Quantcast

NARTREK Program

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

Timdreamer

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
How many people have gone through the NAR program for NARTREK and what level did you ultimately achieve? What is your opinion of the difficulty of the different levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold? Has anyone gone past these to the optional achievements and why did you choose what program to master? Did you choose more than one option? I am just curious about this as I am just beginning to go through the option to do all three plus a fourth free and am building rocket kits specifically for this. I know my weakness is scale rockets and that will probably be my hardest part. :eek: I am thankful for RockSIM, as this has already helped me pick out the motors needed to do the Bronze level and will probably help with the Gold level as well.:pc:
 

mwtoelle

Flying since 1977
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Messages
721
Reaction score
5
Location
Middle Tennessee
You should be able to get all of the flights for the NARTREK Bronze in one launch If you are prepared. For the Silver, I only need to do my scale flight, but the hardest flight was the glider flight. Next hardest was the cluster flight. The payload flight was pretty easy. I haven't started on the Gold yet.
 

jeff2space

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2011
Messages
580
Reaction score
7
Location
Waterford, WI
I hope to complete the Bronze Level this summer.

You should be able to get all of the flights for the NARTREK Bronze in one launch If you are prepared.
How do you complete a parachute and streamer flight in one launch?
 

dhbarr

Amateur Professional
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
6,966
Reaction score
1,427
I hope to complete the Bronze Level this summer.

How do you complete a parachute and streamer flight in one launch?
Fly your bird on a streamer; retrieve it; swap in a chute; retrieve it; switch back to streamer; stage it.

That's from memory, so I could be mistaken.
 

jeff2space

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2011
Messages
580
Reaction score
7
Location
Waterford, WI
Fly your bird on a streamer; retrieve it; swap in a chute; retrieve it; switch back to streamer; stage it.

That's from memory, so I could be mistaken.
That's three launches, not one.

PS: Now I see, you mean one launch day.
 

Timdreamer

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
I have built the Apogee Blue Streak and Avion for the streamer and parachute duration and my next step will be painting them and installing the recovery systems. For the 24 mm requirement my choice was the NeMSAR and the two stage rocket the SkyMetra. The NeMSAR suffered a construction accident where two of the body tubes got bent so I ordered spare tubes and couplers; instead of being only 43 inches long it is now going to be 51 or so (SuperROC??)

The SkyMetra will double as my payloader in the Silver level, the purchase of a Jolly Logic Altimeter Gen2 that will fit into the payload bay will fulfill that requirement. The three motor rocket SkyBender will make a good rocket for the cluster rocket. I have never built a Chinese rocket before so the Sky kit of the Long March 3 would fit the bill for the scale kit both literally and figuratively... LoL. I got a Stratus Gale kit for the RG part, although I might make a more challenging and build a Cirrus Breeze and go 13 mm instead of 18 mm motor.
 
Last edited:

Micromeister

Micro Craftman/ClusterNut
TRF Lifetime Supporter
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
15,074
Reaction score
47
Location
Washington DC
The NARTREK program is a great introduction to NAR competition flying, it's also a fun way to learn some new skills one might not have considered before.

Bronze level can be flown at a single launch with just three models. I did my PD & SD with an Alpha model (wood fin) my D model was a Goblin and the Staged model a Hercules 2-stage.
Silver level was more fun for me, I used a 3 motor cluster converted GEO-SAT HLV, a single stage Magnum for payload and an Edmonds EC-18 as my glider.

Gold level isn't that difficult even without Rocsim! As a matter of fact I think its a good idea to do the CP-CG and altitude prediction calculations long hand at least once:) If you can find a copy of Estes or Centuri Techicnal manuals TIR-30 Stability, TIR-33 Calculating Mod-Roc CP and TR-10 or TIR-100 Altitude prediction Charts it makes these often complicated looking procedures far less intimidating. I've found it actually fun to do these calculation long hand to check them against Rocsim and other programs. Remember Rocsim altitude calculations are generally about 10% higher then real world achieved altitude. this is totally due to the correctness of the data we entered, the old CICO rule is really true:)

I've also done several of the advanced level projects just for fun: Ground Support, Static Display, Super Scale, Plastic Model Conversion (PMC), RCBG/RG, and Competition. While these are somewhat targeted each has their own special interest. My favorites are PMC, Super Scale and Ground support. Building your own launch equipment is always a PLUS.
I believe there are a couple others but don't recall what they were.

