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Old 08-14-2016, 10:57 AM
the mole's Avatar
the mole the mole is offline
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Default ESTES why not a smaller Saturn V ???????

I just read on Chris Michielssen blog of another beautiful Saturn V from ESTES crashing on an underpowered motor. I admit the 1/100 scale is a nice tall and impressive rocket to look at but it's a lawn dart on ESTES motors.

Here my question. Why doesn't ESTES make a small Saturn V that would look as good if not better and work on their low power motors? Maybe a 1/195 or 1/200 scale like Peter Always Saturn V that flys with four F-1 engines attached and flys great on a C-6 motor. They have the size of tube to use. The one used in the Mercury Redstone is close if not a match for the Always Saturn. It would be a good size for display or flights. They could do a Saturn 1b to go along with it. The price would be lower which might up sale volume.

I just think it's time to downsize to fit the motors you have.
Just my two cents........
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Old 08-14-2016, 11:58 AM
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hcmbanjo hcmbanjo is offline
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I was at that Saturn V launch and it was hard to watch.
Carl says he'll rebuild it.

The best smaller Saturn V is the Doctor Zooch kit.
It is the same size as the smaller Sat V that Estes used to produce, BT-60 based.
More detailed and the nozzles stay on for flight. It's a favorite build and a great flyer.

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Old 08-14-2016, 03:40 PM
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Hi Chris,
Once again I agree with you 100% that the DR Zooch Saturn V is the best stand off small scale going bar none. I like the easy of the build. The fit of the parts. He has done an excellent job of giving all of us an affordable Saturn V to fly.

I guess what I'm getting at is I have built a few of the Always Saturn Vs and I would like to see someone give us a kit that is such a perfect size with the detail that this kit has.

How meany years is Estes going to sell this kit so it sets not to be built because you read time after time of someone who has hours of getting it built only to be afraid it well crash on the first or second flight, or the ones who do fly them and report of bad flights or crashes. Everyone who reads about a Dr. Zooch Saturn V wants to build one because you hear how well it flies. Not how it crashed.

I guess that's what I'm getting at. Why does Estes give us a Saturn V that we want to do the best to build? To make it flyable over and over but doesn't have the motors to offer. I know someone is going to chime in here and say convert it to a 29mm or use an Aerotech E or F something to fly it on. I could do that but why. I think Estes should be confident the Saturn V they sell you well fly on their motors. Not rebuild it after every flight.

Once again my two cents.......
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Old 08-14-2016, 06:36 PM
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ghrocketman ghrocketman is offline
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You are right, someone will chime in and say fly the 1/100 Estes Saturn V on PROPER power !
Estes unfortunately does NOT offer a truly correct motor for their Saturn V.
The smallest thing I will fly mine on is an Aerotech 24mm E18W but it flies a LOT better on the 24mm F24W reload. The "E" length 24mm F32 is a good choice as well.
If you have the old-style K-36 interchangeable mount for 3x18mm, a cluster of old C5-3's works quite well for a low flight but a 3-18mm cluster of SU Aerotech D10's works much better.
I have a 29mm mount in mine and probably will try the Estes E16 or F15, which should work ok.
I do have the proper ballast in my Saturn V to allow use of the 29mm RMS 40/120 casing.
The largest motor I have used in my essentially stock K-36 is a SU Aerotech F52T which is a full 80 n-sec F-motor. It gets up there to maybe 600' on that engine.

I think the 1/100 Saturn V is the SMALLEST size worth building.
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Old 08-14-2016, 06:56 PM
Scott_650 Scott_650 is offline
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Somebody with more cluster experience clue me in - what three-some of Estes BP motors would work with the Estes Saturn V?
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Old 08-14-2016, 08:21 PM
stefanj stefanj is offline
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I wouldn't trust a Saturn on anything less than 3 x C6-5 (C6-3?).

That is what the first version flew on back in the day; in 1970 they offered a swap mount so you could use the new Mighty D13.

