High Power Rocketry



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This is a new section of my website which originally was going to just be about experimental or research rocketry (how to make homemade rocket motors) but is now (will be soon) being expanded into all areas of rocketry.  These areas are being worked on now.  Model Rocketry will also be added in the future.  At least that is my current intention.

Current Pages

My Tripoli Certification Flights

My level 1 certification flight and Black Rock Rocketry Club

Video Clip of Harold's flight (Eastern Washington Tripoli Prefect)

My level 2 certification flight at FITs

Video of my level 2 certification flight

Nomex, Kevlar and Chute Protection

The Truth about Kevlar vs. Nomex -- Decomposition Temperatures

Kevlar Thread on Nomex fabric --NOT

Exposure Tiime and Damage

Thickness and Permeability

Strength of Material

Use Wadding WITH Protective Chute Material

Testing Results

Endeavour Rocket (a PML kit) Rebuild Details

What I Like About the Rocket

What I Had a Problem With

Center Connection System

Piston System

What I Don't Like

Altimeter Bay

Piston System

Launch Lugs

What Will Be New?

The New Altimeter Bay

Building the Altimeter Bay



The Rocket Challenge

Here is a rather long but great video on high power rocketry from rocketrytv on YouTube (the first of five in the series).  You'll need Adobe Flash Player 9 to view it.  See all the rocketrytv videos here.



The Law (high power commercial and research)  4-4-2008 -- This page is being rewritten since I have gotten a better understanding of the laws.  It will be re-issued shortly.



Until I get more pages written, check out these:



Just For Fun

21 Foot Starwars X-Wing -- pictures of the build process and finished product

Video #1 &#2 of its launch (and demise) and a third longer version





Modern High-Power Rocketry 2 by Mark Canepa

This is the definitive work on high power rocketry and explains all about high power rocketry, motors, electronics, altimeter bays, recovery, clusters & airstarts, construction, and scratch building. It takes you through all certification levels.  His book does not cover experimental rocketry.  The book can be purchased at bookstores or at various online websites such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. and through various rocketry suppliers.  This is the place to start.


Info Web Sites


Rocketry Planet: http://www.rocketryplanet.com

You name it, its here.  Plan on spending hours looking through this website.  For construction, check out this: HPKIT101: High Power Rocketry Kit Building.  It takes you through all the steps of building a high power rocket kit.  Also check out the links on this page under the heading "Tech Tips Series" near the bottom of the page.  They have links to what must be hundreds of individual's sites, links to organizations and suppliers, blogs, videos, books, software, reviews, editorials, and more.


Rocketry Online - INFOcentral:  http://www.info-central.org

Design, construction, propulsion, recover, electronics, ground support, regulation, motors, forums, chat rooms.

Also check out their Rocketry Online Presents page with the Gates Brothers Rocketry, Insane Rocketry, Michael Wilkins, and others.


aRocket:  http://www.arocketry.net

Tons of links for the technical basics: physics, mechanical engineering, aeronautical engineering, chemistry, legal stuff, etc.


Rocket Space:  http://www.hobbyspace.com/Rocketry/rocketry3.html

Information, articles, links.  Also check out the main page, hobbyspace.com for other space related information.


John Coker:  http://www.jcrocket.com

John has built or has in construction 44 rockets according to his website at the time of this writing.  Besides pictures and videos of his fleet, he has a great set of construction pages you can find on his website under "How-To".  Fin slots, fiberglassing, jigs, adhesives, kit building and more.


Brian FitzGerald:   http://www.fitzvideo.com/pages/HomePage2.html

Brian is a multitalented guy and a man after my own heart because he has now made videos of my two passions, ultralights and high power rocketry.  He is a musician, a pilot, and a video artist.  His latest video is A Beginner's Guide to American Amateur High Powered Rocketry -- $19.95 including shipping.  Go here to order.


Backyard Ballistics:  http://www.privatedata.com/byb

Some good stuff for both commercial high power rocketry and experimental rocketry but the nuggets are kind of buried and you have to follow the link rabbit trails to find them.


Mike Bennett:  http://mbrocketry.com

Though not real detailed, covers a nice cross section of topics including some research topics.


