Model Rocketry

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Any of you ever done this?

Anyone who still does it?

We had a 6th Grade teacher who taught science, he specialized in aerospace and every spring there'd be a big Estes rocket-building class. All the kids in 6th grade would build rockets and then we'd have a big launch day out on the playground. There were always some might launches, mixed in with a lot of whacky screw-ups. I remember one girl's black Andromeda rocket (really long rocket) went up about 150 feet and turned over like a cruise missle and went flying out across town.


  • Reply 1 of 14
    enaena Posts: 667member
    Absolutely! form the "mosquito" to the Mercury Redstone (you had to build the escape tower from 3/32" dowels.) Hours of fun. I still have "Der Red Max" on my desk, and the BigFoot launch pad in storage.

    I guess back in the 50s and 60s they had "E" and higher designated engines. So much so that they used radio trackers to find the rockets after they came down.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Oh, they still have E's. . .

    What I used to like to do was to pound an E engine into one of the cheaper models, (usually designed for A's or B's) and fill up the rest of the tube with a mixture of strontium nitrate (from road flares) and C1 plastic explosive. (made in the back yard).

    Then I'd take a bunch of em out into the country on a nice evening and send em up. Big, red explosions.
  • Reply 3 of 14
    spartspart Posts: 2,060member
    They still have those engines, if you look close enough. I've seen up to F & G. They look wicked.

    I've made some, ah, missiles with booster engines and M-80s. Fun stuff.

    Sounds like something to do again for the Fourth...
  • Reply 4 of 14
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    Mike Gordon from Phish likes them. Go buy his album with Leo Kottke.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    enaena Posts: 667member
    ...well, now that we are telling all---I used to take the engines and scrape the clay off of the top end, fill the rest up with the compound from firecrackers (magnesium something?). I turned some wooden nose cones and hot glued then to the top.

    I rigged a piece of PVC pipe with a couple of switches and handles

    you could really wake up the nieghborhood.
  • Reply 6 of 14
    xoolxool Posts: 2,460member
    I've powered balsa wood "cars" with CD wheels (light light!) with various sized rocket engines. They went fast and all over the place! Good stuff.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    spartspart Posts: 2,060member

    Originally posted by Xool

    I've powered balsa wood "cars" with CD wheels (light light!) with various sized rocket engines. They went fast and all over the place! Good stuff.

    I actually am making a cardboard boat just to blow up on the Fourth...

    Cut out all the cardboard, hot glued it all together then coated it with this rubber stuff. I have it all nice and spray painted now. Going to fill that bastard with fireworks, stuff a small Estes booster in it and blow it to pieces.

  • Reply 8 of 14
    dogcowdogcow Posts: 713member
    Up untill about 9th grade I was obsessed with Estes rockets. I still have about 25 models in room. I have all the equipment in my basement. I really just loved to build them, more than launch them. But every couple of months I would go down to a field with a few friends and fire them off.

    I just found a picture of my whole fleet (circa 1999)

  • Reply 9 of 14
    drewpropsdrewprops Posts: 2,321member
    Oh MAN Dogcow, that's a beautiful collection!!!!

    I really liked the landers and the ones that were supposed to deploy glider wings when they'd reach a certain altitude (propellant pressure blowing the cap). I built one but wasn't that good a woodworker in 6th grade and the wings didn't pop out on cue and it just tumbled to Earth.

    The one that would take an aerial photograph was always near the top of my list. I never understood building them to just blow them up, but that's just me.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    finboyfinboy Posts: 383member
    check out the video rocket project that this guy did

    Pretty cool.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    spartspart Posts: 2,060member
    When you build them just to blow them up, you get conservative with design and materials. I just buy a bunch of smaller tubes that the B & C size engines would barely fit into, duct tape the engine in place, hot glue on some cardboard fins, drop the explosives in, stick on a cardboard cone with a weight in it.

    They work like a charm. I have this four foot long cast iron pipe that's capped at one end (mostly, so I can attach the igniters.) Can be used as a shoulder-fire rocket launcher (close your eyes, smoke bad!)
  • Reply 12 of 14
    buggybuggy Posts: 83member
    Here is a guy with a plan!
  • Reply 13 of 14
    drewpropsdrewprops Posts: 2,321member
    One night while I was in college some of the guys went out onto the deck with a carpet roll, a power transformer from a radio, a paper clip and some model rocket engines. Instant bazooka. They got a off a few shots toward the library before reason kicked in and all of those nuts went back to their desks.

    It was funny at the time.

    Thankfully nobody got hurt!
  • Reply 14 of 14
    finboyfinboy Posts: 383member

    Originally posted by Buggy

    Here is a guy with a plan!

    Thanks for the link. I wanted to build to-scale functional pulsejets in high school, but never had the time.
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