March 10, 2006

Rocketry Stuff (and a note for Russ)

Because this *is* Rocket Jones ya know.

I've been talking about "certification" and "Level 2" and such, without ever explaining what that means.

A while back I posted a Beginner's FAQ explaining the hobby rocket motor codes, and another post illustrating the size of some of these motors. You can read it for more detail, but I'll try to explain it here without needing to follow that link.

This all applies to the US. Canada, the UK, and probably other countries have their own variations.

Until recently, if you were younger than age 18 then the largest motor you could fly was a "G" motor (up to about 16lbs of thrust). There were ways around that limit, by having an adult purchase and possess the motor and take responsibility for the flight, even though a minor may have done most of the work. The National Association of Rocketry (NAR) has introduced a program where a youngster can legally fly high power motors, basically by standardizing the "sponsor" requirements.

High power motors are defined as "H" power and above, and you need to make a certification flight to prove that you can construct a safe rocket for the power involved. For Level 1, your flight has to be witnessed by two members of your rocketry organization who are also Level 1. Safely flying and recovering the rocket means you can purchase and use "H" and "I" motors (a little better than 140 lbs of thrust).

Level 2 requires the certification flight, but you also have to pass a written test about organization information, government laws and regulations and general rocketry knowledge. That's the level that I'm working towards, and once I get there I can fly "J", "K" and "L" motors (up to 1,150 lbs of thrust).

The top level right now is Level 3, for "M", "N" and "O" motors (and up I suppose, an "O" produces up to 9,208 lbs of thrust). For this, you're assigned two advisors who already have their Level 3 certification, and you must document the construction process and put together a binder showing details about the rocket and simulations of the expected flight. There are also additional safety requirements at this level. Like the others, you must make a flight and recover the rocket undamaged.

So that's the certification process that I keep babbling about.

Russ, I'd be happy to sign off on your Level 1 flight.

As for the Zinger drag race, well, you're on! Someone once described the Zinger as "arial pornography" and I've got to agree. I thought I had an unbuilt kit somewhere but I can't find it, so send me the specs and fin measurements and I'll have one ready for the next launch.

And since the next launch is on April first, I've got a few fun and/or odd April Fool's rockets that'll be ready to go as well. I'm looking forward to this one!

Posted by Ted at March 10, 2006 05:58 PM | TrackBack
Category: Rocketry

Well,Ted,I was actually instigating,oops,I meant suggesting a

race between I and the kid.However,a duel* with you sounds

enticing.I accept your challenge.After all I've never been

afraid to whoop up on someone my own size.HEHEHE!!!!!Yer

goin' DOWN dude!!!!!
What you'll need to be like totally embarrasssed by me and to

become my own private April fool will be:

A)1/BT-20-7" long
B)3/fins 1/2" wide w/a 2" leading edge a 1 9/16" trailing

edge and a rear sweep of 40 degrees.The trailing edge mounts

flush with the rear of the BT.
C)Nose cone 20N

Had to pull my busted Zinger out of the scrap box for the

measurements since this one appears on niether Ye Old Rockets

or Jimz.These are the specs i'll build mine to.As you know

the Zinger has squared off fin tips.I had thought about

making my next one(this one)with rounded fins in the Estes

Mosquito style.If you wouldn't mind building them with that

one little mod just let me know.I'll understand,however,if

you wanna play purist and all.
Well good luck on your L2 progress.Can't wait to see it.
Oh and BTW I was gonna post something about the 70's but it

got waaaaay out of hand.I'm talking mega post.I actually got

so burnt out on it I had to stop for a bit.Sometime soon I'll

finish it up and find somewhere to post it though.

*Scene from Robin Hood:Men In Tights.
Sherrif:"Sir,I challenge you to a duel" as he slaps Robin

with a glove.
Robin:Picking up a steel glove,"I accept" as he backhanded

blasts the sherrif across the jaw.
I laugh my ass off every time I think about that.

Posted by: Russ at March 10, 2006 11:54 PM

Russ, feel free to round your fin tips.

Posted by: Ted at March 11, 2006 02:59 PM

Will do,Ted.Oh and BTW,thanks for agreeing to witness my L1.

Posted by: Russ at March 11, 2006 04:09 PM
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