Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Estes Saturn V Concern -

An email from Mike Rufener -

Hi Chris!
Just got a Saturn V (2157) and it has both vacuum formed fins, and hard plastic fins. I think I'll use the newer ones.

I also noticed that the "yellow engine spacer tube" is wrong. Estes uses these to push the thrust ring into the body-tube, then it is pulled out and discarded. It is 2.75-inch "D-size" and not the long "E-size". I'm worried anyone who follows the directions will have problems, and be left with a rocket that only flies on Ds!

Hope this is of interest!
Mike Rufener

Thanks Mike!
Interesting that both the vacu-form and new plastic fins were included.
The new Estes instructions only mention the Yellow spacing tube (034997) being used to set the engine block. The yellow spacing tube is D engine size, only 2.75" long. 
Another Orange spacing tube (035005) E to D engine spacing tube is shown in the parts drawing but not shown in the engine mount assembly. This orange tube looks to be the length of the E12 engine at 3.75". I don't have the kit in front of me, this is just a guess.

Today (October 5, 2016) an update from YORF from John Boren at Estes

Saturn V Instruction Update

I know you guys are smart enough to figure this out when building the Saturn V but we supplied the shorter 24mm D size yellow spacer tube instead of the longer 24mm E size spacer tube. This tube is used to place the engine block in the correct location. We will correct this in future pack outs of the kit.
                                                                                                       John Boren


  1. Ok, I have the new kit and have the yellow spacer. Do I need to contact Estes for the longer tube for E engine? I do not want to try this on a D. Thanks Chris for your blog. Lots of tips and info!! John

    1. Hi John,
      You can contact Estes or use a (longer) E9 or E12 casing to set the engine block. Or -
      Take a scrap BT-50 tube, 3 3/4" long and with s cissors cut a line lengthwise down the tube. This allows the edges to overlap slightly and be inserted into another BT-50 tube. That could be easily used to set the engine block.