After my Saturn crashed, I've made what I call critical changes which may be helpful in other models.
1) baffle ejection
2) wider, heavier "parachute tube"
3) created a separation in middle of that tube for faster chute deployment
4) 1-2% increase in "clear auxilary fins," made from any plastic retail case, glued to original fins w/epoxy. (shows original fins, and gives better stability)
5) additional 12" chute for upper body
6) uses E30-4 *** in little to NO WIND***
1) Sealed end of engine tube, with peice of spent engine and card board and drilled horizontal holes thru engine tube. Used paper punch to cut holes in second "centering ring." (got this idea for ejection baffle here). (make sure u seal tube first , or integrity of tube reduced).
2) Parachute tube is a much larger "mail tube," about 2 1/8" in dia., cut in half. Mounted second shroud in "front half" of mailing tube, w/transition to the BT 50.
3) Peice of Kevlar string gets tied to the "eye screw" on nose cone, and passes down through the parachute tube to end, where 12" chute tied and packed first.
4) Then a 24" chute packed next, and finally th 36" chute in top section of bt. Tape nose cone for a tight fit.** With any luck, 12" chute will pull out 24"chute, and main body will pull out 36" chute.
Parts are from the standard kit w/one from an 2 1/8" mail tube, cut in half; BT 80 (not shown); BT50; 8 clear plastic fins; 6+ centering rings; made from cardboard shipping envelopes (example: proiority mail).
I salvaged what I could from old damaged parts, and repainted new peices.
Rebuild complete and flew today on an E30-4. Perfect flight, straight up.
No chute opened but, deployed ok and sustain no damage. Have to try a single large chute made from nylon. Landed about 15' away.
Two peices of long elastic for shock cord; takes a little patience to load. No chute opened so will try a single large chute.
Original auxilary fins too small and should be attached. At least two large chutes, and one small one for upper body. Difficult chute deployment due to undersized chute tube.
Love the detail and challenge of build. Had one good flight out of first three. However, that flight was awesome!! Want to recreate again and again. (wish I had originally built for an F motor. Very heavy, right at max weight. Large aux fins attached to originals a must.
New "rebuild" flew fine except chutes didn't open, deployed ok. Flew nice and straight, about 350'.
Take your time; use largest motor u can afford!
This is a short review of the Estes Apollo 11 Saturn V kit, number 2157. I purchased the kit in 2017. There are several reviews of this kit in its various forms over the years on RR and tons of information on the web. Probably the definitive source of information is Chris ...