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Bruce Hansen's Erector Astronaut Trainer

Bruce writes: "This model is the Astronaut Trainer built from a 1962 Astronaut Set (box is in the background). Thanks to Harvey Nash, who sent me photocopies of the instructions. Without Harvey's help, I'd have attempted to build the model from the lithograph on the set box. This model was one of the two new models for the 10½ set in 1962. The action in this model is a rotating centrifugal rocket trainer that also tilts up/down. The model stands 33 inches tall and is over 25 inches long.

The model is driven by a similar setup as in Dr. Prune's "Satellite Tracker". The mitre gears drive a vertical shaft; the flex coupling drives a P13 12 tooth gear. The TB/TC ball bearings set on top of the base making for smooth rotation of the rocket frame.


An OH 72 tooth gear is mounted to the bottom of the rocket frame which engages with the P13 pinion rotating the frame. The vertical shaft passes through the rocket framework and has a P13 12 tooth gear attached. This second P13 engages with a P12 crown gear attached to the same axle as a pair of CJ 36 tooth gears. The CJs have strips screwed to them which act as cranks to pull the framework up/down as the model rotates.


The trainer framework is made from a base of EI gearbox side plates, MD baseplate, a number of girders and strips. The CS segmented circle 'skirt' is attached to the rotating base with N double angles and strips.

Nothing difficult about the construction; the framework rotates about 20 revolutions per minute and tilts up/down around 15 times per minute. Thanks again Harvey!!"