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  #1  
Old 11-13-2017, 01:28 AM
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blackshire blackshire is offline
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Default Firework missile parts?

Hello All,

In the very earliest Estes catalogs, they offered--in addition to the model rocket parts with which we're familiar today--plastic fin units and nose cones for firework missiles. (This isn't at all surprising, since Vern Estes was originally in the fireworks business before he got into model rocketry.) Now:

As well as the fit-onto-tube conical missile nose cone (see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/ca...61/261est4.html ), and the "Bastille-style" trailing delta fins, fit-onto-tube missile fin unit (the Dirty Bird III rocket plan used one, with a regular ogive model rocket nose cone), Estes also offered a fit-over-tube, "Spin Fin" firework missile fin unit (both of these fin units can be seen *here*: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/ca...61/261est6.html ). This polyethylene plastic fin unit fit over their BT-1 (0.840" Outside Diameter, I think) body tube, with slight modification of one tube end being necessary for a proper fit (I think the tube was a bit wider than the "Spin Fin" unit's inside diameter), and:

I have seen the conical plastic nose cones and "Bastille-style" plastic fin units for firework missiles available as separate parts from time to time, but I have never seen the polyethylene "Spin Fin" units except in that Estes catalog. Does anyone still make them, anywhere? If so, they might be good for group rocket building & flying activities, especially introductory ones for younger kids. Its fins are also somewhat reminiscent of those of the Atlantic Research Corporation Metroc meteorological rocket (a "little sister" to the Arcas, it boosted a 2 pound sonde payload to 20 miles altitude), and could be used for a semi-scale Metroc model.

Many thanks in advance to anyone who could help!
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:37 AM
stefanj stefanj is offline
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I found one of those spin-fin units on a beach on July 5th . . . in 1971 or so.

Any item which it simply not made any more, I suspect. If one could be found, it could be 3D printed and reproduced.

I have been hoping to find a source of the other delta-fin firework fin cans, but the supply of those seems to have dried up as well. (FireFox no longer carries them.)
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stefanj
I found one of those spin-fin units on a beach on July 5th . . . in 1971 or so.

Any item which it simply not made any more, I suspect. If one could be found, it could be 3D printed and reproduced.

I have been hoping to find a source of the other delta-fin firework fin cans, but the supply of those seems to have dried up as well. (FireFox no longer carries them.)


was in a fireworks shop the other day and saw some skyrockets with delta overhang fin cans, but they looked a *lot* thicker/heavier than the pictures I've seen of the Dirty Bird, etc. Plus, it wasn't *quite* the same shape.

But anyway, were the original parts that thick? I estimate close to 1/8" thickness.
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Old 11-13-2017, 02:01 PM
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Shreadvector Shreadvector is offline
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The ones I saw in the 1970s were at least 1/8" thick.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Royatl
was in a fireworks shop the other day and saw some skyrockets with delta overhang fin cans, but they looked a *lot* thicker/heavier than the pictures I've seen of the Dirty Bird, etc. Plus, it wasn't *quite* the same shape.

But anyway, were the original parts that thick? I estimate close to 1/8" thickness.
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:54 AM
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blackshire blackshire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stefanj
I found one of those spin-fin units on a beach on July 5th . . . in 1971 or so.

Any item which it simply not made any more, I suspect. If one could be found, it could be 3D printed and reproduced.
That's true, and even flexible plastics can be and are used for 3D printing. Even an "eyeballed" one recreated from the catalog drawing or a photograph (I think I saw one in an online scan of another old Estes publication, not necessarily a catalog) would be "good enough," particularly since the fins' shape is so simple.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stefanj
I have been hoping to find a source of the other delta-fin firework fin cans, but the supply of those seems to have dried up as well. (FireFox no longer carries them.)
Like Roy (I loved your AS-501/Apollo 4 school project posting, by the way! I couldn't add anything, but I also enjoyed your linked-to articles on that pivotal mission!), the only "Bastille"-style (like on the catalog-illustrated version of Centuri's Sky Devil, see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/ca...2/772cen10.html ) firework missile fin units that I've seen in recent years have very thick fins, which taper downward from their fin can attachment points. In the 1970s, the fins of the ~0.75" diameter firework missiles were 1/16" thick (or just a hair thicker), and they were of constant thickness. There were also smaller, quite similar ones (often made in Macao) that were about 0.6" in diameter, whose fins each had a molded-in "stiffening rib" along the trailing edge. ALSO:

In the 1980s or 1990s, one of the consumer fireworks companies that I ordered from (Blue Angel Fireworks or Neptune Fireworks) offered a large--about 1" diameter--missile that looked very much like the Centuri Payloader II (see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/ca...2/772cen12.html ); its fin planform was virtually identical to the kit's, and its nose cone was a long cone with a radiused tip, which fit into the body tube like a model rocket nose cone. It even used a rod-type launcher and launch lugs (it came on a plastic base with two 1/8" [or maybe 3 mm, being made in China] diameter rods that fit through lugs on either side of the missile; the rods were slightly shorter than the ~15" - ~20" long missile).
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Last edited by blackshire : 11-14-2017 at 03:15 AM.
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:18 PM
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A few found fireworks nose cones that fit pretty well on model rocket tubes.
From left to right: LT125 (also fits ST13 ), BT20 and BT60.

The LT125 and BT60 cones are flush with the OD of the tubes. I used a piece of LT115 tube to fit the LT125 and a JT-60c coupler for the BT60.
The BT20 cone fit over the tubes.
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Last edited by SEL : 11-14-2017 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 11-15-2017, 03:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEL
A few found fireworks nose cones that fit pretty well on model rocket tubes.
From left to right: LT125 (also fits ST13 ), BT20 and BT60.

The LT125 and BT60 cones are flush with the OD of the tubes. I used a piece of LT115 tube to fit the LT125 and a JT-60c coupler for the BT60.
The BT20 cone fit over the tubes.
Thank you for posting that picture, and your description of their sizes and how they fit--or are fitted to--their respective body tubes! Nose cones like these are just the sort (I recognize some of them from skyrockets) that would be useful--and cheap, when one can get them separately in some quantity--for demo models, school/scouts/other youth groups model rocketry projects, and "fun-fly" models, etc. Also, they're made of more flexible plastic, so that recovery system failures (especially partial ones, where a parachute ejects but doesn't open, or only the nose cone pops off at ejection due to a jammed 'chute or streamer) are less likely to cause damage, and:

For mini motor rockets, nose cones from 1 ounce skyrockets (here are some: http://www.tntfireworks.com/firewor...t-assorted-8-oz ), similar-size firework missiles, and perhaps even--if large enough ones are made--ammunition "snap caps" (plastic "simulated bullet" cartridges that are used for "dry-firing" practice) could be used as model rocket nose cones. Making a quick Google search, here are firework missile and rocket items with plastic nose cones (or nose cones *and* fin units), some of which I've never seen before; they are:

"HUGE Saturn Missile Battery" (its missiles are about BT-20/ST-7 size, with "Big Bertha"-like elliptical nose cones): www.musiclessons.com/youtube/watch?v=Ou-3d74KiWE

"Wolf Pack Missiles" (these have conical nose cones, Iris-like fin units, and dual-rod launchers): http://ferrebeekeeper.files.wordpre...14/07/l-017.png

"7 inch Warhawk Missiles" (the missiles have nice swept fin units and radiused-tip conical nose cones): http://keystonefireworks.com/shop/7-warhawk-missiles/

"12 inch Warhawk Missiles" (a 12" version of the 7" Warhawk Missile, these have 5:1 ogive nose cones and tubes wider than their fin units): http://keystonefireworks.com/shop/12-warhawk-missiles/

"12 inch Europa II Missile" (these look very much like the "12 inch Warhawk Missiles," but their fin cans are sized to fit their larger body tubes): http://www.fireworks.com/products/i...-missile-l-018/

"7-inch Neptune Missile" (these have short conical nose cones and six-finned fin units that resemble the Petrel sounding rocket's fin assembly): http://redrhinofireworks.com/6-inch...ne-missile.html

"7 inch Missile" (resembling the "7 inch Warhawk Missile," their fins are more 'angular'): www.wildwillysfireworks.com/products/7-missile
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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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