Featured AIRFest Flight Line - Return to Model Rocketry

Return to Model Rocketry

I came across high power rocketry while searching on the web a couple of years ago. I had not flown a rocket since the 1970s.  So, I started doing some more reading, contacted the local Tripoli Prefecture (Tripoli Tampa) and ordered my first kits.  As a result, I have gotten my Tripoli certifications, contributed to the local club leadership, and started this blog.  This post will detail some of the resources and knowledge I have gained in my return to model rocketry.

Estes Rockets on launch pad
Model Rockets on the Pad

When I started this article, I was thinking that it could be covered in one post. As it turned out, it is going to take multiple articles to cover everything. At the end of each article, I will post the link to the next. Here is a list of all the articles in the series.

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Rush The Band Tribute Rocket

Back in September, I thought about a theme for a Tripoli Tampa field-friendly rocket I was going to build. It was a LOC Precision Phantom 438 with an electronics bay.  During my visit to the LOC Precision factory, I learned that Dave and Jason played in a band and were big Rush fans.  So, I decided to create a Rush the Band Tribute Rocket.

Other Tribute Rockets

Rush The Band Rocket
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AIAA Rocket Testing Workshop Attendees

AIAA Rocket Testing Workshop

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) holds a propulsion exposition every year.  Part of the exposition are ancillary workshops on topics in the propulsion arena.  One of these workshops was held at the Zucrow Laboratories on Purdue University’s Lafayette, Indiana campus. I attended this workshop with about 50 other scientists, industry professionals, students, and two hobbyists (one which was me).  What follows are some of the highlights from the AIAA Rocket Testing Workshop that interested me as a rocket hobbyist and space enthusiast.

Zucrow Labs - AIAA Rocket Testing Workshop
Purdue University Zucrow Laboratories
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Sled Layout - BOTC84 Electronics Bay

Model Rocketry Electronics

Back in my childhood, there were no electronics for model rocketry.  Integrated circuits and semiconductors were just starting to be produced commercially.  Although Estes did have a manual camera rocket, I never purchased one.  Today, it is a different story.  Model rockets are flying altimeters, flight computers, GPS radios, high-definition video cameras, and even remote-control gliders.  So, let’s take a look at some model rocketry electronics that I have used.

Electronics Sled - Model Rocketry Electronics
Electronics Sled
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Gus Grissom's Liberty Bell 7 - Tripoli Tampa May 2019 Launch

Tripoli Tampa May 2019 Launch

It was a beautiful day at the Varn Ranch for the Tripoli Tampa May 2019 launch. The winds in the morning were very light and they picked up slightly around midday. Consequently, a lot of large impulse launches were conducted. Notably, two of the M impulse launches were Tripoli Level 3 Certification flights. Both flights were successful

High Power Pads - Tripoli Tampa May 2019 Launch
High Power Launch Pads
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USF SOAR Two-Stage Rocket Launch

In my report yesterday, I mentioned the fact that the winds were too strong for any high altitude launches. One of the rockets scheduled to launch was the University of South Florida Society of Aeronautics and Rocketry’s huge two-stage rocket project (Codename: TAURUS). So, here are the pictures and video of the USF SOAR Two-Stage Rocket Launch.

USF SOAR Team - USF SOAR Two-Stage Rocket Launch
USF SOAR Construction Team
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NARCON 2019 Report

NARCON is the National Association of Rocketry‘s annual technical conference. The site for this year’s NARCON was the launchpad of America’s space program, Cape Canaveral. So, what follows is my NARCON 2019 report.

Spaceman - NARCON 2019 Report
NARCON Host

Held once a year at a different location, NARCON is a great way to make new friends and reconnect with old friends. Attendees can learn about developments in the model rocketry hobby, rocket history, build techniques and the current status of the United States Space Program.

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