RC Shuttle... Cuz George Thought It Might Be Cool...

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rokitflite

Well-Known Member
This is going to be a long slow build thread because I know how I am... Hopefully it will be finished within the next year.

It started with AKpilot's Show your boost gliders thread in the watering hole where I posted my earliest scratch built boost glider, a shuttle-like concept. George Gassaway commented that an RC version would be cool.

Here it is again:

It is a BT-60 booster with a BT-50 based glider.

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rokitflite

Well-Known Member
It flew great in the early 80s and I have made larger, BT-80 external tank freeflight versions since then. Several were attempts at RC, but my limited knowledge of RC and the lack of truly small equipment made it so that only one ever flew, and none were successful.

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rokitflite

Well-Known Member
So now, with a better grasp on the whole RC thing (20 years of experience instead of 0) and some tiny RC gear, I'm ready to have another go at it.

The main booster is based on a Quest 50mm tube and nose cone, the SRBs BT-50, the orbiter BT-60 with a Titan IIIE booster cone (and maybe nozzle if I can afford the tail weight) and it will use a 24mm mount.

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zog139

Well-Known Member
So do I understand you right that you are going to reporduce the same model in the pictures but with RC control ? In the one picture you are holding a radio. Did you ever get it to work with RC control? Oops didnt see your post #3

rokitflite

Well-Known Member
As with the originals, I will use an off center mount since the glider will be firmly mounted at 3 points like the Estes Space Shuttle model.

rokitflite

Well-Known Member
So do I understand you right that you are going to reporduce the same model in the pictures but with RC control ? In the one picture you are holding a radio. Did you ever get it to work with RC control? Oops didnt see your post #3

And you didn't see post#2 if you are asking me if it worked... No it didn't. It had rudder and elevator when it NEEDED elevons. It boosted well (G40 baby!), glided well, but would not turn. It had a radio glitch on Lucern dry lake and did a spiral dive to its death.

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rokitflite

Well-Known Member
I had 1 set of Geo Sat LV SRB nose & nozzle sets (that I could find). So I did a quick silicone rubber mold and resin cast them out of Alumalite. They are hollow because I rotationally molded it by hand, but they still need some hollowing out. They are a bit heavy, but I am TRYING to make this thing about 8-10oz so it will NOT go too high on a D12-3 or Quest D8-(?). I will look to get 400 feet or so on boost.

rokitflite

Well-Known Member
Thats it for now... I've gotta find the little 2.4ghz Vapor brick I've got around here somewhere.

georgegassaway

Hey Scott, thats great that youre going to do this!

It is interesting to go back and do something, in present day, that you had wanted to do, or even tried to do, years back. But the right mix of equipment and knowledge (or experience) was not quite there then, but it is there now. I have had that happen a few times, which makes some of those projects extra-special when they finally work out like you wanted so long ago.

- George Gassaway

rokitflite

Well-Known Member
Hey Scott, thats great that youre going to do this!

It is interesting to go back and do something, in present day, that you had wanted to do, or even tried to do, years back. But the right mix of equipment and knowledge (or experience) was not quite there then, but it is there now. I have had that happen a few times, which makes some of those projects extra-special when they finally work out like you wanted so long ago.

- George Gassaway
Yeah, and what KILLS me now is that I have enough micro RC equipment to choke a whale... Back then I couldn't afford squat! What was a Cannon Super Micro servo back in the 80s? Like $40? Now you can get smaller ones for$5!

Fred22

Well-Known Member
I am looking forward to following your progress. I think this is going to be cool
Cheers
fred

georgegassaway

I had 1 set of Geo Sat LV SRB nose & nozzle sets (that I could find). So I did a quick silicone rubber mold and resin cast them out of Alumalite. They are hollow because I rotationally molded it by hand, but they still need some hollowing out. They are a bit heavy, but I am TRYING to make this thing about 8-10oz so it will NOT go too high on a D12-3 or Quest D8-(?). I will look to get 400 feet or so on boost.
If you have not glued yet and have the time..... try mixing micro-balloons with the Alumilite. I did that for my 1/72 model's SRB noses, SSME nozzles, and OMS pod aft ends (with the thruster arrays). Hollow-cast. Now, I did not use a machine to rotate them, I rotated them by hand. For the noses and SSME nozzles, I held the molds almost sideways, tilted a little so the resin would not pour out. The microballoons thickened the resin enough that with some practice I could get some pretty consistent results and of course for the SRB noses it did not matter what they looked inside (unlike the SSME's). BTW - I used Vac-form for the SRB aft skirts and nozzles, main OMS pods, plus a few other bits (I cast the pieces for the four hold-down structure details on each aft skirt then glued them to the vac-formed skirts).