The program gives goals to work toward without breaking the bank on every project:) Have fun and keep em flying and learning while we go.
 
Last edited:

mwtoelle

Flying since 1977
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Messages
721
Reaction score
5
Location
Middle Tennessee
That's three launches, not one.

PS: Now I see, you mean one launch day.
You finally figured it out, one launch event. Just remember, you need to fly any duration flight in NARTREK with a B or smaller motor.

Rockets I used for the NARTREK Bronze:

SD flight: Apogee Blue Streak (2" x 24" crepe paper streamer) with an Apogee B2-5 on 26 Sep 98.
PD flight: Estes Alpha III (18" Estes parachute) with an Apogee B2-5 on 26 Sep 98..
D or larger: LOC Vulcanite with a North Coast by Estes F62-6 on 24 Oct 98.
Multistage flight: Estes Warp II with Estes B6-0 to Estes B4-6 on 24 Oct 98.

NARTREK Silver:

Cluster flight: Estes Ranger (K-6) clone (converted from a Big Bertha kit) with 3x Estes A8-3s on 26 Mar 00.
Glider flight: MRC Thermal Hawk with an Estes B4-2 on 9 Jul 05.
Payload flight: Estes Omega (K-52P) clone with a custom payload section carrying a Missileworks RRC2 Classic altimeter on an Estes D12-5 on 18 Jun 11. Reached 588'.
Scale Flight: Intend to fly an Aerotech IQSY Tomahawk with an Aerotech F32-6.
 
Last edited:

Timdreamer

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Rockets I used for the NARTREK Bronze:

SD flight: Apogee Blue Streak (2" x 24" crepe paper streamer) with an Apogee A2-5.
Looks like I need to look into the Apogee 18mm motors, when I was running sims of the Blue Streak I had to use an Estes B6-4 to get a 30 second duration.

NARTREK Silver:

Cluster flight: Estes Ranger (K-6) clone (converted from a Big Bertha kit) with 3x Estes A8-3s.
So that is what that rocket is called... an Estes Ranger!! Long ago I scratch built a Big Bertha using the parts pack from Estes but put three 18mm motor mounts in it with a homemade bulkplate I cut out of cardstock. I used three C6-7's but only got two to ignite. Flew straight as an arrow and upon recovery found that only the two engines had fired. I was somewhat proud of my accomplishment that I had gotten it to launch after all.
 

mwtoelle

Flying since 1977
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Messages
721
Reaction score
5
Location
Middle Tennessee
Looks like I need to look into the Apogee 18mm motors, when I was running sims of the Blue Streak I had to use an Estes B6-4 to get a 30 second duration.
I actually used the long OOP Apogee 10.5mm micro motors for the duration flights. I flew all of my NARTREK Bronze flight back in 1998 (duration flights) when Tim was still making those small motors. Remember that you can use a different parachute or streamer than the one that is supplied with the kit.



So that is what that rocket is called... an Estes Ranger!! Long ago I scratch built a Big Bertha using the parts pack from Estes but put three 18mm motor mounts in it with a homemade bulkplate I cut out of cardstock. I used three C6-7's but only got two to ignite. Flew straight as an arrow and upon recovery found that only the two engines had fired. I was somewhat proud of my accomplishment that I had gotten it to launch after all.
 

LW Bercini

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jun 15, 2011
Messages
2,578
Reaction score
88
Location
Macon GA
The NARTREK program is a great introduction to NAR competition flying, it's also a fun way to learn some new skills one might not have considered before.
I would agree that the program, as initially set up by GHS, leaned somewhat toward competition.

