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Old 03-29-2020, 04:07 PM
K'Tesh's Avatar
K'Tesh K'Tesh is offline
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Lightbulb Estes (Astron) Cherokee-D: Through the years 1970-1983

I've been doing some research on this, one of my favorite rockets, for quite a while. And I've compiled the information from the catalogs in which it appeared (1970-1983). Also included is some info from the instructions I've sourced.

The Astron Cherokee-D was introduced in 1970, the year after Estes has been purchased by Damon, but the earliest kits didn't have the new logo. It made its last appearance in 1983.


Introduced
1970 (page 98)
Astron Cherokee-D
"it's recommended only for experienced rocketeers."
(Pre-Damon logo on catalog model (a drawing))
die-cut fins, 18" chute, quick-change engine mount
Cat. No. 694-K-47
Price: $2.75
Length 21.6 in (54.9 cm)
Body Dia. 1.325 in (33.7 mm)
Weight 2.75 oz (78 gr)
Recommended Engines D13-5, D13-7
NOTES: The kit was never 21.6" long. Not including the length of the protruding engine hook, the 5.375" (exposed) nosecone, and the 16.35" body tube means that the rocket was 21.725" long at time of introduction.


1971
Astron Cherokee-D
Degree of Challenge: Two
(no logo visible on catalog model's photo)
18" chute, pre-cut fins, quick change engine mount
Cat. No. 694-K-47
Price: $2.75
Length 21.6 in (54.9 cm)
Body Dia. 1.325 in (33.7 mm)
Weight 2.75 oz (78 gr)
Recommended Engines D13-5, D13-7
NOTES: The catalog length remained the same, but photographic analysis shows that this was when the kit started using the 18" long body tube.... The length (not including protruding engine hook) should have been updated to 23.375". This error remains in all subsequent catalog appearances.

1971 2nd Catalog
Astron Cherokee-D
Degree of Challenge: Two
(no logo visible on catalog model's photo)
18" chute, pre-cut fins, quick change engine mount
Cat. No. 694-K-47
Price: $3.00
Length 21.6 in (54.9 cm)
Body Dia. 1.325 in (33.7 mm)
Weight 2.75 oz (78 gr)
Recommended Engines D13-5, D13-7 use for first flights.

1972
Astron Cherokee-D
Degree of Challenge: Two
(no logo visible on catalog model's photo)
18" chute, pre-cut fins, quick change engine mount
Cat. No. 694-K-47
Price: $3.00
Length 21.6 in (54.9 cm)
Body Dia. 1.325 in (33.7 mm)
Weight 2.75 oz (78 gr)
Recommended Engines: D12-5, D12-7 use for first flights.

1973
Cherokee-D
Skill Level 2
(pre-Damon logo on upper wrap)
18" chute, pre-cut fins, quick change engine mount
Cat. No. K-47
Price: $3.50
Length 21.6 in (54.9 cm)
Body Dia. 1.325 in (33.7 mm)
Weight 2.75 oz (78 gr)
Recommended Engines: D12-5 use for first flights, D12-7
NOTE: All catalog appearances after this appear to have been derived from image introduced in 1973, and while the logo is mostly hidden, it lacks the white portion from of the Damon era's logo (which all subsequent logos have so far been derived from).

1974
Cherokee-D
Skill Level 2
(pre-Damon logo on upper wrap)
18" chute, pre-cut fins, quick change engine mount
Cat. No. K-47
Price: $3.95
Length 21.6 in (54.9 cm)
Body Dia. 1.325 in (33.7 mm)
Weight 2.75 oz (78 gr)
Recommended Engines: D12-5 use for first flights, D12-7


1975
Cherokee-D
Skill Level 2
(pre-Damon logo on upper wrap)
18" chute, pre-cut fins, quick change engine mount
Cat. No. 1247
Price: $3.95
Length 21.6 in (54.9 cm)
Body Dia. 1.325 in (33.7 mm)
Weight 2.75 oz (78 gr)
Recommended Engines: D12-5 (First flight), D12-7

1976
Cherokee-D
Skill Level 2
(pre-Damon logo on upper wrap)
18" chute, pre-cut fins, quick change engine mount
Cat. No. 1247
Price: $4.50
Length 21.6 in (54.9 cm)
Body Dia. 1.325 in (33.7 mm)
Weight 2.75 oz (78 gr)
Recommended Engines: D12-5 (First flight), D12-7

1977
Cherokee-D
Skill Level 2
(pre-Damon logo on upper wrap)
18" chute, pre-cut fins, quick change engine mount
Cat. No. 1247
Price: $4.50
Length 21.6 in (54.9 cm)
Body Dia. 1.325 in (33.7 mm)
Weight 2.75 oz (78 gr)
Recommended Engines: D12-5 (First flight), D12-7

