Monday, March 14, 2011

Join us for Desert Heat 2011 !!!

Come out and join us for two days of great rocket launches in the desert! There are going to be some great projects to watch this year and always lots to see and do for families and anyone interested in our exciting hobby. Great prizes, food and raffles for the kids, etc.

This year will include an almost 7 foot AMRAAM scale missile built by BASIS Tucson Charter School's RoboRocketry Club. They are excited about launching this big monster of theirs and also showcasing some of their scratch built designs that they worked hard on. Cal Miller will be flying a scratch built rocket that he designed to carry a video camera up on its flight. Too cool. can't wait to see the video.  We will post some pictures and video here after the launch.

I will also be launching my ARCAS rocket that is almost scale size at 4.1" in diameter and is also about 7 feet tall.  I will be launching the ARCAS for my NAR Level 2 High Power Rocketry certification. Wish me luck.  It should be a good time.

Another big highlight will be The Arizona Rocketry Team's 1/2 scale SCUD missile that towers at about 20 feet tall.  Powered by 5 rocket motors and producing more than 800 lbs of thrust. This will be the largest ever launched out of Tucson.

For more information on Desert Heat 2011 go to the following link:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Tow Truck to The Rescue - The Amish Edition

This is great. I know not rocketry related, but actually really cool.
And looks like a big ol' fuel truck no less.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

SpaceX successfully launches Falcon 9 with Dragon spacecraft!

That was very cool to watch... It will orbit for 2-3 times and then re-enter for a splashdown recovery.  How cool to be able to watch these historic launches live.

Live SpacX webcast of Falcon 9 Launch!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Building a Checkered Flag Model's Rocket Rack

I have always thought about building something similar, but never got around to it.  If you are like me and you are running out of room to put your rockets, then this new product can help you out. It is especially good for rockets that are not able to stand up on their fins.

I will post a full review of the "build" with pictures, etc, when I get it done. You can also check out their press release on the EMRR site at

I believe they are even offering free shipping in the U.S. right now. You can contact Greg at Checkered Flag Models to find out.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Back to the blog!

It has been quite a while since posting last. It was a very busy year.

Sonoran Science Academy - Broadway's 3rd and 4th Grade Rocketry Days

We launched hundreds of rockets with students at Sonoran Science Academy - Broadway in Tucson this year. We built multiple rockets with two 4th grade classes and one 3rd grade class. They really had a blast. We kept three 4-pad launch racks busy the whole time on launch days.

Sonoran Science Academy - Broadway's Rocketry Club

We started an official rocketry club at the school and had 14 members participating in the NARTREK Cadet Skills Program.  It was very successful with all members at least finishing NARTREK Cadet Mercury Level and many finishing Gemini and Apollo. Alan Boldt pulled top honors by completing his Skylab Level certificate. His sister and a handful of other students are right on his heels.

I highly recommend mentoring some kids and getting them signed up for the NARTREK Cadet program. there are also some great incentives for joining the National Association of Rocketry (NAR) this year. (Make sure to mention that (Duane Boldt and sent you over there to join! I think we get some kind of credit...) NARTREK Cadet is for modelers under the age of 18. But don't worry, if you are barely over that, like me...  :-)   Then you can participate in the NARTREK program. I am currently finishing up the Gold Level in that program. And yes, I will do a post when I finish that.

It was also a busy year last year participating in the 2009 EMRR Challenge. We actually did well in the Design This Spaceship contest for 2009.  The 2010 EMRR Challenge is under way, so head on over and check it out. Join some cool rocketry contests and win cool prizes.

I will be doing some more updates and go into more depth on some of the topics discussed above in some upcoming posts.

Talk to you real soon.  Keep on the lookout for the new posts coming.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Brenda's finished NARTREK Cadet Gemini Level, December 5, 2009

Brenda Boldt completed her last two launches for her NARTREK Cadet Gemini Level. She used an Estes Wizard rocket with modified shock cord. She and her fellow club members at Sonoran Science Academy - Broadway's RoboRocketry Club, built the Wizard rockets in their club.

They replaced the stock "rubber band" shock cord with a Kevlar cord attached to a fin joint. This was done so that the rocket would descend more slowly, sideways, thus creating more drag and giving them longer descent times for streamer and parachute duration contest launches.

Brenda actually got some pretty good times with her Wizard. She made 79 seconds on an Estes A8-3 motor for parachute duration and 60 seconds on a Estes B6-4 motor for her streamer duration requirement. She had previously flown her Estes Cosmic Cobra for the HeliRoc option.

Friday, September 18, 2009

RoboRocketry NARTREK Launch, X-15 and More July 25, 2009

Alan Boldt with his Estes Skywriter that he used for two of his NARTREK Cadet Mercury Level launches.

The Estes Executioner (This one was formerly the Executioner XL...) about to make it's first flight on an 18mm AeroTech RMS reload (We used a 24mm to 18mm adapter). This flight was awesomely loud in the echoing park. Click here to see the video.

