Quantcast

Level 1 Certification?

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

timothyterpsalot

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 29, 2009
Messages
84
Reaction score
0
I am wanting to get my Level 1 certification in September at the launch range in Argonia, Kansas (Airfest). How do I go about getting my certification? I have read the rules for Level 1 certification on the Tripoli website and the NAR website but don’t know who to contact. Do I just show up with my rocket and ask a prefect or do I need to contact someone ahead of time? Also, since I can’t buy the motor do I just buy one there with the person watching my flight? Can I buy the case ahead of time and buy the reload there or do I need a certification to buy the case too?
Thanks!!!

-Timothy
 

troj

Wielder Of the Skillet Of Harsh Discipline, Potent
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
13,962
Reaction score
192
First, have you joined TRA yet? If not, you can join at the field, although it's a little bit easier from an administrative standpoint if you join in advance -- I'd suggest 2 or 3 weeks in advance, so you have your paperwork in plenty of time.

That said, you'll just register and when you get to the RSO, let them know it's a certification flight. They'll work with the LCO to make sure one of the Prefects is available as a witness, and you'll be good to go.

That's one of the advantages of bigger launches like AirFest and LDRS -- they usually schedule certification folks, so that someone is always available. I'm a Prefect, and have witnessed certification flights while working as RSO -- makes it easy, since I'm already at the range head and involved in what's going on, anyway.

You can buy stuff in advance, or you can buy it at the field. While the vendors are almost always fully stocked, it's best to order in advance, to let them know what you want. That way, they can make sure they have it reserved for you.

Hope that helps. If not, fire away with more questions, and we'll get you squared away.

-Kevin
 

timothyterpsalot

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 29, 2009
Messages
84
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the reply! What about a LEUP? Will I need one to purchase the motor I need? Also, would you happen to know where I can find out who the vendors will be at Airfest?
I am also wondering if it would be best if I used electronics on my first flight? Have you had any positive or negative experiences seeing level one flights regarding electronics?
 

troj

Wielder Of the Skillet Of Harsh Discipline, Potent
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
13,962
Reaction score
192
Thanks for the reply! What about a LEUP? Will I need one to purchase the motor I need?
Nope! Thanks to a recent ruling by Judge Walton, APCP is off the explosives list.

Also, would you happen to know where I can find out who the vendors will be at Airfest?
Science and Education Center is at almost every KloudBusters launch; Giant Leap will be at AirFest; I'd be surprised if Wildman isn't there.

Those are the ones I know off the top of my head; I'm sure the list is incomplete.

I am also wondering if it would be best if I used electronics on my first flight? Have you had any positive or negative experiences seeing level one flights regarding electronics?
For Level 1, I wouldn't recommend it, unless you do some work with electronics on other flights prior to the certification attempt.

-Kevin
 

timothyterpsalot

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 29, 2009
Messages
84
Reaction score
0
Just a few more questions!!
As for the motor, I just pick the motor I want, find the case and the reload that correspond to the motor I picked? For example I am looking at the Aerotech H123W so I would purchase the RMS-38/240 and the H123W reload at Airfest?
As for putting it together, will I be able to do that just by looking at the diagram ahead of time? Or will someone help me when I tell them it's a cert. flight?
Thanks again!
 

troj

Wielder Of the Skillet Of Harsh Discipline, Potent
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
13,962
Reaction score
192
As for the motor, I just pick the motor I want, find the case and the reload that correspond to the motor I picked? For example I am looking at the Aerotech H123W so I would purchase the RMS-38/240 and the H123W reload at Airfest?
Yup.

As for putting it together, will I be able to do that just by looking at the diagram ahead of time? Or will someone help me when I tell them it's a cert. flight?
Take a look at the instructions (the instructions, along with videos) are available on the AeroTech website. http://www.aerotech-rocketry.com/ -- click the Theatre link on the left side.

