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  #1  
Old 10-25-2005, 04:52 PM
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Default Estes Jupiter C

I picked this up a few years ago, but I've only recently decided to start it. Anyone build one of these in the past? How durable is the satellite section during flight? Would I be better off allowing it to be removed before flight? Anything I should be on the lookout for during the build? I built the K-41 Mercury Redstone back in 1978, so the fins on this project are going to be a major league blast from the past. (I've got a nose cone from an original K-41 kit, so that will also get built this winter. These fins will be practice.)
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I miss being SAM 0058

On the build floor: Estes - ESAM-58, Semroc Squire, FRW Cherokee E

In paint: Centuri Stellar Hercules

In the body shop: Estes Jayhawk, TLP Perseus

Ready to fly: Estes Astron Farside X, Estes Astron Apogee, FRW Star Jart, RDC V-Max
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2005, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Fish Named Wallyum
I picked this up a few years ago, but I've only recently decided to start it. Anyone build one of these in the past? How durable is the satellite section during flight? Would I be better off allowing it to be removed before flight? Anything I should be on the lookout for during the build? I built the K-41 Mercury Redstone back in 1978, so the fins on this project are going to be a major league blast from the past. (I've got a nose cone from an original K-41 kit, so that will also get built this winter. These fins will be practice.)


I've had one for probably 10 years, give or take a decade.

I flew it a bunch of times without breaking the satellite. The satellite finally broke when my wife ran into the freezer where it was sitting waiting to be loaded into my truck. It fell off and snapped when it hit the concrete garage floor.
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  #3  
Old 10-25-2005, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
I've had one for probably 10 years, give or take a decade.

I flew it a bunch of times without breaking the satellite. The satellite finally broke when my wife ran into the freezer where it was sitting waiting to be loaded into my truck. It fell off and snapped when it hit the concrete garage floor.


Wives. Sheesh.
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Bill Eichelberger
NAR 79563

http://wallyum.blogspot.com/

I miss being SAM 0058

On the build floor: Estes - ESAM-58, Semroc Squire, FRW Cherokee E

In paint: Centuri Stellar Hercules

In the body shop: Estes Jayhawk, TLP Perseus

Ready to fly: Estes Astron Farside X, Estes Astron Apogee, FRW Star Jart, RDC V-Max
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  #4  
Old 10-26-2005, 11:19 AM
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I built mine in 1988. The Explorer lasted through many flights, but was sheared off in a ground accident. The suggestion of replacing it with a dowel sounds like a good one. If it ever breaks off you can use a hand drill to ream out the old one and replace it.

The fins require some carving/sanding, but if you do it right, they look just as good as or better than the plastic fins on the latest version of the Mercury Redstone. The Estes Jupiter C was just the Centuri Mercury Redstone with a shorter, one-piece body and different nose, just as the real Jupiter C was just the Redstone with a different nose. The fins are larger than scale though. I've never seen anyone try making scale ones except with the old Estes BT60 kit, and numerous Hawk/Glencoe Jupiter C conversions. The Hawks tended to be iffy in any sort of wind, and flew better on B6 than on B4 or MPC B3.
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  #5  
Old 10-25-2005, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Fish Named Wallyum
I picked this up a few years ago, but I've only recently decided to start it. Anyone build one of these in the past? How durable is the satellite section during flight? Would I be better off allowing it to be removed before flight? Anything I should be on the lookout for during the build? I built the K-41 Mercury Redstone back in 1978, so the fins on this project are going to be a major league blast from the past. (I've got a nose cone from an original K-41 kit, so that will also get built this winter. These fins will be practice.)


I bought one back in '90, but never built it. Still got the transition out in a shop... somewhere...

The instructions say to remove the Explorer 1 probe for flight; the kit has an injection-molded plastic rendition with some nozzle detail, so it was intended to be displayable separately. My thoughts would be to build a second Explorer using a dowel, and permanently attaching it into the top boost canister. Keep the plastic version safe...

Those fins were the main reason I never finished building mine. They're laminated balsa, and the balsa in the kit was of less-than-optimum quality to begin with. Reminded me of what used to come in Carl Goldberg model aircraft kits of the late '60s and '70s -- raunchy crumbly over-dried stuff with an orange-ish tint to it. Warped badly when you touch it with glue, even ACC...

These really needed to be vacu-formed plastic skins over a balsa core, to achieve the wedge-shaped leading edges of the prototype...
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  #6  
Old 10-25-2005, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPMcGraw
I bought one back in '90, but never built it. Still got the transition out in a shop... somewhere.


What transition? Mine is just a solid BT-70.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CPMcGraw
The instructions say to remove the Explorer 1 probe for flight; the kit has an injection-molded plastic rendition with some nozzle detail, so it was intended to be displayable separately. My thoughts would be to build a second Explorer using a dowel, and permanently attaching it into the top boost canister. Keep the plastic version safe...


Well, I haven't actually GOTTEN to the step where I READ the instructions yet. That comes after I screw something up.
I like the idea of the permanent satellite. I need to go dowel shopping for that Mercury Redstone tower piece anyway.
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Bill Eichelberger
NAR 79563

http://wallyum.blogspot.com/

I miss being SAM 0058

On the build floor: Estes - ESAM-58, Semroc Squire, FRW Cherokee E

In paint: Centuri Stellar Hercules

In the body shop: Estes Jayhawk, TLP Perseus

Ready to fly: Estes Astron Farside X, Estes Astron Apogee, FRW Star Jart, RDC V-Max
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  #7  
Old 10-25-2005, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Fish Named Wallyum
What transition? Mine is just a solid BT-70.




The nosecone looks like a transition section between the main body and the rotating can at the top.
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2005, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Fish Named Wallyum
What transition? Mine is just a solid BT-70.


I call it a transition, but TBZEP is correct in calling it a nosecone; it's the whole upper section of the rocket, including the spin-up canister. The Explorer 1 piece slip-fits into a tunnel down the center of the canister, with just the upper portion poking out. Mine was a single piece of blow-molded (IIRC) plastic for the lower portion, with two or three pieces of injection-molded plastic being glued together to form the canister. They were harder than the transition, at any rate. This subassembly gets glued to the top of the transition...
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2005, 10:50 PM
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Ahh. Gotcha. I just figured this was the nose cone since the recovery system hooked into it. I can see where it would be a transition.
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Bill Eichelberger
NAR 79563

http://wallyum.blogspot.com/

I miss being SAM 0058

On the build floor: Estes - ESAM-58, Semroc Squire, FRW Cherokee E

In paint: Centuri Stellar Hercules

In the body shop: Estes Jayhawk, TLP Perseus

Ready to fly: Estes Astron Farside X, Estes Astron Apogee, FRW Star Jart, RDC V-Max
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  #10  
Old 10-25-2005, 11:02 PM
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Are you going to modify the fins to be a little more scale? The stabilizers are way too big and look funny sitting beside my Mercury Redstone. It's a shorter rocket than the MR, but a little extra nose weight might compensate.
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