All Aluminum Rocketeer Jetpack build

DavidJGuyton

Jr Member
Looks fantastic. When I saw you doing the steel ones on Youtube I hoped for an aluminum version. I wonder if you could fill the pop rivets with solder vs using flush rivets to give it the aircraft rivet look in the movie?
It's probably not impossible, but I wouldn't want to go to that kind of trouble. I am not sure if it would even work. I have had a couple people ask if I would do genuine rivets, and I have always said no, as it would just be soooo much work and make the process take like twice as long. I am about to start another build....maybe I will experiment with some solder and see what it looks like.
 

DavidJGuyton

Jr Member
For anyone wondering about commissions on this, materials prices have gone absolutely insane. Price on the current one I am building is $5,500 USD, or $5,300 if you get your own harness and buckles (the South Beach Leather harness is a little large and loose). I cannot guarantee the price for future builds. Sorry in advance, but I can't control the steep price increases on materials.
 
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Mikey1954

New Member
Hi everyone. I just wanted to show off my latest Rocketeer jetpack. This one is all done in aluminum except the engines and fan, which are plastic. I did a full build tutorial video on the steel one I built a few years ago. This is one is FAR more accurate and just way nicer overall. I also recorded an in depth video comparing this version to the less accurate steel version. This is one I did for a commission recently. $4,500 is a hefty price I know but I have a free template to make this on my website for anyone who wants to try it themselves. I created the template myself and made it as accurate as I could.
I'm tearfully Gobsmacked at the detail. I bow to a true creator!!! cant wait to see your tutorial and templates.
 

DavidJGuyton

Jr Member
A few behind the scenes pics for anyone interested. Captions to explain are under each picture.

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Aluminum work hardens too much to be able to push these shapes very far without applying heat to soften and normalize the metal. This has to be done in many steps. Metal is 3003 H14 aluminum in .063 thickness for the boosters, and .050 for the cowl.

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While the metal is still hot, I work it with a teardrop mallet into the metal die I have . I do this for the upper and lower cowl pieces individually. The parts are trimmed later on.

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The flanges are fairly easy to do with a little heat and hammering. Without the hammerform die underneath, I would not be able to make these parts accurately.

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What the upper cowl looks like fresh out of the hammerform die.

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Lower cowl section

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This is the sheet metal for one of the boosters going into an old school pinch roller. This requires several passes to get it to curl into a tight enough cylinder.

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After carefully measuring the diameter (7.25") The boosters are held in place with Cleco clips, and then riveted every 1/2", 1/4" from the edges.

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This is a homemade flange tool. I use it to bend the edges of the bottom of the booster over 90 degrees to make a flange. This takes three passes to get it to roll over fully.

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After some hammer and dolly work to flatten the flanges, I take a file to the surface to make it nice and flat. You can see the difference between one with a flange and one without in this pic.
 

PoopaPapaPalps

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
David, I've been a great admirer of your resources on metal working since you started doing your glove builds on Youtube! It's one of the things that got me more involved with metal fabrication (I actually bought many of my tools through your linked catalogue).

It's amazing to see how much your skills have progressed since those early days. The fact you can shape these contours so cleanly is really impressive. And by hand!
 

lmgill

Sr Member
Nice work.
If you can source 1000 series aluminum, it will not work harden. Another way to anneal harder material is to apply a light coating of soot from an acetylene flame or a oil lamp, then heat the aluminum till the soot burns off. I have seen others use a Sharpie to mark the surface for this purpose. This will then anneal the aluminum completely enough so you shouldn't need to soften it again, based on how much forming you are doing. I have found this is better than working it hot, as aluminum can get "crumbly" when formed hot.
 

Halliwax

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
no disrespect to anyone, but this has to be the most insane thing i have ever seen on this site. the craftsmanship is unbelievable..

please keep up the behind the scenes photos, this is phenomenal
 

Indy Magnoli

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Beautiful craftsmanship! This has got to be the dream prop of so many of us here on the RPF... a REAL metal Cirrus-X3. So impressive. Keep the photos coming!
 

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