If you're not sure, or just aren't comfortable doing it yourself, you'll find lots of folks at the launch who are more than happy to sit down and help you through it.

-Kevin
 

bobkrech

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
8,351
Reaction score
29
Just a few more questions!!
As for the motor, I just pick the motor I want, find the case and the reload that correspond to the motor I picked? For example I am looking at the Aerotech H123W so I would purchase the RMS-38/240 and the H123W reload at Airfest?
As for putting it together, will I be able to do that just by looking at the diagram ahead of time? Or will someone help me when I tell them it's a cert. flight?
Thanks again!
A few more recommendations.

The first most important decision in a rocket desing is the motor tube diameter. You can always adapt (downsize) a motor with an adapter for a few dollars (LOC Precision has some very inexpensive ones, but it's not easy to go the other way. For an L1 rocket you want at a minimum a 38 mm motor mount. A 54 mm is more versatile for large flying fields outside the Northeast and urban areas, but 54 mm relaods are more expensive than 38 mm reloads.

The second important item to do is to set a target weight for the rocket. Don't make a lead sled. Most L1 rocket weight between 3 and 6 pounds, and you want an absolute minimum 5:1 thrust to weight ratio if the area you launch in has winds not exceeding 5 mph, 10:1 if the winds don't exceed 10 mph and 20:1 at the 20 mph maximum allowable launch wind speed limit. This corresponds to 22, 44 and 88 N/lb for 5, 10, and 20 mph winds. An AT H123 has an initial thrust of 35 pounds so it is good for a 7 pound rocket in a 5 mph wind, a 3.5 pound rocket in a 10 mph wind, but only a 1.75 pound rocket in a 20 mph wind.

Once you have the weight down, you choose the total impulse you want to use as this determines the altitude of the flight. The H123 casing has 2 propellant grains and is a great low to moderate wind reload. An AT H24T reload uses the same casing and has the same total impulse but delivers 60 pounds of thrust off the pad so it's a better higher wind motor. (I used a CTI Pro38 255 H400 when I did my L1 because the winds were gusty and I wanted to be certain the rocket would not weathercock and chose a motor providing 20G+ acceleration off the pad.)

So IMO the last thing you should do is to choose your reload and to insure success on a cert flight, always err in favor of higher thrust to mitigate the effects of wind induced weathercocking.

Bob
 

fox_racing_guy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
623
Reaction score
0
I love the idea of using electronics for your L1 flight and think it's a good idea for sure. Newer altimeters are pretty easy to set up ( Missile Work RRC2, PF HiAlt45K) and as long as you can read and follow directions there is little to worry about. You could get the LOC/Precision Fantom EXL or HyperLOC 300 and the only part you would have to add is the altimeter of your choice. You can use I power for you L1 to as well and that would give you plenty of altitude for dual deploy.
You could join the NAR as a option to Tripoli ( I belong to both) and that way any 2 of your friends L1 or any single friend L2 or higher could sign your cert paperwork. The last thing I will add is don't let anyone tell you that you should fiberglass your L1 rocket, I fly rockets up through K power on a regular basis using nothing more than wood glue. Thats just my personal preference as I don't like "boat anchor" rockets.
 

Handeman

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
7,728
Reaction score
323
Location
Stafford, VA
I also like the idea of using electronics on a L1 flight. I think it depends on your comfort level. I had no issues with using an altimeter. I wanted to learn about the electronics and did a lot of ground testing before hand.
Using the altimeter allowed me to use an I motor and fly to 4,200 with dual deployment on my L1 cert. I was comfortable doing that and had no issues.

If you are not comfortable with learning and flying the electronics, then don't. I just don't think you should rule them out just because it's going to be a L1 cert flight.
 

