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Old 02-07-2019, 11:04 PM
L3Excalibur L3Excalibur is offline
Old Fart Rocketeer
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 47
Default Suggestion for Titan IIE build

Last weekend I was lucky enough to score a complete Estes Titan IIE kit for $25 (a little bit less than the 1989 retail sticker price on the kit box). I've been searching the web looking for suggestions to mods to make the built rocket more interesting or more true to scale. The two most common suggestions I've found are:

1. Ditch the removable fins and add removable clear plastic fins to the SRBs.
2. Convert to 2x18mm cluster so it can be built and flown with the motor nozzle shroud attached.

A less common suggestion was to, of course, power the SRBs with 18mm motors. No suggestions on how to make that stable or fly w/o crashing if one of the SRB's doesn't light.

So much for fins and motors.

What I would *really* like are suggestions where the model could be made a little more accurate.

Buzz McD.

Avid rocketeer since 1967.
NAR 13559 / L2
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:58 AM
MarkB.'s Avatar
MarkB. MarkB. is offline
Drinks Dos XX w/ a squeeze of lime
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: El Paso
Posts: 917

Well, Buzz, it seems like the first question is: "Where is it inaccurate?"

Are you going to do the math on the diameters and lengths of the various tubes? If so, Peter Alway's Rockets of the World has scale drawings of Titan II, Titan IIIC, Titan IIIE and Titan IV. Jack Hagerty's Spaceship Handbook adds a really cool Titan IIIC with a DynaSoar. Gordy at Excelsior Decals can make you a balsa DynaSoar . . . .

How nuts do you want to get?

David Weeks' hyper-accurate 1/48 drawings of a Titan II are available at Real Space Models. These depict darn near every bump, panel, conduit or other doo-dad on a Titan rocket. Goodness knows that you can add cardstock and balsa "fiddly bits" based on such a good drawing. While there were differences between the various Titan models, most of them were under the skin. Be aware that even the Titan IIs used for the Gemini program differed in details in the twelve launches. The Shapeways 3D printing site has a number of Titan interstages in various sizes that could be added to a build. I bet there are others.

There is (or was) a Titan II on its side at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson. Just south of Tucson is a Titan II silo converted to a museum. There's also a Titan II at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque. The Air Force Museum has a Titan IV. I'm sure there are others; those are the ones I've seen. Silos were in Arizona, Arkansas and regular Kansas. There may be museum pieces there.

So Buzz, what were you looking for?
Identifying a problem without proposing a solution is just whining.

NAR 79743
NARTrek Silver
SAM 062

Awaiting First Launch: micro V-2; Blossom V-2
Finishing: Aero-Dart clone, Stiletto
On the Bench: Zooch Saturn V; Atlas V 541; 2650; M-13
Dream Stage: 1/39.37 R-7
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:18 AM
frognbuff frognbuff is offline
Aggressor Aerospace
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 250

Technically, all Titan IIIE and Titan IV rockets lifted off with only the solid rockets burning - the center core ignited in the air. Photos which appear to show exhaust coming from the core vehicle are misleading; those are really just parts of the solid plumes getting sucked up into the liquid engines and swirling about. So if you REALLY want accuracy, you'd lift off under motors in the strap-ons, jettison the strap-ons, and light the core in the air. Not a trivial task, to say the least.

As for putting motors in the plastic engine bells on the Estes kit, they are too small for 18mm motors. There IS room for dual 18mm motors in the main tube, but the plastic engine parts would probably have to be left out for flight.
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