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Was there an Alpha II?

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tmazanec1

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My first was an Alpha III, and I'm pretty sure there was an Alpha before that, but did Estes ever put out an Alpha II?
 

tmacklin

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Yes, and there was probably a WD-39. :wink:
 

Rex R

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there was a (movie) hal9000 computer. :)
Rex
 
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Rex R

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changed it to refer to something else. sorry bout that.
Rex
 

Mugs914

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I always thought the Alpha II was basically an all balsa Alpha with die cut fins.
 

marcusSRG

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I always thought the Alpha II was basically an all balsa Alpha with die cut fins.
That would be the standard Alpha:

alpha.png

Wait, I may have my building materials mixed up, is die cut referring to the white cardboard style fins? I thought "die cut" can be used for balsa as well?
 
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kjohnson

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Wait, I may have my building materials mixed up, is die cut referring to the white cardboard style fins? I thought "die cut" can be used for balsa as well?
Die cut cardboard or die cut balsa, sure you can have both. Die crushed balsa is normally what you see at the end of the die's productive use.

kj
 

walterb

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is the current Alpha really the alpha 2? Did the first version have balsa stock you had to cut. Lots of models had that, my 80's Big Bertha did but now it's pre-cut.
 

Mugs914

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is the current Alpha really the alpha 2? Did the first version have balsa stock you had to cut. Lots of models had that, my 80's Big Bertha did but now it's pre-cut.
Yeah, the original Alpha came with a sheet of wood and paper fin pattern. Seems to me that pre-cut fins were somewhat of a rarity when I got started back in the early 70s. As I remember, most kits required you to cut your own fins back then.
 

TopRamen

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I actually ended up using old timey reprint fin templates from the "Alpha II" for my 24mm minimum diameter Alpha. I think they are all the same, but they are likely not, as I recall some debate about something like a few tenths of a degree on the fin geometry or some silliness that was sanded away during the initial stack sanding.
Soon, when my bandsaw is running in a manner which does not coat every single living and non living surface in my home with a fine meal powder, I will make many dozens of fins and offer them to folks for free, as my way of thanking the rocketry community for all the support, both logistic and materiel that it has enriched me with. Who doesn't want a free stack of 100 Alpha fins, right, especially if you have a classroom or a reason to have that many Alphas. Or, maybe you just want to see what an F44 composite motor does in an Alpha, but it's not worth cutting them with the hobby knife as that's real drag, no pun, well, yeah, pun intended.

http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?122569-D-Powered-Astron-Alpha-On-Its-Way!!!
 
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BEC

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samb has it right. One internal difference (and I have no idea why this was) is that the motor tube is longer and therefore projects further into the main body than the usual 2 3/4 inch long one. As you can see in the pictures, blow-molded nose cone and die-cut fins.

Another difference is that the fin locations are pre-marked on the body tube. Probably a time-saver for a classroom build - no guide to cut out and tape together, then slide on and use to locate marks as per normal Estes practice and no door/drawer jamb needed to extend/connect the lines.

I also see, looking at this example, that the face card image has the balsa nose cone and simple painted on livery. The kit includes the black/red waterslide version of the current blue/red Alpha markings as shown in Marcus' post.

I also just went to the modelrocketbuilding post linked to above, which has another, seemingly later version that the EK-25/1419 that's sitting here next to my iPad as I'm typing this (the one in the just-taken images). My kit has the usual two-RA-2050 rings for centering the motor tube, Chris' kit has the big green single ring that is used in things like the current Generic E2X or SkyWriter. Also, no snap swivels or sandpaper in my kit. Very interesting. I didn't realize there were two Alpha II variants before now - with two different catalog numbers.


Alpha IV was a one-year-only Estes 40th anniversary edition. It's an Alpha III with black fin can and nose cone and a red sort of jeweled-look body tube. Oddly it uses the two-loop plastic launch lug that's found on lots of Estes RTFs rather than a regular one as used on the Alpha III even in its current form.

IMG_0252.jpg


IMG_0254.jpg


IMG_0255.jpg
 
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watheyak

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Rex, The Preparation G comment was the funniest comment in the thread. Thanks for killing comedy, PC police.
 

Lowpuller

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Rumor has it that F wasn't quite enough, G was too much, and H is just right!
 
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