During my tenure at running the program, I tweaked it a bit in an effort to force participants to THINK about what they were doing. It needed to be more than building a kit and shoving a big motor in it. For example, that is why there is a maximum B impulse on the Streamer Duration goal: "What can I do to make this go higher? How can I make this lighter? How can I make the streamer more efficient?"

Most of the advanced levels were added during my administration. The intent was, to the limit of what was commercially available at the time, what were other things that could be done in addition to building kits? What skills do advanced rocketry hobbyists have?

And as you said, "Learn more new skills one might not have considered before"
 

Kruegon

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2014
Messages
1,885
Reaction score
4
Even though we are currently setting up for our L2 cert flights, my wife and I will be joining Nartrek this spring. If nothing else, we get the challenges. Too bad she wasn't a member two years back. She had a nearly 5 min parachute flight on her Argent. That would have knocked that one out lol.
 

mwtoelle

Flying since 1977
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Messages
721
Reaction score
5
Location
Middle Tennessee
Even though we are currently setting up for our L2 cert flights, my wife and I will be joining Nartrek this spring. If nothing else, we get the challenges. Too bad she wasn't a member two years back. She had a nearly 5 min parachute flight on her Argent. That would have knocked that one out lol.
Actually, all duration flights for NARTREK (Parachute Duration, Streamer Duration, and Glider Duration) must use a B motor or smaller. Personally, I believe that it is way too easy to meet the requirements on C or larger motors. The B motor requirement was added in the early 1980s to make it more challenging.
 

Timdreamer

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Actually, all duration flights for NARTREK (Parachute Duration, Streamer Duration, and Glider Duration) must use a B motor or smaller. Personally, I believe that it is way too easy to meet the requirements on C or larger motors. The B motor requirement was added in the early 1980s to make it more challenging.
And there lies a conundrum. I purchased a streamer kit that was just 3FNC and feels like one of the lightest model rockets I have ever built. Using RockSIM and the basic launch characteristics in the data file I had to use a B motor just to achieve a thirty second flight. I know this isn't a realistic flight and a lot is taken for granted, but for the average rocketeer on a constrained budget this is very likely to be a no-go as far as a learning tool. I was wanting to just use an A motor to achieve this and there was no way the simulation gave enough hang time. You are right that this pushes the NARTREK into more of a competition type setting. It would have to be minimum size BT, tube launchers and composite building materials to name a few techniques to excel at this. Hmmmm, food for thought.
 

dhbarr

Amateur Professional
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
6,966
Reaction score
1,427
Surveyor's tape makes a decent ultralight extremely long streamer, and it's about a buck a roll. Survival blanket ( mylar sheet ) does great as well. Doesn't have to be expensive to hang.

OR / RS can't simulate side-attach either, AFAIK.
 

Kruegon

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2014
Messages
1,885
Reaction score
4
Side attach?

Also, is there any requirement that limits it to a single, flat, straight streamer?

I recall an Estes kit I had that used a very long streamer that was tied around the shock cord so that 1/2 extended to each side. Basically, this created two streamers.

Also, I have been told that making the tip into a cone will increase its effectiveness.
 
Last edited:

LW Bercini

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jun 15, 2011
Messages
2,578
Reaction score
88
Location
Macon GA
Side attach?
attaching the shock cord externally (usually glued into the fin fillet) and then secured with tape at the CG. This allows the body to descend horizontally, thus increasing the drag.
 

dhbarr

Amateur Professional
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
6,966
Reaction score
1,427
attaching the shock cord externally (usually glued into the fin fillet) and then secured with tape at the CG. This allows the body to descend horizontally, thus increasing the drag.
Huh. That would have been easier than my pierce-a-hole, needle, thread, knot, glue. Today I learned.

Come to think of it, wouldn't you want it partway between CG & CP to make the fins do the most work? I guess that would depend on overall weight, streamer size, & fin size.
 

LW Bercini

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jun 15, 2011
Messages
2,578
Reaction score
88
Location
Macon GA
Huh. That would have been easier than my pierce-a-hole, needle, thread, knot, glue. Today I learned.

