Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Paper Stomp Saturn V

After my last launch, I reworked the rocket that sprung a leak and built another minimum diameter, bare bones air rocket. This one is about 34" long with a 24" pressure tube.  In its flight configuration, the upper 6" forms a shock piston which hopefully will minimize the damage due to the inevitable lawn dart.

I wanted snazzier rocket to take to my next air launch and considered several options. I could build another HoJo, but that would require commercial printing. I also looked at various static paper models and really liked the  1:96 paper Saturn V from the Lower Hudson Valley Challenger Center. This is a nice well detailed model and certainly could be converted for flight. However, those details mean a lot of parts. These details are good for a display model or even a flying model with a reliable recovery system. However, on a stomp rocket, they are a waste of weight and effort. I decided to spring for Plan Pack #2 from AlaskaPaperModelWorks (available as a download from ecardmodels.com).

Plan pack #2 includes a Saturn V, a Saturn 1B, a Gemini Titan and two Honest Johns. Each kit is printed on multiple sheets of 8.5x11 cardstock (110lb index or 65lb cover). The Saturn V was 7 pages long. This pack doesn't provide many instructions as they are supposed to be add-ons to the basic plan pack.  The beta HoJo that I built had a lot of detailed instructions so I was good to go.

These kits are intended for a 3/4" barrel as detailed in the launcher plans included in the starter pack. I am modifying mine for my 1" launcher.  This involves building my own pressure tube and expanding the center hole in the one centering ring (aka the lower former). The center cut-out also serves as the plug for the pressure tube. Instead of building the ring and top bulkhead from multiple layers of cardstock, I laminated them onto a thicker stock using Super77 spray glue. The pressure tube and lower body are shown in the attached photo.

That's all the progress for a couple of days. This will give me time to ponder some other mods. I won't bother you with the details unless I implement them.