Shuttle Express glider mount point repair

All to often a mishap occurs and a rocket gets damaged. Find simple (and not so simple) techniques to get the bird back in the air.
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#1 Shuttle Express glider mount point repair

Post by Commander » Wed, 06 Apr 16, 01:41 am

originally posted Nov 01, 2015 by Commander on the old site

This repair is a little more involved. We are going to replace one of the hold down points on an Estes Shuttle Express.
As you can see in the picture the port hold down point is broken off of this rocket.

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[Last edited Nov 06, 2015]
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#2 Re: Shuttle Express glider mount point repair

Post by Commander » Wed, 06 Apr 16, 01:48 am

Commander said Nov 08, 2015
Yes, I know. Some first-aider I am. The patient would have already expired by the time I get to him. On top of that, the procedure I will do to repair this problem seems more like a major operation. However, with a little forethought in stocking your rocket first aid kit, these steps can be accomplished in the field in a reasonable amount of time.

First off, I considered the simple solution, just gluing a launch lug to the side of the rocket and be done with it. Some CA glue and you're set. The problem with this is two fold. One, you do not give the glider the proper offset to the body tube. I don't know if this can cause major problems, but the symmetry being off just does something to my OCD.
Two, when it comes time to do a real repair, you will have to remove the appendage which could cause additional problems.

So no, we are going to do some in the field surgery. First, using an exacta knife, carefully cut out around where the old standoff was. I measured the remaining standoff's post and found it to be 2mm x 5 mm, we want the hole to be a little smaller than that. The plastic coupler that we are cutting through is thicker where it abuts the paper tubing on both sides. If we just cut out between the thicker portions and almost two mm wide, we will be fine. You can clean up the edges with a file.

Amazingly, I found some 2mm x 4.8mm strip styrene in my rocket field first aid kit.

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#3 Re: Shuttle Express glider mount point repair

Post by Commander » Wed, 06 Apr 16, 01:54 am

Commander said Nov 14, 2015
These next steps take a little bit of practice and care should be taken not to burn yourself while orking with heated styrene. It is hot, and can burn badly if heated to a melting temperature. We want it just warm enough to were it will soften and bend, not "melt". Please use caution.

In these pictures I am using a tea candle, but other sources (such as a lighter) can be used with discretion and care.

Cut the styrene stripe to the size you will need. In this case I decided on 3 cm. I used a section of 3.2mm launch rod as the "mold" for the hold down.

Next light the heat source and warm one end of the styrene over it. when you see the styrene start to bend, it's ready.

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Be careful, if the styrene catches fire, it could drip burning plastic. Use caution and common sense.
[Last edited Nov 29, 2015]
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#4 Re: Shuttle Express glider mount point repair

Post by Commander » Wed, 06 Apr 16, 01:55 am

Commander said Nov 15, 2015
In the next steps, you will be working with heated styrene. It is hot, and can burn badly if heated to a melting temperature. We want it just warm enough to were it will soften and bend, not "melt". Please use caution.

Next is to wrap the softened plastic around the mold, in this case the launch rod. you must move quickly as the styrene will harden rapidly. I used bare hands when I did, but the plastic can be hot and gloves are suggested.

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The last stage of forming is to pinch the end and the tail together around the rod and hold till the plastic hardens again.

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[Last edited Nov 29, 2015]
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#5 Re: Shuttle Express glider mount point repair

Post by Commander » Wed, 06 Apr 16, 02:00 am

Commander said Nov 29, 2015
We can do some tweaking to the styrene stand-off by reheating over the candle if necessary and manipulating into the desired shape. Slow, steady and careful are the key words here.

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Make sure you check the fit to the shuttle glider lug. The fit should be loose and non-binding.

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[Last edited Nov 29, 2015]
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#6 Re: Shuttle Express glider mount point repair

Post by Commander » Wed, 06 Apr 16, 02:02 am

Commander said Nov 29, 2015
Place the newly formed stand off against the stand off on the opposite side. Hold the formed loop against the body tube and mark the support at the end of the existing loop.

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Now make another mark approximately 4-5 mm away from the loop to create a tab.

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Saw off the excess styrene.

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[Last edited Nov 29, 2015]
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#7 Re: Shuttle Express glider mount point repair

Post by Commander » Wed, 06 Apr 16, 02:04 am

Commander said Nov 29, 2015
File away about 1 mm on each side of the marked tab till it fits in the slot in the body tube coupler you created in the first reply above.

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#8 Re: Shuttle Express glider mount point repair

Post by Commander » Wed, 06 Apr 16, 02:07 am

Commander said Nov 29, 2015
insert the tab part-way into the coupler,

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Apply liquid cement and allow to dry for at least 5 minutes.

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Check adherence and fly.

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#9 Re: Shuttle Express glider mount point repair

Post by luke strawwalker » Thu, 07 Apr 16, 04:48 am

Nicely done! OL J R :)
My MUNIFICENCE is BOUNDLESS, Mr. Bond...

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