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  #41  
Old 08-01-2017, 12:26 AM
al_packer al_packer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by al_packer
Let's start with (3), because that's where the design started. I free-handed that shape on the nose cone lathe in Vern's garage, probably a year earlier, just making a shape that I liked. Then when the call for a new beginner's model came down, I picked the nose cone up off my kitchen table, grabbed an 18" length of BT50, and (1) cut it in half (shipping considerations for the final kit limited me to 9"). and stuck the nose cont on one end. The fins (2); well, I wanted the CP back fairly far for max stability, so a swept design was the logical choice. Straight tips meant the fin would be easier for the builder to cut from the balsa sheet, and the taper was for appearance and structural considerations. I drew a shape, then changed it to get the look I wanted and poof--I had something Vern would like.

Jerry, I rather liked being Double Double O Seven. That's one double up on Bond, though at my age it's more like to be dribble.

Bill


Bernard pointed out to me that the body tube length is/was 7.75" Further proof that after 50+ years I don't remember everything perfectly. Also, as Bernard noted, the kit was first advertised in the April, 1966 issue of the MRN (see picture illustrating the article on model finishing on page 1 of that issue). Doing the photo interpretation thing, I see that the body was indeed 7.75" even on the prototype models, so it didn't change over the years. I have no idea as to why that particular length was chosen except for my suspicion that I was dealing with some packaging/shipping issues.
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  #42  
Old 08-01-2017, 07:22 PM
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....or perhaps it was handy as a BT-50 at that length (BT-50H) was already in use in the lower K-numbered Farside/Farside-X, Drifter, Delta and Mars Snooper kits (or so says the Brohm Estes body tube list - http://www.psc473.org/howto/EstesTubes.pdf). A thought, anyway.
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  #43  
Old 08-02-2017, 04:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
All the Alphas, Alpha III's and Alpha IV's are BT-50. You're just getting the numbers mixed up a little. BT-20 is the size for 18mm motor mounts (1/2A - C)
Maybe Woody saw an Astron Skyhook (see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/no...a/69est012.html )? It looked pretty similar to the Alpha, and its BT-30 body tube was quite close in diameter to BT-20.
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  #44  
Old 08-02-2017, 04:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by al_packer
Bernard pointed out to me that the body tube length is/was 7.75" Further proof that after 50+ years I don't remember everything perfectly. Also, as Bernard noted, the kit was first advertised in the April, 1966 issue of the MRN (see picture illustrating the article on model finishing on page 1 of that issue). Doing the photo interpretation thing, I see that the body was indeed 7.75" even on the prototype models, so it didn't change over the years. I have no idea as to why that particular length was chosen except for my suspicion that I was dealing with some packaging/shipping issues.
2021 will be the 50th anniversary of another of your kits, the Mosquito (which had a different decor scheme in 1971: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/ca.../712est56c.html ), as well as other Mini-Brute kits that you designed. A "Flown in All 50 States Mosquito" (like the "All American Alpha" back in the late 1990s--I flew it in Alaska, at the Poker Flat sounding rocket facility) would be a challenging event, to be sure, but it would be cheaper to ship from one participant to the next... :-)
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  #45  
Old 09-23-2017, 05:34 PM
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Here are a few pictures from the morning Alpha building workshop today at the Museum of Flight showing Bill Simon sharing some history and building tips with the youngsters. I really enjoyed meeting Bill Simon and chatting with him.
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  #46  
Old 09-23-2017, 09:08 PM
Neal Miller Neal Miller is offline
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Huzzah Alpha Huzzah
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  #47  
Old 09-24-2017, 01:13 PM
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And while we're on the subject, let's tray slightly off-subject and remember the Alpha's second cousin, thrice removed:

http://forums.rocketshoppe.com/show...ght=estes+aloha
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  #48  
Old 09-24-2017, 05:22 PM
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That's funny. I can see how a D21 might tear the fins off of an Alpha. But I will have to try a D10 some time (when I'm at a much larger than usual field).

We just got home from doing the launch for the Alphas we built at the Museum of Flight yesterday. Most of the 45 or so that were built yesterday turned up today. Lots of B6-4 flights.

All were recovered and we only had one separation - it looked like a poorly tied shock cord at the nose cone. Only a few flew as if they had significantly misaligned fins so the Qualman fin jigs that David Qualman supplied us (see the third picture in post 45 above) clearly helped make the models better.

A good time was had by all as we flew off of old launchers. We used a 1966 Electro-Launch, a Tilt-A-Pad, a BigFoot, and two Porta Pads (not Porta Pad IIs) with an FS-5 Launch Control System, a 2212 Astron Launch Control System and a Centuri Powr-Control on the tripod pads.

Fun stuff.
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  #49  
Old 09-24-2017, 05:32 PM
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It was a very good launch under perfect skies. Lots of young families got their first introduction to rocket flying along with a few BAR's and their progeny.

Well done Bernard!
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  #50  
Old 09-24-2017, 09:49 PM
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And I need to thank Myrna, Marie and John Bauer for their able assistance at both build sessions yesterday, and Glen Doggett for his at the first.

And of course to Bill Simon (al_packer) for sharing the story of the creation of the Alpha and several other stories with us during the builds.

Hey, Pat - any chance I can get a few of pictures taken yesterday and today? And thanks for your help at the field today among other things....
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