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  #1  
Old 07-01-2015, 07:33 PM
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gpoehlein gpoehlein is offline
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Default First Estes Rockets

OK, gang - I'm going WAY back for this one. In the 1960 Estes catalog on Ninfinger, there are no rocket kits listed, and only a few parts. These include the BT-1 (ID=.750", OD=.840"), the BT-2 (ID=.720", no ID listed), a PNC-1, PNC-2 and a plastic fin unit PF-1. It also lists a plan book titles "Model Rocketry" that includes plans for three rockets: Arrow-C, Sky Bird, and Orange Bullet. I know there are plans for two of those rockets that were part of the Design of the Month collection, but they were apparently redesigned using current Estes Parts (BT-50, etc). The Dirty Bird plans do show both the fin unit and the long ogive cone used, and those are listed as BT-40 (which the 1963 catalog gives somewhat different dimensions for than the BT-1).

Bottom line - does anyone have any information on any of these parts, models or plans? Tubes are easy enough to roll, and the plastic parts can now be 3D printed. Anyone interested in resurrecting a really long dead bit of history here?
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2015, 08:07 PM
stefanj stefanj is online now
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I was under the impression that the early BTs were the equivalent of the BT-30 and BT-40.

Some of the early, un-updated Model Rocket News-es had plans, and there is this:

http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/ca...an/esttech.html
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  #3  
Old 07-01-2015, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpoehlein
OK, gang - I'm going WAY back for this one. In the 1960 Estes catalog on Ninfinger, there are no rocket kits listed, and only a few parts. These include the BT-1 (ID=.750", OD=.840"), the BT-2 (ID=.720", no ID listed), a PNC-1, PNC-2 and a plastic fin unit PF-1. It also lists a plan book titles "Model Rocketry" that includes plans for three rockets: Arrow-C, Sky Bird, and Orange Bullet. I know there are plans for two of those rockets that were part of the Design of the Month collection, but they were apparently redesigned using current Estes Parts (BT-50, etc). The Dirty Bird plans do show both the fin unit and the long ogive cone used, and those are listed as BT-40 (which the 1963 catalog gives somewhat different dimensions for than the BT-1).

Bottom line - does anyone have any information on any of these parts, models or plans? Tubes are easy enough to roll, and the plastic parts can now be 3D printed. Anyone interested in resurrecting a really long dead bit of history here?



BT-1 was surplus of Model Missiles body tube, later renamed BT-40.

BT-2 was a tube that, initially, Gleda rolled out of mimeograph stencil backing paper, then manilla folder paper, on a jig that Vern built. They eventually got a company to produce it regularly for them, and that was what became BT-30.

The plastic parts were pretty standard fireworks parts that fit the BT-1/BT-40. I saw these very same parts on fireworks rockets until at least 2000. Those molds probably wore out, and there are now parts made from new molds that look similar, but are not exactly the same. The long flexible gray vinyl nose cone also came from Model Missiles. I'm pretty sure it was custom made for MMI (for Aerobee-Hi and Arcon), but don't know for sure.
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  #4  
Old 07-02-2015, 05:42 AM
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Yeah - I've mined all the usual sources. I know the dimensions and shapes of the parts listed in the 63 catalog, but I was noting the difference between the BT-1 and BT-40 dimensions even though they should be the same. Chalk that up to different suppliers, I suppose . I also did know that some of the nose cones and the fin unit were surplus fireworks parts (we've discussed that here or on TRF before).

But the real question is: does anyone have either any of those old nose cones and fin unit, or the plan book? If nothing else, the plan book should be scanned and posted for posterity. I think, given the dimensions and drawings in the 63 catalog and the dirty bird plans, I can make 3D models of those parts, but it would be nice to actually see the parts even if only a photograph. And a set of documentation photos - straight on from multiple directions so the photos can be measured - would be a real bonus.
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  #5  
Old 07-05-2015, 12:01 AM
dannymrmissile dannymrmissile is offline
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Default Plan Book

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpoehlein
Yeah - I've mined all the usual sources. I know the dimensions and shapes of the parts listed in the 63 catalog, but I was noting the difference between the BT-1 and BT-40 dimensions even though they should be the same. Chalk that up to different suppliers, I suppose . I also did know that some of the nose cones and the fin unit were surplus fireworks parts (we've discussed that here or on TRF before).

