Sirius Rocketry Saturn V

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Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2009
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In the Spring of 2008 I built the very nice Saturn V kit from Sirius Rocketry.
This rocket was built to fly.

The original thread covering the build and three flights in 2008 is in the TRF archive at:

I have taken the liberty of pasting content from the first post from that thread below.

The Sirius Rocketry Saturn V is a very high quality and finely detailed scale high power kit of the greatest rocket ever built.

At 1/64 scale, it is 6" diameter and with display engine bells and escape tower 67" tall.

The many detailed resin cast parts include the capsule, command module, engine bells, 2 sets of fins, transition, and the escape tower structure. There are also many detailed styrene wraps.

The main body tube is 6" flexible phenolic, and the rest of the tubes are thick cardboard.

Pictures of parts below.

Ordered on a Friday night got it the following Monday, and it was well packed to protect all parts. This is clearly a Rolls Royce among kits.

The kit design is optimized for detailed scale appearance and flying, specifically:
* Single split point just below top transition, from which two parachutes are deployed at apogee for separate recovery of upper and lower rocket sections.
* Internal 1/2" lug, for 4' rod.
* Built for HP flying, with AT I-284 as the recommended engine, using engine deployment.

David Miller of Sirius Rocketry has been very helpful responding to emailed questions, some additional info:
* Typical prepped rocket flight weight 10.5-11 lbs
* Safe CG point is 27.5" or farther forward from rear end of main body tube.

The kit comes with 20 pages of well written instructions with diagrams, and every single part needed to build the complete flying rocket, except the parachutes which are an option.

Stones did a very finely detailed build of this rocket here:

These threads provide a good look at a stock build of this kit, resulting in a museum quality showpiece.

Mine will not be as finely detailed, but it will be a great looking heavy duty flier.
To summarize the the seven pages of the archived thread very briefly in the next four posts:

I modified the build from stock because I like clusters and wanted to build this beauty for my L2 cert flight:
1) Made fins slightly oversized and from G10
2) Built central 54mm and 4x 29mm canted motor mounts
3) Set up for dual deploy
The three flights completed in 2008:

Flight 1: 6/20/2008 - NERRF 4 - Successful L2 cert flight

The sky was clear and wind was low, so I went for the Cesaroni 54mm 4 grain K 445. My first K and it was very sweet !

The Classic propellant is regressive, giving a strong, fast push at the pad, and a 3.7 second burn. The cert flight was nice, clean and fast on the way up to 2692ft.

Rocket weighed 17.2 lbs ready to fly. Only wear and tear from this flight was a few slight burn marks on the main chute and one of the engine bells warped very slightly from launch blast.

First picture thanks to Howard Greenblatt. My son and I having a great time at NERRF.

Second picture thanks to Brian at Print Your Hobby.
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Second Flight: 6/22/08 - NERRF 4

Went with the same Cesaroni K-445 in the center position, and added 4x G64's in the outboard tubes.

Used a sliver of pressed BP at the top of each of the G64's, allowing them to fire instantly using the same method that is built into the Cesaronis. Used a Rocketflite ML igniter for the center motor and MF igniters in the G64's.

Worked like a charm, kicking all five engines instantly for a hard long thrust to 3,372 ft. Total impulse 2095 Ns.

Added a 1 lb slide in nose weight unit to balance the added weight of the 4 G64's. Rocket weighed 19.6 lbs ready to fly.
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Flight 3: 7/19/08 - CMASS - "Houston we have a problem"

Finally had time to complete the paint detail and decals, rocket was looking good.

Prepped with a central J440 and 4x G64's. J blew out nozzle and caused just enough internal damage to prevent chute deployment. Lifted off on the G's to 273ft and lawn darted.

"If you can't deal with that you should have built a train set"
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Spring 2009 rebuilt crushed nose section. Thanks to David Miller at Sirius Rocketry for selling me just the parts needed for the rebuild.

Flight 4: 7/4/09 - LDRS 28

1x J440 Blue + 2x G64 White + 2x G71 Redlines
Attempted red, white and blue flame, but got white/rose.

Good flight. All motors fired, uneven thrust.
Flight path arced left, 3 hour muddy recovery.

Good DD recovery from 1115ft.
17.2 lbs w/ 1 lb nose wt.

Flight 5: 7/5/09 - LDRS 28

J520 Skidmark, good flight, skid was cool.

Main chute stayed in deployment bag, no damage due to soft mud field.

Stable flight to 1135ft.

photo by Neil McGilvray

Flight 6: 7/18/09 - CMASS launch in Amesbury, MA

My son Paul standing next to the 60" rocket.

"Problem: Astronaut and rocket are the same size."

1x J-440 Blue + 4x G71 Redlines

Perfect flight to 1428ft. Fired all engines, flame all red/rose, clean dual deploy recovery. Stable with slight weathercock using 1.3lb nose weight.


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Flight 7: 8/15/09 - NERRF 5

1x J520 Skid + 4x G71 Redlines = Very cool flame effect, 4 Redlines created red border to top of fireball, with gold and sparks at bottom.

Got distracted taking pictures and forgot to turn on altimeter, engine backup deployed drogue ... and the main too! at about 1600ft.

Rocket recovered in great shape.

First photo by Bill Ralston.



