Photo by Steven Cane
|The METRA club had a launch day at its Wawayanda, NY field. This picture in a
nutshell emphasizes what a great family hobby it is. It includes all ages, creeds and
nationalities. Rocketry is not only fun and educational but it is very safe as well. Click for larger image.
Happiness is having a good supply of engines for the upcoming
flying season. Shown here are E, F, G, H and I RMS reloads from Aerotech.
I am a BAR...I started flying rockets in 1969,
building the Alpha from Estes. Other rockets quickly followed and my rocket hobby really
took off. Please remember that back in 1969 you couldn't go to to your local store to buy
rockets. All supplies, engines and rockets had to be mail ordered. And that by check or
money order because no teenagers back then had a credit card! Needless to say, I spent
alot of time in front of my mailbox waiting for those tubes of engine or boxes of rockets
to arrive. The Rocket Boys, me and my friends, would shoot them off at our local
highschool. Many were lost due to drift, trees and landing on roofs of buildings (like the
highschool). Still some survive today. After highschool, I went to college where I flew a
few and when I got a job out of town, I stopped flying them altogether and my rocket hobby
was left up in the air.
Now I have kids who like
seeing rockets take off so I have started to fly them again "for them" and to
build some new "daddy" rockets for me! So I am called a Born Again Rocketeer or
|OK, so I got bored at times
and deviated from kits and built my own from scratch. The rocket above was made from 2 oat
meal boxes. I made another one from a one quart milk container but unfortunately I don't
have a picture of it.
When I started, A, B and C engines were sold by Estes. Within a couple of years, the D
engine was released. Now most of the letters of the alphabet are used to classify engines.
Currently I am certified to fly with A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J and K engines.
My bad luck with cell
Sizes I Fly
|Like any other habit, the more you
get into it, the more expensive it becomes! At the bottom of the first photo is an A8-3
engine. Many kids have flown this engine in class built rockets. It has 2.5 NS of power
and can cost as little as 75 cents. Above it is a D12-3 engine which has 20 NS of power
and is usually the biggest engine used by causal flyers.
Above that is an F20-7; "F" series engines have up
to 80 NS of power. Above that is a 29 mm RMS reload casing which holds up to a
"G" engine which can produce up to 160 NS. "G" engines are the largest
a consumer can buy without being certified by a national rocket organization. At the top
is a 38 mm casing. 38 mm engines (H, I and J) can produce more than 1000 NS of power, over
400 times the power of the A8-3!! A J350 engine cost about $44.
The bottom picture shows more reloadable engine
casings one uses to fly reloadable motors. The top casing is a 38/720. Meaning it is 38 mm
in diameter and can handle an engine in the "J" range. Casings are very
expensive considering they are just finished aluminum.
To see an actual motor being assembled and fired,
Happiness is being
able to buy Estes' Blast Off Pack of engines at Michael's at 40% off!
Missing in action
Have you seen any of these missing rockets? If so, please contact me ASAP!
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