Is it really a model rocket if you don't launch it?

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KenECoyote

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(My rant lol)

Ok, I've been trying to research a couple of complex rockets for upcoming builds and I keep coming upon build threads that look AMAZING, but then die after the rocket is completed. Huh?

I even saw two TRFers in an old post saying that they were too afraid to fly the rockets and may never do so.

To me, it's not a "model rocket" if you don't launch it... I'd consider it a "rocket model". I'd love to see how others feel... maybe I'm nitpicking.

I've built many detailed model kits in the past, which I only planned on storing for display, but that allowed me to build them in great detail without worrying about possible damage.

Maybe part of my reason for ranting is because build threads like that feel like movies without an ending. 😢o_O:dontknow:
(Now watch me unintentionally do the same! 😆)

 
To me, they are completely separate concepts.

If I'm building a rocket model for display, it will be built using materials and methods best suited to scale reproduction.

If I'm building a model rocket to fly, it will be built using materials and methods best suited to flying.

They will begin and end in completely different worlds.
 
"Wow, that's too nice to fly!" is a compliment, it means I really want to see it go and I hope it all works and lands softly.

Oh gosh, fly it at least once.
 
A model is: A three-dimensional representation of a person or thing or of a proposed structure, typically on a smaller scale than the original. The rest is simply splitting hairs over what a true Scotsman is.
 
Is it a model plane or car, even if you never fly it or drive it?

I think the answer to this question, as well as the one for this thread, is "yes."

Now, is a model rocket that's flown the same as a model rocket that's a shelf queen? No, of course not. But to say only one is a "model rocket" is just silly.

If you want to split hairs or turn your nose up at someone else, you need to use more descriptive language.

For example, "is it ok to call a shelf queen a 'flying model rocket'?"
 
View attachment 572642
Though these aren't called 'models'.
Correct! However they are rockets.

It's semantics of "model rocket", which is a type of rocket vs. "rocket model", which to me is a kit model and doesn't necessarily function as a rocket and would generally serve as a non functioning display item.
 
I think the definitive difference is could it fly, rather than if it will be flown.

Once built, if you stick a motor and recovery device in it, do you expect it leave the ground and return in a reasonable condition? Then its a model rocket. (Or just a recoverable rocket for the high and fast fliers that might not return with their paint.)
 
Analogous question: is a model airplane a model airplane if it can't fly? Is a model car a model car if it can't propel itself? My answer is yes to both.

One could get into all sorts of semantics. It can be argued that a "flying model rocket" is only a flying model rocket for the 4+ seconds it's in flight. Before that it's a not-flying model rocket; after that it's a flown model rocket. ;) Or possibly a collection of parts; I am muchly experienced with that aspect of rocketry.:(

So my view is that it's a model rocket whether it's made of metal, plastic, wood, and/or paper (concrete shouldn't count...;)); whether carved, turned on a lathe, 3D printed, assembled from parts, or RTF; whether it can or can't fly, has flown, will fly.

Best,
Terry
...owner of more than one will-fly-someday-maybe-but-hasn't-yet-cuz-i'm-scared-or-lazy rocket...:)
 
To each their own, but I go by
If it is built, but not flown it is just a model.
It has to actually get flown to become a model Rocket
After all my builds, I can think of only 1 rocket I built and never flew. That is because I felt it came out so poorly I've been ashamed to bring it to a club launch....
Wait - I do remember another case. I brought multiple rockets to a launch. Flew one. Came back and found a few rockets blew off my table, and a brand new one that I brought for its first flight had the body tube completely crushed. My thoughts were someone came over to look and stepped on it..........😭
😩
 
(My rant lol)

Ok, I've been trying to research a couple of complex rockets for upcoming builds and I keep coming upon build threads that look AMAZING, but then die after the rocket is completed. Huh?

I even saw two TRFers in an old post saying that they were too afraid to fly the rockets and may never do so.

To me, it's not a "model rocket" if you don't launch it... I'd consider it a "rocket model". I'd love to see how others feel... maybe I'm nitpicking.

I've built many detailed model kits in the past, which I only planned on storing for display, but that allowed me to build them in great detail without worrying about possible damage.

Maybe part of my reason for ranting is because build threads like that feel like movies without an ending. 😢o_O:dontknow:
(Now watch me unintentionally do the same! 😆)

The old Estes catalogs and other literature refer to the Estes models as "flying model rockets". So, a model rocket you fly is a "flying model rocket". If you don't fly it, it is a "static display model rocket". Both kinds are subsets of the more general term, "model rocket".

There is an easy solution to the, "it is so pretty I am afraid to actually launch it" problem: Build TWO of the model rockets. Keep one for display and fly the second.
 
Yeah, but you asked about "a model rocket".

Rocket....
Rocketry....
both useful items, hardly interchangeable.
One could argue that you'd expect the rockets posted to a rocketry site to be rocketry rockets. 😁
Scooby Doo Yes GIF by Boomerang Official
 
One could argue that you'd expect the rockets posted to a rocketry site to be rocketry rockets. 😁
Scooby Doo Yes GIF by Boomerang Official

You must be using some ACME Doping Agents... step outside the cave and get some fresh air, and take Scooby with ya. You can leave Shaggy, his brain is already turned to Dippity Doo.
 

Yeah, but you asked about "a model rocket".

Rocket....
Rocketry....
both useful items, hardly interchangeable.
Of course one could make the argument that if you plan on flying the rocket, it's just a rocket. Its small and probably won't even leave the Troposphere, but still a rocket. A static display is more accurately termed a model.

Same applies to desktop sized steam engines, RC aircraft, and similar projects. They all contain most of the parts and many capabilities of their full sized counterparts, the difference is scale and weight capacity.
 
It's semantics of "model rocket", which is a type of rocket vs. "rocket model", which to me is a kit model and doesn't necessarily function as a rocket and would generally serve as a non functioning display item.
We think of "model rocket" as a rocket model that is intended to fly. I agree that "rocket model" might be better for a static display. Of course someone who is not into model rocketry might look at it differently.

I have no problem with static models- I've built model cars that didn't drive, model ships that I never floated, and model airplanes that never flew.

Now if we talk about model rockets that are built but never intended to be flown, it seems that something is missing. If I build a model rocket I intend to fly it, at least once. Someone was telling me recently that they had gotten Vern Estes to sign one of their rockets, I suggested that I would not fly that rocket again. If you are going to build a model rocket and never fly it, you could leave out such complexities as motor mounts, recovery systems, launch lugs.
 
... If you are going to build a model rocket and never fly it, you could leave out such complexities as motor mounts, recovery systems, launch lugs.
Tim Allen Fox GIF by Last Man Standing


However, I can only recall one build thread where the author started it off saying that it was for display (K'Tesh was building a rocket for a store display).

I'm beginning to think it may more often be that it was intended to be flown, but after a great build and lots of praise, maybe it becomes a bit too terrifying to risk launching it.

I wouldn't blame anyone for taking the safer route and I can relate since I've done a facepalm on a very elaborate build after it caught fire on the pad.

Love it so much that you don't want to let it go or get destroyed. I get it.
 
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