Model rocket newsletter from Deepsky Rocket Shop

deepsky

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
103
Reaction score
0
Summer Greetings from Deepsky - hot enough for you now? Complain about the British weather long enough and you get what you are asking for in spades! When you plead to the rocket gods for extended periods of perfect flying weather, however, you may be disappointed. But in between sweltering and getting a meteorological equivalent of a wash and blow dry, there's some great flying to be had.

Best to always have something ready to fly for all conditions. Slim altitude grabbing rockets for calm days with clear skies and UFO saucers for the days when the cloud blanket is glowering and the wind is a mite brisk. And when the crops and weeds are high, use a Microbeacon beeper! When there's thunder and lightning about, that's the worst time to leave a smoke trail into the heavens.

We are going to try something different in this new series of newsletters: organisation ;-) Not everyone is interested in model rockets, High Power Rocketry (HPR) motors, events or other topics we usually weave into our irregular and sometimes overlong postings. If this way of keeping you up to date is better let us know! Soon we will be splitting off the model rocket, educational and big rocket newsletters but until then we'll try for maximum relevance with headed sections.

*Model Rocket News*

At last, the Estes D-motor powered Cosmos Mariner rocket glider has arrived. Big thanks to our patient customers who first read about this fantastic kit last October. We haven't built ours yet but it looks to be pretty straightforward and will result in a sharp looking rocket that is light enough to fly well.

Other new arrivals include Dr Zooch's Space Shuttle kit as well as restocks of the popular Saturn V Apollo 11 and Saturn IB kits. They are reasonably close to scale, and you can build them in a couple of evenings. They fly on C motors.

More of the huge Estes Oracle video rockets have arrived... and left again! We have sold out three shipments so far! There have been a few problems reported with Windows XP but the rocket flies just great. We have alerted Estes and they are working with the owners - it seems to be a PC support issue. The Oracle cam takes 30 seconds of video at 9 frames per second. If you fancy a video challenge, you can fit a wireless video cam into one of our Elite Egg Lofters. With a PP3 battery it weighs the same as a large egg so it should fly just fine... but isn't a lot cheaper!

Paul Clark, master scale modeller with SpaceCraftUK, is working on a special kit exclusively for Deepsky. Soon the delta winged shape of the B-70 Valkyrie will be seen in our skies. We haven't finalised all the details but multi-motor configurations and radio control have been discussed.

The B-70, that was in many ways the predecessor of the Concorde, was the most expensive plane ever built. The Valkyrie wasn't rocket powered - but our World Champion says that a rocket motor is the best way to get a glider up in the air. I cannot argue! We still have a couple of copies of his gold medal rocket glider available...

Speaking of clusters, Clipwhips are back in stock. You use them to light clusters of two, three, four, or more motors with a strong battery and careful prep. We recommend the Pratt Go Box for a 12V zap. Alternately, you can use Quick Match and any old Estes controller.

We have E motors in stock. Someone came up at at recent event and asked about our E prices and reported that they were cheaper "elsewhere". But "elsewhere" didn't have any in stock ;-) We set our E price because we have then sent in legally via FedEx and pay full VAT and duty so that we can have a reliable stock... We can't ship, so they must be collected from Deepsky, our London office or at an event which takes a bit more bandwidth than just bunging them in a box for Postman Pat. We also import a large number of special Estes motors such as the 1/2 A6-2, A8-5s or C11s because they make certain rockets fly their best.

School rockets are a big part of our summer business. We have class packs for all sizes and can quote for any number - so far this year we have handled school projects of up to 200 rockets at a go. Many scouts and cadets get their first taste of rocketry from Deepsky. Check out the excellent Bright Hawk and Payloader One kits in group bargains as well as great deals on Sunward, Estes and Custom Rockets.

Our sister organisation, Blast Off for Britain, conducts workshops around the country. If you need more information, use the contact link on our web site for a fast response.

*Technical Issues*

Everybody wants to build a rocket that is strong enough to fly without "re-kitting" under boost and survive a bump on landing. Using the right glue is vital for strength and performance. Plastic parts need to be bonded with styrene cement like Humbrol, cardboard and balsa work great with white or yellow carpenters glue. Mid Power Rocketry (MPR) and HPR kits need epoxy.

While you can't build a rocket too strong, you can build them TOO HEAVY. Using excess glue or the wrong kind can turn your rocket model into something that flies more like a boat anchor. Read the instructions. Ask us if you have any doubts. Deepsky sells all kinds of rocket building adhesives with the exception of styrene cement (due to abuse potential) and are glad to advise.

