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Old 01-24-2009, 09:30 AM
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blackshire blackshire is offline
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Default Unidentified boost-glider in 1971 Centuri catalog?

Hello All,

I was just looking at the inside back cover of the 1971 Centuri catalog on the Ninfinger Productions web site (see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/ca...d/71dcen96.html ) when I saw an unidentified black-and-yellow 'double boost-glider' in the color "group portrait" picture. It is sitting on a Servo-Launcher, just above and to the right of the white IQSY Tomahawk in the lower left corner. (You can also see it on Doug Holverson's "Centuri Memories" web site here: http://members.cox.net/retrojayrocket/history.html .)

It isn't the "SST Shuttle" (Lee Piester can be seen holding one of those in the background), nor is it the "Centuri Space Shuttle" with the gliding booster and orbiter. Instead, it looks very much like Max Faget's original "DC-3" two-stage space shuttle design, whose booster and orbiter both had straight, stubby wings and conventional tail assemblies. Was this model perhaps a very early prototype of the "Centuri Space Shuttle" kit that was patterned after Faget's original design?
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Last edited by blackshire : 01-24-2009 at 09:38 AM. Reason: A typo.
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2009, 10:13 AM
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Yes, I remember wondering about that when I had that catalog back in those days; to me, it
looks like a different prototype of the Centuri Space Shuttle that probably never made it to
kit status. Maybe if someone in this forum can get a hold of Leroy Piester he can provide a
definitive answer.

Wow, those WERE the good days!!
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Old 01-25-2009, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwmzmm
Yes, I remember wondering about that when I had that catalog back in those days; to me, it
looks like a different prototype of the Centuri Space Shuttle that probably never made it to
kit status. Maybe if someone in this forum can get a hold of Leroy Piester he can provide a
definitive answer.

Wow, those WERE the good days!!


*Flares nostrils* Ah...they were indeed! I'm going to write to him at one of his Hobby Bench shops and include a print-out of that picture to jog his memory. I have often thought of ways that one could build a Future/Fiction scale Faget-type Space Shuttle model that could dispense with the streamer-recovered motor pod used in the Centuri kit. There are two basic ways to do it:

The model could be built as a front-motor boost-glider as the Centuri kit was, but with one difference. The forward-mounted gliding orbiter would be trimmed to glide with an expended model rocket motor in its motor mount. If the orbiter fit loosely enough atop the booster using a dowel "hook" on the orbiter engaging a mounting lug on the booster (or vice-versa), the orbiter could simply slip off via drag after the motor stopped thrusting (although this would significantly limit both models' maximum altitudes and glide durations). In this version, the motor's ejection charge would be vented out of the sides or even out of the rear of the orbiter (using vents on both sides of its motor mount), and zero-delay booster motors and plugged motors could be used in this model as well.

By using either a tighter orbiter/booster fit or (preferably) a latching/unlatching pylon of the type used on pop-pod boost-gliders, the orbiter and booster would stay together and coast upward until the motor's ejection charge fired. Since the early Faget orbiter design had jet engines mounted in the forward fuselage for landing and for ferrying operations, the motor's ejection charge could be vented out through the scale nose air intake or intakes (different iterations of Faget's design had one or two nose air intakes). This would kick the orbiter backwards and free from the booster, and both would begin their gliding descents.

The other method is a bit trickier to implement. This model would look the same, but it would be configured as a rear-motor boost-glider, with the model rocket motor in the booster. In this arrangement, the booster would be trimmed to glide with an expended model rocket motor in its motor mount. The unpowered forward-mounted orbiter would serve as "nose ballast" for the booster during ascent to keep the booster/orbiter combination stable. Because the orbiter also has wings and tail surfaces (albeit considerably smaller than the booster's) and is mounted near or ahead of the combination's Center of Pressure (CP), the orbiter would have to be fairly heavy in order to move the combination's Center of Gravity (CG) far enough ahead of the CP for a stable ascent.

Also, the location of the rear-mounted motor's thrust line in relation to the booster/orbiter combination's CG point would be an important consideration. If the thrust line did not pass through (or quite close to) the CG point, it would cause the booster/orbiter combination to rotate around the CG point and pitch up or down while the motor was thrusting. The best location for the booster's motor mount would be up against the "roof" of the booster's body tube (as viewed when looking at the model from the rear). This would ensure a fairly even distribution of the orbiter's mass and the booster's mass on either "side" of the motor mount (actually, above it and below it).

In addition, the alignment of both models' wings and tail surfaces as well as their pitch trim would be important for either version, but they would be especially critical for the rear-motor version.

For the "mystery boost-glider" in the 1971 Centuri catalog, my guess is that they may have tried the rear-motor design (the orbiter in the picture isn't mounted far enough forward on the booster to work in a front-motor arrangement) and found it too tricky to be reliably built and safely flown by the average modeler.
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Black Shire--Draft horse in human form, model rocketeer, occasional mystic, and writer, see:
http://www.lulu.com/content/paperba...an-form/8075185
http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6122050
http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6126511
All of my book proceeds go to the Northcote Heavy Horse Centre www.northcotehorses.com.
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:32 AM
lurker01 lurker01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackshire
Hello All,

I was just looking at the inside back cover of the 1971 Centuri catalog on the Ninfinger Productions web site (see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/ca...d/71dcen96.html ) when I saw an unidentified black-and-yellow 'double boost-glider' in the color "group portrait" picture. It is sitting on a Servo-Launcher, just above and to the right of the white IQSY Tomahawk in the lower left corner. (You can also see it on Doug Holverson's "Centuri Memories" web site here: http://members.cox.net/retrojayrocket/history.html .)

