Paper models, photos and musings of a Paper Kosmonaut

15 August 2012

Delta IV Heavy [2]

Some of you might have solved the riddle instantly, others will have scratched their heads. What I am building now of course is the Delta IV, a big American booster rocket and in the version I am making the biggest on the market at this moment. This Delta IV Heavy consists of three CBC's (Common Booster Cores), bolted together side by side, of which the middle one carries the payload to orbit while the outer two act as boosters. This impressive rocket is indeed a big boy, measuring about 72 meters and weighing more than 730.000 kilos. 
Originally, this rocket has the same distinctive blue colour as the other Delta rockets have. It is just for safety that this one carries the orange foam insulation much like the retired Shuttle's external tank had. When the rocket ignites on the pad, it gets engulfed in a big cloud of flames of vented gaseous fuel residue that surrounds the rocket's business end. This causes the skin of the rocket to catch fire during the start. The flame retardant in the foam makes sure the rocket won't explode and kills the fire. That is why, when a Delta IV leaves the pad it always looks scorched.

Here is a video of the first launch of the Delta IV Heavy. You can see the flames surrounding the rocket after ignition and the completely charred rocket after leaving the pad. But it all has been taken in account beforehand.

So I did the central booster of the rocket now. It is huge, it towers over all the other rockets apart from the Saturn V. It really is big.
The model did not provide stabilization rings for reinforcement inside the long tube. I made them myself and cut out some 8 or 9 circles for this central booster alone. I also made some minor adjustments to the engine section to make it all dead straight.

more pictures after the jump.

The engine section is an ingenious piece of work. The curved parts fall right into their places and fit like a glove. I just changed the order of building by first adding the curved parts before glueing it to the cylindrical part of the engine section. this way I could bend and shape the curves better.

The engine bell has a sort of shield over it. This is because it does not have coolant tubing as other engine bells have but is coated by an ablative material that burns up while the engine is running. It make the engine bell heavier but cheaper to produce. It also causes the exhaust plume to be orange instead of white-ish to transparent, which is more common for hydrogen/oxygen fuelled rockets. 
I left the paper shields the kit provides alone and used aluminium tape for the part. It has a tighter fit like the real thing and because of it being metallic, it looks more real. I kpet some extra slack paper on top of the engine bell so I could shove it inside the small attachment part above it. This way I could try and make the stack as straight as possible. I used my shelves to straighten the engine underneath the rocket and to let the glue set.

Because of that, it now is able to stand straight up on its own engine. I like that.
Okay, that's the middle one, two boosters to go. That's next.

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