The "Estes" Explorer

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BSNW

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Hey all-

Since I am home this weekend, I finally completed a scratch build made all from Estes parts or Estes designs. I call it The Explorer. If anyone remembers, I made something almost identical out of an Estes Pro-Series II Ventris. I may post a photo of that too.

Anyway...this is based on BT-55 to BT-60. The side faux boosters are BT-20. The aft nozzles on the booster are 3D printed though. But you can make them from curling card stock or take from an Estes Shuttle kit. The transition is an Estes part but the nose cone is a 3D print of an Estes Geo-Sat nose cone. This design looks good with various other stock BT-60 nose cones though.

I think Estes should make more "real world" looking rockets. This is proof they can work with existing parts, molds and even decals (can everybody guess where all the kits the decals on this build came from :) ?).

I just thought it would be fun to share. My hobby table is a nice "refuge" and break from all the stress out there....pretty much forgot about what is all going on....for about 25 minutes anyway.

Also! if anyone wants to make it. I can email or post all the specs etc. It is really a neat little rocket and I cant wait to launch it. Photos below.
Andrew
 
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Mugs914

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Looks great!!

I like real world looking rockets myself. Pseudo-scale, I like to call it...
 

BSNW

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Looks great!!

I like real world looking rockets myself. Pseudo-scale, I like to call it...
Thanks Mike!
You can also make this with an 18mm mount. I am sure it would work okay on a C6-3. But you know me....I like to "properly power" my rockets Ha Ha!

Andrew
 

KILTED COWBOY

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Nice job
It would be great if you wanted to share the specs with us.
I would be interested
 

neil_w

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Nicely done. The booster nozzles look great.
 

BBowmaster

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Clean design with a flawless execution. I’d buy it as a kit if I saw it in the catalog!
 

BABAR

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It looks like something some country should have built full scale!
 

BSNW

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Hey All-

I want to thank everyone for the kind comments...very kind of you all! It was a fun build. Now I cant wait to launch it!

Below is the parts list and notes if you would like to build one.
Note: if you want the Geo-Sat 3D printed nose cone and BT-20 nozzles,contact "teflon-rocketry" on the YORF forums. He was the guy (friend of mine) who printed the cone and nozzles for me. If you have any questions please email me. You can also make nozzles out of card stock or get from other sources.

1) BT-55 (main body tube) 14.5 inches
2) BT-60 body tube 4 inches (upper payload)
3) BT-20 body tubes (x2) 5 inches each (faux boosters)
4) BT-55 to BT-60 transition (purchased or 3D printed)
5) BT-60 nose cone of choice (or design from Geo-Sat)
6) BT-20 3D printed nozzles x2 (from Shuttle kit, or 3D printed or using card stock)
7) 3.5" balsa strips or bamboo skewers...sanded, tapered. These are the faux conduits that are glued on the body tube
8) 18mm or 24 mm motor mount (to BT-55). If you use 24mm mount...you may need to add nose weight.
9) 1/8th or 3/16th launch lug(s) (x2)
10) Fins: (clipped delta x4)
Root edge length = 6.5 cm long
Span = 4.5 cm
tip length = 2.3 cm

ENJOY! email if you have any questions!
 

BSNW

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If anyone else builds one...PLEASE post a photo of your design/paint scheme etc. It would be cool to see it! :)
Andrew
 

KILTED COWBOY

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Thank you for sharing!
If I get quarantined I have a fun project.
Probably have most of the parts in my stash
 

ebruce1361

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That looks so cool! It has an Atlas V vibe to the core section with the boosters reminiscent of the Delta II. I've had an idea to build something similar to this but with motors in detachable boosters. I agree, there aren't enough "realistic" launch vehicle models out there, fictional or otherwise. I tried to do something similar with Oranous, the rocket in my profile picture. It's a salvage kitbash of two Quest rockets and two Estes rockets with detachable boosters. I wanted to go for something that would look like a rocket developed at the same time as the Titan IIIC.

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800px-Titan-3C_MOL-Gemini-B-Test_3.jpg
 

neil_w

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I tried to do something similar with Oranous, the rocket in my profile picture.
Nice! The fins on the boosters are a neat touch; not necessarily realistic but look great, especially with the black bands wrapping the fins + booster tubes.
 

ebruce1361

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Yeah, it looked a bit naked with just the core fins and the booster tubes by themselves, so those fins made for a nice touch. Plus, with how tall the boosters are, my CP was uncomfortably far forward, so those fins serve to keep it plenty aft without needing more weight in the nose.
 

NOLA_BAR

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Yeah, it looked a bit naked with just the core fins and the booster tubes by themselves, so those fins made for a nice touch. Plus, with how tall the boosters are, my CP was uncomfortably far forward, so those fins serve to keep it plenty aft without needing more weight in the nose.
How do the detachable boosters work? Did you use the Apogee booster kit?
 

ebruce1361

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In 2008 I worked at Apogee for the summer, and I got to see Tim's prototype for the detachable booster pods. I copied that design, but used scraps of balsa instead of the molded resin parts. Other than that and the long piece that runs between the top and bottom halves of the booster pods being missing, they work the same way. The boosters are loaded with 18mm motors with very short delays, which pop the nose cones off to unlock the boosters while the core flies on a 24mm motor with a long delay. The combination I like the most is a D12-5 with B4-2s in the boosters.
Screenshot_20181216-215009_Video Player.jpg
 

BABAR

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In 2008 I worked at Apogee for the summer, and I got to see Tim's prototype for the detachable booster pods. I copied that design, but used scraps of balsa instead of the molded resin parts. Other than that and the long piece that runs between the top and bottom halves of the booster pods being missing, they work the same way. The boosters are loaded with 18mm motors with very short delays, which pop the nose cones off to unlock the boosters while the core flies on a 24mm motor with a long delay. The combination I like the most is a D12-5 with B4-2s in the boosters.
View attachment 410029
Interesting choice for the boosters. I'd think a zero delay booster engine would be more "efficient" (once the boosters have spent their propellant, they get ditched to drop their drag), but from an EFFECT standpoint giving them a couple extra seconds to trail some smoke/delay charge more than makes up for it. 'Specially since I am guess you are not shooting for altitude with the sustainer anyway, else you would be using C's on the boosters.
 

ebruce1361

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Quite true, this rocket isn't designed for altitude efficiency, but rather for the visual appeal of the detachable boosters. That being said, I have not actually tried a zero delay motor in the boosters, but I imagine a B6-0 would work well. Perhaps after the pandemic ends and we can all get back to flying.
 

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