First Scratch Build....Saturn V

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

hermanjc

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
17
Reaction score
15
Hello All.

This is my first scratch build, and I decided to go with a large one...the Saturn V. Not sure how well its gonna fly (only plan on using an Estes D or E), but having enough fun building it that I won't mind too much if the flights don't hold up so well. Currently stands at 35 inches tall, without the nozzles (which will be made from whipped cream can caps) and the Launch Escape System spire.

All the tubes were made myself with kraft paper and PVC tubes. Centering rings were from thin corrugated cardboard, although the motor mount will be in balsa centering rings when i install it.

It has two rail buttons that will go into an 80/20 launch tower. More pictures will be posted as I progress, and I also plan on borrowing a postage scale to start getting an idea on weight.

Any comments or suggestions greatly appreciated.

2014-07-20.jpg2014-07-21(2).jpg2014-07-21.jpg
 

marcusSRG

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2012
Messages
888
Reaction score
1
Very nice so far. Love the scratch paper parts. It's truly all scratch built! Best of luck.
 

morlock

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2014
Messages
630
Reaction score
2
I'm envious :)

Can you detail your process for creating the tubes?
 

luke strawwalker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
9,139
Reaction score
14
Looks really nice... KUTGW!

What scale are you going with?? I've been doing a scratch build of Saturn V off and on based on a BT-80 tube for the S-IC/S-II, which is about 1/158 scale... nice thing about it is, you can use a BT-60 for the S-IVB, as it's in almost the same scale. Haven't messed with "rolling my own" yet, but it's certainly a good technique to have!

Later! OL JR :)
 

aerostadt

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
3,117
Reaction score
161
Location
Brigham City, UT
It might be nice to have computer simulation with RocSim or I think it is Open Rocket, if you want to keep costs down. They might be a way to suspend the model with string or twine to experimentally determine the center of gravity. I wonder if there might be some way to cut an accurate slot through a PVC pipe that will fit accurately over the rail buttons. Then suspending the pipe with a string that would find the c.g. accurately. I think having one large E motor rather than a cluster of D's will help keep the c.g. forward.
 
Last edited:

kpklein

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
264
Reaction score
0
Very good techique and neatly done. I usualy just wrap a single piece of light weight card stock around PVC and use wall paper paste.. It is important to get bubbles and irregularities out from between layers though. As for the seam running down the whole length, I just designade that side as the rear and put the launch lugs there. It is quick and easy but you need to wait for it to dry ofcourse.
 

hcmbanjo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,284
Reaction score
93
You've made a great start! I'll be following the build.
Thanks for the tube rolling link.
 

hermanjc

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
17
Reaction score
15
Thanks again for the compliments. Unfortunately I have been short of hobby time as of late, so no real progress to report. I did get an opportunity to try rolling motor tubes this past weekend, but not positive if I will instead order some pre-cut kits from Estes or Apogee just to be sure on fit. My new strategy is to allow the use of a Single D/E, with 4 additional mount holes around the center main engine for booster C-0s, so I can launch with 1, 3 or 5 motors.

Hopefully some more progress pictures to be posted in the coming month or two.
 

hermanjc

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
17
Reaction score
15
So it has been a LONNNNGGGGG time since I last posted here, 6 years. The Saturn V project got shelved very shortly after that last post, and made no real progress until last year....then it was put on hold again. Funny what having kids, moving houses, travelling for work etc. can do to a hobby. But, over the last 2 months the Saturn V scratch build is nearly complete.

Built the motor cluster bay in 2019 using homemade motor tubes and homemade motor spring holders (cut to length and bent spring steel harvested from old windshield wipers to match standard Estes part). I ended up bailing on the D/E size center motor, and just went with 5 A-C size motors. Plan to launch with only 3 initially.
IMG_20190609_215025917.jpgIMG_20190609_215853667.jpg

Then in 2020 I picked it back up (quarantine project :)). Added fins trying to keep close to scale (which I sized using OpenRocket), including the motor cowlings around the fin bases. Added "whipped cream topper" nozzles (we'll see if they melt). I also built a new custom launch controller, which uses 12Vs to better ensure multi-ignition.
IMG_20200624_082130393.jpgIMG_20200624_082232991.jpg

After my initial swing stability testing resulted in a crash and broken fin, I opted to increase the fin sizes. Takes them quite far from scale, but most important to me is flight stability and hopefully launching more than once.
IMG_20200702_080823673.jpg

Finally I am entering paint and decals phase. I also have a friend 3D printing a scale Launch Escape System to put on the top command module (which is currently off so I can add some nose weight before glueing it back on). The motors (C5-3 Super Cs) have been ordered, and parachute has been made. Last thing I need to do is complete the launch stand.
IMG_20200708_123639156.jpgIMG_20200708_123817391.jpg

This was a little scattered, but hopefully I will be putting a bow on it soon, and we will get this out to a field for liftoff!
 

