Model Rocket Clubs

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  • #28762

    Tippon
    Keymaster
    @tippon

    I’m just wondering if any of you have made your own model rockets, or been part of a club. I saw this video recently, and I’m intrigued:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12fR9neVnS8

    It looks like something that can be done relatively cheaply, and would be great fun to do with older kids. I’m looking into the rules around it, and if there’s anywhere nearby where I could try it out.

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  • #28763

    PlaneMan
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    @planeman
    Forumite Points: 1,368

    I’ve not done it myself but when I lived in Ely the model plane club that used the old racecourse had a few members that also did rocketry. Some of their models were huge, 6ft or more and very impressive to watch going up.

    I’m pretty certain that they had to get permission for the larger rockets as they went very high and could do some serious damage to a small plane, or a big one for that matter.

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    #28767

    Dave Rice
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    @ricedg
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    Sunday 16th December Fins Over Gwent http://www.fogrocketry.org.uk/

    Looks like its at Redwick between Llanwern and the estuary and they have a monthly meeting.

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    #28768

    PlaneMan
    Moderator
    @planeman
    Forumite Points: 1,368

    Damn, that looks like a website from 1995!

    The info seems good though so looks they spend more time on rockets than site design!!!

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    #28771

    Ed P
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    @edps
    Forumite Points: 2,285

    When I was a pre-teen and before the restrictive days of Elf &Safety and terrorists under every stone I used to build and fly models powered by a miniature rocket engine (iirc the motive fuel was small cylinders of cordite). Great fun, but sadly no longer available.

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    #28773

    Richard
    Participant
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 1,565

    Yes I played about with the Jetx motors in days gone by. They were really rockets not jets I was told at the time their fuel was based on picric acid, though how it was ‘detuned’ to be a safer rocket fuel from its explosive roots I have no idea. I had more success with models using compression ignition engines.

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    #28775

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 2,285

    Richard we were both wrong on the composition of Jetex fuel:

    “Jetex rocket engines were quite popular with model airplane, boat, and car builders through the early 1970s, at which point the fuel supplies began to disappear. Most Internet sources posit that Imperial Chemicals Industries (ICI) ceased making the fuel pellets due to a combination of liability and regulation issues. ICI, based in Scotland, manufactured the Jetex fuel pellets* from a measured blend of guanidine nitrate, 2,4-dinitroresorcinol, potassium nitrate (aka saltpeter), iron oxide, kaolin, and asbestos. Today, obtaining the required chemicals, or even doing an Internet search for them (as I just did), will probably get you a big red flag in the Department of Homeland Security’s database. There are probably a couple agents on the way to my house as I write this.”

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    #28779

    Mark Turner
    Participant
    @turner74
    Forumite Points: 171

    Hi Tippon

    Look on here https://www.modelrockets.co.uk/shop/  there are some small starter kits on there.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Tippon. Reason: Made the link live
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    #28783

    Tippon
    Keymaster
    @tippon
    Forumite Points: 1,195

    PM: The possibility of damaging something is the only reason I haven’t ordered anything yet 😀 I didn’t think they’d be able to launch anything near the city though, I was expecting to either go deep into the Beacons, or head to somewhere like Pendine Sands.

    Dave: Thanks for the link 🙂 I’d found them, but didn’t realise that they were fairly local. The design of their site genuinely hurts my eyes, so I haven’t been able to get through much of it. I’ll have to wait for their next meet though, I’m away for this one. If they’re any good, I might offer to update their site to get into their good books 😛

    Ed and Richard: Those are the types of kits I was hoping you could still buy – something half decent that is probably a bit scary too 😀

    Mark: Thanks for the link 🙂 I didn’t realise how cheap it was to buy kits. I’ve been looking at the cheap DIY stuff,expecting the kits to cost a small fortune.

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    #28791

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 2,285

    If you want it for the children then you could make a start with a water rocket.

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    #28795

    Dave Rice
    Moderator
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 1,454

    Tippon, they make a statement about being more interested in launching rockets than holding committee meetings so I guess the same is true of the website. The spilling is strait out of Steve’s proactive text alp.

    They meet in the local pub afterwards, sounds like my sort of club.

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    #28800

    Richard
    Participant
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 1,565

    Richard we were both wrong on the composition of Jetex fuel: “Jetex rocket engines were quite popular with model airplane, boat, and car builders through the early 1970s, at which point the fuel supplies began to disappear. Most Internet sources posit that Imperial Chemicals Industries (ICI) ceased making the fuel pellets due to a combination of liability and regulation issues. ICI, based in Scotland, manufactured the Jetex fuel pellets* from a measured blend of guanidine nitrate, 2,4-dinitroresorcinol, potassium nitrate (aka saltpeter), iron oxide, kaolin, and asbestos. Today, obtaining the required chemicals, or even doing an Internet search for them (as I just did), will probably get you a big red flag in the Department of Homeland Security’s database. There are probably a couple agents on the way to my house as I write this.”

    I am not surprised that I was wrong, back in the 1950s information was scarce as you had to rely on paper publishing or word of mouth. It was a circle I fell out of touch with by about 1962.

    For purely fun types of rocket there were the pump driven types that were simply pressurised with said pump or the non pyrotechnic ones that relied on weak acid and something like bicarbonate of soda. I saw one demonstrated in the channel 4 programme on food last night. They both have the advantage of no fire risk.

