The Fleet (Family Photo)

From left: Min-Q (It's a joke. Like Max-Q, only Min-Q. No one got it), Unfinished Thing that is Grossly Overpowered and Wanting a Nose Cone, Exporter 3000, Double Trouble, High-5, Stinger, and (last but not least) me.


Tracking Powder

Ideally I would like to get a radio transmitter for tracking my high-altitude rockets (like Stinger, my high-power L1/L2 certification rocket) but unfortunately I don't know anything about it (even though I have my ham license now). In the meantime, I think the chances of successful recovery could be greatly increased using tracking powder. This can be as simple a stuffing flour or crushed up chalk into the drogue 'chute bay.

I recently tested this idea in a small low power rocket. I think it worked. I never would have seen the deployment if it weren't for the bright white puff that appeared out of no where in the sky:


What kind of a rocketeer works out of a Smart Car?
Also, I will not be going to anymore NAR launches any time soon! They wouldn't let me fly Exporter 3000 (the rocket with the 2 G's cluster) because they said it was equivalent to H impulse, which you need to be L1 certified for. I know, however, that you can fly a cluster rocket up to 320 Ns of impulse and 4.4 oz. of propellant before you are certified. I didn't have a copy of the NAR Safety Code on me or I would have shown them. They didn't remember the rule. I was frustrated. But oh well.


Stinger's Completed Paint Job

Wow. (Even if I do say so myself!)


One Month

I only have one month before my summer ends. I only have one month before I move away to college. I only have one month for high-power rocketry. I only have one month...

Despite my glum attitude about having to move away, I am excited about where I'm moving to, if you know what I mean. It's an extraction from one good thing and an implantation into another good thing. This leads to some interesting emotions, varied by two extremes.





This is it! The picture above is the actual rocket, but the paint scheme is just a concept. I edited the picture on the computer.

I've never actually done a flame job before, but it seemed like it would be a fun thing to try.

The rocket is almost done. I just have to fix the electronics bay (that I stupidly broke), and finish the paint job.

I'm hoping to get level 1 and level 2 certified on this rocket, all in one day. Level 1 will be on an I285 and level 2 will be on a J285. It should do about 5500 feet on the J!

I'm so excited!!!


Tripoli Minnesota July Launch was AWESOME!

It was a great launch: nice weather, several level 3 certification flights (I think 6), a big turnout, no major disasters, you couldn't ask for anything more! Well, you could, but it wouldn't help.

I only flew one rocket (twice) but next launch I'm planning several big flights including my level 1 and level 2 certification flights! (An update on my progress will be coming soon)

Here's me posing with the sustainer stage of Double Trouble:

The nice thing about the irrigation system was that there were these handy bridges accross the ditches, so you don't have to walk 10 miles if your rocket lands just across the ditch.

A nice recovery:

A team from the U of M came out and launched a weather balloon. I leaned over and told a fellow rocketeer, "It might go 80,000 feet, but it doesn't go mach 3."

My friend Scotty Gleason came out with his monster "Leviathan." He's Jr. L1 certified, but that didn't stop him from building the second largest rocket in Minnesota.

Leviation ready for liftoff (see video for the flight). The parachute got jammed inside the rocket so it had a hard landing. Scott didn't take it too well. Hey, it happens to the best of us.

Some ol' rocket that I took a picture of:

And here is the Behemoth. This one had a 38 mm motor in a 98 mm motor mount. (That's fun to say, millemeter motor mount. It's a consonance.)

Stay tuned for some updates on some big projects coming out of my workshop/bedroom!


Beginning Work on Construction of Certification Rocket!


I am hoping to get certified with as little difficulty as possible, that's why my certification rocket is just a basic 3FNC rocket.

So far I have glassed the air frame, cut out the fins and centering rings, constructed and glassed the motor mount, purchased the motor case and spacers, ordered the tube couplers, nose cone, parachute and rail buttons, and generally have just been having a great time.

I'm a bit frustrated because one of my centering rings just disappeared and I've been looking everywhere for it. Can't find it.

My least favorite part about building a rocket (besides spending $$$) is the process of glassing the airframes. It's so sticky and messy! I don't get it how some people can come out with such a smooth-looking airframe that it practically glistens in the sunlight. Mine are so lumpy and stringy that it looks like it had been buried for a hundred years. But thankfully it's always something I can sand out.

I need to order a good altimeter for deploying the chutes. I'm thinking about ordering the Parrot Featherweight, but I'm still deciding. What altimeters do my rocketeer readers use?