Attachments

hermanjc

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
17
Reaction score
15
Another quick update....decals on and the LES printing is also complete. When all together the Saturn V will stand just over 40" from Nozzles to LES.
IMG_20200709_082531895.jpgIMG_20200709_082739.jpg
 

Leo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Messages
1,851
Reaction score
124
Location
Germany
The maiden flight should be quite exciting.
 

jrap330

Retired Engineer, NAR # 76940
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
272
Reaction score
76
Location
NJ
So it has been a LONNNNGGGGG time since I last posted here, 6 years. The Saturn V project got shelved very shortly after that last post, and made no real progress until last year....then it was put on hold again. Funny what having kids, moving houses, travelling for work etc. can do to a hobby. But, over the last 2 months the Saturn V scratch build is nearly complete.

Built the motor cluster bay in 2019 using homemade motor tubes and homemade motor spring holders (cut to length and bent spring steel harvested from old windshield wipers to match standard Estes part). I ended up bailing on the D/E size center motor, and just went with 5 A-C size motors. Plan to launch with only 3 initially.
View attachment 423777View attachment 423778

Then in 2020 I picked it back up (quarantine project :)). Added fins trying to keep close to scale (which I sized using OpenRocket), including the motor cowlings around the fin bases. Added "whipped cream topper" nozzles (we'll see if they melt). I also built a new custom launch controller, which uses 12Vs to better ensure multi-ignition.
View attachment 423779View attachment 423781

After my initial swing stability testing resulted in a crash and broken fin, I opted to increase the fin sizes. Takes them quite far from scale, but most important to me is flight stability and hopefully launching more than once.
View attachment 423782

Finally I am entering paint and decals phase. I also have a friend 3D printing a scale Launch Escape System to put on the top command module (which is currently off so I can add some nose weight before glueing it back on). The motors (C5-3 Super Cs) have been ordered, and parachute has been made. Last thing I need to do is complete the launch stand.
View attachment 423783View attachment 423784

This was a little scattered, but hopefully I will be putting a bow on it soon, and we will get this out to a field for liftoff!
Amazing the motor hooks look like Estes...not something you bent. The whole mount looks great and looks just as good as a kit w/o the plastic form wraps...just amazing. Can wait to see it fly on C's engine and to everyone who are too young to know.......the original Estes/Centuri Kits from 1969-1970's flew on 3 C's engines.
 

hermanjc

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
17
Reaction score
15
Getting dangerously close to maiden now 😁

Got the launch rail painted and mounted to an old halogen work lamp tripod stand. Still need to make a blast deflector. Motors arrive later this week. With some luck regarding weather we are eyeballing launch for next weekend.

IMG_20200712_140358303.jpgIMG_20200712_140402994.jpgIMG_20200712_140329213.jpgIMG_20200712_140532935.jpgIMG_20200712_140528055.jpg
 

jrap330

Retired Engineer, NAR # 76940
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
272
Reaction score
76
Location
NJ
Nice......very affordable since I assume you don't need the lamp.
 

hermanjc

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
17
Reaction score
15
The Saturn V and launcher are basically complete at this point. I might do one more swing test just to be certain once the motors arrive, but weather depending this 6 years in the making rocket might just fly this coming weekend!
IMG_20200714_222250531.jpgIMG_20200714_222244690.jpgIMG_20200714_203614491.jpgIMG_20200714_203631978.jpg
 

hermanjc

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
17
Reaction score
15
The homebuilt from scratch Saturn V flew beautifully today! First some photos:

CA9768D0-D858-4E77-BD67-1EC29B32FE12.jpg
IMG_20200718_111018025_BURST000_COVER-1.jpg

Video of the perfect maiden flight with 2 C6-5s and 1 superC5-3.




































Not everything went perfect tho. On second attempt with 2 superC5-3s and 1 C6-5 my son didn't hold the launch button long enough, so only the center C6-5 ignited. But the Saturn survived without issue (although I knocked off the LES while prepping for attempt 3).



















After swapping the spent C6-5 with a superC5-3 the third attempt was another flawless flight.



All in all a very successful day! I really couldn't be happier to share this event with my wife & son's, and some family and friends who came to watch too. The Saturn V survived to fly another day!
 
Last edited:

jrap330

Retired Engineer, NAR # 76940
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
272
Reaction score
76
Location
NJ
Those launches were with 3 C's correct. Looks like it achieve a decent altitude. Yeah I heard 3 C's only achieve maybe 150 feet. Is it a lot lighter than an Estes Saturn V which stock is 14 oz.
 

bobbyg23

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
419
Reaction score
273
Awesome flights. It's great when the entire family can get involved.
 

hermanjc

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
17
Reaction score
15
Those launches were with 3 C's correct. Looks like it achieve a decent altitude. Yeah I heard 3 C's only achieve maybe 150 feet. Is it a lot lighter than an Estes Saturn V which stock is 14 oz.
Yes I used 3 C engines, however I had to use at least one Super C. The rocket ended up weighing in at 377grams (13.3oz) with the 3 motors. The Estes takes say 3 C6-5s have a max take off weight of 333g (113g each). Thankfully Estes brought back the Super C5-3, which have a max take off weight of 224g each. The first launch used 2 C6-5s and 1 Super C5-3 and I'm pretty sure it went higher than the third launch which used 3 super C5-3s.

Per Open rocket simulations I was expecting around 500 feet of altitude, and I'm fairly confident it reached at least that.
 

Latest posts

Top