Come to think of it, wouldn't you want it partway between CG & CP to make the fins do the most work? I guess that would depend on overall weight, streamer size, & fin size.
The CG of just the body after burnout. That way the entire structure hangs horizontally, and there is not only fin drag but maximum drag on the body
 

dhbarr

Amateur Professional
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
6,966
Reaction score
1,427
But with this light of a rocket, assuming burnout CG becomes substantially ahead of CP, I'd expect the tail to lift a bit and the neck to drop, causing some forward motion.

Again, just speculating. Far from an expert on these matters.
 

Incongruent

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
1,735
Reaction score
5
Surveyor's tape makes a decent ultralight extremely long streamer, and it's about a buck a roll. Survival blanket ( mylar sheet ) does great as well. Doesn't have to be expensive to hang.
Crepe paper streamers work as well, for streamers and recovery wadding (it's treated to be flameproof, or it should be, unless the manufacturer was really intent on cutting costs... wonder who does that...)

Where did you get the $1 a roll figure?
 

Incongruent

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
1,735
Reaction score
5
Side attach?

Also, is there any requirement that limits it to a single, flat, straight streamer?

I recall an Estes kit I had that used a very long streamer that was tied around the shock cord so that 1/2 extended to each side. Basically, this created two streamers.

Also, I have been told that making the tip into a cone will increase its effectiveness.
I don't think so, at least in my interpretation of the rules.

A streamer is defined for this event as a piece of cloth, plastic film, or paper, whose shape is approximately rectangular. The streamer must have a length- to-width ratio of five to one (5:1) or greater and have a minimum area of 100 square centimeters. The streamer and model must be connected by only a single line or cord, attached at the narrow end of the streamer. The cord may not be connected to either the streamer or the model at more than one point (e.g., no yokes are permitted). The streamer may not be cut, slit, or otherwise altered in such a manner as to affect its nature as a simple connected plane.

Also, while attaching the streamer at the middle makes it theoretically more efficient, in practice, the ends get tangled.
(There was an Apogee newsletter about this, but I can't find it.)
 

LW Bercini

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jun 15, 2011
Messages
2,578
Reaction score
88
Location
Macon GA
But with this light of a rocket, assuming burnout CG becomes substantially ahead of CP, I'd expect the tail to lift a bit and the neck to drop, causing some forward motion.
But because the body will sway and rotate as the streamer whips around above it, in effect, there is no longer a concept of "forward"
 

LW Bercini

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jun 15, 2011
Messages
2,578
Reaction score
88
Location
Macon GA
I don't think so, at least in my interpretation of the rules.
It's been many years since I was in the program, so my memory may be flawed. But I don't believe the NARTREK program insists on the "Pink Book" definition of a streamer. Of course, that may have been changed in the interim...
 

Buzzard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
476
Reaction score
38
Location
Fort Worth, TX
LW Bercini commented: "I would agree that the program, as initially set up by GHS, leaned somewhat toward competition."

A correction: NARTREK was set up by then-NAR President Pat Miller as Pacific region test prior to launching it NAR wide. I was stationed in northern California and Pat
asked me to be the first NARTREK Chairman in the late '70s. I ran the program until I was reassigned to Michigan in 1979.
NARTREK was less of an introduction to competition than a skills program for rocketeers who did not have a section near them or were unable to travel to competitions. Sort of an effort to let them "compete" against a set goal and attain a level. Some of you may remember the Estes skill level program.
How ever you look at it, it has been an interesting program that will appeal to a small portion of the membership.

Chas
 

Incongruent

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
1,735
Reaction score
5
It's been many years since I was in the program, so my memory may be flawed. But I don't believe the NARTREK program insists on the "Pink Book" definition of a streamer. Of course, that may have been changed in the interim...
I checked the requirements and couldn't find it either. My bad.

