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Doorknob - Estes

Mid-power flying replica of the American Doorknob sounding rocket for nuclear tests.

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Pro Series II ™ Series Kit
Almost 70cm tall and powered by D, E and F engines, this 1:12 scale model is a fantastic replica of the sounding rocket made for the Hardtack Nuclear Test Series project.

During the mid-1950s, public concerns about nuclear fallout from US and Russian tests were reaching their peak. For this reason, on August 22, 1958, President Eisenhower announced that the United States would ban further nuclear tests by October 31 of that year. US scientists, eager to collect as much data as possible, responded with the Hardtack test series. Scientists were interested in many scientific areas, but the main interest lay in the effects of radioactivity from underwater and above ground detonation.

The Hardtack Nuclear Testing Program consisted of 35 detonations in the Pacific Proving Grounds during the period April-August 1958. Scientists at the time were primarily concerned about the damage to the ozone layer and the possible effects of long-range fallout and established scientific measurements of the earth's upper atmosphere (aeronomy) would help clarify the possible damage that would occur.

The one- and two-stage Doorknob rockets were developed using Lacrosse and Thiokol solid propellant engines and could carry instrumentation to approximately 80 km altitude to acquire radioactive data for analysis. Early results of these upper atmosphere data suggested that little or no ozone layer damage was measured during nuclear tests, and detonations underwater likely produced enough ozone to replace what little that might have been lost to cause of surface tests.

The Estes 1:12 scale model of the Doorknob is large and impressive. Simple to build and fun to fly, this kit will make a big hit in both the sports and scale rocket category. The kit has two sets of decals available for those who want to turn this scale model into a sports model.

The kit contains high quality kraft cardboard tube, laser cut balsa fins, sturdy plastic ogive and 45 cm nylon parachute.

The 29mm motor mount has a threaded motor retainer. It accepts both single-use TSP and Aerotech, and reloadable Aerotech 29mm motors, type E and F, or 24mm motors with the addition of an adapter as the Estes 29 to 24 mm adapter (not included).

WHAT YOU NEED TO BUILD IT: scissors, pencil, ruler, fine sandpaper, carpenter's glue, plastic glue, utility knife, tape, primer, paint. (Tools, construction materials and finishing not included.)

WHAT YOU NEED TO LAUNCH IT (sold separately):

  • Engines
  • Starters
  • Wadding or protective sheets for parachutes

With motors up to class D:

  • 29 to 24 mm adapter
  • Estes Launch Pad Porta-Pad II Launch Pad or Klima Launch Pad with 5 mm launch rod (not included)
  • Estes Electron Beam Launch Controller or Klima Launch Controller launch command

With E and F motors (24 and 29 mm):

  • Estes launch pad Porta Pad E or Aerotech Mantis
  • Estes PSII or Aerotech Interlock launch command

Data sheet

68.3 cm
75 mm
283.5 g
Motor diameter
29 mm
45 cm plastic parachute
Launch pad
With 5 mm launch rod

TSP: F35-4, *D12-4, *D20-4, *E20-4
Estes: *D12-3
Aerotech SU: E24-4C, F20-4W, F23-4FJ,
Aerotech RMS: E16-4W, E23-5T, F22-5J

*With engine Adapter (sold separately)