The mother of all rockets: The Saturn V! This is very old Skunkworks (also known as Polecat aerospace) kit from 2003. I started work in November 2012 and finished in March 2013.

The rocket is 10 inches in diameter and features one 98mm motor mount + 4x 54mm motor mounts. The 98mm mount is adapted to a 54mm motor with a nozzle adapter, completing the set of 5 bell nozzles.

The rocket also has scale fins,  causing the rocket to be unstable without a large amount of nose weight.  The tip of the nose cone has about 3 lbs of epoxy and 22 lbs of lead!

 

2 comments

  1. Hello Mr. Sojourner,
    I am Luigi Pellegrino, an aviation enthusiast and together with two of my friends we founded a non-profit association, Lab.S.A. which carries out projects in schools to encourage students to study techno-scientific subjects. For the next year 2019, the 50th anniversary of the man’s landing on the moon, we would like to organize a great event, during which to launch the model of Saturn V.
    During my research on the Internet I found the video of your launch and from there your website. Could you give me detailed information on the realization of your Saturn V? Can you still find the kit to buy it?
    I send you our web address so you can see what we do.
    http://WWW.LABSA.IT

    Best regards
    Luigi Pellegrino.
    P.S. Excuse me for not very correct communication in English, my only goal and to communicate with you to also have an exchange of information.

    • tooxmaster says:

      Hello Luigi,

      Nice to hear from you!

      The original kit was made by Andy Woerner of “What’s Up Hobbies” under the brand “Skunkworks” which was later changed to “Polecat Aerospace.” There were probably around a dozen kits made in the initial run, probably in 2002 to 2003 or so. In 2005 or 2006 (? I can’t quite remember exactly), What’s Up Hobbies along with Polecat Aerospace was sold to Jack Garibaldi, who ran it until ~2014. He never produced the Saturn V kit again, even though he had the molds for the fiberglass pieces. I remember that he told me he just didn’t think there was enough demand for it to be economically viable to produce a run of kits. Then in around 2016, Polecat Aerospace was sold to another company, who promised to produce the Saturn V kit again. As far as I can tell, they’ve gone under, and you can no longer buy anything ‘Polecat’, let alone the Saturn V! However, I think they may have produced a small run. I really don’t know, the original owners of Polecat were close to home and heart so we knew all the goings-on, after Polecat was sold to a guy in Oregon I lost touch with what they were up to.

      This particular incarnation was the second Saturn V kit built by my father and I, the first one was built way back in 2003 crashed after a successful boost due to poor parachute packing and thermal protection; the black power charge to separate rocket’s two halves singed the silk cargo parachute and it stuck together. Lesson learned – don’t use silk parachutes without extremely proper parachute packing!

      This incarnation had an unfortunate tumble on it’s second launch later in 2013 and was shelved. See here:
      https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/8920687448
      The nose section (S-IVC and above) need to be repaired but the S-1C and S-II are fine. Maybe I’ll get around to repairing it for the 50th anniversary in 2019…

      Enough history, here’s a few things I remember about it that you may find interesting:
      – It took me aprox a month to detail the model: I had to glue on the corrugation as individual half dowels!
      – The model is very unstable due to a combination of the scale model fin size and the weight of the propellant being concentrated in the aft end, so 25 lbs of lead shot was placed in the nose along with around a liter of laminating epoxy to shift the center of gravity so it would be stable in flight.. This produced so much heat as the epoxy cured that we had to stick the nose cone in an ice bath to cool it!
      – Because of the huge mass in the tip of the nose, it fell over when I was standing it up for the first time to look at the paint, and the CSM area was destroyed. I had to redo the entire thing and use more epoxy and fiberglass and fill and sand for maybe a week.
      – I was pretty unhappy with the final result of the CSM stack at the end of the day, I just didn’t have enough time until our scheduled launch day to fix everything.
      – It took maybe two weeks to mask and paint (maybe longer)
      – The smoke puff you see in the video was our attempt to have dramatic ‘special effects’ before launch… It doesn’t look quite as cool as we were hoping, haha.

      Hope this was interesting!

      Good luck with your anniversary event,

      Aidan Sojourner

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