1978
Cherokee-D
Skill Level 2
(pre-Damon logo on upper wrap)
18" chute, pre-cut fins, quick change engine mount
Cat. No. 1247
Price: $5.00
Length 21.6 in (54.9 cm)
Body Dia. 1.325 in (33.7 mm)
Weight 2.75 oz (78 gr)
Recommended Engines: D12-5 (First Flight), D12-7

1979
Cherokee-D
Skill Level 2
(pre-Damon logo on upper wrap)
18" chute, pre-cut fins, quick change engine mount
Cat. No. 1247
Price: $5.25
Length 21.6 in (54.9 cm)
Body Dia. 1.325 in (33.7 mm)
Weight 2.75 oz (78 gr)
Recommended Engines: D12-5 (First Flight), D12-7

1980
Cherokee-D
Skill Level 2
(pre-Damon logo on upper wrap)
18" chute, pre-cut fins, quick change engine mount
Cat. No. 1247
Price: $5.75
Length 21.6 in (54.9 cm)
Body Dia. 1.325 in (33.7 mm)
Weight 2.75 oz (78 gr)
Recommended Engines: D11-9, D12-5 (First Flight), D12-7

1981
Cherokee-D
Skill Level 2
(pre-Damon logo on upper wrap)
18" chute, pre-cut fins, quick change engine mount
Cat. No. 1247
Price: $6.25
Length 21.6 in (54.9 cm)
Body Dia. 1.325 in (33.7 mm)
Weight 2.75 oz (78 gr)
Recommended Engines: D11-9, D12-5 (1st Flt.), D12-7

1982
Cherokee-D
Skill Level 2
(pre-Damon logo on upper wrap)
18" chute, pre-cut fins, quick change engine mount
Kit Feature Symbol indicates Balsa nosecone*
Cat. No. 1247
Price: $6.50
Length 21.6 in (54.9 cm)
Body Dia. 1.325 in (33.7 mm)
Weight 2.75 oz (78 gr)
Recommended Engines: D11-9, D12-5 (1st Flt.), D12-7

1983 Last Appearance in the catalog
Cherokee-D
Skill Level 2
(pre-Damon logo on upper wrap)
18" chute, pre-cut fins, quick change engine mount
Kit Feature Symbol indicates Balsa nosecone*
Cat. No. 1247
Price: $7.00
Length 21.6 in
Body Dia. 1.325 in
Weight 2.75 oz
Recommended Engines: D11-9, D12-5 (1st Flt.), D12-7
NOTE: Metric dimensions were not included

*likely an error- The BNC-55AC's last appearance was in 1974's catalog. The PNC-55AC makes its appearance in the 1975 catalog.

Despite getting a longer body tube some time in the early 70's, the Catalog never updated the length or weight of the rocket. FWIW: My sim's show that the kit was never 21.6" long. Without the engine hook length added, it was 21.725" long from the beginning. With the hook added, the length would have been about 21.963" (depending on how close the builder got the hook in the stock place). Since I don't have an original BNC-55AC or BT-55V to measure, I went with the published lengths of 5 3/8" long (exposed) for the nosecone, and 16.35" for the body tube. My sim and my calculator's numbers agree with each other on the length (less engine hook).

The earliest set of instructions that have been found have the shorter BT-55V (16.35" long) body tube, and most interestingly... two-piece, die-cut fins. Though released in 1970, the logos on the decals and (checkerboard) parachute do not have the new Damon era design. A dowel (1/16" x 1")* was included to act as a standoff for the launch lugs, and the instructions mention that 'RAIL LAUNCHES ARE RECOMMENDED FOR "D" POWER MODELS!'

JimZ's instructions are still from the early Damon era, and show the shorter 16.35" body tube, but now with single-piece, die-cut fins. The dowel standoff was gone, as was mention of the rail launch in the instructions. Also, the instructions show the decals had the old Estes logo. but the parachute and the instructions themselves have the Damon era logo.

His site also has a set of instructions that do not reference the later D11-9. The site's fin templates lack any indication of scale, and the decals are not original scans.

My physical sample, also doesn't refer to the D11-9, but the instructions , decals, and parachute all have the Damon era logo. My fins were measured with a micrometer, and are .0935" thick. Scans of the fins and decals can be found here. It came with a PNC-55AC (Part No. 71070) nosecone, and the 18" long BT-55 body tube.

It is unknown to me if the instructions were ever updated to reflect the D11-9 recommended motor.

