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Well-Known Member
Jun 5, 2009
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OK, well, I've been thinking about it for a couple of months, and I finally hauled off and printed up some flyers and took 'em around to the hobby shops to try to get a rocketry group started in the suburban Detroit area in Oakland and Macomb counties (and perhaps some additional areas as well.)

Now right at the start I want to make it clear I am not trying to draw people away from membership in HUVARS, the very cool NAR chapter based in the Huron River Valley area (Ann Arbor and southwest of Detroit.) My idea is that this group would actually complement HUVARS and work in conjunction with it.

In fact, I joined HUVARS myself and have every intention of trying to attend meetings whenever I can, but the problem, as anyone who lives around D-town can attest, that it is very very hard and time-consuming to get over there in traffic - to make a 7-7:30 meeting over there, you have to leave the Royal Oak area (my vicinity) probably no later than 5:30, which puts you right in the guts of traffic, which does not really slack off until 7:00 or so.

So I thought there might be some interest in getting a group going in the Oakland/Macomb area. I've e-mailed the HUVARS membership and the response has been pretty uniformly positive. The general opinion is that anything that serves to increase the overall interest in rocketry is probably a good idea.

So, anybody in the Oakland/Macomb area, or for that matter, the city of Detroit or even up into Macomb County, this is for you. I've talked to several different hobby shops and they seem to think there is some rocketry interest in the area, so why not give it a try??

At first, the main idea would be to find a place to fly within a fairly short driving distance - Gus, I know you fly in R.O. and I fly some low-power birds in Ferndale. Maybe we can find a place to fly LPR stuff up to about E's - I've e-mailed to the HUVARS list-serv about a field I think would work.

Anyway, here's the info. I'm gonna try to e-mail as many of the NAR members in the area too.

Very cool! I grew up in New Baltimore, and still have family up there. My 8 year old nephew is starting to really get into "Uncle Mark's rockets", so local launches might draw him in.

Another person you may want to contact is Frank at PML - he may know of some fields since PML is based in Chesterfield.

That might be a good idea. First off I am trying to come up with a place to fly LPR stuff in the northern Detroit suburban area (Royal Oak/Troy/Sterling Heights/Warren/etc.), within a 30-minute or so drive.

As you suggest, PML would probably be a good contact. They have to know some places to launch bigger stuff. It would be ideal of course to come up with two or three different suitable fields to fly. Some of the HUVARS people have flown from the Lyons Twp. Park out on I-96, but that's a fairly healthy drive on one of the most-heavily congested freeways in the area. But on weekends, etc., probably not too bad.

Anyway, any and all ideas are welcome.... ;) :cool:
Don't forget southern St.Clair county, we are just a stones throw away.
I have thought of this for awhile. The area just north of Utica is pretty open with quite a few large fields. Perhaps something in that direction may be suitable.
Cool! you guys are getting closer to me!

Maybe some of these just havested bean fields in St. Clair and Sanilac counties could be utilized maybe this weekend!

Shall I call some bean farmer friends of mine?
By all means everyone in the "lower Thumb" area is included, so missileman and sandman, you guys would definitely be in. What I'm thinking basically is everything concentrated north and east of Detroit, while south and to the west is where HUVARS activites are concentrated.

And of course we would stagger schedules so that nothing conflicts with stuff already scheduled by HUVARS, JMRC or anybody else in the Lower Peninsula. In any case, I don't want a new group to siphon off participants from existing groups.

(Once again I gotta work this Saturday, so maybe I will get out and try to fly something Sunday, although the weather forecast right now ain't too good.) :rolleyes:

The lower St. Clair County/upper Macomb area does have a lot of farmland which should be cleared by now... :cool:
There's gotta be something. I used to live on 10 acres in New Baltimore, and I always just launched in my backyard. I miss those days.

Oh...right about now there are a LOT of open fields!

The bean farmers have had a really good dry spell and have been harvesting like crazy.

Once a bean field has been havested there is just acres and acres of flat!!! The bean stubble is only about 3" high...I can live with that.

Unfortunately I'd better check the long range weather forcast for this weekend first!
Saturday is not looking good at all.
Chance of rain and 20 to 25 mph wind.
Sunday looks better but still a bit iffy.
Hmmm.. how about a Pumpkin Loft Launch next Saturday (10/23)? As of right now I think I'm clear for next weekend. We could either fly at a field out your way or maybe at Lyons Park on I-96.

As of right now, says partly cloudy, 58 degrees for that day. Of course that may be subject to change... :p

Hopefully by then, my Saturn Press and Zooch Saturn Vs should be ready to go, and my SR-71 all decalled up and ready to fly. It probably gives us a couple days to scratch build a flying pumpkin or two too... :D
Originally posted by missileman
I have a Maxi Streak that is painted pumkin orange, does that count?:D

LOL, yeah, paint some cutout eyes and a toothy grin on it too! :D :D
Well, obviously this weekend got scotched by the weather.

This Saturday is still looking OK on (64-partly cloudy), but a little ominous - it's the only clear day sandwiched between what is forecast as two rainy days.

