As a kid, I enjoyed building and flying the small Estes Rockets.  The hobby of model Rocketry has dramatically changed
since then.

As a member of both The National Association of Rocketry  (NAR) and  the Tripoli Rocketry Association (TRA),   I currently
hold Level 3 certifications with both organizations.

When time permits, I will try to expand my Rocket section with more photos, construction data, deployment device, tracking
systems, etc..  These few pages are just showing information from my Level 3 certification flight with the Tripoli Rocket
Association.
__________Level 3 Certification Flight__________
Test Flight #1:  Loading the igniter into the rocket prior to the maiden test flight.

I designed and built this rocket from scratch using a CAD/CAM application.  The airframe
is filament wound fiberglass and the fins are FR-4 fiberglass 0.125" thick.  It is just over 8'
tall and weighs ~ 31 lbs on the launch pad in this configuration.
Ready for Maiden Flight :  The traditional last picture before
launch.  The on-board electronics are armed and ready, and the
igniter is connected to the launch control system.    
Test Launch:  Lift-Off! The test flight was a success and the
rocket landed under parachute with no damage.  It reached an
altitude of just over 6,000'

Flight Data Captured:

  • Max Airspeed: 650.72 f/s (Mach 0.59)
  • Max Acceleration: 296.42 f/s/s
  • Altitude at Max Speed: 1451.15 f
  • Max Altitude: 6,264.69 f
  • Time to Apogee: 19.75 s
  • Flight Time: 132.19 s
Certification Flight:

Four months after the test flight, I was ready for my Level 3
certification flight.  

All the paper work was completed and the Air Traffic Control
waiver was in effect.  

For the certification flight I used an Aerotech M1315 motor.  It is
a 75mm diameter by 31" long motor. It has a total impulse of
6400 N-sec's, and weighs 5675 grams (12.5 lbs).
The Big Launch:

Quite a different look from the test flight with the larger motor.

Flight Data Captured:

  • Max Airspeed: 1,194.62 f/s
  • Mach speed reached: 1.11
  • Max Acceleration: 371 f/s/s (11.87 G's)
  • Altitude at Max Speed: 3,253.71 f
  • Max Altitude: 16,748.69 f
  • Time to Apogee: 31.69 s
  • Flight Time: 206.56 s
In Flight:

This picture was taken around 1.5 seconds into the launch.  The
rocket broke the speed of sound at just over 3,000 feet above
ground level.

I was able to track the rocket with the on-board Rocket Locater
System.  The deployment systems worked great.  The drogue
deployed at apogee and the main parachute deployed at 800' agl.
 It landed about 1.2 miles from the launch site.  Not too bad
considering it flew to an altitude over 16,000'.
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