Beginning Model Rocketry FAQ's

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Not open for further replies.


Well-Known Member
Jan 18, 2009
Reaction score
Welcome to TRF’s Beginner’s Forum, a place for newcomers to model rocketry. Whether you’re a student, adult, teacher, or youth leader, please feel free to ask your questions here—no matter how basic. And be sure and come back and post pictures of your completed rockets because we love pictures!

Where can I find a glossary of model rocketry terms and acronyms?

What are the parts of a model rocket and how do they work?

Don’t know where to begin? Here’s a simple overview of model rocketry to get you started:
(under construction)

What supplies and equipment are needed need for a first rocket?
Model rocket kits will have a list of needed supplies, so check the manufacturer’s recommendations! Ready-to-fly kits will need few additional supplies. A typical supply list for rocket kits that require construction might look like this:

Model rocket kit (Skill Level 1 suggested for beginners)
Hobby knife (ie Exacto brand)
Glue (such as Elmer’s Glue-All or yellow wood glue such as Titebond II or Elmer’s Carpenter’s Glue)
Masking Tape
Some kits require plastic cement (Note: the non-toxic plastic cement will not hold!)

Sanding sealer (inexpensive, low odor sanding sealers such as Delta Ceramcoat can be found in the craft paint section at Wal-Mart or hobby/craft stores)
Paint brush for sanding sealer
Masking tape (blue paint tape works better than regular masking tape)
Spray primer
Paints (usually spray paints, for best results use same brand as primer)

Engines—check the kit instructions for manufacturer’s recommendations. The lowest power (lowest letter) engines are suggested for first flights.
Recovery wadding, igniters and igniter plugs (all typically included in engine packs)
Launch Pad
Launch Rod
Launch Controller
Batteries for the launch controller

Where can I find “How –To” Videos?
Rocketry How-To Part 1: How Model Rockets Work

Rocketry How-To Part 2: Components of a Model Rocket

Rocketry How-To Part 3: Construction Techniques and Supplies

Rocketry How-To Part 4: Finishing the Rocket’s Fins

Rocketry How-To Part 5: Assembling the Rocket

Rocketry How-To Part 6: Painting the Completed Rocket

What should I take to a rocket launch?

What do those letters and numbers (B6-4, C6-5, etc) on rocket engines mean?
Explanation: (under construction)
Flight diagram:

What do I need to know about safety?

Where can I find reviews and tips on model rocket kits?

Where can I find ideas for rocketry on a limited budget?

Where can I find others in my area to launch with?
National Association of Rocketry Clubs
Youth Rocketry Clubs w/ TRF member sponsors:

Want to learn more? Check out these lists of model rocketry links compiled by TRF members (resources, vendors, organizations, etc) :
Member suggestions for beginners:
Last edited by a moderator:
Where can I find educator resources?

Apogee Model Rocket Education Guide

Art Applewhite Rockets (free saucer patterns)

Boy Scout Space Exploration Merit Badge

Low-budget Rocketry Ideas

Estes Educator

FlisKits Educators Page

NASA Aerospace Activities & Lessons

National Association of Rocketry (NAR) Educators Page

Quest Aerospace Resource Central

Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC)

4-H – National Association of Rocketry partnership
Last edited:
Not open for further replies.