*Safety*

The weather at UKRA wasn't very encouraging but it didn't prevent many good flights. However, there were at least seven flights that it should have prevented. Flight into cloud is forbidden under the UKRA Safety Code and it is a mystery how so many launches in violation of that regulation took place.

Who is responsible for flight safety? The guy that owns the rocket and pushes the launch button has ultimate responsibility. If a ballistic re-entry causes injury or property damage, it won't be the RSO's fault - don't blame them. Each flyer is solely responsible for adhering to the safety code regardless of the judgement of the officiating RSO.

RSOs are there to help and to guard the insurance cover provided by the BMFA - but it's your rocket, buddy! Sometimes an individual RSO's conservatism can block flights that could otherwise have been conducted safely and successfully but to err on the side of caution with heavy and high speed HPR rockets is surely no bad thing. And sometimes RSOs should be a bit more conservative when it comes to enforcing black letter elements of the safety code.

At UKRA, we spoke with someone who came as close as anyone yet to being the first UK rocketry-related injury or fatality. She was sitting in her car when a large, heavy HPR rocket came down and smashed the windscreen to within inches of her nose. She was well shaken but uninjured and we are all glad it wasn't worse. And it hasn't put her off coming back to rocket events!

If you are at a rocket launch, standing with attention directed to launch and recovery operations is necessary to avoid any repeats that could have dire consequences. Does this mean they should take the doors off the Porta Potties and face them towards the flight line? Probably not but neither should they be located anywhere near launch and recovery sites, unfortunately ;-)

Security is a problem for rocketeers, not just safety. One Deepsky customer had his garden shed broken into recently and a large fraction of his rocketry gear stolen. Be on the lookout for the sale of finished and part finished MPR and HPR rockets from LOC and PML being sold (perhaps on eBay?) by people who don't really know much about what they are selling. If you see something suspicious of this sort, get in touch with us via the contact page on the web site.

*Order! Order!*

To get your rockets and motors to you fast, we need good addresses. We are modifying the site so that multi-line addresses can be accommodated. Until then, use commas! We have had too many returned parcels and phone calls from our courier because of bad addresses. Check and correct yours today!

We are in the middle of our seasonal rush caused by schools and good weather. Orders may take a day or two longer than usual. We only have three heads and six hands! Some items can be out of stock for a while longer than usual. We always try to keep you informed of any delays via our order updates. Your patience is appreciated. If you change your mind or want to cancel due to delay, please let us know.

We work hard to keep our website the best rocketry resource in the world. It's available 24 x 7 for browsing or ordering but we take orders by telephone, fax, email and snail mail, too. Orders through the site are processed first and get to you faster with fewer hiccups. We are a small organisation staffed by humans but the web order system goes a long way towards compensating for any lapses in our memory or our deficiencies of understanding. It must work because we are near 2000 orders, having just passed the 1000 order mark in February!

Despite our efforts, a distinguished senior rocketeer has the hump with us, however, because he says that he ordered something and paid cash at an event but never got his goods. It has never been our policy to take orders at events for items not in stock. Our policy has been to take the request onboard and get the item into stock and onto the web site ASAP and then invite an order in the normal course of business.

Two diligent searches have failed to turn up any record of this purchase and we apologise for any oversight. We'd apologise by private email but this distinguished senior rocketeer has never registered on our site as a customer so it would be difficult to send him compensation for any confusion on our part. We do our best for our customers - let us know if we can do better and make sure we have your current contact details.

*Events*

We helped Blast Off for Britain fly over 200 rockets over last weekend at the Think Tank in Birmingham. Whew! A lot of kids got their first taste of rocketry.

Our next major foray for the Deepsky Expeditionary Force will be at Milson for Black Knight's BK Flamer - a hugely enjoyable weekend of flying if last year's event was any indication. Warm (but not too hot) weather, clear skies and calm zehphyrs are anticipated.

Then it's off to the U.S. for NARAM 47, an annual week-long gathering of the mad keen American rocket tribes. Deepsky is a sponsor of this world-class event. We hope to meet a lot of our friends and customers across the pond, check out a raft of new products and maybe even do a bit of rocket flying.

Tripoli Rocketry Association has a new Mid Power certification scheme open to under-18s. The youngest member of the Deepsky flight crew is keen to add to her rating while in the U.S. The new Tripoli LF and LG ratings are available here - it's just that the motors are easier to get there! Stay tuned for information on joining Tripoli Rocketry UK and availability of Aerotech motors.

Rowes Retainers and Space Craft UK have generously added Made in Britain prizes to the Deepsky swag bag for the NARAM 47 raffle and auction.

