Is NAR Contest Rocketry Still Around?

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

Joined
May 12, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
3
Hi All, I posted this in CMASS and this is probably a better place. I was curious if "pink book" style contest flying was still a thing. Ie, boost gliders, streamer duration, altitude etc. I am not looking to get back into that aspect of the hobby but I am curious on it.

I suspect TARC, which is awesome in my opinion, largely replaced contest flying for kids and FAI contest flying replaced "pink book" style.

Cheers, Alex
 

rharshberger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
9,902
Reaction score
1,860
Location
Pasco, WA
It is but you need to find a club thats active in competition flying or be willing to run the comp portion. Not all clubs are willing or staffed to handle regular flight operations and competition manpower requirements at the same time.
 
Joined
May 12, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
3
Thanks for the replies. I looked at the updated NAR info and there is still some activity, which is nice to see. The NRC is simplified from past years and it looks like fun.
 

Ez2cDave

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,674
Reaction score
1,417
I was curious if "pink book" style contest flying was still a thing. i.e., boost gliders, streamer duration, altitude etc.
Yes, it is . . . But, unfortunately most clubs do not hold contests because the either don't want any extra work or they feel it "wastes time" that HPR flyers want. That is not an exaggeration or a miss-characterization, as many have openly said so, here on the forum.

https://www.rocketryforum.com/threads/survey-for-all-nar-members-with-regards-to-nar-competition.165802/#post-2127700

Dave F.
 

gtg738w

FlightSketch - flightsketch.com
TRF Sponsor
Joined
Dec 27, 2018
Messages
305
Reaction score
290
Where are you located? We're in CT and have a few members that have expressed interest in NRC events. Hopefully we'll get a couple of dates this year. NARAM is also close by in NY this year too.
 

Ez2cDave

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,674
Reaction score
1,417
The contest administration is MUCH easier than the previous system, and flying the same events over and over during the contest year allows you to improve steadily. The National Scoreboard (https://www.nar.org/nrc-scoreboard/) is also great fun to watch!

True . . . BUT, 95% + of NAR Sections do not fly Competition, at all.

From the Chart, at the Link posted by GuyNoir, it appears that only 28 NAR sections actually host NRC Competition ( Actually, only 27, because the last one on the list has "ZERO" ( except 10 points, for "participating" )

(https://www.nar.org/nrc-scoreboard

With that mindset, Competition will never thrive !

Dave F.

1620837311925.png
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 12, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
3
I am in the Boston area but I am not looking to get back into contest flying. I was just curious if people still did it. It was fairly niche was I was active.
 

BEC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
3,675
Reaction score
626
Location
Auburn, WA
True . . . BUT, 95% + of NAR Sections do not fly Competition, at all.

From the Chart, at the Link posted by GuyNoir, it appears that only 28 NAR sections actually host NRC Competition ( Actually, only 27, because the last one on the list has "ZERO" ( except 10 points, for "participating" )

(https://www.nar.org/nrc-scoreboard

With that mindset, Competition will never thrive !

Dave F.
I'd love to host NRC launches at our club...but our current site is marginal even for 1/2A Alt and B Pay Alt, never mind the duration events. Us being on that list (at #25) was before we got moved to where we are now.
 

Ez2cDave

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,674
Reaction score
1,417
Time to come back. The United States will be hosting the 2023 FAI World Championships for Spacemodels.

James
Yes, one competition, held every 2 years, usually overseas, costing thousands of dollars to participate in . . .

Brian left because widespread NAR competition ceased to exist. Unless a large number of clubs start flying NRC events, Competition will never flourish again.

Yes, I know you can "do it on your own", with a witness and "mail in" your results. However, that is not "head to head" competition, flying under the same atmospheric conditions, with the same filed limitations / advantages. Basically, it is just a national "mail-in" competition.

Maybe the NAR should do NARAM the same way . . . If they had, NARAM-62 would not need to have been postponed

( OK - No R&D, Flexwing, Superroc or Sport Scale, but the event could still have been held, possibly with MORE Participants, since travel & hotel expenses would not have been a factor ). ALSO, NAR sSections would not have to "bid" or be "persuaded" to host NARAM !

Events: 1/2A B/G*, 1/2A SD*, 1/2A HD*, 1/2A PD*, 1/2A ALT*, 1/2A Flexwing, B Payload*, D SuperRoc Altitude altimeter, Sport Scale, R&D. (*NRC Events)

BTW - Why can't Flexwing or Superroc also be NRC events, too ? They are either timed or altimeter events, just like the NRC events. Actually, R&D could be conducted online and streamed . . . Only Craftsmanship events would be a problem.

Dave F.
 
Last edited:

scsager

Slightly burned-out old guy
Joined
Apr 24, 2010
Messages
1,775
Reaction score
75
Competition still a thing. Checkout NARAM.
 