It isn't the "SST Shuttle" (Lee Piester can be seen holding one of those in the background), nor is it the "Centuri Space Shuttle" with the gliding booster and orbiter. Instead, it looks very much like Max Faget's original "DC-3" two-stage space shuttle design, whose booster and orbiter both had straight, stubby wings and conventional tail assemblies. Was this model perhaps a very early prototype of the "Centuri Space Shuttle" kit that was patterned after Faget's original design?



It ISN'T a glider at all! Funny but his use of black paint worked the same way auto makers would mask off sections of new models they drive around the Detroit area in years past to show off next years model without giving away all the details

OK, the black rocket seen in the photo isn't a glider at all. I need to give you a little back ground before I can tell you what the model is:

In the Golden Era of model rocketry, manufactures like Estes, Centuri and the rest would take photos of almost everything they produced or did. It wasn't so much that they were protecting the history of Model Rocketry, as it was that they were protecting their intellectual property rights of their products.

Photos were chosen to promote product lines; we know this. Photos were not used sequentially all the time. Meaning, just because a photo was used in the 1971 catalog didn't mean that it was taken in mid or late 1970; it could have been taken in 1968 and used in the 1971 catalog. We see this through out early model rocket publications. If you look through the 1970's technical reports from both companies, they show models that were no longer being made and had been photographed back in the 1960's.

Now I give the reader all this setup for the following reason: The photo listed in the 1971 catalog wasn't taken in 1970, or even 1969; it was taken in 1968! A full two years before the 1971 catalog was released; and most likely 18 months before they started working on the 1971 catalog.

So now, what IS the 'Black Mystery' rocket in the 1971 catalog photo you ask? Well I can either make a guessing game out of this or just tell you I think I will make a game of it!

I will provide you a hint: The 'Black Mystery' rocket finally was produced in its final retail configuration and is actually in the 1969 catalog!!!

http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/no...a/69cenp97.html

Remember my long winded explanation of car manufactures protecting what a model looks like by using black paints and masking off areas of the car to 'hide' details? Lee used the same methodology with a particular design, and finally released it retail in 1969. Two years before the photo that was taken in 1968 was published in the 1971 catalog,

Come on now, put on your thinking caps and figure out what that 'Black Mystery' rocket was; it IS in the 1969 catalog photo I have linked above; well its final retail configuration is in the 1969 catalog.

This should be interesting ... or maybe not

Bob
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  #5  
Old 04-29-2009, 11:59 AM
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GregGleason GregGleason is offline
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Bob,

Do you know the history of the "mystery rocket" first hand or was this information passed down to you?

Greg
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:46 PM
lurker01 lurker01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregGleason
Bob,

Do you know the history of the "mystery rocket" first hand or was this information passed down to you?

Greg


Passed down from the 'Horses Mouth' so to speak. So its OFFICIAL and not just second hand small talk over at the balsa rack or the RSO table :P

Bob
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:55 PM
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To continue with the metaphor ...

The "horse" was 1) an employee of Centuri at or about the time of the alleged incident, and 2) was in a position to know said information.

How am I doing so far?

Greg
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:33 PM
lurker01 lurker01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregGleason
To continue with the metaphor ...

The "horse" was 1) an employee of Centuri at or about the time of the alleged incident, and 2) was in a position to know said information.

How am I doing so far?

Greg


THE OWNERS...
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  #9  
Old 04-29-2009, 02:08 PM
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GregGleason GregGleason is offline
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So, Equus Majoris.

If you would permit me to saddle you with a few more questions.

I am more intrigued at how the conversation started. This is a rather obscure element in a photograph. Did it start out with the old Columbo/Peter Falk (I am dating myself), "Ya know Mr. P there's just one thing that's bothering me. This picture has a rocket ..." or was it something like "Now Bob, this rocket has a very interesting history. Once upon a time, we ..."

Greg
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurker01
It ISN'T a glider at all! Funny but his use of black paint worked the same way auto makers would mask off sections of new models they drive around the Detroit area in years past to show off next years model without giving away all the details

OK, the black rocket seen in the photo isn't a glider at all. I need to give you a little back ground before I can tell you what the model is:

In the Golden Era of model rocketry, manufactures like Estes, Centuri and the rest would take photos of almost everything they produced or did. It wasn't so much that they were protecting the history of Model Rocketry, as it was that they were protecting their intellectual property rights of their products.

Photos were chosen to promote product lines; we know this. Photos were not used sequentially all the time. Meaning, just because a photo was used in the 1971 catalog didn't mean that it was taken in mid or late 1970; it could have been taken in 1968 and used in the 1971 catalog. We see this through out early model rocket publications. If you look through the 1970's technical reports from both companies, they show models that were no longer being made and had been photographed back in the 1960's.

Now I give the reader all this setup for the following reason: The photo listed in the 1971 catalog wasn't taken in 1970, or even 1969; it was taken in 1968! A full two years before the 1971 catalog was released; and most likely 18 months before they started working on the 1971 catalog.

So now, what IS the 'Black Mystery' rocket in the 1971 catalog photo you ask? Well I can either make a guessing game out of this or just tell you I think I will make a game of it!

I will provide you a hint: The 'Black Mystery' rocket finally was produced in its final retail configuration and is actually in the 1969 catalog!!!

http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/no...a/69cenp97.html

Remember my long winded explanation of car manufactures protecting what a model looks like by using black paints and masking off areas of the car to 'hide' details? Lee used the same methodology with a particular design, and finally released it retail in 1969. Two years before the photo that was taken in 1968 was published in the 1971 catalog,

Come on now, put on your thinking caps and figure out what that 'Black Mystery' rocket was; it IS in the 1969 catalog photo I have linked above; well its final retail configuration is in the 1969 catalog.

This should be interesting ... or maybe not

Bob


Absolutely stumped here, Bob, tho I like I like the game. How 'bout another hint?

S.
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