Books on Model Rocketry

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Apr 7, 2017
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I read in a post where someone mentioned a "definitive" book on model rocketry that was a must read but I can't find which post it was in and the search function is eluding me.

Seems like I remember it saying that the latest version was updated by the authors son, "Bill" comes to mind but I'm not positive on that. Does anyone know which book this is or recommend another?
The book is called Handbook of Model Rocketry.

It is recognized as the definitive source but there are some instances where what it says is inaccurate.
Regardless, it is a good introduction into and reference for model rocketry.

Also recommended is Model Rocket Design and Construction by Tim Van Milligan at Apogee components.
They also have a free newsletter which has useful information. (

Estes has some online educational resources as well. (
They are unfortunately scattered around the various pages.

There are more which I'm certain will be shared by other members but that I can't think of right now.
ABSOLUTELY - The Handbook of Model Rocketry


When I was a kid, around 1966-67, I got a Centuri Lil' Herc, pack of motors, rod, and tin of fuse. I didn't bother to glue the fins on. The rocket spun up the street (unstable of course), and that was the end of that.

1969, the school library had Stine's handbook. I read it cover to cover, and re-read it. When I finally tried model rockets again in early 1970 (K-Mart had just gotten in MPC rockets), I knew why rockets needed fins, why wadding was needed, and everything else to get started properly and not fly stupidly (so my first flight was not on a C motor, it was an A. Otherwise the model would have certainly bene lost due to the wind and small flying area.

And I also knew there was "more" to the hobby. So many quit once they fly a few, but I'd seen so much in the Handbook, that information helped keep my interest going.
There is also "Modern High Power Rocketry 2," if you choose to go the HPR route.
And "October Skies", the story of Homer Hickam Jr. (by Homer Hickam jr.) A pretty good read about a group of boys who discover rocketry in the very late 50's early 60's. Also considered a 'must read'..
If your interested I have a couple of books I can put in the for sale section. And if your names Andy there's a extra bonus


The book that got me started:

Model Rocketry: Hobby of Tomorrow by Peter Lowery & Field Griffith
I'll be ordering the Stine book soon. The club website near me(which I've not joined yet), also lists it as the "definitive book" as well. Sometimes it's hard to tell from reviews, so since it was from a club I took it as an endorsement as a good book and probably the first of many I will read.
Got the Stine book a couple of days ago. I'm up to Chapter 4 and can say that it is a fun, pleasant read.
Of recent years, page 248 of the current edition of Stine's Handbook is my favorite page. That guy never dreamed of being in it when he first read the book as a kid. Well, maybe dreamed, but never thought it would come true (nor build that kind of model either....).

That's the thing that the book was/is so inspiring about. Once you get past the basics of how to reliably build and fly basic models, so much more to learn about and different things available to get into.