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vettbass

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MANY years ago, (late 1950's) while still in High School I was involved in a model Rocketry Club that would have to be described by you guys as Large, Dangerous and definitely Experimental by what I see are your standards today.

No "motors", scratch built units that to this day are still documented by newspaper sources as having achieved 17,500 ft altitudes in two stage configuration with recovered (parachuted) nose cones containing microfilm cameras that sucessfully took pictures on the way down.

I have not induldged in this hobby since that time, but I have the feeling what we used for fuel and materials would be considered unacceptable by today's rules.

We DID however notify, and have on hand local Fire Marshalls to supervise the launches and also contacted local FAA authorities for advice on where THEY considered the safest places to conduct same.

My question is then thus:
Is there still a place in this hobby for this type of effort?

Thank you,

Lee Hill
Las Vegas, NM
 

daveyfire

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Hey Lee--

Basically, yes and no. The hobby has grown a lot since then, and there is now an Experimental side of the hobby. Depending on what propellants you used, they may or may not be accepted in the EX community today. Most experimenters use Ammonium Perchlorate or Ammonium Nitrate Composite Propellant for their motors. Composite propellant is one of the safest propellant mixtures to make -- no ramming powder into tubes, no mix and bump like micrograins, no chlorates in propellant. All of which lead to the reasonably safe EX of today. Hybrids are also widely in use, most using Nitrous Oxide for an oxidizer (cheap and self pressurizing), although I have seen a few LOX hybrids too. There are also experimental groups (RRS, PRS, et. al) who do work with liquid forms of propulsion as well.

So depending on what you want to do, there is a place for most activities. LPR-HPR if you want to fly under the regulatory umbrella of NAR or TRA (quite a nice thing to have), Composite EX/Hybrids withh TRA EX, or more exotic stuff with the RRS.

Websites:

https://www.nar.org (LPR-HPR)
https://www.tripoli.org (HPR & EX)
https://www.rrs.org (Exotic EX)


Hope that helps some! And welcome to TRF!
 

vettbass

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David:

Thanx for the response. I'd like to discuss in more detail what is acceptable relative to what we USED to do but am a bit leery about posting the actual chemical composition of our fuel or ignition systems, since I haven't heard them mentioned in the hobby pages I've been reading, and would not want to contribute to anyone experimenting with what could be currently no longer used compositions. This could have dangerous consequences for the untrained or malicious.

If you'd care to e-mail me at [email protected] i'd go into details with you for the purpose of finding out if this is still acceptable practice. It did at that time produce tremendous results, based on what I've read so far regarding what people are doing even yet today.

Regards,

Lee
 

KenParker

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vettbass - I wanted to take a moment to express my appreciation for your consideration of and adherence to the guidelines of this forum by not publishing any ex formulas and taking it offline with someone through e-mail. Just as you said in your post, we don't like to have information like that posted here since the forum is open to everyone, and some people may not have the knowledge to safely work with ex compositions.

Even though we don't post ex formulas here, this forum does have a large membership with a plethora of knowledge. I think you will find it quite helpful for many things.

I wish I had the time to converse with you in some e-mail messages, as I am involved in some ex work, and I am quite curious about your past historic efforts.

At any rate, welcome to the forum, and I hope you find that it will be worthwhile to rekindle your ex efforts under the current day's venues.
 

vettbass

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KenParker:

Thank you also for YOUR response.

Yes, it seems logical to NOT discuss the details of compositions in a public forum that one knows are no longer in use, but could have dangerous repercussions if ressurected recklessly.

I HAVE also been contacted by a Johnnie Paul via the e-mail address I provided above.

I have put together a detailed description of what we were doing back in 1958-59 and would be happy to forward it to you off line upon request.

Mr. Paul also has expressed his concern and appreciation for not discussing these details on this public forum.

For me, my query is simply that given the details I've read from achievements made by current rocketeers within the guidlines, I'm wondering WHY the methods we used earlier seem to be no longer used.

For all I know, the materials to which I speak may no longer be available to the public for safety reasons and it may be as simple as that.

Thank you,

Lee
 

eugenefl

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I think what's sad about this topic is that it has been run out of the public domain by lawyers and the fear of terrorism. C'mon, unsafe people existed back in the 60's too. This day and age is no different except the e-kids and impatients are greater thus yielding more accident prone humans. I really hope we can one day revert to the days past. At this rate, it's nothing more than wishful thinking. :(

At any rate, I am going to go out on a limb here and say that it *might* be ok to share some pictures of launches. (ie - there goes my 3" whatever boosting on an Hxxxx experimental motor.) Heck, I'd love to see some pictures of EX flights by people on this forum!
 

vettbass

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Yes eugene, I agree.

I read the rules on this board when I posted above and realized I really would not have much to say on the topic as a result.

I was directed to: https://www.rocketry.org/phpBB/index.php

...via e-mail from a participant here and have posted there under the "propulsion" thread where open discussion seems to be in order for the whole board.

I still have the same fears about the motives of irresponsible individuals who would exploit the technology for dubious purposes, OR the possible dangers in experimentation by the inexperienced, but as you say, THOSE issues have ALWAYS been around.

They're just getting more attention these days. Probably due to the current terrorist situation and the ability of our current technology to provide instantaneous media in reporting it.

It does appear to tme that the amateur rocketry hobby HAS suffered from these issues.

Regards,

Lee
 

MarkABrown

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Hi Lee, welcome to the forum. Check out the following recent thread:

https://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=5088

You mentioned earlier that you wanted to know what the state of Experimental/Amateur rocketry is in today's political climate. I point out this thread because it contains a link to the Tripoli Rocketry Assoc. Safety Code for EX activities. It provides some interesting insights. I even learned something new today too! :D
 

vettbass

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MarkABrown:

Thanks for the link.

Unfortunately, after several attempts to cut and paste just what I thought would be the right amount of it, I still can't get it to work.

Regards,

Lee
 

vettbass

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MarkABrown:

Thank you.

This works fine. I'll have to take a little time to peruse the details of this and I'm sure some answers to my questions are contained therein.

Regards,

Lee
 

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