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  #181  
Old 12-27-2017, 07:31 AM
stefanj stefanj is online now
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I had, but never "assembled" or flew, a Yankee 1.

It had one of those yellow plastic T-25 cones with the ridges and removeable T5 cap. (The cone could be used as a T25-T5 coupler of sorts.) See a picture of the Martian Patrol to see what the cone looked like.

The American Flyer models had a replacable liner tube; a length of T20 with punch holes to lock it in place. I don't recall if the company sold replacement liners.

The series "reusable wadding" was a red plastic plug that slid loosely along the liner. I don't recall the attachement details. An image of the instructions would be revealing.
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  #182  
Old 12-27-2017, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stefanj
I had, but never "assembled" or flew, a Yankee 1.
It had one of those yellow plastic T-25 cones with the ridges and removeable T5 cap. (The cone could be used as a T25-T5 coupler of sorts.) See a picture of the Martian Patrol to see what the cone looked like.
The American Flyer models had a replacable liner tube; a length of T20 with punch holes to lock it in place. I don't recall if the company sold replacement liners.
The series "reusable wadding" was a red plastic plug that slid loosely along the liner. I don't recall the attachement details. An image of the instructions would be revealing.


Here's the instructions from oldrocketplans.com:
http://oldrocketplans.com/mpc/mpcR-300/R-300.pdf
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  #183  
Old 12-27-2017, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pterodactyl
Here is an MPC offering which could qualify as the first RTF model rocket ever widely available to the public.



I bought four of those Yankee-1 models at a hobby shop which 'suddenly' had a large selection of MPC products in the late 1980s.

I noticed that with many of the Yankee-1 models at the hobby shop the nose cone had fallen off down into the bottom of the box. Most the boxes had some water damage.

At the time Scott Pearce and I had been working to create some 18mm 'E' and 'F' motors (Scott did the development and design work. I was just the 'assistant' ).

This resulted in the E45 and F55 motors.

LDRS-8 was coming up in Hartsel, Colorado.
I decided to demo fly the E45 and F55 motors there.

What rocket to use?

I opened one of the MPC Yankee-1 model boxes and prepared the model for use.
I removed the two motor hooks so I could use longer motors in the model.

At LDRS-8, I flew the Yankee-1 first with the E45 motor. That was a fast flight and the ejection broke the round elastic shock cord. I located all the parts and decided to use the F55 motor later in the launch.

A few days later the Yankee-1 was loaded with the F55 motor. The motor ignited and disappeared. I had no idea where it went.

A little searching found the sustainer. Three of the four fins had come off in flight at some point and the nose cone with parachute were gone and not found.

After videotaping the model post-landing I tossed the model in the trash.

Hmmm, I still have three more Yankee-1 models here somewhere...
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  #184  
Old 01-10-2018, 03:54 PM
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Default A Rare Bird: The Astrobee 1500

For almost as long as the NAR has existed the organization has promoted scale modeling by distributing plans of various full scale rockets. This practice continues to this day with NAR Technical Services or NARTS distributing plans via CD to interested modelers. The promotion of scale modeling reflected the wishes of G. Harry Stine who felt that scale was an important way to differentiate model rocketry from fireworks and the basement bombers that were the antithesis of the "safe, scientific, space-age hobby" image that the hobby's leaders wanted to convey.

In 1961 G. Harry Stine fired up his Leroy Lettering set and inked this plan to the Astrobee 1500 sounding rocket, which is still available from NARTS. The -1500 is an interesting looking rocket with unusual lines which render it a challenge to the casual modeler. This is not your usual 4FNC model.



The release of this plan did NOT lead to a flood of scale model rockets. There have been few of these models built either from scratch or released by model rocket companies (more on that later). Not surprisingly the first flying model rocket example of the Astrobee 1500 was probably built by G. Harry Stine himself even before the first flight of the real bird in 1962. Here's the model in the Stine Collection at The Museum of Flight.



Some 'googling' revealed that none other than FAI scale medalist Marc McReynolds had designed an Astrobee 1500 kit that was to be released by Enertek in 1988. Enertek Catalog

Alas t'was not to be, but Marc did offer the following about Stine's model via email:

"My connection to the Astrobee 1500 actually dates to 1969, when I entered one for Scale Altitude at NARAM-11. That model was based on the Stine/NARTS drawing you referenced. My subsequent models, such as the 1988 Enertek one, used data first published in a 1969 issue of Model Rocketry magazine.

One difference between the Stine/NARTS drawing and later, more detailed drawings is the method of attachment shown for the two strap-on rocket motors. A simple cylindrical sleeve in the earlier drawing, vs a series of clamping bands on the as-flown vehicles and in later drawings.

Aside: A vehicle apparently derived from the Astrobee 1500 design, called Strypi, did use sleeves.

The sleeve/band discrepancy, along with the 1960 date, suggests to me that the Stine drawing was based on preliminary information as the vehicle was being developed -- prior to first flight and maybe even prior to the prototype's completion.