MarkII

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
8,212
Reaction score
9
Before you pick your motor, you should pick your rocket. Then you can determine which motor will give you the performance that you want with that rocket for that flight. For Level 1, that would be straight up with no weathercocking, and a relatively low altitude so that you can recover it easily. (You can proceed to rip a hole in the sky after you get certified. ;) ) The specific rocket that you get (or scratch-build), and your goals for that flight (fast, straight boost, low altitude, easy recovery) will give you the parameters that you will need to guide your selection of a motor. If in doubt, get advice. Then follow all of Bob's recommendations. Someone once told me that a fast, straight boost to 600 feet, with motor-initiated chute deployment and a quick, safe recovery is in many ways the ideal Level 1 certification flight. You aren't trying to wow anyone, you are just trying to pass the test. The grade is pass/fail, and they don't give style points. Don't go with electronic deployment for your Level 1 certification flight. You want to keep things as simple as possible in order to reduce the potential points of failure. Once you are certified and can buy H and I motors, then you can start experimenting with electronic deployment.

MarkII
 

MarkII

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
8,212
Reaction score
9
One more thing - you must be a member of either NAR or TRA in order to be eligible for certification to fly high power motors in the US. (And you have to be at least 18 years old. No maximum age, though - that I know of... :rolleyes: )

MarkII
 

MarkM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,197
Reaction score
1
I disagree with using an altimeter for your level 1 flight and agree with MarkII. Not that it is wrong, just that it's not necessary and can complicate things too much for first timer. Keep the flight simple. If you haven't assembled a reload before, it's wise to get help with that. Most everyone is willing to help you out with that as we've all been there and needed that help one time or another. There's usually a lot going through your brain before your certification...having to build a HPR motor for the first time AND concentrate on electronics can be a bit much for an L1 certification as you're still figuring everything out. True, lots of people have used altimeters for their L1 certification (as Handeman and pantherjohn have) with success and many have also failed because it was just a little much, too early.

Pop the chute using motor eject. You can start using altimeters AFTER you certify in practice for your L2 if you want to use an altimeter for that certification. Take heed to the other suggestions posted here...very good advice
 

timothyterpsalot

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 29, 2009
Messages
84
Reaction score
0
Thanks guys, I don't think I will be using electronics for my first flight. I want to be sure I get the certification :)
I am trying to decide between two rockets. Giant Leap's Escape Velocity 2.6 is the one I'm leaning towards. Simple design...I can worry about more complicated rockets after I'm certified.
The other is their Vertical Assault kit.
Any ideas as to which I should purchase?
I was wanting the H123 for the Escape Velocity.
 
Last edited:

troj

Wielder Of the Skillet Of Harsh Discipline, Potent
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
13,962
Reaction score
192
I am trying to decide between two rockets. Giant Leap's Escape Velocity 2.6 is the one I'm leaning towards. Simple design...I can worry about more complicated rockets after I'm certified.
The other is their Vertical Assault kit.
Any ideas as to which I should purchase?
I'd suggest taking a step back and thinking about what types of rockets you see yourself flying in a year. Then, buy a rocket along those lines.

Think of a certification flight more as a stepping stone towards what you want to be doing, and proving to yourself (and others) that you're ready to do it.

Yes, this runs contrary to the KISS principle, but then, I'm very much against the KISS principle.

As an example, flying a 4" rocket on an H128 that goes 500 feet as your certification, when your plan is to fly minimum diameter I400s does you a disservice.

-Kevin
 

bobkrech

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
8,351
Reaction score
29
The key to a simple L1 cert flight is KISS.

These rockets are simple to build. Either one is fine as long as you have a large field. With a 3.8 pound 2.6" rocket you will get about 2000' with an H123W (~7.5G) or ~2600' with a H242T (~16G) so you might have a long recovery walk on a windy day.

Since these rocket are made from phenolic tubing, you will need to glass them to prevent cracking. Soller Composites http://www.sollercomposites.com/ makes coaxial braid that makes glassing a snap.

Good luck.