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Flight 8: 10/25/09 CMASS Amesbury, MA

1x J-440 Blue + 4x Estes D11-P

BP motors created extra smoke before liftoff and their flames created an interesting effect next to the blue J.
At about 300 ft strong crosswinds caused rocket to veer sharply and recovery deployed at speed at 400ft.
The parachutes and the rocket recovered well, but the Nomex and deployment bag were stripped off.



flight 9: 10/22/11 CMASS Amesbury, MA

1x AMW J440 + 4x G64

Good flight to 1372 ft.

Fired my last classic AMW reload.

Rocketflite ML pyrogen at the top of each motor assisted with quick ignitions.

Many more pictures and video of fun clustered flights at




I want to see 4 reds (like the 4x G71's (wait a second, do you have a stock of them or something that you just don't use motor eject on?)) around a big blue or green central motor...
I want to see 4 reds (like the 4x G71's (wait a second, do you have a stock of them or something that you just don't use motor eject on?)) around a big blue or green central motor...

Done that three times in flights in flights posted above. Because the motors are so close together, the bright Redlines contribute red tint to the other motors around them.

Flight 4: 7/4/09 - LDRS 28 - 1x J440 Blue + 2x G64 White + 2x G71 Redlines: hoped for a red, white and blue effect on the 4th of July, but all motors together came out pink.

Flight 6: 7/18/09 - CMASS - 1x J-440 Blue + 4x G71 Redlines: Again flame all red/rose.

Flight 7: 8/15/09 - NERRF 5 - 1x J520 Skid + 4x G71 Redlines = Very cool flame effect, 4 Redlines created red border to top of fireball, with gold and sparks at bottom.
This is my favorite flame effect of all these flights, but even here, the red effect is only part of the overall effect. Pictured here:


Man that just looks awesome!!

Bet it was great to see and hear in person!!

Any video?
It wasn't until late 2010 that I came up with a method for taking still pictures and video at the same time. An aluminum frame to mount a video camera to my DSLR.

In 2011 added a pad video camera to the mix. The only good video I have for this rocket is in post 12 above.

9/28/13 CMASS Amesbury, MA launch:

The Saturn V went up again for another great flight on a beautiful sunny day.

Lifted off straight up on a column of white flame and smoke for its 10th flight.

Motors: 1x Pro-X J285 Classic (38mm 5 grain) and 4x AT F40s

1x 648 Ns + 4x 80 Ns = 968 Ns

Flight had a pleasing flame and smoke effect that resembled much larger launches...

All five motors fired, reaching 1220ft altitude and deploying the 3 chutes for a good recovery.





Now prepping the Saturn V for a repeat of this flight next Saturday at the 10/19/13 CMASS Amesbury, MA launch.

Will post video of both flights.
At about 3pm on a sunny Saturday the Saturn V went up again at the 10/19/13 CMASS Amesbury, MA launch.

This time it was the USA representative in the

USA vs. USSR Drag Race

The Saturn V went up on the planned 5x motor J impulse cluster: 1x Pro-X J285 + 4x AT F40 firing all motors and deploying all chutes.

Launched at the same time as the Soyuz on a 17x motor I impulse cluster.

The two dueling columns of fire and smoke were a lot of fun.

The Soyuz was faster off the pad, as all its motors have a thrust spike in the first 1/4 second, whereas the Saturn achieved greater altitude with its greater total impulse (Soyuz 784ft vs. Saturn V 1008ft).

The Saturn V is a modified version of the Sirius Rocketry kit, and the Soyuz is a modified version of Cosmodrome's Vostok. Both gorgeous kits that are challenging builds.

I decreased the Saturn's drogue apogee ejection charge from 2.5g to 2.0g and lengthened the drogue harness from 20ft to 35ft. This enabled the main to deploy at the scheduled 400ft, instead of deploying at apogee as it had in the previous flight. Left main ejection charge at 2.5g.

The Saturn V's flight path arced downwind early in the flight. I suspect due to moderate velocity off the rod relative to crosswinds, likely in combination with the challenging aerodynamics of very small fins.

Thanks to Alan for suggesting the drag race idea and assisting greatly with field support, as well as Alex and Jim for all your help on the field.

Flight video will be posted soon.





Thanks to Alex for these pictures and help at the pad.

First image shows launch setup that fired all 22 engines in both rockets with a combined total impulse in the K range.

Cluster box (Red box in picture - powered by high output LiPo battery) is connected to Soyuz' igniters, with low-resistance cables (orange pair of lines between rockets) carrying power to the Saturn V's igniters.

As always used Rocketflite's excellent igniters. Pairs of igniters were wired in series to fire all (20 total) outboard motors and a single igniter was used for each rocket's central motor.

Information on Rocketflite igniters is available on their website and on the website in my signature.

My website also has info on the cluster box, which pumped out over 1000 watts to fire both these clustered projects simultaneously.

To create low resistance, flexible cable to second rocket, took an outdoor extension cord that was damaged at one end and cut two 15 ft sections. Then stripped insulation from 2" at each end and twisted all 3 conductors together. This pair of cables had a round-trip resistance of about 0.1 ohms, allowing the 0.6 ohm total resistance of the Saturn's igniters to get the power they needed to fire very quickly.


Is it me or the liftoff for the Soyuz looked more realistic when flying the Saturn V looked like it had trouble with stability right off from the ignition