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Scratch - SP2050 Freightliner Space Truck {Scratch}

Original Design / Scratch Built


Contributed by Drake "Doc" Damerau

(Design this Spaceship Submission - by Drake Damerau - 10/01/06)

Click on Pics t' Enlarge     

This be t' model SP2050 Freightliner Space Truck

To me, this looked like a series o' cargo containers inside a truss framework. Ahoy!

T' cargo containers are slid into t' framework. Ya scallywag! Once they are in place, the inertial dampeners and shields are activated. Life support can be activated if thar be live cargo, such as livestock or if a prisoner transport module is loaded.

T' ship is 1,000 feet long and t' GVW is less than 300 tons. Begad! It is an intrasolar vehicle, so warp capability it nay needed. Blimey! Havin' a 20,000 horsepower impulse engine made by Detroit Diesel and General Motors maneuvering thrusters, shiver me timbers, this be t' fastest cargo ship in t' FedEx fleet. Arrr!

T' forward section contains engineerin' and crew quarters. Ahoy! T' aft section contains t' impulse engine. Arrr! It is designed t' ferry cargo from t' docks in low earth orbit, t' t' docks at Mars and Europa.

Cargo area

  • 1 - Balsa Sheet 1/16" x 4" x 36"
  • 4 - dowels - 1/8" x 36"
  • 1 - bag o' 250 count 5/64" x 2 5/8" "mini dowels" by Forster
  • 8 - 1/4 x 1/8 sticks
  • Keelhaul®©™ Strin'
  • 1 - BT50 x 18"
  • 3 - BT50 - BT60 Adaptor Cards


  • 2 - BT50 - BT60 rings
  • 2 - BT50 - BT80 rings
  • 1 - 5" BT50
  • 1 - 4.5" BT80
  • 1 - 1 1/2" BT60
  • 1 - Paper shroud
  • 1 - bt BTXx bulkhead
  • 1 - BTx bulkhead


  • 4 - 2" BT50
  • 8 discs from BT50 centerin' rings
  • 1 - 4 1/2" length o' BT80
  • Tank/Cargo adaptor
  • 3 - BT50 t' BT55 rings
  • 1 - 1" section o' BT50
  • 1 - BT50 t' BT20 adaptor tube
  • 1 - 1" section o' BT20 tube
  • 4 - BT20 t' BT5 adaptor rings
  • 1 - 5" section o' BT5 tube
  • 3 - BT50 t' BT20 rings
  • 1 - 1" BT20 tube
  • 1 - BT20 t' 1.250 card rin'
  • 1 - 5" x 1/2" wooden dowel

Aft End

  • 1 - BT50 3"
  • 1 - BT50 t' BT60 rin'
  • 1 - Coupler
  • 1 - Paper Shroud
  • Fin stock
  • 5" x 6" x 1" shroud.
  • Fin Template


  • 2 - 18" chutes
  • Shock cords

Truss and cargo box

Cut t' balsa sheets into 4 sheets 18" x 1 7/8" pieces. Blimey! This will provide t' spacin' need t' use t' small dowels at a 45 angle. (I made the mistake o' makin' them too wide and nay bein' able t' use them.)

To make t' trusses, cut t' 1/8" dowels into four 19". Use the balsa sheets as guides for linin' up t' large dowels. Glue t' mini dowels to the 1/8" dowels in 1 7/8" intervals, bein' careful nay t' glue anythin' t' t' balsa sheet. See pictures 1 & 2 for this. Begad! Make two o' these trusses. Do nay glue t' 45 angle dowels yet.

Truss 1 Truss 2 Truss 3
Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3

Make t' cargo box by gluin' t' 4 sheets o' balsa together. See picture 3 to see t' arrangement o' t' sheets. Avast! This arrangement will help the positionin' o' it in t' truss work. Strong fillets will be needed on t' ID of the box for strength. Avast!

Now back t' buildin' t' truss, trim t' small dowels so that they are flush with t' large dowel. Avast, me proud beauty! Usin' t' balsa box as a spacer again, shiver me timbers, finish t' truss. Once this is dry, start gluin' t' 45 angle dowels on. It should now look like figure 4.

Usin' Keelhaul®©™ string, me hearties, wrap t' truss in t' opposite direction t' form a series "X's" over t' truss. Aye aye! If I had this project t' start over again, matey, I would use t' Keelhaul®©™ strin' for all t' 45 angle cross bracing. Begad!

Truss 4 Truss 5 Truss 6
Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6

Finish t' truss work by gluin' on t' 1/8" x 1/4" balsa onto the corners. Blimey! Make sure none o' t' small dowels are protrudin' over t' large dowels. I did this with toenail clippers and sandpaper. Avast! It should now look like figures 5 & 6.