Bob
 

w9ya

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2009
Messages
49
Reaction score
0
If a NAR cert. is what you want to/can do, then for a guaranteed low, slow, and recoverable flight, you might consider this;

< http://www.artapplewhite.com/l1.html#bobfinch >
http://www.artapplewhite.com/l1.html#bobfinch

Last time I checked NAR still allows "odd-rocs" with streamer based recovery for a L1 cert. flight. So for less than $25 into the rocket itself and one evening of build time you are set to go. The rocket uses the motor ejection charge and everyone loves to see this one fly. Even the jaded 'ol timers go "ooooh-aaaah" when the hear the wide bodied pyramid roar off the pad.

After the cert remove the 'moustache' and return it for credit to Art. THEN fly it on a Roadrunner F65 or G80 for LOTS of fun. I have some that have flown MANY times, they are essentially indestrucable when using air-brake recovery instead of a streamer. Without the moustache they cost only 25 cents in materials (mostly the glue, and even white glue is fine, although I recommend titebond 3 for longevity and for flying into mud puddles).

AND in case anyones is wondering this particular rocket can streamer recovery fine on a 29mm H motor, but it *is* designed for air-brake on a Roadrunner style 29mm SU casing. i.e. The rocket is designed considering the recovery phase and the empty motor weight determines the size. Thrust is then determined by simple loading capability.
 

bobkrech

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
8,351
Reaction score
29
The NAR definition of active recovery is the same as TRA. Both organizations require an active, deployable recovery system on a Cert Flight.

from http://www.nar.org/2006/07/definition_of_active_recovery.php

DEFINITION: Active Recovery is the deployment of a primary recovery device that actively changes the physical configuration and dramatically reduces the vertical descent rate of the rocket model when deployed. This device must be of sufficient size, based on the weight of the model, so that the device is capable of safely recovering the rocket. The active recovery device can include parachutes, streamers, helicopter devices, R/C control and any other devices that are physically deployed to provide safe recovery of the model. In the event that dual deployment and secondary recovery devices are used, the deployment of a secondary recovery device must actively change the configuration of the model in order to inhibit ballistic recovery and slow the decent rate so as to allow for safe deployment of the primary recovery device.

IMO simply throwing out a streamer will not dramatically reduce the vertical descent rate of saucer when deployed.

Bob
 

MarkM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,197
Reaction score
1
The NAR definition of active recovery is the same as TRA. Both organizations require an active, deployable recovery system on a Cert Flight.
TRA is more specific. They do NOT allow "Odd rocs" for certification.

From the TRA Website:
"Airframe &#8211; The rocket must be built by the flyer. The rocket shall have a display on the exterior identifying the calculated center of pressure. The rocket must be of &#8220;conventional rocket design&#8221;. &#8220;Odd Rockets&#8221; including flying pyramids, saucers and flying spools will not be allowed for any certification flight. The rocket may be either a kit or scratch built. Scratch built rockets may contain commercially built components"

IMO simply throwing out a streamer will not dramatically reduce the vertical descent rate of saucer when deployed.
Bob
I agree with Bob on this. Besides, most of your flights will be using conventional rockets so you should certify with something that will be most similar to the majority of your flights.
 
Last edited:

MarkM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,197
Reaction score
1
What about the Dyna-wind tubing? Has anyone had experience with that?
IMO, you should keep your L1 project inexpensive. I've heard good things about DynaWind, but I'd go with a rocket from LOC or Binder design which uses standard cardboard tubes. They will easily stand up to the project, are durable, don't require composite methods, and are more reasonably priced for someone first getting into HPR.
 

troj

Wielder Of the Skillet Of Harsh Discipline, Potent
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
13,962
Reaction score
192
Since these rocket are made from phenolic tubing, you will need to glass them to prevent cracking. Soller Composites http://www.sollercomposites.com/ makes coaxial braid that makes glassing a snap.
I disagree -- glassing is not necessary, and composites are horribly overused in this hobby.

