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  #1  
Old 08-26-2012, 07:43 PM
tfischer tfischer is offline
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Default Estes Skywinder repairs

Hi all, been awhile since I've posted here. Hope all is well with everyone.

After about 15 years of successful launches (and some not-so-successful, but easily repairable), my trusty Estes Skywinder had a really hard fall today. Launched it for a group of kids (after they all launched some Fliskits DooDads that we all built together, every single one of them worked beautifully) and not sure what happened but the rotors never activated, and the poor thing lawn-darted right onto an all-weather track. The top 3" or so of the nose cone shattered, and the body tube bent into a lovely "Z" shape.

Since this rocket never failed to impress (heck, people were impressed even with this "final" launch lol) I'd like to rebuild or replace it. But its been OOP now for at least a decade.

So my questions:
1) Anyone have a kit, new or used, assembled or not, they're willing to sell, or can point me to one for sale?
2) Barring that, any advice on how to get this bird to fly again? I think I can cobble together a nose code repair (possibly fiberglass mesh/repair compound? It's a heavy nose anyway...) but I'm at a loss about the body tube. It was a narrow diameter (since the rotor blades fit around it to make the rocket of a diameter somewhere between a BT-20 and BT-30) and was much thicker than a standard body tube.

Whether or not this one flies again (I sure hope it does), I'd be interested in everyone's advice on a new helicopter-recovery rocket that's as reliable and easy to use as this Skywinder was.

Thanks!
-Tim
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  #2  
Old 08-26-2012, 08:00 PM
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sandman sandman is online now
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Tim,

I have an open kit, I don't want to part with it. It is on my build list.

Let me know what you need. I can compare the parts out of the kit to find you replacement parts.

The nose cone and body tube are easily replaceable. I just checked and the nose cone is a standard BT-56 nose cone. Easy to find. I sure I have 2 or three of them.

Do a post mortem and make a list of what it needs.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:03 PM
tfischer tfischer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman
Tim,

I have an open kit, I don't want to part with it. It is on my build list.

Let me know what you need. I can compare the parts out of the kit to find you replacement parts.

The nose cone and body tube are easily replaceable. I just checked and the nose cone is a standard BT-56 nose cone. Easy to find. I sure I have 2 or three of them.

Do a post mortem and make a list of what it needs.


That's good to know about the nose cone. I might have issues getting it apart (it's model-glued to the model-specific part that holds the rotors in place) but it's probably doable.

I haven't done a full post-mortem, but I believe the only other damaged part is the body tube itself. If this is a standard part that would be great, but it seems thicker than any rocket I've ever flown.

Thanks much,

-Tim
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:05 PM
tfischer tfischer is offline
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Just to avoid any confusion, this is the SKYwinder (the helicopter recovery rocket), not the SIDEwinder, the scale model missile.
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfischer
Just to avoid any confusion, this is the SKYwinder (the helicopter recovery rocket), not the SIDEwinder, the scale model missile.


I read it as Sk WINDER, the helicopter recovery one.

Not the Sidewinder missile.

I hope that's correct.

Now believe it or not the body tube may be a problem. Not a big one but it's not just a BT-20. it's very heavy walled but I think it can be duplicated with a BT-20 filled with a full length tube coupler.

I have a few full length BT-20 tube couplers and lots of BT-20's.

Let me fool around with it. This is doable but I'll wait until you let me know for sure what you need.
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:11 PM
tfischer tfischer is offline
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I very much appreciate it.

I have now dissected the rocket. Everything seems to be in order except the body tube and nose cone, as I originally suspected.

I have also been able to remove the nose cone from the other upper plastic piece (which the plans I found online call the "external slide". So A new body tube and NC will definitely get this bird flying again.

I'm really optimistic now. After the crash, knowing its OOP status and pretty custom-parts nature, I wasn't so sure it was repairable.

-Tim
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:17 PM
tfischer tfischer is offline
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If you could get me the length of the body tube, that would be very helpful. Mine's pretty mangled

I really like the idea of using tube couplers to stiffen it. Let me know what your experiments lead to.

Thanks much!
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:32 PM
tfischer tfischer is offline
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Sorry for the chain of posts

After more experimentation, it looks like the original body tube has the same ID as a BT-20 but is much thicker walled. Does anyone know of a body tube that has an ID about the same size the OD of a BT-20? I checked the chart at Semroc and didn't see a perfect match, but not sure how much is "close enough". I also asked Carl via the contact form.

Open to other suggestions as well. Thanks again!

EDITED TO ADD:
Also found this relevant link:
http://www.rocketshoppe.com/forums/...read.php?t=9196

Last edited by tfischer : 08-26-2012 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfischer
Sorry for the chain of posts

After more experimentation, it looks like the original body tube has the same ID as a BT-20 but is much thicker walled. Does anyone know of a body tube that has an ID about the same size the OD of a BT-20? I checked the chart at Semroc and didn't see a perfect match, but not sure how much is "close enough". I also asked Carl via the contact form.

Open to other suggestions as well. Thanks again!



You might want to measure the OD of the tube and compare it with ST-7 Centuri style tube from Semroc (it is slightly bigger ID and OD.) Or LOC 18mm motor tube. Both are of heavier wall than BT-20.


Bill
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:17 AM
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I've measured the tube with my digital caliper.

The O.D. is 0.770 and the I.D. is 0.700.

That matches with a T-20+ from Totally Tubular (erockets now)

http://www.erockets.biz/Totally-Tubular.html

The inside tube will be a BT-20.

It may be hard to glue the BT-20 in without it grabbing on you.

The other cheaper alternative is a standard BT-20 with the tube coupler inside and building up the O.D. of the BT-20 just at the ends where it's glued into it's mating parts.

You could do that with just strips of paper glued on the ends.
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