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  #11  
Old 03-30-2020, 10:11 AM
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ghrocketman ghrocketman is offline
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Every Cherokee-D I have built from an Estes kit has had the PNC-55AC and 18"tube.
They were all pink skill-level packaging. I have built at least 6.
I suspect the change to full length BT-55 occurred at the same time as the switch to the plastic nose cone and skill-level packaging. Somewhere in the 1973 timeframe.
The only ones I have built with balsa cones were PDR and Semroc clones.
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  #12  
Old 03-30-2020, 11:51 AM
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K'Tesh K'Tesh is offline
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Just completed the photo analysis of the kit. The first photo that was clear was the 1971 catalog. So, I started there.



It's clear from the number of body tube lengths and nosecone lengths I used that this photo is of a rocket that had an 18" long tube.

The change in length had to have occurred between the 1970 and 1971 catalogs.

Now, then next thing to hunt down is whether or not it ever shipped with a balsa nosecone in the long form, and if the long form (with either a balsa or plastic nosecone) came with the old Estes logo on the wrap.

I also now need to get a scan of the decal sheet with the old logo (along with a ruler for scale).
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  #13  
Old 04-03-2020, 11:02 AM
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astronwolf astronwolf is offline
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Parts availability during the 1970s might be a good clue.

The history of the BT-55V body tube and BNC-55AC nose cone:

1967 - 1971: The 16.35" long BT-55V was listed in the Estes catalog

1967 - 1974: BNC-55AC listed in Estes catalog

1969 - 1981: BT-55V kit Avenger released

1970 - 1977: BT-55V kit ARCAS released

1970 - 1983: BT-55V kit Cherokee-D released

1971 - 1982: BT-55V kit Bandit released

1974: The BT-55V is listed in the Estes Custom Parts Catalog

1975 - present: PNC-55AC listed in Estes catalog, in one way or another

1975: second 18" BT-55 kit released A-20 Demon. This marks the beginning of the 3FNC and 4FNC BT-55 kits. The first was the Interceptor in 1971, but I consider that to be an exception.

1980 - 1983: Last of the BT-55V kits released - Skybolt

1983 sort of marks the end of the Estes "Golden Age" with the demise of the BT-55V.

I wonder Estes switched some of the other BT-55V kits, the ARCAS, Avenger, etc. from BT-55V to BT-55. I'm guess that some did, but I'll dig out an unbuilt ARCAS kit from those days and check. Another speculation is that the switch was transitional, but by 1975 it was complete (full length BT-55 kits make an appearance, and the BNC-55AC nose cone is gone).
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  #14  
Old 04-03-2020, 12:34 PM
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mwtoelle mwtoelle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astronwolf
1969 - 1981: BT-55V kit Avenger released

1970 - 1977: BT-55V kit ARCAS released

1970 - 1983: BT-55V kit Cherokee-D released

I have instruction sets for the K-26 (1226) Arcas, K-38 (1238) Avenger, and K-47 (1247) Cherokee-D that were purchased between 1977 - 1980, and all of three of them came with an 18" long piece of BT-55. All three of them also came with plastic nose cones, a PNC-50Y for the Avenger and a PNC-55AC for the other two kits.

Quote:
I wonder Estes switched some of the other BT-55V kits, the ARCAS, Avenger, etc. from BT-55V to BT-55. I'm guess that some did, but I'll dig out an unbuilt ARCAS kit from those days and check. Another speculation is that the switch was transitional, but by 1975 it was complete (full length BT-55 kits make an appearance, and the BNC-55AC nose cone is gone).
-W

If I had to guess, switching to the longer BT-55 was either to compensate for the lighter nose cones or a simple reduction in reducing the number of parts on hand.
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  #15  
Old 04-04-2020, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwtoelle
I have instruction sets for the K-26 (1226) Arcas, K-38 (1238) Avenger, and K-47 (1247) Cherokee-D that were purchased between 1977 - 1980, and all of three of them came with an 18" long piece of BT-55. All three of them also came with plastic nose cones, a PNC-50Y for the Avenger and a PNC-55AC for the other two kits.

If I had to guess, switching to the longer BT-55 was either to compensate for the lighter nose cones or a simple reduction in reducing the number of parts on hand.
I built the Thrustline clone many years ago, it was the shorter version with Balsa NC, and IIRC, needed a washer for stability. My assumption was that the switch to the longer tube was for better stability. I added a bit of NW on my (short) Semroc version too, though the kit didn't come with any. My original build as a kid was the pink hang-tag long version, and I have another in the bag. I've lost a few of these
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  #16  
Old 04-04-2020, 09:16 AM
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astronwolf astronwolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulK
I built the Thrustline clone many years ago, it was the shorter version with Balsa NC, and IIRC, needed a washer for stability. My assumption was that the switch to the longer tube was for better stability. I added a bit of NW on my (short) Semroc version too, though the kit didn't come with any.

I had a balsa nose cone version Cherokee D. I might still have the nose cone from that kit. The original "short" Cherokee-D didn't include any nose weight and flew well. So I doubt the switch to an 18" long tube had anything to do with stability. In my opinion it had more to do with streamlining production.
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