I started out with just a nose cone. I had found that Performance Rocketry was selling a Sidewinder nose cone that fit a 4 inch tube. From there the rest would grow. I started scaling up the AIM-9 drawings found on Jim Ball’s website. They were quite good and show enough to detail to build a rocket of this size.
I determined that I was going to need three 34 inch sections of fiberglassed Loc tubing to get the length I needed. The rocket body needs to separate in at least three places to work properly. With this in mind I tried to set my separation points at corresponding separation points on the real missile or at least points where the separation joints could be hidden. I also decided to use a PML CPR2000 type dual deployment system for recovery. With those specifications I started laying out the parts that I would need. Then I fired up RockSim to get an idea if I could make it stable.
With stability assured, I began fiberglassing the tubes. Using some glass from Impulse Aerospace and West Systems epoxy, the tubes turned out great. Very smooth and strong. That was the easy part. Continue reading “Sidewinder 80% scale”