Friday, March 31, 2017

That 1090 Tubing?

The "Coming Soon" kit, the Airwaker, has that interesting, thick walled 1090 body tube.

In the comments section, Anonymous said:
"About the tubing....that's likely HBT-1090, which Estes used in the early/mid 90's in a buttload of E2Xish rockets."
BAR Geezer added:
"After further research it appears that Anonymous is right re: the HBT-1090 tube. Used in the Dragonite. Specs are 1.1 in. (28 mm) also. Probably of Chinese manufacture."

The only experience I've had with the 1090 tube was on the MK-109 Stingray build: CLICK HERE
This tubing has been used in the MK-109 Stingray, Dragonite, AGM 58X Heatseeker and others.
The TTW fin and launch lug attachment slots are punched, not laser cut.
Maybe the standard thickness walled tube couldn't be used in the punch process?


  1. Hey Chris,
    I'm speculating that the Chinese manufacturer did not have sophisticated laser cut machinery and went with the punch cut process. Was your Stingray tube convolutely wound? I've read that Chinese tubes are convolutely wound, with no spirals. Usually with a pre-printed wrap.

    1. Hi BAR,
      From what I understand, all Estes tubing is still made in the USA by Euclid. They ship it to China to be bagged up into kits.
      The Stingray tube was spiral wound as normal, but seemed slightly thicker than a BT-55 or 60.
      Those convolute wound tubes are found only in the Sky or MPC kits.
      These 1090 tubes may have been made thicker for punching out the fin slots and lug holes before laser cutting had become normal practice.

  2. Another almost current (I think it just went OOP) model that uses the HBT-1090 is the Dark Zero.

    The Airwalker is a bring-back. The 1410 Airwalker was in the 1993-2001 catalogs. There are a couple of other military missile-looking contemporaries that appear to use the same heavy tubing and eyelet-style launch lugs.