See you around the planet!

Deepsky Team
 

bfo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2004
Messages
81
Reaction score
0
Just to clear any confusion with this post Tripoli Rocketry UK is a company and not prefecture 108 Tripoli UK.

Thanks

Cath Bashford
Prefect Tripoli UK #108
 

rocketrod

New Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2005
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
I am not an RSO so I am not fully in the know, but ..

1) I believe the event was covered by radar from a local ATC centre or similar. Therefore through the cloud flights were safe.

2) The rocket into the windscreen incident happened TWELVE MONTHS AGO as I was there and saw it. The rocket came down under main chute and did not penetrate the glass as it was laminated. So why raise it again? I'm sure sufficient discussion and possible changes to safety guidance happened then.
 

cydermaster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
2,617
Reaction score
0
Originally posted by rocketrod
The rocket into the windscreen incident happened TWELVE MONTHS AGO as I was there and saw it.
As was I. The rocket's descent was also accompanied by practically the whole site shouting "HEADS UP!" towards the people in the carpark.
 

Richard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2009
Messages
78
Reaction score
0
Originally posted by rocketrod
I am not an RSO so I am not fully in the know, but ..

1) I believe the event was covered by radar from a local ATC centre or similar. Therefore through the cloud flights were safe.

2) The rocket into the windscreen incident happened TWELVE MONTHS AGO as I was there and saw it. The rocket came down under main chute and did not penetrate the glass as it was laminated. So why raise it again? I'm sure sufficient discussion and possible changes to safety guidance happened then.

You are correct - all flights where the cloud obscured part of the rocket flight were covered by radar from the local RAF base. Here we see a picture of the Chairman of UKRA phoning them to arrange a window;

www.rokits.org/gallery/UKRA-2005/PICT0217

What a handsome (if slightly perplexed looking) person our illustrious leader is :)

I am a little confused at the reference to the rocket through the car window as it was hardly in context to the previous text; the rocket was, IIRC, under full chute and hadnt gone through the clouds as there werent any.

The only safety related issue in that story is that people attending these events should read the information they are given and act upon it. No one should have been in sitting in their cars while rockets were being launched and for just this reason! The onus is on them to comply as the RSOs cannot monitor what goes in the car park many hundreds of metres away...
 

nialloswald

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2004
Messages
563
Reaction score
0
Originally posted by deepsky
The weather at UKRA wasn't very encouraging but it didn't prevent many good flights. However, there were at least seven flights that it should have prevented. Flight into cloud is forbidden under the UKRA Safety Code and it is a mystery how so many launches in violation of that regulation took place.

I know at least one flight was postponed to arrange radar coverage. Such ATC coverage was also arranged for other flights, see Richard's post.

Who is responsible for flight safety? The guy that owns the rocket and pushes the launch button has ultimate responsibility. If a ballistic re-entry causes injury or property damage, it won't be the RSO's fault - don't blame them. Each flyer is solely responsible for adhering to the safety code regardless of the judgement of the officiating RSO.

RSOs are there to help and to guard the insurance cover provided by the BMFA - but it's your rocket, buddy! Sometimes an individual RSO's conservatism can block flights that could otherwise have been conducted safely and successfully but to err on the side of caution with heavy and high speed HPR rockets is surely no bad thing. And sometimes RSOs should be a bit more conservative when it comes to enforcing black letter elements of the safety code.
This is very interesting...a few months ago I seem to remember a Deepsky newsletter referring to the 'Bully Boy tactics' of UKRA RSO's.

Flight safety is especially an issue when rockets of unproven and unstable design are being flown. I've heard tell (and seen several videos) of trouser-wetting tetrahedron flights before now. I know I'd be very wary as an RSO if approached with such a rocket!

Despite our efforts, a distinguished senior rocketeer has the hump with us,
You know, I don't think he's the only one....
 

Richard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2009
Messages
78
Reaction score
0
Originally posted by nialloswald
I know at least one flight was postponed to arrange radar coverage. Such ATC coverage was also arranged for other flights, see Richard's post.


Yes - I was involved in 2 of them :)

I found the bit in the safety code relating to this "issue", and couldnt find the word "forbidden" in it. Funny old thing...

4.8. Flying Conditions ~ Rockets may be launched only in light winds of less than 20mph. Also a rocket may not be launched under conditions where the rocket will fly into clouds, unless it can be safely determined that the flight will not pose any hazard to any aircraft that may be above the cloud layer.

