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  #1  
Old 01-31-2013, 01:09 PM
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jeffyjeep jeffyjeep is offline
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Default 4 stager?

My brother (who is wrong) and I recently had a heated argument about whether or not Estes ever produced a 4 stage rocket kit. He says one never existed (he is wrong.)

So....after insulting each other at length and going as far as to involve each other's spouses and even pets into the fray, I told him I could prove it.

Well, now I can't seem to find any proof in Ninfinger that there ever was one, but I'm certain that I remember drooling over one in an Estes catalog from the mid 1960's.

Was there ever a 4 stager?

Thanks!
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:17 PM
Scott6060842 Scott6060842 is offline
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If there is I would certainly like to know about it, I have never heard of one.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:38 PM
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There was NEVER a 4-stager commercially produced by Estes, nor was there one by any of the other mainstream (Centuri, FSI, Semroc, AVI, etc) companies either.
The only Estes rocket CLOSE would be the Astron Farside or Comanche-3; one might get away with adding another booster to those on a totally windless day. The Farside would have to be B14 to B14 in the first two of four stages though. Good luck on getting those motors.
Centuri offered the 3-stage T-Bird and Arrow 300 kits. Also 3-stage, not 4.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffyjeep
Was there ever a 4 stager?
I'm not aware of any kits, and I've pored over pretty much all the old catalogs at ninfinger, too.

There mighta been a kit plan submitted by someone (design of the month, IIRC) that had 4 stages, but I kinda doubt that since, if Estes published it, they would have been promoting a rocket with more stages than they would recommend.

Could you be thinking of the old Saturn 1B, which had a 4-engine cluster?

Doug

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Old 01-31-2013, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghrocketman
The only Estes rocket CLOSE would be the Astron Farside or Comanche-3; one might get away with adding another booster to those on a totally windless day.
I want to say I've read several accounts of 4-stagers done much like you describe, although I see lots of anecdotal accounts where the flier simply got danged lucky flying something which could just as easily have become a land shark.

Nevertheless, I think, using the D12-0 in the 1st stage, that a 4-stager might be practical. But, no doubt, the flier would need to build light, and use light upper stage motors, such as A8-0's in stages 2 and 3, to keep the overall weight down for the D12-0. I might go as far as to say "totally windless" isn't mandatory, but I agree it's a good idea

Quote:
The Farside would have to be B14 to B14 in the first two of four stages though.
I think, here again, a modernized Farside, with 24mm mount in the 1st stage, could do this without needing those unobtainable motors (that we all have on our wish lists).

Doug

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Old 01-31-2013, 02:06 PM
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In the Handbook of Model Rocketry, Harry Stine talked about 4 stage rockets, mostly saying they were unreliable and did not go any higher than a 3 stage rocket. He did not say, but I bet he built and flew a couple just to verify that.

I had one by using a F100/C5/C5/C6-7. Once. never found the two upper stages. And it was expensive to use.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:09 PM
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I also did a 3 1/2 stage by using a 3 stage C5/C5/C6-7 with two strap-ons with C6-0's. It only worked properly on 2 out of 3 because of ignition problem on the 1st stage cluster. One engine did not ignite and it became a cruise missile and smashed into the wall of the school building whose parking lot I was launching from.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:53 PM
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Thanks guys. I guess I'll have to swallow my enormous pride and smugness and admit to my brother that he was finally right about ONE thing in the 58 years his mangy carcass has been on this planet.

(whine, stomp, whine)
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  #9  
Old 01-31-2013, 06:06 PM
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The NAR Model Rocket Sporting Code or "Pink Book" limits competition models to three stages. I "thought" it was in the Safety Code, but that might have been eliminated to simplify it. Vern Estes and the other early manufacturers supported the NAR, so they adhered to the Safety Code.
The Pink Book was named as when it was first printed there was pink paper available for the cover, it was apparently the cheapest, and the rest is histerical (pun intended)

I have never heard of any serious manufacuters offering any models with more that three stages. It does get to a reliability issue with the "average modeler", but I am sure it could be done by anyone wanted to go that far. Just not with a NAR launch or insurance. A good exclusionary case is the "rack rocket", but that's another show.

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Old 01-31-2013, 07:13 PM
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This is starting to look like a challenge for Fliskits...
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