* * *
I bought a swappable mount for the Saturn V from a company that I think was associated with YORF at the time. It has 7 x 18mm, 3 x 24mm, and 29 mm mounts. Maybe 1 x 24mm as well?

I suspect I'd be using the RMS E and F motors that Bill suggests. Maybe try a cluster of B motors (SMOKE!) if I felt daring.

However I would NOT put in a an E16 or E15; they seem so "mushy"! Great for a skinny bird, but not for anything heavy.
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Old 08-14-2016, 08:42 PM
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Jerry Irvine Jerry Irvine is offline
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I used to fly my Saturn V's with a cluster of either 2 or 3 D12-3 motors. It is reasonable with that much initial thrust. 29mm mount and the cluster hangs just out of the recessed inner ring. I mostly used Centuri Saturn V's.

That said, a 3" OD would do the trick with existing stock motors.
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Old 08-15-2016, 12:21 AM
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My earlier K-36 models were flown using three C6-3's and a few times with the single D13-3. Those choices always worked well. When the Centuri C5-3's came out, those were even better. I still have one of the vintage Centuri 1/100 scale model and have flown it using three C6-3's (great flight each time). My current Estes K-36 was modified to fly as a five engine cluster; the first (and to date, only flight) was in July 2009 and it used a D12-3 core and four C6-3 outboards. Except for the failed recovery of the upper section, the flight was a great success.
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Old 08-15-2016, 08:24 AM
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I've flown my Centuri model dozens and dozens of times on a single D12-3 with absolutely perfect results, with ejection while vertical but near zero velocity. I've flown it several times on a C6-x cluster (can't remember if 3 or 5 sec delay) with good results, but the flight profile of the D12-3 has always been perfect for small field demos...good slow liftoff and easy recovery.

No matter what you stick in the back, fly the thing with minimal wind.

If you use a bigger motor than a single D12, add clear fins, even with the extra enlarged fin version.

Don't expect a rocket that was designed to fly on a recessed single D12 or a cluster of 3 18mm's to fly perfectly on a 5 motor cluster sticking way out the back and then blame it on the rocket. You have to add more weight/fin area, you have greater velocities and more altitude. This means much greater chance of off-vertical deployment, which leads to higher velocity ejections. Coupled with added weight for CG, added weight of beefed up subsystems, and the insane desire of folks to fly in hurricane force winds, you have much greater chance of recovery failures.

Getting a successful flight on the Saturn isn't rocket science, but it is common sense rocketry.
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Old 08-15-2016, 08:46 AM
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Rocket Babe Rocket Babe is offline
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The size of the model and choice of engines doesn't matter. It's a simple choice of powering what you build and how you wish to enjoy it. Do you want low & slow, or fast and out of sight? How far do you want to take it, a simple cluster, or staged AND clustered? It all comes down to the builder/flyer.

I like to cluster everything. For the Estes 1/100 kit, it flies just fine on a SINGLE D12 under the RIGHT conditions. It also flies well on a 5 engine cluster or as an 11 engine 3 stage. Just determine what you wish to do with a particular kit and make the upgrades.

Clustering is not a problem with most rockets but what you must remember is that anytime you upgrade any rocket you have to upgrade other things as well, i.e. launch equipment and size of field.

Many people have modified the Estes kit, below are a few links for you to check out to see how far you want to go - or not.

Go here: go about halfway down the menu on the left side and look at all 3 Saturn's. There are other kits that are clustered in various ways there too. Together they will all give you several things to think about when clustering.

Then go here: and follow all 7-8 pages. (Doesn't take long) This will show you how we did it. I'm sure you may come up with your own tweaks for doing yours, your way.

As a side note and as someone who's built and flown for a while now, the main thing I wish I could get all flyers to understand is this; when it's all said and done, it's all cardboard and phenolic, nothing Holy. Rockets are not irreplaceable. They are not people. If something crashes, you rebuild it and learn from the experience. Crashing something you've spent lots of time and money on isn't fun but you always learn something, you still have fun building and flying. If you just can't stand the thought of losing a rocket, clone it. 99.99% of all rockets can be cloned.

Good luck!

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