Little Joe II Build

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Raptor 2

Raptor2
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Just getting back into building rockets after after a 45 year hold. In the last year I’ve built an old Saturn V kit I had in a box. Used what was left of an old Saturn IB and scratch built a Saturn SA6. Tested it on a long string for stability. Have not launched any yet. Built one Little Joe 2 as per the Estes kit instructions with the modifications noted in forums posted on this site. Thanks for the heads up on the problems associated with this kit. First one done and have E30-4 composite ready for launch when it warms up here. Right now it’s minus 22C outside with a wind chill of minus 33C. I saw Estes was discontinuing this kit so I picked up the last one in the hobby store.

For this second build I was thinking of changing the motor mount to take the 95 mm long E engines. Going to replace the forward centering ring with plywood ring and use thru wall wood slats to secure the fins and center the rear of the engine mount tube. The rear plate with the engine cones will be removed for launch. With them gone I’m thinking of setting the engine mount tube forward so the bottom of the engine is flush with the bottom of the main body tube.
I don’t use rocket sim or any other computer program to check stability but moving the engine forward, dumping the fake nozzles, and using a plywood forward centering ring should all help with moving the CG forward. I’d check stability as always at the end of a long string. Any thoughts from the pros would be appreciated.
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Raptor 2

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Replaced the kit motor mount with a Rocketarium E motor mount. Mount completed and ready to installed in BT so the end of the motor is flush with the end of the body tube. Fins being glued now.image.jpg
 

Raptor 2

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Replaced the kit cardboard bottom ring with1/2” cardstock strip and glued on a 3/32” wide strip at the top of the plastic wrap position. I cut openings in the plastic wrap where the launch lugs are supposed to be placed. The kit calls for these to be glued to the plastic wrap but some folks have had problems with these coming of at launch so I figured it’s better to gle them directly to the body to the body tube. Used 3M 77 spray adhesive for the card stock and 3M 465 CEE6CDA9-0485-40F7-8ED1-296609DEA390.jpegE1A2EEA8-C50A-4155-8A5F-0729FD098F3A.jpeg5CD4CDD2-C103-4FC0-9AEF-A1F681E1EE6D.jpegdouble sided tape for the body wrap.
 

125cc

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Nice, I'd love to build an LJII (already have LJ1) however have decided against it as we can't get E-impulse BP engines in the UK and I don't yet want the legal hassle and expense of going for APs. It's a shame as its a nice kit.
 

Raptor 2

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Cut wood slats 1/2” x 3/16 x3” long. Sanded the ends to fit inside the fins. Slats will have to cut to length to mate up with the motor mount. Openings will be cut into the air frame at each fin location for the slats to pass thru to test fit for length while dry fitted into the fin. Slats will then be glued into the fins (RC Canopy Glue) and when dry the wood slats will be inserted thru the hole in the tube to mate up with the motor mount. Fins will be glued to the air frame (RC Modellers Canopy Glue) and the ends of the wood slats will be glued to the motor mount and inside of the air frame with carpenters glue. image.jpg
 

Raptor 2

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Openings have been cut in the body tube and wood slats have been cut to length and all parts dry fitted before gluing slats into the fins. You can see the shadow line of the wood slat in the fin which shows how far into the fin the slat penetrates. image.jpg
 

Raptor 2

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Fins glued in place using RC Canopy glue on the wrap and carpenters glue on the interior tube and engine mount. Sanded down the flanges on the les tower nose cone and retro rocket cap as they were to big to slide into the tower tube.BBC45B71-CCF9-43EF-B356-D4820AC1ED38.jpegimage.jpg
 

Raptor 2

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Finally had some time to get back at it. Glued the tunnel details and launch lugs on. First time using Plastruct Bondene as recommended by James Duffy in an earlier thread on LJ2s. Works like a charm on gluing the parts to the plastic wrap. Used RC Modellers Canopy glue for the launch lugs which were glued directly to the body tube in the openings I cut through the plastic wrap. Let her set and ready for the first coat of black spray paint on the lower portion of the air frame. Prepared the upper body wrap on AutoCAD from a copy of George Gassaway’s wrap and did a test fit.
 

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Raptor 2

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Applied the decals with micro set/sol. Rocket is ready for a couple of clear coats. Will install two parachutes. One main 30” and an 18” chute for the CM and LES tower. The two will come down together. Chutes custom made by my talented wife. First launch will be with an Aerotech E30-4T when it warms up here. Going down to -40 C tonite so it will be a while.
 

