1/72 Saturn V, NARAM 39, Tucson AZ (1997)
This Saturn V model originally started life in 1983 to be used in competition at the 1985 Internats. Various components remained shelved and uncompleted until I finally go the time to finish the model. The model is not representative of any specific mission. It was mainly an exercise in micro-detailing...primarily figuring out how to do all the stringers and corrugation of the real thing without compromising scale qualities.
All of the tubular stage sections were fabricated from .01" thick styrene sheet. The majority of external details are resin castings as are all of the stringer and corrugation details. No decals were used...all of the markings and lettering via stenciling. Also, the engine fairing/fin assemblies were designed to pop off on recovery to minimize landing damage. Originally designed to be a staged model, the stages were secured permanently together for the NARAM flight since the model had garnered 1st place points in static scoring and the few points available for staging weren't worth the risk. Flight weight of the model was between 30 and 32 ounces including a couple of ounces of clay in the nose to assure stability.
Power was by a 24mm G42 motor. Unfortunately, right at launch the unpredictable desert winds picked up and the model weathercocked severely into the gust. The model arced over and impacted after about an eight second flight. In hindsight, I would not have added the extra clay noseweight which may have contributed to the severity of the weathercocking.
As a result of the disastrous flight, several methods to "abort" flights for future scale model projects were considered. Initial ideas centered around the ability to quickly deploy the recovery system utilizing radio control. These concepts quickly evolved to methods to assure vertical flight. The eventual system utilized the following year for my NARAM 40 1/24 Mercury Redstone was both a horizon sensing system slaved to a gimballed motor to assure vertical flight AND a radio control recovery system deployment mechanism.
Click on images below to enlarge.
A bit of the spacecraft end of things
All stringer details were done by gluing styrene strip on edge...
Intricate detailing... Scale sized and quantity stringers and detailing on the Interstage area
The fins and fin shrouds are held on by rubber bands and are designed to pop off on recovery to minimize damage
A lot of careful prepping going in to the one and only flight of this model
The last of the recovery system gets tucked in...
The moment of truth is nearing as rocket is placed on the pad
RSO gives model one last check before it gets loaded onto the pad.
Closeup view of Boost Protective Cover (BPC). Was actually modeled in fiberglass cloth and resin and covered a scale Command Module
It's Off!!! About eight seconds later it was all over and scattered across the Arizona desert floor...
This ending only led to better things...like RC recovery activation and active autopilot in future models to assure vertical flight.
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Scale Projects-1/72 Saturn V