Do nay glue t' box into t' truss yet. Begad! You'll want t' paint them separately later. Avast, me proud beauty!

Centerin' Squares and MMT

Punch out t' center discs from t' CR cardstock. Avast! Save these discs as you will need them later. Blimey! Cut t' BT cardstock t' fit t' ID o' t' box. Begad! Make 3 of them. Once you are satisfied with their fit, you'll need t' strengthen them. Cut some scrap balsa and glue them on t' centerin' squares. This will do two things; it will keep them flat and make them strong. Once these are dry, arrr, glue one on t' end o' t' BT50 so that it is flush with t' end. Begad! Glue t' second in the middle o' t' tube. Blimey! You can add more support t' this rin' now. Blimey! See figures 7 & 8. Ahoy! Use a table t' make sure they are aligned. Well, blow me down!

Centering Centering
Figure 7 Figure 8

When this is dry, glue it into t' cargo box. Ahoy! Blimey! Once it is in place, put glue on t' center card and glue t' third centerin' square in place. Well, blow me down! Blimey! T' ends should be flush.

Figure 9

Forward Tank Assembly

If you save stuff like me, then you have a small bag o' those discs from centerin' rin' cards. Aye aye! If not, you'll need t' get more o' them. Blimey! Glue these discs on t' t' ends o' t' 2" BT50s. Ya scallywag! Sand t' edges smooth once they are dry.

Use a rubber band t' hold t' tanks together. Make sure they are square. Figure 9


Usin' t' 5" section o' BTx, shiver me timbers, two BTx BTx centerings and t' BTx x BTx centerin' rings, make like you see in figure 10. Avast, me proud beauty! Glue a small rin' on t' end, the other about an 1 1/4" from t' first ring. Ya scallywag! Now glue one o' t' big rings 2 1/2" from t' end and t' last rin' on t' far end. Glue on the tubes as seen in figure 11. Ahoy!

Cab Cab
Figure 10 Figure 11

Make a shroud. Avast! I used VCP.

This one doesn't have a nose cone. Since it never enters t' atmosphere, shiver me timbers, it doesn't need one. Ahoy! Just glue t' bulkheads on top o' t' cab t' achieve t' look shown.

Glue four 1.5" sections from some 3/8" OD AT igniter tube. Cut them t' match t' angle o' t' shroud. Glue these on so that they are between the tanks. See t' finished picture for detail. Blimey!

Dockin' Assembly

This is too difficult from me t' describe. Here, ya bilge rat, a picture is definitely worth a thousand words. Begad! Figure 12 shows t' parts laid out, and figure 13 shows the completed assembly. Glue t' tanks t' t' cab makin' sure everythin' is square and centered. Well, blow me down! See figure 14

Docking Docking Docking
Figure 12 Figure 13 Figure 14

Aft Assembly

I waited until t' end t' install t' motor mount so I had a better idea on the finished weight t' choose a motor size. You may want t' consider this as well.

Glue a coupler into t' 3" BT50 MMT. If you want t' install a motor hook, you'll need t' do that now. Ahoy! Glue a BT50 t' BT60 centerin' rin' t' t' end opposite t' coupler. Once dry, glue t' shroud t' t' assembly. Ahoy! Glue t' motor assembly t' t' cargo container.

Print t' fin template guide. Blimey! Make sure that your printer prints t' right size by measurin' t' shown dimension after it's printed. Make four fins as shown on t' fin template. Blimey! Glue them t' each o' t' four corners and t' the engine shroud.

T' rin' was made by printin' a transition shroud with t' dimensions of 5" x 6" x 1" ad was made usin' heavy paper cardstock. Avast! I glued a second shroud over t' first one t' stiffen it up and soaked them both with thin epoxy. Begad!

Final Assembly

See figure 15 for this step. Ya scallywag! Paint t' cargo container with red oxide primer. Sand t' first coat, but leave t' second coat with t' mat finish. Avast! Now paint t' truss with a flat white, or even a white primer. Figure 16. Once the two pieces are dry, me bucko, it's OK t' glue them together. Ahoy! You'll want t' sand some of the paint off where you will be gluin' them. Begad! I glued mine at each corner and at each end. Begad! Don't forget t' add a launch lug as shown in figure 17. Begad! I added two 18" chutes and kept t' two pieces separate on their own chutes.

Final Assy Final Assy Final Assy
Figure 15 Figure 16 Figure 17

Finished weight with chutes is 8.4 oz. and t' CG is 16.5" from the nose.


T' first flight was on an E9-4. Arrr! T' flight was straight up t' at least 800 feet. T' ejection charge was late but recovery was good. Well, blow me down!

Flight Flight

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