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Raptor 2

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Fully loaded with two chutes, wadding and an E30-4 composite the weight is 12.6 oz and the CG is 7 inches from the rear of the BT edge. Kit calls for CG to be at least 6.25 inches from the rear. Okay there. Kit states a weight of 8.3 oz. Question I have is that the weight without chutes and a motor as my model comes in at 8.0 oz without the motor, wadding and chutes?
 

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Long_Gone

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Nice check out my 1/96th scale scratch build. Flies good.

 

Raptor 2

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Took a quick look tonight and will check it out tomorrow. I've got an apollo capsule and les tower from an old Saturn kit and may give it a try at the smaller scale also. Yours came out looking good.
 

skaffgeorge04

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Just getting back into building rockets after after a 45 year hold. In the last year I’ve built an old Saturn V kit I had in a box. Used what was left of an old Saturn IB and scratch built a Saturn SA6. Tested it on a long string for stability. Have not launched any yet. Built one Little Joe 2 as per the Estes kit instructions with the modifications noted in forums posted on this site. Thanks for the heads up on the problems associated with this kit. First one done and have E30-4 composite ready for launch when it warms up here. Right now it’s minus 22C outside with a wind chill of minus 33C. I saw Estes was discontinuing this kit so I picked up the last one in the hobby store.

For this second build I was thinking of changing the motor mount to take the 95 mm long E engines. Going to replace the forward centering ring with plywood ring and use thru wall wood slats to secure the fins and center the rear of the engine mount tube. The rear plate with the engine cones will be removed for launch. With them gone I’m thinking of setting the engine mount tube forward so the bottom of the engine is flush with the bottom of the main body tube.
I don’t use rocket sim or any other computer program to check stability but moving the engine forward, dumping the fake nozzles, and using a plywood forward centering ring should all help with moving the CG forward. I’d check stability as always at the end of a long string. Any thoughts from the pros would be appreciated.View attachment 447873
Some nice looking stuff there,I can tell you're an old craftsman like myself.Welcone back.Like you I'm an old rocketeer too,I haven't built or flown anything in 35, maybe 36 years now.However seeing all the things I've seen here on the forum has rekindled that interest in a big way.I'mainly interested in finding very rare out of production kits and parts and scaling them up or down as the case may be.I have a line on a few very nice ones and if I can afford them I'm gonna be a really busy boy , and happily so.
 

Long_Gone

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I just put in $400 worth of bids on ebay today for old rockets and rocketry stuff.
 

Raptor 2

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Some nice looking stuff there,I can tell you're an old craftsman like myself.Welcone back.Like you I'm an old rocketeer too,I haven't built or flown anything in 35, maybe 36 years now.However seeing all the things I've seen here on the forum has rekindled that interest in a big way.I'mainly interested in finding very rare out of production kits and parts and scaling them up or down as the case may be.I have a line on a few very nice ones and if I can afford them I'm gonna be a really busy boy , and happily so.
Now that I’m retired it’s time to play. My main interest in rockets has always been the scale models and I’ve got a Saturn Skylab still boxed. Just completed the Estes Saturn 1B in the Apollo 7 SA 205 roll pattern. One of my favourite scale models. Will try to make a small scale Little Joe II as per Long-Gone’s Thread.
 

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Jimmy

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Now that I’m retired it’s time to play. My main interest in rockets has always been the scale models and I’ve got a Saturn Skylab still boxed. Just completed the Estes Saturn 1B in the Apollo 7 SA 205 roll pattern. One of my favourite scale models. Will try to make a small scale Little Joe II as per Long-Gone’s Thread.
That’s one beautiful rocket garden that you have there. I love scale rockets of the early space program.
 

Raptor 2

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That’s one beautiful rocket garden that you have there. I love scale rockets of the early space program.
Thanks Can,t wait for the weather to improve and no wind. I have not launched a rocket in 40 years so it will be an exciting day when I fire these babies off!
 

skaffgeorge04

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Now that I’m retired it’s time to play. My main interest in rockets has always been the scale models and I’ve got a Saturn Skylab still boxed. Just completed the Estes Saturn 1B in the Apollo 7 SA 205 roll pattern. One of my favourite scale models. Will try to make a small scale Little Joe II as per Long-Gone’s Thread.
We're in the same boat there, I'm semi retired and I have a lot of free time on my hands but my money situation leaves a lot to be desired.So I really have to pick and choose what I do.My favorite is the Nike Smoke and I'd like to do a few different sizes of it if I can afford to.
 
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