This is what it says:

  1. Make a successful flight of at least 30 seconds duration with a model rocket you have built from an existing model rocket kit of your choice, using a streamer as the recovery device. Use a motor of no more than "B" total impulse. This model can be the same one used for the parachute duration requirement, with a streamer substituted for the parachute. Someone else must time the flight in the same manner as for the parachute duration flight. Time the flight from the moment the rocket begins to move until it lands again. Complete the requirement certification sheet. If your model is the same one use for the parachute duration requirement you do not have to take another picture of it. Simply note on the requirement certification sheet that it is the same model.

Edit: I just saw the last line of your signature... How relevant...
 
Last edited:

LW Bercini

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jun 15, 2011
Messages
2,578
Reaction score
88
Location
Macon GA
A correction: NARTREK was set up by then-NAR President Pat Miller as Pacific region test prior to launching it NAR wide.
Thanks Chas. Ok, maybe is should not have used the phrase "set up". But it was always my understanding that it was the brainchild of GHS. If that is incorrect, I apologize for the misinformation, and appreciate the correction.

You are completely correct about the intent of the program. The challenge in administering the program was making it both "doable" for the lone rocketeer while at the same time making it challenging enough to make the achievement meaningful.

On a personal level, I rail against the conception that this was a program for competitors. I preferred to see the program as a way to improve skills.
 

Micromeister

Micro Craftman/ClusterNut
TRF Lifetime Supporter
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
15,074
Reaction score
47
Location
Washington DC
Thanks Chas. Ok, maybe is should not have used the phrase "set up". But it was always my understanding that it was the brainchild of GHS. If that is incorrect, I apologize for the misinformation, and appreciate the correction.

You are completely correct about the intent of the program. The challenge in administering the program was making it both "doable" for the lone rocketeer while at the same time making it challenging enough to make the achievement meaningful.

On a personal level, I rail against the conception that this was a program for competitors. I preferred to see the program as a way to improve skills.
I agree with you LW on most of your observations!
In the mid 80's when I started heading our clubs NARTREK program. We knew the program was & still is intended to Improve the skill set of all individuals flying models rockets. It is also true that the skills involved and models required are taking from the NAR which has almost always been slanted toward competition flying. One cannot look at these requirements and NOT think of flying Section or Open Model Rocket contests.
Personally: I'm no longer a competition flying rocketeer, it's just too much work for so little reward to be Direct "Competition Ain't Fun". It is not that competition is bad in and of itself, it's the "Pink Book Lawyers" that have taken a somewhat pleasent happening changing it into an all out Cut-Throat competition war. I design, build and fly model rockets because I've always been a Space NUT and Like being able to actually fly some of my creations.
The NARTREK program is still a wonderful way for the novice or just beginning rocketeer to get his feet wet on subjects they might not want to try (ie - Gliders, Scale Modeling & Rocket Design). That said: The program completely misses Helicopter recover a very fasinating recovery type.

For all that are looking at entering NARTREK: Don't misread or Over interpret the requirements. Remember this is a program BY INTENT to help new rocketeer's experience new levels of building and Critical Thinking. The Pink Book is never mentioned.

A few more comments about crepe paper & other streamer materials: Crepe Paper is an outstanding material for the new Rocketeer. As previously mentioned a 2" roll of already flameproofed Crepe paper streamer material can be had from any party store for under $1.00 that will last a very long time.
The only drawback to crepe paper is it does wear-out, and should be changed when the pleats become flattened out. Until then 2" to 6" wide Crepe paper, 2"-10" wide Accordian Folded Tracing Vellum, 3/4" & 1.0" wide Surveyors Tape, 2.0" wide Caution Tape and 1/4"-10"wide- 1/2mil Silver Mylar (Not Space Blankets- 2mils way to thick) make outstanding streamers for just about any "Model Rocket". When we start getting into MPR and HPR other materials come into play, but these are NOT part or even looked at in the NARTREK program.

Again: Take all Nartrek instruction "requirements" at face value and enjoy the learning:)
 

dhbarr

Amateur Professional
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
6,966
Reaction score
1,427
Where did you get the $1 a roll figure?
Ace hardware up the road? May have been more incl. tax. The wider stuff on a longer roll was from Lowe's, closer to three bucks.
 
Top