New Build - Falcon 9 Crew Dragon - 56mm Tube

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ToneDeafJunior

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Hello all. About a year ago, I purchased a crew dragon capsule from BA. See the picture. Seems the capsule changed a bit, but there's nothing I can do about that. I plan on building a Falcon 9 Crew Dragon upscaled from a paper model to have a diameter of 56mm, or what I call a BT-70 tube. I'm going to resize the 'skins' of the paper model and use lable paper to attach them to the tube. (Just as I did in the Delta II build last year) See the paper model I'm using. I'd also like to replace the SpaceX logo and create the worm NASA logo that hopefully will be used soon. Just details.
If my math is correct, the finished rocket should stand 38 3/4 inches tall with a diameter of 2.2 inches.
Pic 1.jpg Pic 2.png
I started to make the 'Octaweb" today and it's turning out pretty nicely. Using a 1/2 inch dowel cut to 2 inch lengths, inserting them in the drill press and then using a rotary tool for the shaping. As you can see, I really gobbed the glue on the engine nozzles on the centering ring since I figured they are going to hit the ground first. Hopefully... The whole assembly will be painted black so I don't think the extra glue will show up too much. Oh, and a 24mm BT-50 motor tube. I plan on flying the rocket with an E9-4 (haven't graduated to better motors yet) and a screenshot of the OR details are below. I'll make 4 clear plastic acrylic fins with the edges airfoiled. 155 meters is just fine with me. I don't have huge open spaces. There's so much anxiety about flying these things anyway. I gotta find a better place to launch, but I digress.
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bguffer

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I started a Falcon V1.0 prototype 5ish years ago, upscaling/printing wraps from likely same paper model website.
Finally got around to doing more than paper wraps late last year. Prototype used friction fit fins, so the fins could be removed for display.

Here are some build photos:

Fins were sized 1.5" x 2" not counting the through-the-wall tab.
Fins were 0.0625, with no airfoils.
Flew fine on E9-6. Keep in mind this was length of Falcon V1.0, not length of V1.1 or later. Also was a balsa nose cone with 1.5oz weight added for balance. I imagine that 3d printed capsule is heavier.

Airframe was similar size as yours. Mailing tubes from Meijer/Office Max. Motor mount was 24mm. The friction fit fins worked well. One fin wasn't tight enough fit, so i folded small piece of paper to wrap the root/base edge of fin, and inserted the paper/fin sandwich into balsa core, and was then plenty tight enough.

I also prototyped a Falcon Heavy in similar fashion, but with 29mm motor mount. The larger motor mount seemed to make friction fit of the fins not very tight, so i glued in the fins on the Heavy. Just a prototype anyways. I think friction fit could work with 29mm motors as well, but probably need to have thicker centering rings and then create a slot in the rings for the fins to fit/lock into, and the friction would be mostly with the centering rings, instead of solid balsa core like in my Falcon V1.0 prototype.

Boyce has since upscaled and printed landing legs and engine bells for me, for the a Heavy and a V1.2. So if you don't already have landing legs, Boyce is an option.
 

ToneDeafJunior

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Primed the capsule yesterday and put one topcoat on this afternoon. Yes, I should have waited another 24 hours, but I am impatient. I hope it will take paint well. I don't know how much paint detail I can do without making it look like a 3rd grader did it, but I'm going to at least do some black. Hope not to have too much bleed through with the masking. I usually spray some white in a small container and try to even it out with a small brush. From 2 feet away, I hope it'll look fine.
Pic 7.jpg
The motor mount turned out as well as I had hoped.
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Now, I found one of the paper rockets that was a F9 B5 that had a flown booster. Thank you AXM. I believe I'm going to use that one rather than the clean booster adding the NASA logos, etc. Also, I do not plan on building out the landing legs or grid fins. I'll just upscale flat 'decals', cut them out, and stick them right over the skins that are going on the booster. It should look like the SpaceX kit landing legs with a little more detail and not as thick so less drag.
 

ToneDeafJunior

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Applying 'skins' to a tube...
Years ago, I purchased Johns A8 Gemini Titan skins. I did a terrible job applying them to the 66mm tubes. On my last build, I tried a different approach and it worked well. Here's what I did. This allows you to lightly stick the middle of the skin and then apply one side at a time and have 1/2 the worries.
Cut out the skin you are going to apply with center marks lightly drawn with a pencil.
Pic 10.jpg
Then turn it over and draw the same center line on the back.
Pic 11.jpg
Then remove the backing, cut in half and reapply with a 1/4 in overhang on each side. Remember to reapply paper correctly, or you'll have the problems I did below.
Pic 12.jpg
Then find your center line on your rocket and line up the pencil marks on the tube and your skin. Mash (Yes, mash. I'm a southerner) the 1/2 inch of exposed paper to the tube. Then you can remove the backing one side at a time and obtain a more accurate finished part.
Pic 13.jpg
Let me know if this works for you.
 
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ToneDeafJunior

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Last night I painted the capsule and service module. After talking with Kuririn (thank you my friend), he reaffirmed that 3 parachutes would be a good choice. One for the second stage, service mod and nose cone, and 2 for the booster. I totally dig the way the first stage on the Estes Saturn V with the two chutes comes down. I think the chutes look majestic spread out the way they do and I hope to achieve the same thing with stage one on the F9. We'll see.
Finishing stage two... I did not have a 56 mm bulkhead, so I used a centering ring along with a cut circle of craft paperboard. I did not want the chute having the possibility of getting shoved up in the nosecone and not deploying properly. I attached that to the end of a coupler, while paying attention to the Kevlar cord attached/tied to the of the shoulder of the cone. I CA'ed the shoulder to the service mod/capsule and then glued the shoulder to stage 2. Then cut the excess coupler and sanded with 500 grit. One single 15-inch chute will be attached with a swivel to the Kevlar loop. On to stage one next week.
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ToneDeafJunior

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Cut the fins out of acrylic today while airfoiling the leading and tip edges. Turned out pretty well. I also cut the launch lug extensions and airfoiled the leading edge. Fins went on with E6000 glue. I'll start again tomorrow with a glue filet on the root edge of each fin for strength and hope to get the launch lugs and one tunnel attached. Chute system then it'll be complete.
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ToneDeafJunior

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The completed rocket without motor and 3 15" chutes weighs 232g or 8.2oz. 2 chutes for the booster and 1 for the stage 2, service mod and capsule.
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Here's the recovery system. I hope obtain the outcome I'm looking for regarding the 2 booster chutes.
Pic 31.jpg
I'll be sure to post a flight video when I get the chance to fly again. I'll have 3 first timers.
 

ToneDeafJunior

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I haven't been quite satisfied with the reused booster on the Crew Dragon so yesterday I removed the fins, launch lugs, cut the tube, removed the motor mount and will trash the 56mm tube. I plan on my going back to my original idea of the un-flown booster with NASA worm logo and meatballs. I was quite happy with how secure the fins were with the E6000 glue.
Pic 33.jpg
I also removed the skins from the second stage with a heat gun and applied the new skin with the American Flag and NASA meatball. More pictures to come.
 
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ToneDeafJunior

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Booster with the new skin and motor mount reinstalled. Fins are attached, and tunnel to hide the seam, but not pictured. I'll stick on the grid fins, size some landing legs, add the launch lugs and she'll be complete.
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