But the real question is: does anyone have either any of those old nose cones and fin unit, or the plan book? If nothing else, the plan book should be scanned and posted for posterity. I think, given the dimensions and drawings in the 63 catalog and the dirty bird plans, I can make 3D models of those parts, but it would be nice to actually see the parts even if only a photograph. And a set of documentation photos - straight on from multiple directions so the photos can be measured - would be a real bonus.


If anyone's interested, I have an original plan book like this w/exact/blueprint drawings for all 3 kits Vern Estes sent me. Plus, I have a Box full of most of the original BT- 30- (BT-2) and 40 (BT-1) Tubes, cones & Payload Sections, etc.,, incl. the early BT 40 Clear (Hard Plastic) Payloads with original sealed cellophane tape on it w/instructions etc. still inside. Also several original Plastic & Balsa PNCs, but no Fin units. Let me know If you need help. Im disabled, so a reply may (or not) be 'slow', Danny.
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  #6  
Old 07-05-2015, 07:26 AM
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That is exactly what I was hoping for! Any way you can scan those instructions and submit them to Scott? That is just the sort of information that needs to be shared! And if you can take some good photos of the nose cones with a ruler for scale (exact side shots are best so an accurate measurement can be taken). Pity you don't have a fin unit, but beggars can't be choosers! Post what you can when you can - and if you need any help, there are lots of folk here besides me who will gladly do the scans and pics of they can borrow the plans and parts for a short time.
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Hint #2: Clean your shoes after flyin' in that cow pasture - that ain't no dirt clod on the sole!
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  #7  
Old 07-05-2015, 07:35 AM
dannymrmissile dannymrmissile is offline
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Default Scan

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpoehlein
That is exactly what I was hoping for! Any way you can scan those instructions and submit them to Scott? That is just the sort of information that needs to be shared! And if you can take some good photos of the nose cones with a ruler for scale (exact side shots are best so an accurate measurement can be taken). Pity you don't have a fin unit, but beggars can't be choosers! Post what you can when you can - and if you need any help, there are lots of folk here besides me who will gladly do the scans and pics of they can borrow the plans and parts for a short time.


Do you want scans of the Whole Booklet-its only 8 pages long & has stuff like the NAR code, Rocket talk, etc. 3 Pages, maybe 4 have the 3 Plans you need. You want me to send the SCANS & Pics. Here? This was the 1st 'Newsletter' Vern made in 1960-1, was lucky to get it. There will be Lots of Pics sent ! Oh-I had the scott@rocketshop thing, but lost it--maybe just send a link here for me to go directly on to where you want it. Danny.
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  #8  
Old 07-05-2015, 08:00 AM
dannymrmissile dannymrmissile is offline
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Default Scan Of Plans

I just sent Pics. of the Whole thing since again, its just 8 Pages. Will get the tubes & Cones etc. next. I know someone who has the fins---but he is Very slow, I mean he takes weeks. Danny OH- Open these Images for PLANS.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMAG0004.JPG (1.18 MB, 91 views)
File Type: jpg IMAG0005.JPG (1.13 MB, 61 views)
File Type: jpg IMAG0006.JPG (1.26 MB, 67 views)
File Type: jpg IMAG0007.JPG (1.34 MB, 68 views)
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Last edited by dannymrmissile : 07-05-2015 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:04 AM
dannymrmissile dannymrmissile is offline
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Default More

Said my files were too big...not sure if all came thru... Says last 4 are too large for this space...need another ?? Danny
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Last edited by dannymrmissile : 07-05-2015 at 08:13 AM. Reason: pics
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:29 AM
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Joe Shockcord Joe Shockcord is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannymrmissile
I just sent Pics. of the Whole thing since again, its just 8 Pages. Will get the tubes & Cones etc. next. I know someone who has the fins---but he is Very slow, I mean he takes weeks. Danny


The Sky Bird uses a conical nose cone that slips over the body tube. That type of nose cone is still used on firework rockets today.

I make regular trips up I-75 and I befriended a roadside fireworks vendor (BTW, I got him interested in model rocketry and later gave him a starter kit). On one visit I asked about buying some rockets specifically because I wanted to get some of those nose cones and instead he gave me a whole bag of them in various sizes! He said they fall off the rockets easily and he was tired of picking them up off the floor. The smaller ones fit BT-20 well but the larger ones either slip into a BT-50 or are equal diameter, so yeah, it seems they are still made the same sizes.

If you use the smaller BT-20 size be careful not to push the cone too far on the tube, as the inside ridges will crush the tube edge and seat crooked.
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Last edited by Joe Shockcord : 07-11-2015 at 08:33 AM.
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