Monday, September 12, 2016
First Through-The-Wall Fins?
The old Estes Semi Scale Saturn V (K-39) was brought up on YORF.
I hadn't looked at the instructions for years. To see them, CLICK HERE
Steps 6 and 11 might show the first ever use of through the wall fins.
This kit had clear plastic fins. The fins were cut from a sheet and "glued" on using clear butrate dope. I remember the Estes Thor Agena B and Gemini Titan also used a variation of this.
The Thor Agena B and Gemini Titan had an external clear coupler that slid over the back end of the body tube. The clear fins slipped on for flight and could be removed for display. At recovery you would usually find that one fin that popped off. There was very little root area, the clear fins were thin.
The smaller semi scale Saturn V was different, the clear coupler was on the inside as part of the engine mount. With the fin fairing shrouds you can understand why Estes had to go with the internal clear coupler. You couldn't slide a clear coupler on from the rear once the model was finished.
This kit design was a disappointment for many. It felt clumsy with the big clear fins and printed body wraps. I've mentioned before, the Dr. Zooch Saturn V kit is the same size as the Estes K-39 kit and the detailing is much better. And - no big clear fins!