Friday, September 27, 2019

Estes Solo #7288 Build, Part 2, Launch Lug Positioning

A line is drawn up the body tube for the launch lug. The lug is pressed against the tube. Two posts on the back of the lug strip indent the body tube at two locations. Be sure the indent marks are in a straight line.

The instructions say to cut small "X"s in the body tube for the short positioning pins on the back of the launch lug strip. I wanted a more accurate hole. Punching X slits with an X-Acto knife can easily give you larger slits than you want.

After the tube was marked by pressing the lug strip in place - Check to be sure the line is still straight. You can see the depressions in the light reflection on the left.

TIP: I started the holes with a pin.
The pin hole was enlarged with a small rat tail diamond file.

Spin the file a few times, check the fit and repeat until you get a good friction fit.

TIP: Before using the clear retention tape over the lug, I taped the lug strip down to the body tube. This freed up my left hand to make the placement of the clear tape easier.


  1. I don't recall ever seeing a taped-on lug before. Is that the standard mode of construction they're using on the newer E2Xes? (or maybe this is more ARTF?) On the Skywriter I build a few years ago there was a normal lug you have to glue on.

    1. Hi Neil,
      You are probably like me and don't go for the ARTF and E2X models. The ARTF usually only have you tie on the parachute. E2X rockets require some gluing. The Skywriter design has been around for years, previous to this new tape on lug. I prefer something I have to actually assemble.
      I first saw this taped on launch lug at a club launch a year ago. I can assume there are some other kits with this feature. Once in a while it is nice to put something together you don't have to fill and paint.

  2. The plastic tape-on lug is pretty common for Estes LPR E2X - along with the always way too short rubber shock cord. It’s something I like to change out for a “normal” style lug. I will admit that, like Chris, I think it’s really nice not having to paint a rocket now and again - so the paper launch lug gets a coating of Sharpie ink.

    1. Since you glue the lug on, the tape didn't seem needed but I added it to mine anyway,like an exta pair of suspenders.