Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Another 4th of July rocket...

Every year I make an effort to build a patriotic-themed rocket to commemorate Independence Day. Last year, it was an Estes America, and here are a few more from previous years. All this stuck-at-home stuff got me wondering what I was going to build this year, so I began to browse through my collection to find something appropriate. The search did not take long.

Back in 1986, Estes phased out its much loved (at least by us old guys) Estes Aerospace Club (EAC). it was replaced in 1988 by the Estes Space Program, which was, in my opinion, a stripped-down version of the EAC - not as much cool stuff. But like its predecessor, the Estes Space Program introductory package came with a "special" rocket - the patriotic Yankee Clipper, which looked snazzy with its red, white, and blue decor. In actuality, it was a recolored Estes Cougar, released a few years earlier in 1984, but I still liked the Yankee Clipper's style. So I opened the Estes Space Program bag and pulled out the parts. They were all there, so I am good for the build.

Estes Space Program page from the 1988 catalog (Click to enlarge).
But first, I had to run a few simulations...

The Yankee Clipper is a simple 4FNC (4 fins and a nose cone) bird, so entering the various parts into Open Rocket was a snap. The only tricky part was getting the decal (stickers - yuck!) scan into the program to complete the decor. But my Open Rocket kung fu is pretty good, and I finished the simulation in about 45 minutes. The flight numbers show a range of altitudes between 290 and 1070 feet with conventional Estes motors; I think she'll do her maiden voyage on a B6-4 (Imagine that!).
Open Rocket simulation of the Yankee Clipper (Click to enlarge).
The choice is made. Now it's time to start work on this model...

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