Rocket Modeling

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.

Hydra-Sandhawk Approximate Dimensions
Component Length ft. Diameter in.
Payload 3.5 14
Payload innerstage 0.5 14/13
TE-M-473 (with inter stage/fin assembly) 16.9 13
NOTS 401-A Case 4.5 14
NOTS 401-A overall (including nozzle exit cone) 5.8
Overall 22
TE-M-473 Fin span 21 in.
TE-M-473 Fins, tip to tip 54 in.
Booster Fin (length x width) 8 in. x 7 in.

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.

Component Integration & Handling
Booster Only
Launch 1
Launch 2
Nose Cone White DayGlo Red Silver Anodize “Micarta” Brown
Nose Cone Decoration None None DayGlo Red Tip DayGlo Orange Flames
Aft Payload Section White DayGlo Red Silver Anodize Silver Anodize
Payload Adapter White DayGlo Red Gold Anodize Gold Anodize
TE-M-473 2nd stage White White/Black
White/Thiokol logo White/Thoikol logo
Inter Stage Gold Anodize Gold Anodize Gold Anodize Gold Anodize
TE-M-473 Fins White DayGlo Red White White
Booster Adapter Ring Gold Anodize Gold Anodize Gold Anodize Gold Anodize
NOTS 401A 1st Stage White DayGlo Red DayGlo Red DayGlo Red
NOTS 401A Fins Gold Anodize DayGlo Red Gold Anodize Gold Anodize
NOTS 401A Aft Ring Gold Anodize Gold Anodize Gold Anodize Gold Anodize
NOTS 401A Aft Nozzle “Micarta” Brown “Micarta” Brown “Micarta” Brown “Micarta” Brown