There used to be a time when people would check facts before just ranting in a public forum. Given the litigation happy world we live in I know I certainly do :D
 

Ursa_Major

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2004
Messages
133
Reaction score
0
Paul / Andy,

when are you going to post positive things instead of constantly denigrating UKRA / RSOs / other vendors please? And when are you going to post something to clear up the mess you're intent on spreading regarding Tripoli UK (the UK prefecture, headed by cath) as opposed to Tripoli Rocketry UK Limited (the company you set up many years after the UK prefecture was created, in order to mislead fliers)?

UKRA05 was covered by radar at the local RAF base, as has already been stated. The rocket through the windscreen incident has already been covered too, and it's lack of relevance discussed. How about we discuss the conveniently covered up episode where a certain vendor overfilled his nox tank and left it out in the sun at an event? And do you have any more of those 'spontaneously igniting' Pro38's in stock please?

And if you're going for factual accuracy, it was the XB-70, only ever XB too, as it didn't reach production beyond the 2 prototypes. And the technology was not released, so I doubt very much whether it influenced Concorde.

Please get in touch with reality ASAP.
 

benjarvis

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 6, 2010
Messages
461
Reaction score
5
A distinguished, senior member of the UK rocketry community? I'm sure he is honoured by the description :)

I'm sure he'd be more honoured by getting his money back, or the part he allegedly paid for?




It really takes SO LITTLE effort to go and attend a few events, talk to the 'distinguished senior members' of the community and get to know people before setting off on a mass commercial empire building exercise.... if only people took that time, and realised just how small, close knit and friendly the UK rocketry community is.... before p*ssing off several key members of it... they'd have far more luck in actually selling the odd HPR item, rather than having to rely on 'schools and hot weather'.

UK rocketry can't be bought. Not with exclusive dealerships, not with private launch sites.... and certainly not with continuous public posting of negativity, accusations and technically innacurate, badly researched propaganda.

UKRA came about through blood sweat and tears... you will never know what individuals gave personally to bring HPR into the UK and to get our activities insured all those years ago.... because you weren't there, and it seems you're not interested in anything beyond your own bottom line. If you have an issue with UKRA, it's RSO's, it's rules, it's activities, or it's members..... then either act like a grown-up and discuss it with them.... or p*ss off and play in your own sand pit rather than trying to throw cat-poo into ours.


IMHO



Ben


JI2 M D
 

arthur dent

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
928
Reaction score
0
Why would any body want to launch a rocket into cloud anyway,you would'nt be able to see anything:confused:
 

nialloswald

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2004
Messages
563
Reaction score
0
Originally posted by arthur dent
Why would any body want to launch a rocket into cloud anyway,you would'nt be able to see anything:confused:
If you're going for an altitude record, its not such an issue. Also, have you seen Chris E's uber-cool onboard video where the rocket passes just through the edge of the clouds, and you can see them from above. That's a very good reason if you ask me!
 

arthur dent

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
928
Reaction score
0
If i was going for an altitude record i would want perfect conditions and i would still want to watch it as far as i could.
 

nialloswald

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2004
Messages
563
Reaction score
0
Originally posted by arthur dent
If i was going for an altitude record i would want perfect conditions and i would still want to watch it as far as i could.
True, but launch days are somewhat few and far between, as are suitable launch sites. When Damian Hall's rocket shredded, it was visible (I've got the photos to prove it!). Pete Williams' Shock Value was visible as far as you'll ever see a 4ft 54mm rocket going 16500ft straight up.

I don't disagree that in an ideal world, you'd want to launch in perfect conditions. However, you might wait a lifetime and never get those conditions (short of going out to Black Rock).

If someone was really keen on setting a new I-class altitude record (for example), I don't think they'd hold back from flying just because they couldn't see all of the flight. You can't take the record without flying the rocket after all :D

TRAXAs and Marshall's are your friend! I know i'd have never got my rocket back on Sunday without my TRAXA and Chris Eilbeck's tracking skills. No way, it was laying on the ground, no 'chute, in a huge field of corn.

Anyhow, I digress...
 

Mike 8-{>

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2004
Messages
128
Reaction score
0
200
We helped Blast Off for Britain fly over 200 rockets over last weekend at the Think Tank in Birmingham. Whew! A lot of kids got their first taste of rocketry.
Yes at 5 pounds a shot for a polystyrene chip cone, a dob of glue and a 13mm A motor that must have been a nice little earner. 1000quid for 260 quids worth of motors (retail price) and a couple of quids worth of chip cones.