I've seen basically the same rocket (phenolic tube with plastic molded fin can) flown numerous times on J & K motors, and the rocket I'm referring to isn't fiberglassed, or reinforced in any way.

Remember, there was a day when folks got Level 3 without the use of composites. Now, folks think they're absolutely mandatory, even for much smaller rockets & motors.

-Kevin
 

troj

Wielder Of the Skillet Of Harsh Discipline, Potent
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
13,962
Reaction score
192
BTW, I've had one of the KLOUDBusters contact me elsewhere and make a recommendation which is an excellent one -- if you're anywhere near Argonia, he suggests you pop down to one of their upcoming launches, and talk with the folks there.

That's a very knowledgable group, and they can show you everything you need to know, and then some.

-Kevin
 

mikeyd

Old Rocketeer
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
764
Reaction score
33
Tim, where do you fly now? As stated you can come to a KB launch, before hand, and any of us would be glad to assist you, as I am sure Kevin would, if you were to attend their launches in Nebraska. I certified Level 1 at Argonia, when I was only a Nar member, there are some within the KB group that have dual membership, and could help. Also as asked earlier, what type of flying do you like to do, and I would add, what type of flying do you do now? What type of rockest have you flown so far, how large, largest motor, largest rocket. What type of building techniques are you familiar with, surface mount fins, through the wall fins, heavy wall construction, etc. The more information, and experience you can have before your level 1 flight the better the chances of success. Last of all take your time, have fun, and good luck. I am in the OKC area, and if you are close I would be more than happy to meet with you and go over any of this with you as well.

Happy Flying!
Mike Dickinson
TRA Level II
 

hognutz63

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
228
Reaction score
0
Timothyterpsalot,

You are in the same exact place I was this time last year. LDRS 27 was around the corner and I had caught "the bug."

I am not promoting one national organization or the other but, if you are planning on certifying at AIRFest and/or flying at other KLOUDBusters launches you will be much happier if you join TRA. For example, in 2009 we have 20 launch dates scheduled of which 11 days are research opportunity for TRA members to launch (certification level doesn't matter any more) vs. 9 days which are commercial.

There is always a Prefect at each and every KLOUDBusters launch and there are launches where there may or may not be the requisite 2 NAR members present. I don't know where you live, but joining the national organization affiliated with your local-most club is best.

It sounds like you should try to come to a launch and ask a lot of questions and see a lot of rockets before starting to build an L1 rocket. Virtually everyone there will be willing to help. Also, Science Ed. Center is present at every launch and/or you can call Mark (316) 682-1921 and arrange to have a motor available.

If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask, or better yet come out to our next launch in July and see what it is all about.

Eric
 
Last edited:

als57

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2009
Messages
935
Reaction score
0
I note that it seems like you have not built any reload motors before just reading your posts.

A rocket with a 38mm motor mount is a good starting point. A kit weighing less than 2 pounds should fly OK on a G motor.

So if you decide to fly using an H123W reload and buy a 38/240 motor ; then you could also buy a 38/120 case to go with it. This would allow you to fly your rocket on a G61W or G67R reload. Gives you experiance building reloads and working out any bugs in preping/flying your rocket.

Building your first reload for a cert flight can be a bit stessful.


Al
 

MarkM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,197
Reaction score
1
Timothyterpsalot,
For example, in 2009 we have 20 launch dates scheduled of which 11 days are research opportunity for TRA members to launch (certification level doesn't matter any more) vs. 9 days which are commercial.
Certification DOES matter for Research. True, now any TRA member can fly at a research launch using COMMERCIAL motors, but one must be L2 to fly a research motor. I assume this is what you meant, but your wording is misleading to those new to the hobby. NAR members are prohibited at all research launches (unless they are also TRA members).
 
