Model Rockets Take to the Sky

On Juky 22, KTVN Channel 2 aired a new story about Reno Rocketry, the Northern Nevada chapter of Tripoli.


The station’s videographer placed GoPro cameras under and near the launch pads to obtain dramatic video of the launches. The “drag race” shot was accidental. “User error” resulted in several rockets launching at once.


TTRA’s March Launch

I had nothing to fly, but decided to attend the March TTRA launch as a spectator. And it turned out to be a great day for watching rockets fly.

Can you ask for more than a bright, blue sky and almost no wind? We’ll, I guess it could have been a little cooler. 🙂

You can see the entire collection of photos I took in the TTRA Photo Album. But, I’ll point out a few of the most interesting shots here.

Chris Michielssen (hcmbanjo) flew his new Dr. Zooch SLS. He modified the kit a little, shifting the location of the SRBs a little and adding some decals, to match the last NASA renderings of the proposed rocket.

I managed to catch a couple of neat shots of a two-stage Red Max variant in the process of staging.

In the photo above, the second stage has just ignited, but the first stage

Continue reading TTRA’s March Launch …

ROCK’s March Launch

I’ve posted photos from ROCK’s March, 2012, launch in the Photo Album.

I arrived early to show off the new Mobile-edition of

For a day in early March, it was quite hot. But, “in like a lion” held true as high winds plagued us all day.

We had to watch the anemometer and stop the launch when the wind speed exceeded 20 miles per hour. In spite of the wind, we launched many rockets.

Chris flew his Centurion as a two-stager using an ST-16 Booster Nozzle.

The rocket reached only about 30-feet in altitude when the second stage ignited. But, it seemed to take a moment for the second-stage motor to come up to fill-powered. The rocket seemed to hang in the air for a while, before rushing away then taking a turn and heasding for the

Continue reading ROCK’s March Launch …

ROCK’s February 2012 Launch Video

We had a record turnout at the February launch!

Photos from the January, 2012, Tampa Tripoli Rocket Launch

The year started off great for TTRA with nice weather for the first launch of the year.

The day began with light winds and a mostly-clear sky. As clouds moved in later, the wind actually let up a little.

Several boost gliders took to the air including this one from Astron Mike.

Brian Urban’s beautiful X-15 turned in an exciting flight. After flying straight for a couple hundred feet, it made a dramatic turn then flew horizontally for a while. It looked like a real X-15 in flight! The pod ejected and the X-15 glided around in a lazy circle landing smoothly on the grass field.

The X-15 was followed by a Sidewinder that, amazingly, followed almost the same trajectory.

Although it’s a little blurry, I managed to capture this cool image of an Estes Solar Flare staging.

I launched my Shadow clone on a G

Continue reading Photos from the January, 2012, Tampa Tripoli Rocket Launch …

Video from the January ROCK Launch

I created the following short video from high-speed (slow-motion) footage of the January ROCK launch I took with my Casio EX-F1 camera.

January ROCK Launch Photos

I’ve posted my photographs from the January, 2012, ROCK launch in the ROCK Launches Photo Album.

A comfortable temperature, clear skies, and, for the first couple of hours, no wind at all, the weather was as close to perfect for rocket launching as I’ve ever seen.

Carl launched his SpaceX Falcon which he had built the previous night.

Other than the parachute not opening, the rocket turned in a perfect flight.

The lack of wind encouraged me to load a G motor into my clone of the Estes Shadow instead of an F. The rocket flew straight up trailing a stream of black smoke. The seven-second delay was just a bit too long, but close enough. The yellow parachute filled with air and the rocket floated gently to earth, landing in the adjacent field.

Many really nice scale models were flown including this Gemini Titan on a cluster

Continue reading January ROCK Launch Photos …

More of the ROCK Launch in 3D ….

If you have a pair of red/green (anaglyph) glasses, put them on to view this image:

September ROCK Launch in 3D

I took some 3D photographs and videos at the September, 2011, ROCK launch. I’m still figuring out how to edit and share them. But, here’s a preview:

Rocketry Clubs? Who Needs ‘Em?

A recent discussion in an online rocketry forum turned into a debate on the merits of joining and participating in local rocket clubs. Surprisingly, most of the comments were in support of the tenuous contention that clubs are a good thing. How these posters came to the conclusion that rocketry clubs serve some useful purpose is hard to comprehend.

Historically, model rocketry has been a solo activity. A committee isn’t formed to build an Estes Alpha III. You sit alone in your living room or garage and you build the rocket by yourself. You don’t need a club.

A couple of times a year, you hunt through all the stuff in the garage for your launch pad and controllers then you dig through the kitchen drawer for some batteries. You lug all the stuff to the local school and, assuming you didn’t forget something like the launch rod, you launch the rocket a couple

Continue reading Rocketry Clubs? Who Needs ‘Em? …