Anyway, I just mass e-mailed this post to all the NAR members in the 586 and northern 248 area codes, so maybe we will see if there is some interest.

Maybe launching this coming weekend will work. Otherwise, we're into November, and it's gonna get awful cold awful fast...
funny how you started this thread the day i left waterford! but i'll be back next year.
have you been in contact with team one? i went to one of their launches (way up north) last year, seemed like a great bunch. they have a field around ann arbor now.

sandman, just HOW far north of detroit are you?

i got a big plastic pumpkin a walmart a few weeks ago that i was hoping to have turned into a rocket by this weekends louisianna launch but it's not gonna happen. i guess i'll have to fly my little 3" diameter pumpnik.

let me know if you get a club formed!
btw- i finally got to comonwealth display a few weeks ago. the BEST selection of rockets i've ever seen in a bricks and morter store. Fliskits, Edmunds, Saturn Press, LOC, PML, launch pad and of course lots of that other low power kit maker.:D
Adam, I haven't been in contact yet with Team One, because at this point I'm mainly thinking about LPR and at most MPR stuff - that is, conventional "model rocketry."

Which is not to exclude anyone whose interests is concentrated in the "big stuff," but at least to start out with we're gonna just try to find a place to fly LPR. If things develop that a lot of people want to send up the big babies, and we can find a place to do it, well, so be it.

But I know that HUVARS and the JMRC in Jackson have had successful MPR and HPR launches at MIS Speedway and Gumbert Field, so I think people over here who want to fly the big mutha's usually attend those launches.

Team One, of course, has members from all over Michigan... they fly at Manchester, near Ann Arbor ... supposedly they flew yesterday if weather permitted.

They also have their annual Three Oaks launch coming up in a couple weeks, which draws people from all over the Midwest. Nothing like steaming hot chili and the smell of rocket motors on a chilly November morning...

I have been to a couple of them, and they are awesome. I mean, the biggest thing I have flown is an "E", but when you see those monsters take off, it shakes your nerves and rattles your brain (too much impulse drives a man insane... .:D )

PS - Yeah, Commonwealth is amazing. I went in there a couple months ago and just about fainted. Luckily I made a vow to only spend the cash in my wallet - if I had busted out the VISA, I would be posting from the poorhouse.

Now Red Arrow over on the other side of the state is incredible too - those are definitely two of the most terrific rocket stores I've ever seen.
sandman, just HOW far north of detroit are you?


I'm about 60 miles north of Detroit or 20 miles north of Port Huron

Lexington, Michigan

Right on the "Knuckle of the Thumb"!

You have to be from Michigan to understand that one.:D
I spent 2 weeks in cass city installing some machinery, it was in the middle of nowhere! , how far are you from there sandman?
Cass City is where my "local" TARC team flys...Unbelievable flying field!

I'm about an hour south east of Cass City.

All the way east to Lake Huron and south about 15 miles.
Haha, Sandman, you ought to build a Cape Sandman on the Lake Huron coast and we could launch multi-staged clusters with M, P, Q, R, S motors... launch em into orbit out over Lake Huron and the northern Ontario wilderness !! :D :D

We'd have to hire somebody with a fishing trawler to recover the boosters out of the lake... :D :p
I'm a member of HUVARS that has difficulty getting motivated to navigate the trip from Troy to Hamburg, so a club and flying field closer to the Detroit area would be a good supplement.

You have trouble getting motivated for the trip???

I drive to member Gus's house and ride from there.

Unfortunately I have another 1 1/2 hour drive home after we get back to his house!:rolleyes:

That's usually after eleven at night...usually much later.
Anybody planning on the HUVARS meeting tomorrow night, we'll probably talk about possible Oakland/Macomb/St. Clair activities there.

Checking up on the weekend forecasts on, it's not looking so good anymore ... now, the forecast is for "scattered thunderstorms" and WINDY - winds up to 30 mph!! :eek: :eek: :eek: I don't have too much I think I wanna launch into a 30-mph wind... :rolleyes:

So a launch for this weekend might not work. Next Saturday, 10/30, maybe? Of course, the later you go, the more the weather turns into a real crapshoot...
Never make the Huvars meetings, I bowl on thursday night. But I see enough members at local launchs to "catch up". Speaking of Huvars. Anybody have any more info on the "FAT BOY" competition we were going to have??. Buzz had mentioned it at MIS, but I havent heard anything or seen anything on the website.
Originally posted by JStarStar
Anybody planning on the HUVARS meeting tomorrow night, we'll probably talk about possible Oakland/Macomb/St. Clair activities there.

Checking up on the weekend forecasts on, it's not looking so good anymore ... now, the forecast is for "scattered thunderstorms" and WINDY - winds up to 30 mph!! :eek: :eek: :eek: I don't have too much I think I wanna launch into a 30-mph wind... :rolleyes:

So a launch for this weekend might not work. Next Saturday, 10/30, maybe? Of course, the later you go, the more the weather turns into a real crapshoot...

Didn't make the meeting tonight. I spent the last 2 days in Pittsburgh subs and just got back this evening.

As for Oct. 30th, I plan on being at Milan doing some drag racing for the last time this season.