Estes - Renegade {Kit} (1271) [1975-1980]

Contributed by Jim Hinton

Manufacturer: Estes
(Contributed - by Jim Hinton - 12/08/04)

Rocket PicBrief:
I changed the booster to a triple 18mm cluster by installing motor mounts into the two side pods along with a conventional wadding type recovery system in each side pod capable of utilizing either streamers or 12" parachutes in each pod. Nose weight added to compensate.

Modifications:
The biggest trick on this one was determining a balance point. I tacked the kit together in the manner that Estes prescribed and determined the center of gravity. From there it was a relatively simple matter of adding enough nose weight to reproduce the CG position in the modified version. 1 1/8 oz. of nose weight was added in the form of #7 1/2 lead shot and sealed into the nose with PML expanding foam. The side pods were attached with epoxy, the rest of the kit was built with Titebond yellow glue. I had read in EMRR about the problems with the side pods chafing the sustainer air frame on separation. I solved this by using coffee stir sticks as shims between the booster air frame and the side pod tubes. This provided about 1/16" of offset. All balsa parts and the ends of all mount tubes, couplers, and airframe tubes were reinforced by applying a thin layer of CA to the appropriate surface and sanding after curing. This should always be done outdoors to disperse the fumes and with disposable rubber gloves to protect the hands from unwanted bonding. The sustainer shock cord consisted of two separate pieces of 1/4" shock cord bound together every few inches by zip ties. This method provides 100 percent redundancy in separation protection in case one of the elastic cords burns through. At that point both elastics are replaced.

Rocket PicConstruction:
The stock BT-50 x 5" side pod tubes were exchanged for two BT-50 tubes 6.25" long. The plugs for the rear of the pods were discarded and conventional 18mm Estes mounts were installed in each pod, the rear of the mount tube flush with the rear of the pod tube, motor hook extending aft and on the outboard side of each pod tube. The motor mounts were all installed with a length of 100 lb Kevlar® shock cord attached to the engine block in the manner of Quest kits. The Kevlar® was then attached to elastic shock cord before mounting to the nose cone. 12 inches of 1/8" flat elastic was used in the side pods and a double 24" strand of 1/4" flat elastic in the sustainer.

The overall kit quality is quite typical for the 'Made in China' Estes kits and all of the parts were good quality and fit was as one would expect.

Finishing:
Previous experience with Estes stickers has taught me to avoid them. The tube spirals were filled with Elmer's Fill 'n' Finish before construction commenced and more FnF was applied to the fins and fillets after sealing the wood with CA. Three coats of primer were applied and sanded out after each coat. The model was finished with Createx Pearl red, Pearl gold, and Pearl purple. All paint was applied with an airbrush. Hologram tape and striping tape completed the decoration with the rocket then clear coated with Future floor finish.

Flight:
Only one flight so far, B6-2's in the side pods and a C6-0 to C6-7 combination in the booster sustainer core. Booster ejection occurred very shortly after stage separation and both booster and sustainer were successfully recovered with no damage. A very successful flight with an estimated max altitude of 1500 ft.

Summary:
A very enjoyable experiment, this deals with the Renegade's problems of being underpowered and prevention of damage to the intricate booster section.

Leftoff Landed

Flights

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