Hydra-Sandhawk can be the basis of a very unique, flying model rocket, using scale factors of 0.1 to 0.25. It is one of the rarest and certainly the most unique sounding rocket ever launched. It’s also a good candidate for a more advanced, two stage model. An ultimate version would be one that was launched from a pond, or lake, just like the real one was.
Below are some basic dimensions and painting details. The basic dimensions of all three different versions are the same, however the painting schemes are different. The “Booster Only” version had a dummy, conical shaped payload, while the full launch versions were traditional ogive shaped. The full launch versions also had different colors and were made of different materials that can be seen in some of the photos.
These different configurations can be easily identified in the various surviving photographs by different paint and plating finishes that were used. By the way, the painted finishes used were simply what was readily available from the normal Navy supply system at that time. White was just standard white enamel. Black was just “rattle can” black. Red was simply “rattle can” DayGlo red. Aluminum flight hardware components were gold anodized. The LRL aluminum payload skins were anodized silver. The second payload’s nose cone skin had a “micarta” color, high pressure laminate skin and its aft section skin was silver anodized.
Some creativity was used on the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory payload sections. The first of the two launch vehicles had a DayGlo red tip painted on the front of the nose cone, just for fun. Ship’s company added to the creativity by adding “SNORTON NORTON AVM-1” black stenciling to the side of the payload. “Snorton Norton” was the Norton Sound AVM-1 nickname.
For the second flight, Lawrence Radiation Laboratory technicians added a very creative nose cone finish. They installed a DayGlo orange flame pattern on the “micarta” color, laminate skin nose cone.