Last edited:

timothyterpsalot

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 29, 2009
Messages
84
Reaction score
0
My experience so far has been flying up to a single use F motor. There is not much room to fly around here (I like in Kansas City) so I don't have a whole lot of experience with larger motors. I have built through the wall fin kits before and I have launched rockets of my own design.
I was involved with some I motor ground testing but that is all the experience I've had with HPR. I have been to two launches at Argonia, the last two LRDS's that have been held there. I wanted to talk to someone about this stuff but didn't know who to talk to.
I wish there was more in the KC area but so far I haven't found anywhere to fly or any groups that seem active besides one that regularly flies low power motors. Too bad I can't find any open land here.
 

troj

Wielder Of the Skillet Of Harsh Discipline, Potent
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
13,962
Reaction score
192
What are you doing June 20th or 21st?

We (Heartland Organization of Rocketry) have a launch that weekend, here in Nebraska. It's probably about the same drive to our launch site as it is to Argonia, and I know a number of KLOUDBusters are coming up for the event.

http://www.nerocketry.org/launches.html will get you directions, schedules, etc.

You're more than welcome to come out, and we can show you lots to help you out. There will also be two vendors on site (Wildman Kentucky, and someone from Minnesota whose name escapes me at the moment), in case you're interested in making any purchases at the time.

You can also join Tripoli on-site, if you want to.

Or, you can head down to a KLOUDBusters launch, and get lots of help there, as well. Their next launch is in July, I believe -- they have to take a break due to crops.

-Kevin
 

w9ya

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2009
Messages
49
Reaction score
0
SNIPPED QUOTE (I removed the active recovery definition, as whatever it may be, it just plain "is" (because it MUST be followed). And as such it has nothing to do with any subtlety of rocket design.)

The NAR definition of active recovery is the same as TRA. Both organizations require an active, deployable recovery system on a Cert Flight.

IMO simply throwing out a streamer will not dramatically reduce the vertical descent rate of saucer when deployed.

Bob
Item one above: TRA no longer allows "odd-rocs" to be used in cert. flights.

Item two above: Yes I agree !! You are right on. - Active recovery may indeed be a faster return-to-earth than passive recovery based on a particular design. In the case of pyramids that are properly designed to spin as they move; passive recovery WILL be slower. As such adding an active recovery system will be less safe than the slower passive recovery because passive recovery never fails to deploy, uses less equipment, while being slower than a reasonably sized streamer. (I thought I was clear about that in my earlier posting. Perhaps not.)

I am also not the first person to point this stuff out, nor do I 'care' one twit past pointing it out. I have no 'dog in this hunt'. In fact I really do not care what these two organizations do in this regard as long as I cannot do anything about it. I was merely pointing out that one can certify on an easy to build, fun to fly model with less than buck invested in the airframe. And I certainly would not want to sport fly the thing with active recovery because that would be inherently less safe than the passive recovery it was designed to fly with. So it would have been remiss for me to NOT point this out as well. (And so I did !)

Anyways, have we beaten this to death yet ? (Maybe not ..... )

(More to the point, you and I may be discussing this, but the guy wanting the info does not seem to care......)
 

bobkrech

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
8,351
Reaction score
29
I disagree -- glassing is not necessary, and composites are horribly overused in this hobby.

I've seen basically the same rocket (phenolic tube with plastic molded fin can) flown numerous times on J & K motors, and the rocket I'm referring to isn't fiberglassed, or reinforced in any way.

Remember, there was a day when folks got Level 3 without the use of composites. Now, folks think they're absolutely mandatory, even for much smaller rockets & motors.

-Kevin
Troj

I agree with you 100% that glassing is unnecessary for strength in virtually all L1 and L2 rockets. I prefer plain old fiberboard airframes which will bend instead of crack on a hard landing.

I don't like phenolic tubes because they are brittle and frequently crack if they land wrong (like on the only rock on the field) and so I avoid those kits. That's the only reason that I would recommend fiberglassing an L1 rocket.

Bob
 
Top