Ez2cDave

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,674
Reaction score
1,417
Well, you have not completely left, if you are still checking out TRF....;)
There is very little NAR Competition being discussed on TRF . . .

Oh, yes, there are gliders, but no "maximum performance designs" being discussed. Where are the SD / PD duration models, competition egglofters, etc. ?

Dave F.
 

kkooch

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Messages
92
Reaction score
18
True . . . BUT, 95% + of NAR Sections do not fly Competition, at all.

From the Chart, at the Link posted by GuyNoir, it appears that only 28 NAR sections actually host NRC Competition ( Actually, only 27, because the last one on the list has "ZERO" ( except 10 points, for "participating" )

(https://www.nar.org/nrc-scoreboard

With that mindset, Competition will never thrive !

Dave F.

View attachment 463909
Wait till the US TEAM FAI WSMC tryouts next year! Turn a few pages, I'm predicting.

Kooch
 

tab28682

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
1,807
Reaction score
380
There is very little NAR Competition being discussed on TRF . . .

Oh, yes, there are gliders, but no "maximum performance designs" being discussed. Where are the SD / PD duration models, competition egglofters, etc. ?

Dave F.
Not the point I was making.

I have to ask, what do you expect to accomplish by continual chiding of rocketeers and clubs that have little or zero interest in competition? Do you really think they are going to suddenly start doing competition because they will "see the light" after all your complaining?

Positive approaches to promoting competition are much to be preferred over chiding people and organizations for not sharing your views.

I am a firm believer in letting people enjoy our hobby in any way they desire, as long as it is safe. What's fun for one might not be fun for most.

I have flown in a few competitions, including a NARAM or two. I had fun, but not as much as I have had flying for fun.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 12, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
3
@tab28682 - I agree with everything you wrote above, especially your point of no negativity. I also have dabbled in multiple aspects of hobby rocketry and sport flying is my preference for the foreseeable future. Contest rocketry was a lot of fun and I was curious how popular it has been the past few years.
 

Exactimator

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2014
Messages
873
Reaction score
183
If you're having fun people will want to join you. It's such a simple concept but some people really seem to struggle with it.

When I first became a BAR, I remember competition flyers on the NAR Facebook group constantly complaining about everything. The rules, the cost of the required equipment, etc.

Didn't take long before I decided comp flyers were a bunch of whiners and I'd never want to be a part of that group. Now obviously it was just a vocal few who made a lot of stink. But it sure made an impression.
 

James Duffy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
1,051
Reaction score
518
Contest rocketry was a lot of fun and I was curious how popular it has been the past few years.
Here's a take on the current state of competition rocketry. This is entirely opinion, others may feel differently.

Traditional NAR competition: slow decline over the past two decades, but the Old Ones still hang in there.

TARC: Huge, and growing every year.

FAI competition: slow, steady growth over the past decade and a half; popularity is tied to the attractiveness of the World Champs location, so could be big as it comes to the US in 2023.

Mission-related HP competitions like Spaceport America and SLI: successful and growing, but the impact of COVID leaves question marks.

Again, this is all opinion,
James
 

tab28682

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
1,807
Reaction score
380
@tab28682 - I agree with everything you wrote above, especially your point of no negativity. I also have dabbled in multiple aspects of hobby rocketry and sport flying is my preference for the foreseeable future. Contest rocketry was a lot of fun and I was curious how popular it has been the past few years.

Yep, I agree, I have had some fun doing it. I had fun competing in a few events at NARAM 38 in Evansville, IN and in some local events before and after that. I might actually compete again someday, if I get the urge. But, it will be for no other reason than I feel like doing it.
 

tab28682

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
1,807
Reaction score
380
If the horse keeps moving around, it ain’t dead yet...:)
 

DWolman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
138
Reaction score
1
@AlexBruccoleri I’m a CMASS member and would be up for some competition flying, NRC or otherwise…I suspect that there are a few other competitors in the club that would participate, and/or some sport flyers that would try out the easier events.

We hosted a section/open meet at CMASS maybe 15 years ago with limited participation - aside from the points others have made,

1) Amesbury is not really a great completion field - it’s proximity to the ocean means that it is frequently windy there
2) despite the wind, it’s the best available field that I’m aware of in eastern Mass

The second point is important context especially for those outside the northeast - population density in the northeast and lack of really large scale farming means that suitable flying fields are very, very hard to come by.

I could be oblivious - but I believe the only northeast section that holds competitions with any semi-frequency is ASTRE based in Albany.
 
Joined
May 12, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
3
@DWolman - Thanks for the reply. I am part of CMASS and we can chat more at a meeting or a launch. My post was mostly out of curiosity. The Amesbury field is lovely but not that big and agreed on the points you make regarding fields in Mass. That being said, one of the beauties of contest rockets is making the contest appropriate for the launch site. Precision landing or small motors would be fine for Amesbury.

Cheers, Alex
 

Latest posts

Top