I found there was an optimum ratio beyond which too much microballoons would be too thick to flow quite enough for the rotation by hand to work well. And also the more microballoons, the more fragile the parts were. I then had to balance against the ratio mix, or making the parts a little thicker. That might be an issue with the SRB nozzles, but then you might find it practical to cast the nozzles with little to no micro-balloons, while the rest of the SRB aft skirt assembly did use a decent mix with microballoons. OK, so making up separate molds would be a hassle, but take your existing mold, do a light mix for the aft skirt, but cast everything, then cut off the nozzle. Then cast a sturdier nozzle, casting he whole mold if need be, and trim off everything that is not the nozzle.

Hmm, wait, If the SRB&#8217;s are going to be on the glider, then there is no need to worry about landing damage for the SRB nozzles.

Just remember, this is an R/C glider, and you do not really want to be adding a lot of extra mass if you can help it. That is why you will be using really light radio gear to begin with. You would not use an ultra-light receiver and servos, then throw in a 110 mAh nicad pack, would you? no, becasue you want ot save the weight. And even though this is not for contest flying, and is for sport flying, the lighter it is, the better it flies. So the longer everyone gets to enjoy seeing it flying.

BTW- you had mentioned if you needed the weight of the SRB nozzles in the tail for balance? Why wouldn&#8217;t you locate the R/C gear in the right spots to make it balance right? I know that can be somewhat tricky in mid-build, and always needs some tweaking when completed. But you can usually get it into a good ballpark range and tweak with battery location, and if you are far off, receiver location too.

Yeah, and what KILLS me now is that I have enough micro RC equipment to choke a whale... Back then I couldn't afford squat! What was a Cannon Super Micro servo back in the 80s? Like $40? Now you can get smaller ones for$5!
Would you believe.... just $59.95 for a servo, and merely$120-130 for a 2-channel Super-micro receiver? In 1980? Well, possibly $49.95 for the servo, I am not totally sure or might be thinking of a later price increase. I do think that a 4 or 5 channel receiver was$150. I think a package deal for a 2-channel flight pack (one 2-ch receiver, 2 servos, and one 110 mAh nicad pack) was at least $220, NO transmitter. Recently I tied to find info on the old Cannon gear, but could not Google anything useful (Cannon and R/C bring up a lot of hits for model Tanks, and Bill Cannon R/C not a lot better). And I thought I had some papers here, in an old cardboard box a system came in, but it had other stuff, like a manual, but no prices and no specs like masses. But IIRC from memory the receiver was .54 oz., servos .47 oz., and 110 mAh Ni-cads about 1.1 oz. And yet that was totally revolutionary in early 1980 when it first came out, and was till the early 1990&#8217;s. Actually I still have some, including the later &#8220;ultra-micro&#8221; gear (I do not recall masses for those, I'd have to weigh them). - George Gassaway Last edited: rokitflite Well-Known Member Ooops, I think you misunderstood me George... The glider's nose and tail are from a Titan IIIE (BT-60), and the SRBs will be attached to the booster/external tank. Here is a picture of another prototype (BT-80 non RC) which has been in the same state for 15+ years now. This shows what this smaller models ET will look like. As far as micro-balloons, I've used them before and I thought about it here. The trouble is they thicken the mixture too much to get into the details. Even un cut it is having trouble flowing into all of the grooves. And again, I am not concerned about weight in the booster all that much. rokitflite Well-Known Member Would you believe.... just$59.95 for a servo, and merely $120-130 for a 2-channel Super-micro receiver? In 1980? Well, possibly$49.95 for the servo, I am not totally sure or might be thinking of a later price increase. I do think that a 4 or 5 channel receiver was $150. I think a package deal for a 2-channel flight pack (one 2-ch receiver, 2 servos, and one 110 mAh nicad pack) was at least$220, NO transmitter. Recently I tied to find info on the old Cannon gear, but could not Google anything useful (Cannon and R/C bring up a lot of hits for model Tanks, and Bill Cannon R/C not a lot better). And I thought I had some papers here, in an old cardboard box a system came in, but it had other stuff, like a manual, but no prices and no specs like masses. But IIRC from memory the receiver was .54 oz., servos .47 oz., and 110 mAh Ni-cads about 1.1 oz. And yet that was totally revolutionary in early 1980 when it first came out, and was till the early 1990s. Actually I still have some, including the later ultra-micro gear (I do not recall masses for those, I'd have to weigh them).

- George Gassaway
Oh yeah... I believe it. My first RC system (which I still have!), for my Tamiya Rough Rider, was a Futaba 2 channel stick setup on 27mhz. It was 1979 and it cost me \$138. The receiver, servos and batteries combined damn near weighed as much as the transmitter! Not to mention the fact that the on/off switch was bigger than some of the servos I use today! I have a Cannon super micro servo somewhere in this mess... Saved a whole bunch of money up to buy it and then NEVER used it.