Alpha VI

Alpha VI

I have always been a fan of the Estes Alpha rockets, it is an easy and reliable build. I decided to upgrade my Alpha VI 60th Anniversary build and try to make a really unique rocket. The main areas of focus were to upgrade the booster tube, motor retainer and kevlar shock cord.

Here you can see I installed an aluminum motor retainer instead of the engine hook. The MMT is installed in the fin can with RocketEpoxy because I was using it on another rocket at the same time. Out the top of the MMT is a 400# Kevlar line to server as shock cord.

Here you can see I installed an aluminum motor retainer instead of the engine hook. The MMT is installed in the fin can with RocketEpoxy because I was using it on another rocket at the same time. Out the top of the MMT is a 400# Kevlar line to server as shock cord.

Note: When using Kevlar or Nylon, you can use tape to absorb the impact of the motor ejection and the sudden stop when the nose cone reaches the end of the shock cord. I create a few of these bundles on my launches. You know you have the correct number of bundles when some, but not all of the bundles have been ripped open. Without the bundles, I have had nose cones separate from the booster because of the sudden stop from an ejection charge. (example photo from another project)

Note: When using Kevlar or Nylon, you can use tape to absorb the impact of the motor ejection and the sudden stop when the nose cone reaches the end of the shock cord. I create a few of these bundles on my launches. You know you have the correct number of bundles when some, but not all of the bundles have been ripped open. Without the bundles, I have had nose cones separate from the booster because of the sudden stop from an ejection charge. (example photo from another project)

The main body tube is being replaced with a 24mm I.D. piece of Carbon tube. I cut the tube just a bit longer because of a difference in weight.

The main body tube is being replaced with a 24mm I.D. piece of Carbon tube. I cut the tube just a bit longer because of a difference in weight.

Rough assembly. I tried to put the 60th Anniversary sticker on the carbon fiber, but you could not see it very well. I decided to put a white ring of lacquer paint on so the sticker would be visible. I really like the look.

Rough assembly. I tried to put the 60th Anniversary sticker on the carbon fiber, but you could not see it very well. I decided to put a white ring of lacquer paint on so the sticker would be visible. I really like the look.

Mostly complete Alpha VI next to the Alpha III.

Mostly complete Alpha VI next to the Alpha III.

I still need to deal with the launch lug. I have been experimenting with Mini and Micro Rail Buttons on the MakerBeam and really like launching off of a rail. I think I am going to get some polystyrene h-column and make a runner that slides inside of the MakerBeam for this Alpha.

I still need to deal with the launch lug. I have been experimenting with Mini and Micro Rail Buttons on the MakerBeam and really like launching off of a rail. I think I am going to get some polystyrene h-column and make a runner that slides inside of the MakerBeam for this Alpha.

Final launch weight has not been determined, but based on the RockSim file (estimated), the change in materials will have some affect on the best motors to use.

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Carbon 42

Carbon 42