If you have a set of original instructions, please look them over, look for the recommended engines, what body tubes are supplied (BT-55V (16.35" long) or BT-55 (18" long)), and which nosecone is used. If you find a set that isn't represented in the samples linked to, please consider scanning them for me. Thanks!

*According to Earl L. Cagel Jr. based on his very lucky score on eBay (keep reading below)
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Dreaming of making the rockets I dreamed of as a kid (and then some).

"The Guide says there is an art to flying", said Ford, "or rather a knack."
"The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."


Launching is Optional... Landing? That Depends on Trees.

Last edited by K'Tesh : 06-01-2020 at 06:55 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-29-2020, 07:37 PM
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Thatís a fairly comprehensive run down of the olí Cherokee-D. I just built my first one (from a vintage kit) in the last few years, but then again, I did much more Centuri stuff back in the day. I never knew it once came with two piece fins...interesting.

This is one kit that I am really surprised has not been re-released, amongst the number of kits that have been re-released the last 7-8 years.


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  #3  
Old 03-29-2020, 08:22 PM
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It may have been not re-released due to Semroc having it in production.
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  #4  
Old 03-29-2020, 08:43 PM
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They did kind of re-release it as the Cherokee E, but it may be at Hobby Lobby only, as I did not find it on the Estes Website.
https://www.hobbylobby.com/Crafts-H...-Kit/p/80959023
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Old 03-29-2020, 08:58 PM
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Earl Earl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyd
They did kind of re-release it as the Cherokee E, but it may be at Hobby Lobby only, as I did not find it on the Estes Website.
https://www.hobbylobby.com/Crafts-H...-Kit/p/80959023


Doh! Gosh, yes I had forgotten all about that one being released! Yes, must be one of the Hobby Lobby exclusives. Though we have a Hobby Lobby here, I never go to it. Donít even know if they carry rockets at that particular store, though I suspect they do.

So, what is that one...a BT-60 I guess? I gotta say though: something about that package art is not very enticing...something about it looks a bit anemic to me and doesnít really inspire a desire to get one. Something about it just doesnít scream ďEĒ to me, not that is a big motor necessarily. Iíve flown through L motors, but package art for that kit should be more aggressive looking.

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  #6  
Old 03-29-2020, 09:20 PM
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Isn't the Estes Magician essentially a Cherokee D with a 55/50 transition and a clear BT-50 payload section?
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Old 03-29-2020, 09:47 PM
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I thought the earlier Cherokees were shorter., and later Estes switched to the 18" body tube which made the Cherokee longer.
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  #8  
Old 03-30-2020, 12:26 AM
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K'Tesh K'Tesh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl
Thatís a fairly comprehensive run down of the olí Cherokee-D. I just built my first one (from a vintage kit) in the last few years, but then again, I did much more Centuri stuff back in the day. I never knew it once came with two piece fins...interesting.



Thanks Earl! I was surprised to see the 2 piece fins myself. Here's the pattern that David Stribling sent me. It might mean that there's a hand-cut version of the kit out there too. We won't know unless someone can find an unused Pattern Sheet SP-47 from the two-piece, die-cut version. The pattern sheet shown in the instructions for that kit is partially hidden by the decals and the fins. From what I think I can see in them, we can see part of the paper shock cord mount, and the tube marking guide.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl
This is one kit that I am really surprised has not been re-released, amongst the number of kits that have been re-released the last 7-8 years.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ghrocketman
It may have been not re-released due to Semroc having it in production.


I think gh is correct.

Some time ago, the late Karl McLawhorn of Semroc acquired the copyrights to the kits that Estes had allowed to lapse, the Cherokee-D was one of those. He put it into production, and this effectively stopped Estes from re-releasing it in its original form. I suspect that Estes and eRockets have to do a lot of horse trading for Estes to do the older bring backs. I suspect that to avoid this Estes will sometimes simply modify an old design into a new kit (think Gyroc/TAZZ)). I also think this is why we haven't seen a re-release of the Estes Omega K-52P.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl
So, what is that one...a BT-60 I guess? I gotta say though: something about that package art is not very enticing...something about it looks a bit anemic to me and doesnít really inspire a desire to get one. Something about it just doesnít scream ďEĒ to me, not that is a big motor necessarily. Iíve flown through L motors, but package art for that kit should be more aggressive looking.


