The NARTREK Skills Program is an excellent way to get exposed to different facets of the rocketry hobby. NARTREK stands for National Association of Rocketry Training Rocketeers for Experience and Knowledge. It consists of a set of three levels of achievement, Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each level has four separate rocketry tasks.
To be eligible for the program:
- You have to be a member of the National Association of Rocketry (It is their program after all).
- You have to have flown a rocket before (not sure about this one).
- Have your own launch equipment. You do not have to use this equipment for your certification launches.
- You must follow the NAR Safety codes and know the basics of the motor impulse coding system. (C6-7, A8-3, etc.)
The NARTREK Skills Program Bronze Level
As stated earlier each of the NARTREK levels have four rocketry tasks. What follows is a description of each task and what I did to complete the task.
I used Apogee Component’s International Thermal Sailor. The construction of this kit is a little challenging as you must form a transition out of card stock and build an engine jig. The instructions are in video format and I was able to complete the kit and fly it.
I tried to use the same rocket I used for the streamer duration for the parachute duration task. It was windy, and I just could not get one minute of flight time with an A motor. So, I regrouped and built an ASP Rocketry Hang Time Rocket (build description). I launched this on 17 November 2018 at the Tripoli Tampa launch using an Estes B6-4. The rocket was in the air for 1 minute and 39 seconds. This was the final task I completed.
For the two-stage flight I used the Estes Super Nova kit (build description). I flew this model at the SLUGR-T launch in September and it worked perfectly. I could not find the sustainer at first, but a good Samaritan found it while looking for their rocket and turned it into the LCO.
Large Model Flight (D total impulse or above)
Also, at SLUGR-T, I launch my MAC Precision Scorpion (build and flight data) on a Cesaroni I236 motor (well above the D impulse requirement). It hit 4,977 feet. I have launched this rocket three times now. It is a great kit, my favorite so far. This is the video of the launch from last Saturday.
With the parachute duration complete, I compiled my packet and sent it into the NARTREK group. Part of the packet is a picture of each rocket used in the tasks. I have put them in the descriptions above. Hopefully, I will get my patch soon. I have already started my preparation for the NARTREK Silver level.