Perhaps Paul would also like to tell us all more about his latest creation? The organisation or group called "OKRA" which apparently has a number "good launch sites" and was being actively promoted at the British Festival of Space by Pauls other buisness "Blast off for Britain". It is alleged that there were T-shirts for this new organisation being worn by BofB staff?

So Paul's rocketry related buisness interests now include

Deepsky Rocket Shop
AP Motor Factors
Blast off for Britain
Tripoli Rocketry UK Limited
OKRA

Have I missed any?

I completely fail to see how publicliy criticising the UK's main rocketry body with poorly researched accusations is going to win a rocketry vendor any friends at all. I really do not understand how Deepsky can see this as a sensible practice for a buisness trying to sell to UK rocketeers. There are much more discreet ways to raise safety concerns than to broadcast ill informed accusations via a public forum.

Mike 8-{>
 

Richard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2009
Messages
78
Reaction score
0
Originally posted by Mike 8-{>
1000quid for 260 quids worth of motors (retail price) and a couple of quids worth of chip cones.

Don't forget that businesses have overheads!

I am so funny that sometimes it hurts :D
 

nialloswald

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2004
Messages
563
Reaction score
0
Originally posted by Mike 8-{>
Perhaps Paul would also like to tell us all more about his latest creation? The organisation or group called "OKRA" which apparently has a number "good launch sites" and was being actively promoted at the British Festival of Space by Pauls other buisness "Blast off for Britain". It is alleged that there were T-shirts for this new organisation being worn by BofB staff?
If 'OKRA' isn't deliberately misleading, I don't know what is...

I, along with many others I'm sure, would love to know about the wonderful launch sites Tripoli UK Limited/OKRA have, as we all know launch site limitations can be an issue over here.
 

arthur dent

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
928
Reaction score
0
Originally posted by nialloswald
True, but launch days are somewhat few and far between, as are suitable launch sites.

I don't disagree that in an ideal world, you'd want to launch in perfect conditions. However, you might wait a lifetime and never get those conditions (short of going out to Black Rock).


I hate to brag:D but ive got this 10mins from my doorstep.several square miles of bone dry sand,the north wests answer to black rock.:D
 

cydermaster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
2,617
Reaction score
0
Anybody know what OKRA stands for? :confused: I've thought of a few, but they're unprintable. ;)
 

Ursa_Major

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2004
Messages
133
Reaction score
0
Well, okra is a vegetable ( sound familiar? ) - also called Lady's Finger, which I assume is Paul's attempt at humour given that he's forever giving UKRA, BMFA, TRAUK, UK fliers, and other vendors the figurative finger... I do see the extremely close commonality between OKRA and UKRA.. Wonder if the next club will be Bring My Family Along? ;-)

I wonder what other evidence of Paul doing what could be seen as passing off with intent to mislead will be unearthed or made public in the next few days?

He's running an awful lot of rocketry clubs for his family & Andy, isn't he? Must be a big decision for them - do they fly as Bo4B, OKRA, Tripoli English Midlands, or Tripoli Rocketry UK Ltd today? Perhaps the enormity of choice is why we rarely see them flying at UK launches, apart from the recent flight on that spontaneously igniting pro38 at the BK launch? :)
 

North Star

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2009
Messages
403
Reaction score
0
I must be missing something with this 'OKRA' thing .. the only reference I've seen is clearly a typo as the text mentions the hybrid seminar set up next to their camp at OKRA's june meeting - well I was at that seminar (and very informative and practical it was too) and I could have sworn I was at UKRA 2005.

Are some of us getting a bit too wound up over this?

(on the other hand it could be the 'men in black' ploy - create conspiracy theories to hide the real goings on) ---- hells bells now I'm at it :eek:
 

Mike 8-{>

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2004
Messages
128
Reaction score
0
Originally posted by North Star
I must be missing something with this 'OKRA' thing .. the only reference I've seen is clearly a typo as the text mentions the hybrid seminar set up next to their camp at OKRA's june meeting - well I was at that seminar (and very informative and practical it was too) and I could have sworn I was at UKRA 2005.

Are some of us getting a bit too wound up over this?

(on the other hand it could be the 'men in black' ploy - create conspiracy theories to hide the real goings on) ---- hells bells now I'm at it :eek:

It is quite possible that I have the wrong end of the stick. Which is why I invited Paul to provide more info. However this isnt about the web site or UKRA it was at the British Festival of Space this last weekend at the Think Tank in Birmingham. It might be that I have been misinformed, although I have no reason to distrust the veracity of the information provided to me. In which case I will gladly apologise for any confusion I have caused. A good friend and fellow rocketeer was there on unrelated buisness and saw / heard what I mentioned earlier.
 
Top