"Anemic" That's the word! When I first looked at it, I felt that it was too long, and while it had the flavor, it had been watered down too much. It has since grown on me, but it'll never take the original's place in my heart. GOD how I wish that Estes would create the PNC-60AC nosecone. However, the Cherokee-E (2408) is a BT-55 kit. Basically it's a Magician (2440) without the payload section, replacing that with the PNC-55AC nosecone, and using blue, Cherokee-D inspired, decals. My recommendation if you do build an "E", glue the fins to the long tube, use the coupler for a baffle, and the 6" tube for a zipperless design... OR Make the 6" section a payload bay by using a balsa bulkhead with a screw eye. Either way, you can use the bottom edge of the wrap to hide the joint, and save yourself from doing the filling and sanding needed to hide it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketcrab
Isn't the Estes Magician essentially a Cherokee D with a 55/50 transition and a clear BT-50 payload section?


You forgot the other 6" BT-55 tube.



IMHO Cherokee-E (2408) is Estes' Retro-Repro (to use the Semroc term) of the Cherokee-D. It maintains the flavor of the original, but is not an exact clone. According to John Boren (JumpJet), in a personal conversation with me, the fins for the Magician (2440)(and thus the Cherokee-E (2408) which uses the same part number and pattern) were drawn from the original drawings of the Cherokee-D's fins. However, in the image above you can see that the Cherokee-D fin is taller than the Magician's fin (and, again, the Cherokee-E uses the same fins as the Magician), it is bigger overall, except for the length of the root edge. The height difference is even more than you think see in the image, as the ruler is ever-so-slightly lower on the left (Cherokee-D) side of the image, than on the right side. Also, if you look really closely, you'll also notice that the fin tip of the Cherokee-D fins is not straight. It has a slight concave curve in it.


When I returned to the hobby in my current BAR period, back in 2013, I got a Magician with the hopes to using it to clone my very damaged surviving Cherokee-D. I was sorely disappointed when I held the fins of the Magician up to the original, and found them to be smaller. I've been begging for people to post a new scan of original die-cut fins for years now. The image found on JimZ's site is so poor that I found it to be basically useless. The Semroc kit may have preserved the shape of the fins, I don't know. How could I ever know without seeing an unused original from Estes? I've never picked up the Semroc kit. The fears that the fin shape wasn't a match, the shorter body tube, and balsa nosecone put me off at the time. Yet, despite my pleas for a new scan over the last seven years, NOBODY has F****** bothered to put up a scan of original fins (or decals) with a ruler for scale. It's taken me THIS F****** LONG to acquire one from eBay to be able to do this. Not just for myself, but for anybody else that values these old kits. [/END RANT]



In seeing that shadow behind the decal sheet, I'm going to scan it again, with the ruler to ensure it's flat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by astronwolf
I thought the earlier Cherokees were shorter., and later Estes switched to the 18" body tube which made the Cherokee longer.


They did. I have yet to determine when the change occured. Because the length was never updated in the catalog, and the photo of the kit never changed from 1973 until the end of production, we can't be sure of when it exactly did. However, I have yet to do photograpic analysis of the images to see if I can determine if it showed up in the catalog photographs.

.
.
.

If you like what I've done here, and if you choose to open and build an old unbuilt kit, PLEASE scan your kit's fins and decals with a ruler for scale before building it. Then post the scans here, or send them to me. I'm building up an archive of old kit's instructions, fins, as well as decals, and I'm looking to find information on all variants. JimZ's site, Ye Olde Rocket Plans and others are far from complete. And while I might not sim it up (due to interest, software capability, or time factors), you might save someone a lot of money, time and frustration trying to preserve our hobby's past. Also, it might lower the cost of those old kits for you collectors. If someone can clone an old kit and be happy with that, they might not be interested in competing with you on ebay the next time your mutual favorite comes up for auction.

.
.
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__________________
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Dreaming of making the rockets I dreamed of as a kid (and then some).

"The Guide says there is an art to flying", said Ford, "or rather a knack."
"The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."


Launching is Optional... Landing? That Depends on Trees.

Last edited by K'Tesh : 03-30-2020 at 06:43 AM.
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  #9  
Old 03-30-2020, 09:04 AM
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By the way, Estes has a set of instructions posted for the Cherokee D. Maybe that will add more info?

https://estesrockets.com/wp-content..._CHEROKEE_D.pdf
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  #10  
Old 03-30-2020, 09:20 AM
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K'Tesh K'Tesh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbofireball
By the way, Estes has a set of instructions posted for the Cherokee D. Maybe that will add more info?

https://estesrockets.com/wp-content..._CHEROKEE_D.pdf



Thanks! I had forgotten where those came from. That's the source for the two-part, die-cut fin instructions. I took the .pdf, and combined the pages into the original layout for them.
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Dreaming of making the rockets I dreamed of as a kid (and then some).

"The Guide says there is an art to flying", said Ford, "or rather a knack."
"The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."


Launching is Optional... Landing? That Depends on Trees.
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