Jet and Jim Thevenot joined us out there for the day. Jet is seen here at the controls of Alan's Launch Box.

RoboRocketry's Quest X-15 sitting on Pad #3 ready for liftoff.

One of Jet Thevenot's rockets making an excellent flight.

Alan and his Estes Skywriter just before another NARTREK Cadet Mercury Level flight.

RoboRocketry's Semroc Centurian getting ready for a 2 Stage flight.

The Semroc Centurian in flight on the first stage booster motor.

The Estes Wizard rocket that Alan built and flew for his other NARTREK Cadet Mercury Level flights.

Another of Jet Thevenot's great flights lifting off.

RoboRocketry's Estes Renegade sitting ready for a 2 stage flight.

The Estes Renegade under booster power of the first stage.

Jet and Alan happily returning from Rocket Retrieval Duty with the Estes Skywriter.

Jet and his dad Jim with a couple of their rockets they flew that day.

Jet and Alan with some of their rockets.

Jet, after a good day's launch.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

RoboRocketry Launch July 16, 2009 Alan's Chinese Fire Arrow

Alan made his flyable Chinese Fire Arrow as part of a History of Rockets project for his GATE class at Gale Elementary School a couple years ago. After using it in several presentations, he felt it was time to give it a try.

Alan was anxious to see what this thing would do...

Alan's Chinese Fire Arrow ready on Pad #2.

Just as the original Chinese fire arrows, it wasn't the most accurate, but it did instill fear in those attacking enemy hoardes that were near...

Actually, it had a pretty straight liftoff and just did a loop or two after gaining a little altitude. Pretty cool little show after all. And the ejection charge at the end added to the drama.

Alan safely recovers his Chinese Fire Arrow.

The only damage was couple of missing feathers... Still ready for his next History of Rockets presentation.

Another first of that launch day was the first flight of RoboRocketryOne, which I later used for a NAR Level 1 HPR (High Power Rocketry) certification.

Alan prepares the fire arrow as I prepare the mid power 24mm RMS Monster Motor for the RR1 flight.

RoboRocketryOne sitting on Pad #3 ready for launch.

Another shot of RR1 before launch...

Great launch (Sorry no picture of that) and safe recovery. That was definately fun. Ready to go bigger next time... Closer to L1 cert...

The red ignitor retainer cap actually was burned through by the thrust and stayed on for the whole flight.

That caused the yellow Copper Head ignitor adapter to be carried with the rocket up a ways, but we did find it in the grass after the flight.

After a very satisfying launch day, back at the office cleaning up the Rouse-Tech Monster Motor casing.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

RoboRocketry Launch July 11-12, 2009

Brenda, Naomi and Alan all launched rockets early Saturday and Sunday mornings, July 11th and 12th. We had a lot of good flights including the maiden launch of the RoboRocketryOne which I will be using for a NAR Level 1 certification flight at SARA's August launch outside of Tucson.

A two stage flight of a Semroc Centurian with an added Semroc Booster-16 booster stage. The Booster-16 is powered by an Estes A10-0T Booster motor. We may even have the last stash of these rare motors. If you know where to buy more, let us know...

Alan prepares a rocket he won in a raffle at SARA's Desert Heat 2009 2-day launch.

Alan and Duane by the Quest X-15 just before launch.

Alan loads his Estes Skywriter onto pad #3.

Brenda retrieving the Skywriter.

Preparing a Semroc 1965 Retro Repro Hawk boost glider for it's maiden launch.

The Hawk just before it lifts off...

Well... the Hawk had a great flight until the ejection charge on the Estes 1/2A6-2 motor blew the fuselage in half.

Brenda wasn't so happy with the Hawks temporary demise... Since then the glider has been repaired and should be flown again soon. Maybe over the coming weekend.

Brenda with her Estes Cosmic Cobra. It's a pretty cool little rocket with helicopter recovery for the nose cone. They are a favorite at launches.

2nd flight of the X-15 on an Estes C6-3 motor. It had flown unstable on an Estes B6-4 motor earlier.

The flights took off nice and straight, but after a little altitude, the tail tried to whip around. We then rechecked and found that this rocket, that had been built exactly as the plans called for, needed weight to be added in the nose cone to move the CG forward. A good lesson in double checking to make sure the Center of Gravity (CG) is at least one body tube diameter in front of the Center of Pressure (CP) of the rocket. (We added 1/2 oz of Aves Fixit epoxy putty to the inside front of the nosecone and flew a great flight the next week...)

Showing off some RoboRocketry swag. :-)

Alan prepares his Semroc V-2 for launch.

Brenda prepares her Estes Cosmic Cobra for flight.

Brenda with RoboRocketryOne. the rocket is based on the Semroc SLS Brighton kit.

The Quest X-15.

Alan's reaction after the 2nd lopsided flight of the X-15...

He REALLY loves his rockets...

Brenda with RoboRocketryOne on the day of its maiden flight. It was a great flight except for the parachute not deploying fully, but no damage except for a couple tiny scrapes on the paint of one fin... It's ready for the Level 1 Cert flight!