Delta III

Discussion in 'Internet Finds' started by dhanners, Sep 29, 2004.

  1. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    I posted some photos in my album of my just-completed Delta III launch vehicle. Here's the dope:

    Delta III 8930
    Scale: 1/96th
    Medium: card
    Kit: Model designed by Erik te Groen, available at

    The Delta III was an uprated version of the Thor-Delta series of launch vehicles and was one of those ideas that looked good on paper. Reality was a bit different. While it was a commercial flop, the McDonnell Douglas project did succeed in testing the liquid hydrogen upper stage that Boeing (which later acquired McDonnell Douglas) would use on the Delta IV.

    Delta III was designed to launch 8.3 metric tons into low earth orbit, or 3.8 metric tons to geosynchronous transfer orbit. There were three Delta III launches:

    * Delta 259, launched 8/27/98, failed 75 seconds after liftoff, destroying a $225 million communications satellite;

    * Delta 269, launched 5/5/99, carried another communications satellite, but when its second-stage engine wouldn’t restart, it stranded the payload in a low parking orbit.

    * Delta 280, launched 8/23/00, carried a dummy payload and was meant to restore customer confidence in the Delta III project. It was a success, but just barely. Reliability concerns, coupled with a downturn in the commercial satellite market, prompted Boeing to stop production of the Delta III. The company reassigned various hardware to its Delta II-Heavy and new Delta IV family of launch vehicles.

    This card model is one of many fine Delta rockets designed by Erik te Groen and available free online. The “kit†comes as 105 parts (some are spares) that are to be printed out on eight 8.5x11 sheets. There are four pages of clear and well-diagramed instructions.

    I printed the sheets onto 65-pound white card stock. Except for an additional piece added here and there to provide more detail, the model was built basically stock. To give the model added strength, I attached the payload and fuel tank “skins†onto appropriately sized model rocket tubes.

    The stand was scratchbuilt from an old picture frame, foam-core board and a wooden dowel.
  2. kk135

    kk135 Member

    Hi David,

    Terrific Delta 3!! Nice work. I also like the "set" you used. Did you make that? Tell us a little about it. I take horrific pic of my models.

    Keep up the good work.

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