. Other then the missing plunger for the release button everything was in great shape.

The Rp-100 cold propellant (Freon) was in what I thought to be a decent condition can until I took the top off and a leak could be heard. So that was safely emptied by a local company that sells gasses and also disposes of them, At no charge mind you and the can was saved for my collection.

The parts for the rocket itself where in great shape except for the balsa sheet of die crushed I mean cut parts was destroyed. Though all of the fins except for the hand cut fins were not damaged. The hand cut parts and the long thin parts had to cut from new stock with patterns printed from Ye Old Rocket Plans.

Now for the construction…


Being one not liking to cut older patterns I printed out the marking guide from Estes Kit 1111 Shark .I began by cutting out the marking guide and wrapping it around the BT-50 airframe and marking at the base of the airframe with a fine sharpie then extending them with a pencil and marking them accordingly. I than Measured for the second set of fins and mark this with a penciled rind around the tube. Next the Payload section was marked for its four thrusters just as the fins.


Assembly began with Gluing the balsa nose block into the base of the payload section, and then gluing on the four hand cut thrusters. Then set aside to dry.

Next the Main fins where glued in place with a double glue joint and allowed to dry.

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Before the second set of fins were attached I shaped and glued the Raceway into place. This is a thin balsa strip running from the front of the rocket to the midpoint of the secondary fins.

The Second set of fins were glued in place forward of the main fins. To line them up properly I held the fully dried main fin on the flat of my marking ruler and held it while the double glue joint set enough to allow it to be moved. The process was continued in till all four fins where on. And then set aside to dry.

While the rocket was drying I built the conversion kit for solid fuel motors. The only modification was adding a new shock cord to the motor mount assembly and the addition of a thrust ring.

To add the launch lug I first cut it in half at an angle and glued it to a thin strip of balsa that was shaped like the raceway to create a small standoff. This was then glued from the base of the main fins to the length of the strip about 5”.

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Then the fin fillets where built up with 6 layers of glue, each layer allowed to cure before the next.

I will be painting this rocket Gloss White with expoxy paint once the wather is good for it. Then the decals will be added and the whole thing clear coated.

I'll attach the main solid conversion motor mount once I do more research on other options to use the cold power motor for flight.

This was a great build and its a rather Sharp looking rocket it is a must for cloners IMOP.

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Great job so far, Charlaine
It's really starting to look good :)
Thanks Dexter.

I finished up the fillets this afternoon and now have begun adding of filler to the gapes in the fins from the die crushing.
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Papa Elf linked me some great info for using canned propelent used for airbrushes. I think i'll look into it.
Be careful about canned airbrush propellant, Charlaine, since most of them are filled with propane, a VERY flammable gas. I have a Vashon Valkyrie, but I haven't been able to do anything with it since I cannot find the "fuel" or a way to fill the tank. And that is a real shame because I've wanted to fly one of these cold power rockets ever since I first saw them in the 1973 catalog!
I will be carefull but i am also looking to see about the r134a if that is an option
So I began finishing the shark today. I started with slathering a layer of elmers fill and finish that was thined with white glue. Allowing it to dry I decided to mount the standard motor mount insted of the cold power motor. I will do as origenally planed and mount it to a display case.
WOW! Did you get a DEAL on that one! I paid more than $100 for each of mine.

I fly mine on Badger Propel airbrush propellant- as far as I know it does not contain propane. I get mine at a local craft store. Flies just fine in both the Vashon and Estes 7228.

HERE is an important tip- build, install and rig the recovery system EXACTLY by the instructions. DO NOT mod or add anything! I messed around with mine thinking I could do it a bit slicker and using a non-stock parachute and I looked pretty bad for a few flights. Then I went back to the instructions and followed them to the letter and now it all works fine.
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Well I decided to for now to use it as a standard rocket as I did not receve the punger with the kit and the fuller tube for the propelent is a thin tube the you insert into a nozel like you would wd40. Inorder to fly her with the coldpower I would need to redesign the means in which to fill her.

As for construction of the motor I followed the instructions fully and replaced the shock cord due to it being rotted.
Watch ebay for the plungers...I've seen 2 in the last 3 years. If you decide to sell that cold power motor- PM me.:D
ebay hmm well i'll look into that and other options and have sent you a pm
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Vashon V2 on e-bay folks...


At $44 at this moment... if I decide to go in, my bid will be quite a bit higher.
waiting to prime her allong with a few others in the fleet. Has been either waiting for the humidity to die down or the rain lol. she is in limbo allone with a few others hehehe but she has flown heheheheheh
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Here is an additional piece of information- as well as a word of caution.

In doing additional research on propellants, I learned that all (that I've found so far) including the Badger Propel that I use, contain either propane or butane. Propel contains butane- but is still preferable to canned air because it does not contain the anti-huffing irritant.

The caution comes when using the Vashon engines. As has been discussed here- those engines offer an "electric" launch option. This involves using an igniter wire melting through in order to release the launch plug... mix that with propane of butane and... It's a bad day.

So NEVER use the electric launch option unless you are using Freon as your propellant.
I always thought those old Freon rockets were cool (no pun intended, but what the heck?).

I tried collecting some in my pre-college days, the one kit I did get got given away when my parents moved, and I wasn't able to make it back in time....