CENJARS High Power Rocket Project
By Charlie Kirlew, President
This is a general guideline for a scratch or almost scratch build of a club HPR project. The intent is for individuals to work together on different parts of the rocket.
I have broken down a few of the areas that club members can volunteer to make and/or design. It shouldn’t be necessary for anyone to restrict themselves from a part of the rocket because they don’t have the tools or the skill to build it. My personal intent is to concentrate on the coordination of the project and to do little to no design or construction.
All of the following can be modified as the club members want or deem necessary. There isn’t a timeline on the project. I am assuming that we can do a little bit of the construction at the launches.
- Motor mount
- Length – depends on the overall design including the probable weight
- Recovery system
- Number of parachutes
- Methodology (Piston, spark arrestor, etc.)
- Type of deployment
- Shock cords?
- Construction steps
- Connection of all parts
- Launch lugs vs. rail buttons
- Finishing (if needed)
- Stability (Nose weight)
Please contact us at info @ cenjars.org if you would like to participate.
Our next launch will be Sunday, April 6th at 12:30 at the 18th avenue field.
In honor of it being Easter soon bring your egg lofting rockets along with your Spring and Easter themed rockets out for a launch!
New, Experienced and Observers welcome to attend our launch.
Hope to see you there.
The Journey to High Power Rocketry Level 1
This is about my journey toward getting a High Power Rocketry Level 1 certification (L1). Hopefully this will serve as some inspiration for your journey. If it doesn’t inspire you, maybe you will find a few tidbits of information to help you along your way.
My interest in model rocketry began many years ago when I wandered through a local hobby shop. My children were young, and it sounded like something we could do together. Unfortunately, they weren’t very interested, so we never did much with it.
A few major changes in my life later, I came across the rocket paraphernalia in storage. Surfing the web, I found a local rocket club – CENJARS (Central NJ Area Rocketry Society NAR #698).
I attended my first launch with one rocket. I had a cracked fin from the first launch, repaired it with some help from the then President of CENJARS, and then I launched again. This time it went over the trees and out of sight. I kept an eye on where it went and was very fortunate to find it intact.
For a while, I was content to build and fly standard rockets that had 3 fins and a nose cone. Actually, it was a short while. I wanted more of a challenge, and I quickly gravitated to odd rocs. Odd rocs are those rockets that have a different shape or fin configuration.
The Fliskits Spitfire, the Squirrel, Metropolitan Police Call Box, and the Estes SR71 Blackbird all became part of my collection. There are several others that have been built or are in queue for being built. Then along came Sunward’s King Tut’s Pyramid. There aren’t any fins at all on this one, but more importantly, it flies on F and G motors. This was my introduction to mid-power rocketry.
The higher power of the F and G motors was intoxicating, but higher power also demands higher construction skills. I also wanted the finished product to look good. I enlisted the aid of a friend on how to paint the rocket to look like a pyramid. I think it came out rather well. Unfortunately, I launched it too close to some trees and the trees had a feast on it.
Mid-power was enough to push me over the edge and start looking for the perfect kit for getting my L1. Most high power rocket kits are fairly similar in that they are 3 or 4 fins and a nose cone. Some are longer or fatter or have an electronics bay. There are plenty of choices. I chose Public Missile’s Miranda. It is a pretty standard shaped rocket, but it does have 6 fins. Also, this can fly on G through J motors. So not only can I get my L1, I can use it for my L2 if I choose to go higher (pun intended).
I made the choice but didn’t buy the kit right away. I was procrastinating. Then I saw a coupon for a local hobby shop where they were running a sale, so I got to double dip. I ordered the kit.
Then I procrastinated again. I got busy with other things, and I was afraid that I might really mess up the project. The kit sat for a long time.
Well, as you might have expected, I got over the procrastination and started doing some planning. The first thing I had to do was find a good space to work. The kitchen table wouldn’t work because epoxy is needed for high power kits and the smell of epoxy would not be welcome in the kitchen.
The Work Area
I found a corner of the basement that I could take over. There was also a desk that I could use. The lighting was pretty good, but I did add a work light for highlighting specific areas.
Along with a good work area, I needed some extra things, such as tools and material. The epoxy I had was okay but it was getting a little old. This kit will take a lot of epoxy so a new batch was in order. Craft sticks are good for mixing and applying the epoxy. The JB Weld is a different type of epoxy that is good for metal. A utility knife, tape, paper towels, tape measure, and a pencil rounded out most of the extras I needed.
I was ready to start building. I will go into that in the next installment of this saga.
Stay tuned for part 2.
Come join us at our next launch, Sunday March 9th, 12:30 pm at the 18th Avenue location. (Date Changed)
New and Experienced Fliers are Welcomed as are Observers.
Join in the fun and learn about our club.
Hope to see you there.