Sunday, November 27, 2016
Estes (Centuri) Long Tom Background
The Centuri Long Tom was introduced around 1971. This picture shows the 1972 Centuri catalog page which matches the paint scheme of the Estes "Classics" re-issue kit.
To see the Centuri page, CLICK HERE
At that time, the Long Tom was probably the tallest two stage kit produced at almost three feet tall. The original Long Tom was 35.5" tall, the Estes reissue kit stands 33.25".
Notice the red stripes on the booster fins. The Estes kit includes some red decals on the sheet but only enough for one side each of the four fins. The face card and instructions make no mention of the red decal stripes.
The Centuri kit featured "Pass-Port" staging and an ejection baffle.
Pass-Port Staging was a Centuri Patent exclusive. The stages were joined by a coupler with two holes in either side. The holes vented off some of the compression gasses allowing a split second longer for the upper stage to ignite.
If you've ever had an upper engine not fire you can appreciate this simple solution.
Many gap staging rockets (two-stagers with a distance between motors) rely on this for ignition of the second stage.
This newer Estes version uses a simple "pop and go" tape wrap around the booster and upper stage engine.