National Organizations


NAR (National Association of Rocketry):  www.nar.org


Tripoli (Tripoli Rocket Association):  http://www.tripoli.org




The Rocketry Forum:  http://www.rocketryforum.com

Model rocketry, mid-power, high-power, propulsion, support and recovery, product reviews, scratch built, techniques, contests, events, yard sales, vendors.


Lee Scott's Nike Smoke Cluster Build on The Rocketry Forum

Very detailed picture record of his project.  You can see in pictures how it is done and get a good idea of what building large high power rockets is all about.   And here is his 6" cluster Thor build.  These are multi-page so don't quit at the bottom of the first page.  At the bottom of the page, go on to the next pages.




Extreme Rocketry:  http://www.extremerocketry.com


Rockets Magazine:  http://www.libertylaunchsystems.com

The Official Magazine of Tripoli Rocketry Association


Sport Rocketry:   http://www.nar.org/SPR/index.html

The official journal of the National Association of Rocketry


Launch Magazine:   http://launchmagonline.com

A new entry into rocketry magazines covering not only amateur rocketry but the latest in spaceflight.




Aerotech:  http://www.aerotech-rocketry.com

18mm to 29mm RMS (reloadable motor system) motors.  Also rocket kits, ground support, avionics, single use motors, reload kits, hybrid systems.


Dr. Rocket:  http://www.drrocket.com

29mm to 98mm reloadable rocket motors built for use with Aerotech reloads.


Rouse-Tech:  http://rouse-tech.com

29mm to 98mm 100% Aerotech compatible motors and hardware.  CO2 ejection system.


Loci Research:  http://lokiresearch.com/products.asp

29mm to 152mm snap ring type motors, reloads, electronics.  These are suitable for homemade (experimental) propellant as well as commercial.


Animal Motorworks:  http://www.animalmotorworks.com

38mm to 98mm snap ring type reloadable motors and reloads.


Giant Leap Rocketry:  http://www.giantleaprocketry.com/hpdefault.asp

18mm to 54mm Aerotech Monster Motors reloadable motors, airframes, components, composites, electronics, launch systems, recovery, software.


Cesaroni Technology:  http://www.pro38.com

38mm to 150mm Pro series reloadable motors.  Available only from retailers:

countdownhobbies, wildmanrocketry, giantleaprocketry, whatsuphobbies, rebelrocketry, rocketstore uk, rockets-things uk, justrockets, impulse-buys, missileworks, sfsmindustries, rocket-technologies.co

Public Missiles:  https://blastzone.com/pml

Rocket Kits, airframe parts, recovery, recovery, igniters, adhesives, hardware.


Binder Design:  http://binderdesign.com

Well known rocket kits, hardware, recovery, experimental motors, more.


LOC Precision:  http://www.locprecision.com

Kits and parts.


U.S. Rockets:  http://www.usrockets.com

Model and high power rocket kits and parts.


Red Arrow Hobbies:  http://www.redarrowhobbies.com

Carries most if not all of the most popular rocket kits and supplies


Missile Works:  http://www.missileworks.com/mm5/merchant.mvc

Hardware, electrical parts, avionics, shock cord.


Jeff Jakobs -- Rocket High:  http://www.rockethigh.com/shopping/enter.html

Hybrid motors, parts, supplies.


Mr. Fiberglass:  http://www.mrfiberglass.com

Everything Fiberglass related.


Precision Weighing Balances:  http://www.balances.com/home.html

Whether you are weighing you ejection charge black powder or your ingredients for your 152mm grains, you will find the right scales here.






 See the Links Page for links associated with experimental rocketry.



I have hardly scratched the surface here and will add more links before I get into writing my own pages.




Below are the topics that are the initial areas that will be written with other topics added as I go.

  • Differences between model rocketry and high power rocketry

    • Size & Power

    • Electronic recovery vs motor time delay and ejection charges

    • Dual stage recovery

    • Launch locations, restrictions, FAA waivers, etc.

    • Certification requirements

    • Buying and storing high power rocket motors

  • The Law and the Regulations

    • Buying and storing high power rocket motors

    • Launch Regulations

    • Joining a club -- local & national

  • Recommended steps and what to expect

  • Building a high power rocket

    • Kits

    • From Scratch

  • Motors

    • Single Use

    • Reuseable

  • Altimeters & Timers

  • Launch Prep

  • Launching

  • Certifications

  • Level III and beyond


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