Friday, December 15, 2006

Downright Ignorant

At the time, the largest hobby rocket ever made (mostly non metal parts - total motor power less than two O motors). Still smaller than project 463, posted previously, but certainly a great flight.

Friday, December 1, 2006


Recovery is very important in rocketry. There are many makers of parachutes, from the smallest 4 inchers to the huge 16+ foot 'chutes for the big rockets. Here you see one of the top brands of 'cute: Rocketman.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Performance Rocketry

A few years back, before I put some of my rockets in storage for a while and took some time off from rocketry, I stumbled upon this brand new web page. This vendor, Performance Rocketry, sells some of the finest rocketry products I have ever seen. At the time, it was a dream of mine to find fin canisters (one piece slide on fins rather than fins that come a single sheets of material) that were not simply the 38 and 54mm acme fincan units, or the expensive 75mm carbon fiber fin can that was around at the time. No here we have very small and very large fin cans, nose cones, and rocket kits at shockingly low prices. Almost too good to be true, but they are still around! Some day I will have to buy a 6 inch fin can and make a Warp-9 cluster kit.

Performance Rocketry

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tiny Post (Just a taste)

"Jim McKinnon's 1000lbf thrust LOX / Jet A Static Test. Jim's injector is using 28 O-F-O Triplets with a O-O-F-O-O Pentad element in the center. The combustion chamber was a surplus Atlas Vernier. The large gauge is measuring chamber pressure."

This is from the Reaction Research Society web page.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Mach Buster

Mach Buster is a project to make the first prop. plane that can go supersonic in level flight. This may just be a way-out there plan that will never work. But I have always thought about this, and wonder why it has not been done in the past. I understand that the shape of the airfoil of props might not work at such high speeds, but what about simple turbine blades? Certainly a canted turbine blade can still work at supersonic or even hypersonic speeds. Anyway check it out, I love the idea. I love the 1,230 hp engine. These are good things. : )

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Shuttle Fuel Tank Video

This is a great video in flight from the POV of the fuel tank camera. Note how dynamic the plasma or gas jets are around the shuttle.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


One of the great high end projects out there is Jamstar. A pretty modest rocket by performance and design, but "mach 2 and 81,000 feet" are some nice numbers. Actually mach 2 is seldom the type of speed you would expect to gain 80,000 feet! One big problem remains however: for some reason they chose to fly at night. Never a great idea, you cant see anything! Here are links for the Florida Tech project.
Video Close
Video Far

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Katyusha Rockets

I have decided to post here again, on a serious matter. The Katyusha rocket is one of the rockets being used against civilians in Israel by Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon.

Here are some links for more information:
Wikipedia BBs

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Rocket Models

Now I should start this post right off by saying that there are many girls and women in rocketry, and they often take a central part. They participate, they fly, and they support launches; any and all things that men do.
In any event, this post is not about women in rocketry, rather it is about rocket models. Women who stand with rockets as a model would sell any other product. Now most rocketry buffs are above the baser desires of the flesh, me included, but for you civilians to enjoy, some women and their rockets:

These are all RDS kits, great kits. And no this isnt a sexist thing, it is all in good fun.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Dryden Video Collection

The Dryden Flight Research Center has some great videos of aircraft testing. The best is the impact test shown above.
Dryden Videos

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Rocket car

Did the first car to break Mach do it in 1979? In a rocket car? Did Budweiser pay for it? Dont take this on face value, but it is an interesting story at least.

Update 10-2009:

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


The man, the myth, the legend... The... Man.

Spike (Spikeson). In rocketry, it is not only those who build and fly the kits that matter. This gentleman, shown here in a one piece Carhart jumpsuit. Sitting atop a tubbed ATV (possible Nitrous Oxide system), Spike gladly recovers distant rockets from the farms. Who is he? A farmer? A hunter? The ghost of rocketry past? YES.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Rocket sled

Just a taste of what the wild world of rocket sleds has to offer!

Here you see a rocket sled at over mach 4. Note the shock wave visible in air and the incredible friction on the tracks.
Edwards AFB Rocket Sled

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Reaction Research Society

It would be too hard to list all the great projects in the long history of the RRS, but to put it quickly, it is the oldest amateur experimental rocketry group in the country. (To steal directly from their history page.) Anyway, they have many rockets, including what was until recently the highest flight, nearly to space with a boosted dart.
Check out the videos, product pages, etc...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Water Rockets!

Metal case, CO2 water rockets

Water rockets are a great (low cost) way to get into rocketry. Simple water rockes are soda bottles with fins glued on to them. They are very fun, and I have a few myself. More high end water rockets like those seen above, can pass 1000 feet (while the cheap ones are lucky to get 100). A whole hobby can be found in water rocketry alone.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

We won!

Joint Statement on Appeals Court Decision, February 10, 2006
February 10, 2006
Web posted at: 6:31 PM EST (ROL Newswire) --

Below is a Joint Statement on Appeals Court Decision, February 10, 2006 Received by ROL
After nearly seven years of work, we have prevailed in our efforts to remove unnecessary and illegal regulations from the sport rocketry hobby.
On February 10, 2006, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rendered its opinion as to whether the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) had properly classified APCP propellant as an explosive. The court found in favor of the National Association of Rocketry and Tripoli Rocketry Association and remanded the matter back to the agency.

**Source** Rocketry Online/

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Some rocketry videos

Due to the overwhelming volume of requests (1 person), I wanted to post some rocketry videos. These are high end flights, from Balls, and they are more impressive in person.

3 P motors!
Kosdon Q motor
Red P motor

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Shadow Aero

Shadow Aero sells ultra high level rocket materials, parts, and custom rockets. They used to sell kits, but these kits are no longer made and they sold out. Their work is at the top of hobby rocketry.

Shadow Aero

This is a two stage "Shock X2" which is basically a two stage copy of the Shock kit (a ultra high performance, high cost kit). As you see it here, this rocket can fly to a reported 50,000 feet and attain more than mach 3.5 using two L motors. Needless to say, for a rocket this size, that type of performance is insane. Perfect rockets for kosdon thin motors (motors one dia thinner than the typical aerotech motors, for example a 54 mm L or 38mm full J).

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Mars project Phobos EAV

MARS is a British high power - amateur rocketry group. This project uses a kosdon O-10,000 (can you tell I am a bit obsessed with this motor?) and a boosted dart rocket. The goal first of all was to set a new UK altitude record (which they did) and try to attain altitudes above 50,000 feet.

For those new to this topic, boosted darts are rockets that, due to a lack of any motor in them, can be made as aerodynamic and dense as possible. When combined with a large quick burning booster (which they drop off right away before drag from the booster slows them down) they can attain much higher altitudes than with a rocket that has to carry the O-10,000 with it for the whole flight. For the longest time, a boosted dart launched with an R motor (by RRS) held the altitude record in amateur rocketry.

The flight worked pretty well, however it only attained around 35,000 feet for unknown reasons (they suggest a separation failure). Still an O-10,000 flight that recovers is a success on it's own. They did get the new UK record, despite the reduced performance. The previous record was only 15,000 feet or so.