Estes Astron Trident Rebuild

I’ve flown my 1968 K-33 Estes Astron Trident many times. I’m always breaking the fins upon landing because the parachute bay is just not big enough for the proper parachute. I lawn darted the rocket and decided to make some changes.

This rocket made it into the 1968 catalogue on the futuristic designs page. It introduced injection ducting, where the ejection gases travels through the 3 BT-5 tubes and back into the upper BT-50 for ejection. It was designed by Gene Street who also came up with rockets such as: Astron Space Plane, Astron Gyroc and Saturn 1-B.

The lawn dart crushed the upper section and bent the 3 BT-5’s. I removed about 1 1/4″ section of the 3 BT-5’s and glued in BT-5 couplers. I then glued the upper 3 BT-5’s back together. That is the crushed BT-50 nose section in the photo.

I used a BT-50 to BT-55 plastic coupler, cut off both ends, and glued it into the section at the top of the BT-5’s. This hollowed out adapter will let the ejections gases pass through.

The 7″ BT-55 I’m adding is to house a larger parachute, hopefully making it easy to bring the rocket softly to the ground. I also decided to have a payload section, basically reducing the upper section back to the original size and re-use the original BNC-50K nose cone. I made the payload BT-50 4 1/2″ to house my Jolly Logic Altimeter Two, if I choose use it. This design with the larger parachute tubes will cause me to have to place the launch lugs in different locations from the original. I removed the original launch lugs and used Squadron White Putty to fill and smooth the worst imperfections. I also sanded the fins to smooth out all the CA glue repairs.

I painted the entire rocket with White Rust-oleum Painters Touch 2 Ultracover Paint+ Primer. I then applied some decals (I had a really old page of original decals but most of them fell all to pieces when I tried to apply – I salvaged a few) and sprayed it with Minwax Fast Drying Polyurethane. I will fly it on a C6-3 next launch and you can see the results on my Rocket Launch post. I wish it had a D motor mount, maybe I’ll perform that major surgery when she crashes again (hopefully in a few years).

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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