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  #1  
Old 05-04-2013, 08:46 PM
Vanel Vanel is offline
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Default Significant events in clustering and staging...

I am scheduled to give a talk on clustering and staging, and would like to include a brief history. Things like

First cluster kit (Estes Ranger?)
First two stage kit (?)
First 3 stage kit (?)
First application of new technology (solar igniters, flashbulb ignition, flash pan use, etc.)

Also anything you feel would make such a talk more interesting.

Thanks much!
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  #2  
Old 05-04-2013, 09:58 PM
stefanj stefanj is offline
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You might check out the early Estes technical reports.

The multi-staging one is reprinted here:

http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/ca...an/esttech.html

Clustering report from 1963:

http://www.oldrocketplans.com/pubs/..._Estes_TR-6.pdf

The early Estes, Coaster, and Centuri catalogs will help you determine the "first kit" milestones. The first multi-stage kit was likely the Apogee (no "II"). Not sure if Estes or Centuri introduced the first three-stager.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:29 PM
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Royatl Royatl is offline
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early editions of The Handbook Of Model Rocketry (and probably an Olde Rocketeer column in Model Rocketry Magazine or two), talk about how the early Colorado rocketeers discovered that three motors could fit into a paper towel roll. And how Del Hitch figured out how to get three or more motors ignited in 1958. And then how Honest Ivan (a seven motor rocket) was launched (one of those Olde Rocketeer columns went into more detail about that). And how there was a standard booster with three motors where you just mounted any single stage rocket on top (by sliding its fins into slots).

All of this was probably well before the Estes Ranger.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:33 PM
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As for Flashbulb Cluster Ignition, I was there when John Langford developed it in 1970. I think flashbulbs had been used with mercury switches and jetex wick or FSI's thermalite for igniting upper stages, but I'm fairly sure John was the first to match them up with Centuri SureShot sticks for clusters.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:31 AM
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blackshire blackshire is offline
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Don't forget parallel staging and vented gap staging, *both* of which are illustrated and discussed in G. Harry Stine's "Handbook of Model Rocketry." Vented gap staging is similar to Centuri's "Pass-port staging," except that the gap staged lower stage's vents are *never* covered, and the lower stage (which can be quite long, for scale appearance) can have its motor as much as 12" away from the upper stage's motor. Also:

Parallel staging is a special application of clustering, and it can also be combined with regular series staging (with both butt-joined and gap-staged upper stages). The Estes technical report on clustering shows a "three-motors-across" clustered booster (one or both of whose outboard tubes uses a short-delay motor that pops out a streamer, while the center motor uses a zero-delay and ignites a butt-joined second stage). In addition:

Stine's "Handbook of Model Rocketry" has a schematic-type drawing of a rather similar parallel-staged model rocket, but its short-burning side boosters "peel away" to deploy streamers or parachutes while the long-burning, central sustainer motor keeps firing to continue to accelerate the main rocket. Such a model could also have a butt-joined (or a gap-staged) series-staged upper stage that would be lit by the sustainer motor (as long as it is a zero-delay motor). Competition Model Rockets' "Marcus" strap-on parallel-staged boosters were used (among other applications) as parallel-staged boosters on Estes' two-stage (series-staged) "Sea Strike D" model. Stine's book also has a photo of Pat Artis' unusual parallel staged rocket--he placed the "peel-away" boosters (which looked like front-motored boost-gliders' motor pods) *up front* near the model's nose (to move its Center of Gravity forward), with the sustainer motor mounted in the model's tail in the usual way. And:

Royatl wrote: "And how there was a standard booster with three motors where you just mounted any single stage rocket on top (by sliding its fins into slots)."

Yes, that design (which used a cluster of three 18 mm booster motors mounted inside a paper towel tube [BT-60 size] airframe) appeared way back in the First Edition (published in 1963, if memory serves) of Stine's "Handbook of Model Rocketry." That "generic first stage" (the terms "booster" and "sustainer" are only correctly applied to parallel staged rockets, regardless of whether the booster and the sustainer are *physically* in series, as in the WAC Corporal, Aerobee, Arcon, and Iris--and I'm not saying that you made this mistake) didn't even use a stuffer tube to direct the hot particles into the upper stage's motor, if I recall correctly--that would have made for some sooty upper stages! :-)
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  #6  
Old 05-11-2013, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanel
I am scheduled to give a talk on clustering and staging, and would like to include a brief history. Things like

First cluster kit (Estes Ranger?)
First two stage kit (?)
First 3 stage kit (?)
First application of new technology (solar igniters, flashbulb ignition, flash pan use, etc.)

Also anything you feel would make such a talk more interesting.

Thanks much!


As far as kits go, the first 2 stage was probably the Apogee II

http://www.spacemodeling.org/JimZ/k-05.htm

Not sure when the Centuri Black Widow came out.

http://www.spacemodeling.org/JimZ/kb-6.htm

The first 3 stage , more than likely, was the Farside.

http://www.spacemodeling.org/JimZ/k-12.htm
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:24 PM
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Chas Russell Chas Russell is offline
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The Astron Apogee was apparently introduce in the 1963 catalog and superceded the next year by the Astron Apogee II. The Astron Farside and Farside-X were also introduced in the 1964 catalog.
AMROCS has an Omega three stager, but I only have a 1967 catalog.

This is a wonderful reference site for the Estes kits:

http://vintageestesrockets.com



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  #8  
Old 05-11-2013, 01:04 PM
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Earl Earl is offline
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The Centuri Black Widow was in the '62 catalog.

The Aero-Dyne, a three stager (predecessor to the T-Bird) was in their '64 catalog and I think it might have been in the '63 catalog, but not sure (both these were just checked on on the Ninfinger site, which does not have a '63 catalog).


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  #9  
Old 05-11-2013, 02:17 PM
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jeffyjeep jeffyjeep is offline
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How interesting! I'm currenty working a kit that employs both clustering and staging--the Semroc PSC Infinity.
A rear thrust ring contained 2 engine cluster in the booster, and a top thrust ring friction fit 2 engine cluster in the sustainer, PLUS since the booster "breathes" from the rear, is it considered vented staging?
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  #10  
Old 05-11-2013, 06:31 PM
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mwtoelle mwtoelle is offline
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I would not consider the PSC Infinity to have a vented booster, because you need to tape the booster/upper stage pairs together. I believe the reason for the holes in the booster centering are to lighten the weight of the booster and to help deploy the booster's streamer. The PSC Infinity flies pretty well, but the booster does not tumble, hence the included streamer. It stages pretty low with B6-0s in the booster.
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