[The museum model's other noticeable deviation from any of the drawings is the non-conical SRM nose, with its tip right up against the body. However, I'm guessing the modeler simply wanted to ease construction. A proper "tube + cone, not touching the body" would have taken somewhat longer than what was done here. So probably not an indication of some different/earlier data source.]

Perhaps the most telling indication of the model's vintage is the choice for the marking.

I haven't seen this sort of marking on any of the handful of Astrobee 1500's which were flown (I've seen photos of about half of them). It is, however, the same marking style which was used for Aerojet's preceding vehicle, the Astrobee 500:



Likewise, the 1500 museum model's silver fin, silver fin can cylinder, silver SRM sleeve and silver cylinder below the nose were also not found on any flown vehicles as far as I know.

Conclusions: Based on the model's inaccuracies, it was likely built based on data which pre-dated the actual vehicle. Whomever built it was likely connected to either Aerojet General or White Sands, since the Astrobee 500's logo would not have been known to most modelers (At the time Marc wrote this we hadn't found the photo with the NAR-2, identifying it as Stine's model- Thank you Marc! ).



Many years later Peter Alway wisely noted the market void for Astrobee 1500 models and produced this kit under his Saturn Press kit line. Here's a sales page from Uncle Mike's (sorry team the kit appears to be sold out/out of production):



The kit description goes on to say the following:

Astrobee 1500

• 1/19 scale model of the Astrobee 1500 research rocket
• Flies on Estes B6-4, C6-5, C11-5, and D12-7 engines (smaller engines require an adapter
that can be made from an expended D engine)
• 21 3/4" tall
• 1.637" in diameter
• Advanced construction including over 40 laser-cut parts, built-up, through-the-wall-to-
engine-mount fins, scale booster brackets with tab-and-slot assembly
• Parachute recovery
• Kit designed by Rockets of the World author Peter Alway
Quote:
Aerojet General was famous for building the Aerobee sounding (research) rockets starting in the
1940’s. This spin-off of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory turned to solid-fueled rockets in the 1950’
s. It called these its Astrobee sounding rockets.The largest of the Astrobees was the Astrobee
1500, a two-stage rocket designed to carry 75 lb to 1500 miles. The first stage was Aerojet’s
version of the Sergeant motor, called the Aerojet Junior. Two small Recruit motors gave the
vehicle an extra kick at launch. These boosters remained attached to the first stage after burnout.
The long, clamshell nose of the Astrobee 1500 concealed a spin-stabilized upper stage. Two metal
bands, Marmon clamps, held the nose together during boost.The US Air Force launched the first
Astrobee 1500’s from the Pacific Missile Range in 1961. The first flight failed, but the second, on
December 8, launched explosive flares that allowed trackers to survey a more accurate distance
from California to Hawaii.NASA flew its first Astrobee 1500 from Wallops Island, Virginia, on
April 8, 1963. This rocket broke up at an altitude of 47 miles. The second NASA Astrobee 1500,
flight 16.02 GT, fared better, reaching 1182 miles above the Atlantic Ocean on October 21, 1964.
This kit’s painting instructions represent that flight. NASA flew four more Astrobee 1500’s
through 1969. The last flight successfully tested a receiver for the Explorer 38 radio astronomy
satellite.


It's too bad that this model isn't available today as a kit (yes I am too lazy to scratch build one). Its unique lines, rich history, and these images of Stine's model from almost 60 years ago really make me want to get my mitts on one.
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Last edited by pterodactyl : 01-10-2018 at 04:17 PM.
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  #185  
Old 01-26-2018, 11:21 AM
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Default Sixty Years

Sixty years ago right now these people were busy (very busy) getting ready for separate events that are inextricably linked. In a few days you'll find out what happened and you might even see an object that hasn't been seen by anybody in 60 years.



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  #186  
Old 01-26-2018, 02:18 PM
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The Peter Alway kit of the Aerobee 1500 was just exceptional and a really great one to build and fly. I built one a number of years ago and I think I still have another unopened kit around here somewhere. I would be reluctant to part with it though since the kit has been OOP for quite a while.

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  #187  
Old 01-26-2018, 02:26 PM
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I used white dope which I shot with an airbrush. Went on beautifully but shrank over time giving fine cracks in the white finish. A common problem with dopes.
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  #188  
Old 01-27-2018, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pterodactyl
Sixty years ago right now these people were busy (very busy) getting ready for separate events that are inextricably linked. In a few days you'll find out what happened and you might even see an object that hasn't been seen by anybody in 60 years.






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  #189  
Old 01-29-2018, 03:27 PM
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Joe that is a very fine looking Aerobee 1500.
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  #190  
Old 01-29-2018, 07:43 PM
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Thanks, Sean. I have never flown it. That's gonna change this summer. Don't know whether you can see it in my photo, but it's already loaded with an Estes D and igniter.


Joe
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