Estes Saturn V mod suggestions

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Rawcat

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I am wrapping up a couple other projects and was considering my Estes Saturn V to build next. In searching the forum and elsewhere I had found clustering and 29mm mounts. I am entering roads less traveled by modifying kits. While I do have a little experience with Mid-power I have none with clustering. I have seen suggestions for alternative materials for fairings and fins. I have yet to find any of the materials mentioned in older threads that were in stock. The links that still work typically end with "out of stock."

I would like to try clustering, if that is advisable, I greatly welcome suggestions and sources for upgrades.

thank you.
 
It would be so much easier to simply fly the Estes Saturn V on the many 24mm Composite Motors now available.



John Boren
 
It would be so much easier to simply fly the Estes Saturn V on the many 24mm Composite Motors now available.



John Boren

i considered running it on an aero F35. My Estes V2 sure flies well on them.
 
I have seen people use flash pans to ignite BP motor clusters. The people who have done it at the launches I have been to claim 100% ignition of all motors. It looks pretty awesome too.
 
Build it stock using Chris Michielssens's brilliant practicum, then fly it on an E-15. You'll be the highlight of most launches you attend.

https://modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com/2011/04/estes-saturn-v-build-part-1-parts.html

James


As a cluster junkie I have to agree with james on this one. If you have not flown a few 2, 3 & 4 BP Motor clusters I would strongly suggest following James suggestions flying the saturn on a single composite E-15.
The Standard Saturn-V fly's OK on a single D12-3 to about 120feet but the slightest breeze can cause problems. I retired my original Estes 1/100th scale Saturn-V after 139 flights (our section number is 139). All those flights were on either a cluster of 3- C6-3's or a single D12-3. She is still flyable after 29 years of Fun flying.
I have 3 different Estes Saturn-V kits sitting in my shed but just haven't had the motivation to move me to open one.

5- C6 motor clusters in Estes Saturn-V have worked out well by folks who have good experience flying multi-motor clusters using "RELAY IGNITION SYSTEMS"
Until enough experience is gained it is NOT a good idea to try Clustering such a complex rocket.
Hope this give a little guidence.

001a01b-sm_Saturn-V & Grantry 1st flt 2pic_05-18-70.jpg

Saturn-V flt 139d_ 2Pic GoddardSFC_07-18-99.jpg
 
The last one I built I put a 29 mm motor mount in. Flys great on G64- 7. Used clay to balance in the BT-58 tube. I have a few parts from Shapeways that I will use on the next one. I will also use rail buttons.
 
Thanks guys, I definitely don't want to get in over my head. This is only the 6th, or so, skill level 5 rocket I will have done, perhaps caution is best. I started reading through Michielssens's directions, I will likely do this a few times. I really want this one to turn out great. I'll order a less complex cluster rocket to test the waters on.

Any suggestions for a first cluster rocket? I considered the Semroc Saturn 1B, but in reviewing the details of the build I might have to go with something that isn't a scale model for simplicity. I prefer scale models, but not exclusively.
 
From my experience successful clusters how been from a few factors. One is setup of motors and igniters. Q2G2 igniters have very low current. But I feel the most important is your ignition source. At our club we have a wireless relay system that can handle a lot of amps. Last weekend we lit a few clusters. One being 4x - 18mm on regular estes igniters and all flights lit all motors.

I agree with testing to make sure your system can handle a cluster before putting it. I am building a modded 3 stage Saturn V with 11 motors. But I have been using boilerplate the model each system like the electronics to light the 5 motors in the second stage. If it were me I would buy something like this https://www.erockets.biz/semroc-engine-mount-quad-1/ and scratch build something. Fly this a few time then start on the cluster in the Saturn V.
 
Any suggestions for a first cluster rocket? I considered the Semroc Saturn 1B, but in reviewing the details of the build I might have to go with something that isn't a scale model for simplicity. I prefer scale models, but not exclusively.

You're on the right track with the Semroc Saturn 1B. Here's how to make it a relatively simple build:

1) Build it with the simple slab balsa fin option that is provided with the kit

2) Replace the complex built-up capsule and tower provided with the kit with the 1/70 scale molded Apollo capsule tower from Apogee: https://www.apogeerockets.com/Build...ent-Parts-for-the-Saturn-V/Apollo-Capsule-Set

3) Paint it in the ASTP paint scheme, which eliminates much of the complex masking and painting.

Hope this helps,
James
 
As John alluded to, there are many options in 24mm composite motors if performance is your goal. If realism is your prime consideration, clustering is the way to go. But if not, stick to a single motor mount as clusters are more difficult to start and the added weight required to keep the CG in the stock location limits your motor options.

When I built my Saturn V, I drilled a hole through the base plate of the capsule and inserted a small bolt extending down through the hole before cementing the base to the main part. Depending on what motor I fly I can add a bolt and washers to weigh the capsule to accomodate larger heavier motors. This allows maximum performance if you fly small motors while maintaining adequate stability when flying larger motors. Mine has flown most frequently on an Aerotech F24-4 RMS, but's flown on motors as small as an E12-4 and as large as a CTI F30 (73Ns).

If you pursue this route, you'll need to know the proper CG point of the rocket, and ensure that when flying larger motors, enough nose weight is added so the CG is always the same (since you cannot change the CP of the rocket without larger fins which alter its appearance).
 
I've flown mine on an F35 and it flys well with enough nose weight. I prefer the CTI F30 24mm- 3 grain load as the liftoff is a bit slower then the F35 and the impulse is even higher. And the Estes V2 flys does very well on F35's - so well that I lost mine and I'm about to build a replacement.
 
Build it stock using Chris Michielssens's brilliant practicum, then fly it on an E-15. You'll be the highlight of most launches you attend.
https://modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com/2011/04/estes-saturn-v-build-part-1-parts.html
James

Thanks James!
Here's the whole thing from finish to start -
https://modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com/search/label/Saturn V

By the way, I'm starting my build of the Estes Little Joe II on the blog today -
https://modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com/
And referring to the builds you and George Gassaway did here on TRF.
 
I have seen people use flash pans to ignite BP motor clusters. The people who have done it at the launches I have been to claim 100% ignition of all motors. It looks pretty awesome too.

Google up "Flashbulb Ignition" . . . "Old School" was the BEST !
 
I am in the middle of Semroc Saturn 1B build right now. Wanting the option of a single 24mm or a cluster of four 18mm motors, I built it with an interchangeable motor mount. And even though I am going to give the kit capsule a go, I agree that the Apogee plastic capsule is a smart choice. So smart, that I ordered one today. Besides the capsule, the RCS assemblies will keep some sort of sanity in me. As for the paint scheme, well I'll get a picture of where it is now, so you can see that sanity may have left me already.
 
Saturn V launch July 2017 b.JPGThis is a shot of my Estes Saturn V flying yesterday on an AT F24-4 composite motor. I strengthened the motor mount with double centering rings and epoxy and used an Aeropack retainer. I also added 0.5 oz of clay to the nose cone for stability which brought the margin up to about 0.8 (still a bit marginal). However, winds were very light yesterday and with this relatively high-thrust motor the flight was stable. I will post a video link once I have it uploaded.
 
I agree with the above. Fly the Saturn V on a composite motor. Here's mine, 1/10 sec late, on an E15-4. Also try adding a baffle.

IMG_3651.JPG
 
Oh, I see. Well so far (two flights) I haven't had any problems using wadding as per the Estes directions - stuff a few pieces in the forward end of the motor mount tube and layer 10-12 pieces on top of the tube exit under the chutes. I haven't had any charring or burning of the chutes or shock cords.
 

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