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    #28822

    Wheels-Of-Fire
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    @grahamdearsley
    Forumite Points: 886

    In 1978 I borrowed a book from the library about making kites out of sticks, string and brown paper. The last project in the book was to build a rocket powered kite (A plane then) using the Jetex motor. The Book provided a number for a Jetex supplier but sadly it was written in 1972 and by the time I rang they said they could no longer supply Jetex motors and didn’t know anyone who could.

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    #28832

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 2,285

    All the fun went out with Elf & Safety, coupled with Nanny state anti-firework legislation. Almost certainly as a result there are far fewer Chemistry graduates than used to be the case. (in the noughties about half the chemistry courses were shut down)

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    #28835

    Dave Rice
    Moderator
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 1,454

    My son is doing a PhD in Chemistry but I can’t persuade him into making anything fun 😃 The scorch marks on the bedroom carpet are still there after his first serious chemistry set experiments 15 years ago ☠

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    #28838

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 2,285

    I blew up one of the school toilets with a large lump (25% of a boiling tube) of nitrogen triodide that I was attempting to dispose of down the pan. I never did own up how the pan got broken and turned purple. Still those were the days when they were still training us to be either cannon fodder or bomb-disposal erks in NS, so investigations were of a very limited nature!

    [edit] the result was that I became a chemical engineer and probably paid back the lavatory many times over in taxes.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Ed P.
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Ed P.
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    #28844

    Tippon
    Keymaster
    @tippon
    Forumite Points: 1,195

    If you want it for the children then you could make a start with a water rocket.

    Thanks Ed 🙂 I hadn’t even thought about water rockets. I got too hung up on making fire 😀

    Tippon, they make a statement about being more interested in launching rockets than holding committee meetings so I guess the same is true of the website. The spilling is strait out of Steve’s proactive text alp. They meet in the local pub afterwards, sounds like my sort of club.

    That sounds like my sort of club too 🙂

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    #28856

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 1,853

    Rockets, beer and dyslexic people, sounds like a really fun way to die. Lol.

    Just cos you can’t spell don’t mean your thick. In the 80s it meant you was thick. Though I was in mostly top classes, except for English, but also wasn’t bottom. Amazingly  I was in top set for friggin French. I can’t write a word of it. I can read it enaotj to get along, and speak it (sort of) , find it hard to understand in mid France. May be a accent issue, but dam they speak quick. I can’t distinguish the end of one word to the start of the next. Probably lick a midlander trying to understand two scousers in mid flow. I did have a mate form Cumbria when in the forces, couldn’t understand a word he said. Sure he spoke a different language.

    Back to rockets, if I had a garage maybe! but I know I’d only end up losing my figures eventually. So as much as it’s up my street, I probably wouldn’t.

    The row of houses oppersite mine as a child, got burnt down when a lad a couple of years older than me (I was about 9), set fire to hiscdedoom, and took 3 of the 5 houses with it. Put me, and defo my mother, off chemistry sets.

    Shame as my eldest loves it, and we (and he) didnt even know till his collage, and ended up doing it at uni, (drugs and dna, that’s the course and not the night life, tho I imagine it was also the night life) and just this week finished he’s final assessments as a trainee chemist with boots.

    He is off to live in Aus in June, he got his dates last month. His mums happy and not, at the some time. I’m just happy for him. At least we got one right.

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    #28872

    Richard
    Participant
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 1,565

    Way back when, I also knew a school chum and we dabbled in such delights with things that went bang. I did not see him for a while and when I called round to find out what he was doing, his elder brother called me aside. It appears that he had been mixing a batch of one of his brews when he ground things a bit too hard. it caught fire in the bowl and expelled the burning mixture into his face.  I did not see him again as he had a long spell in hospital, though I think he might have survived in one form or another.

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    #28874

    PlaneMan
    Moderator
    @planeman
    Forumite Points: 1,368

    Way back when, I also knew a school chum and we dabbled in such delights with things that went bang. I did not see him for a while and when I called round to find out what he was doing, his elder brother called me aside. It appears that he had been mixing a batch of one of his brews when he ground things a bit too hard. it caught fire in the bowl and expelled the burning mixture into his face.

    One of my teachers did that, very nearly lost an eye but she had the proper safety gear on and a shard of beaker got stuck in her visor about 1mm from her eye. No visor and it would have been very messy.

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    #28881

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 2,285

    Way back when, I also knew a school chum and we dabbled in such delights with things that went bang. I did not see him for a while and when I called round to find out what he was doing, his elder brother called me aside. It appears that he had been mixing a batch of one of his brews when he ground things a bit too hard. it caught fire in the bowl and expelled the burning mixture into his face.

    One of my teachers did that, very nearly lost an eye but she had the proper safety gear on and a shard of beaker got stuck in her visor about 1mm from her eye. No visor and it would have been very messy.

    Black powder always was and is a dangerous thing to make due to the sometimes multiple milling processes it needs to make it ‘flash’ rather than merely burn. Mind you, Sugar Refineries and Liquid Oxygen plants also disappear off the face of the earth at regular intervals. (If you do an image search there are more photos of these latter than there are photos of black powder mill explosions).

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