Level 1 Achieved

I acheived a milestone in high power rocketry this weekend by certifying as Level 1. For non-rocket types, that means I can now fly H and I motors in my rockets. If you’ve ever flown model rockets, you are probably familiar with the small A motor. Each letter is double the impluse in Newtons of the previous letter. This makes an H equal to 128 A motors and an I equal to 256 A motors for anywhere between 160 and 640 Newtons of total impluse. Pretty cool, huh?

So here are some pictures of my rocket and flight:

My Rocket
At the pad
Launch!

This attempt was made at MRFF 2005 (Midwest Regional Fun Fly) at Bong State Recreation Area, about 10 miles west of Kenosha, WI. The rocket is a PML Tethys built almost completely stock. Instead of the included launch lugs, I opted for PML rail guides. Also, since I may fly this on a small J motor for a Level 2 attempt, I used PML’s expanding foam to fill the cavity in the fin can. This provides strength and stability in the the fins without compromising weight. Lastly I added PML’s motor retention (I just bought Dr Rocket’s 38mm motor hardware. No way am I friction fitting my motor for this flight!). The motor for this flight was an Aerotech H123 White Lightning, medium delay.

It was a pretty successful flight… right up to the point where it landed in a rocket-eating tree. It took my dad and me about two hours to retrieve it (What better way to spend Father’s Day Weekend that helping your fully grown adult son get his rocket out of a tree). At that point, I wasn’t as concerned about actually certifying as I was about getting my brand new 38mm motor hardware back. But in the end, I was certified.

Thanks to Tim Lehr of Wildman Rocketry for all his help!

For non-rocket types, flyrockets.com has some good info on How Rockets Work. They also have good pictures if you want to see what these things look like.

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