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The New Leave It to Beaver

"The New Leave It to Beaver," a follow-up to the original classic TV series, began as a CBS TV movie called "Still The Beaver" which aired in 1983. In 1984 it ran as a series on the Disney Channel. After one season the series was renamed "The New Leave It to Beaver" and moved to TBS.

One of the last episodes portrayed the children of "The Beaver" and Eddie Haskell getting into trouble with fireworks.

The series was filmed in Orlando, Florida. John O'Brien, a local Orlando rocketeer, was hired to help with the special effects for the episode. O'Brien developed a model rocket to stand-in for the "skyrocket" the kids would launch.


Rocket Used in "The New Leave It to Beaver"

The rocket had to look like a fireworks skyrocket. It had to fly through a window, breaking the glass, bounce off a chandelier, causing it to crash onto the table below, then embed itself in the wall.

O'Brien built a few prototype rockets to refine the design of the rocket and to test its ability to penetrate the sugar glass used in the fake window the rocket had to break.


Prototype of Rocket Used in "The New Leave It to Beaver"

John tested several Estes motors to find the right ones to use. He modified some motors to remove the delay and ejection charges.


A common fireworks sparkler was added to the rocket to make it look more like a firework skyrocket. The rocket was launched along a string to guide it through the sugar-glass window. The string did not show up on camera so it appeared that the rocket took a bee-line path straight through the window. Then the rocket was fired along another string through the chandelier. As the rocket passed the chandelier, a charge was fired to cause the chandelier to fall. A third shot was done of the rocket travelling along a string into a catch box mounted behind a wall. This was merged with a shot of the rocket in the wall to give the appearance that the rocket stuck in the wall.

Additional photos of the "New Leaver It to Beaver" skyrocket are in the PayloadBay photo gallery.

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