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Well-Known Member
Jan 19, 2009
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Welcome. Everyone was a beginner at some time. Some of us were beginners many decades ago, but we remember how fantastic it was to get useful information from other people. Here is a lot of that info. Here are links to many, many online resources that you should review if you are a beginner. The more you read, the faster you will move your way along beyond beginner status.

You may still have questions after you have searched these resources. Feel free to post them, but do not be surprised if the answer is a simple link to the answer on the web. This is a preferred practice to retyping or cut & pasting the entire contents of other (often copyrighted) materials. ENJOY!

Estes Educator website – free publications page. Read "The Classic Collection&" and "The Model Rocket Technical Manual":

Quest Aerospace website – remember that it will "time out" after you visit since it assumes you are shopping. Simply launch a new browser window or close your existing window and then relaunch to get back in if you have access problems. Visit the "Resource Central" page and then visit all the pages listed there:

Tons of info on the non-profit NAR (National Association of Rocketry) website. You will want to look over ALL of the sections and the dozens of documents full of info:

NAR launch calendar and list of local NAR clubs:

How to report a motor failure:

See attached document for an explanation of how standard black powder model rocket motors can fail.

Apogee Rockets including education info and their "Hibachi Effect" explanation (click your way though the many, many links and sub-pages):

Aerotech resource library including motor information and delay modification instructions:

Websites with old catalogs, books, reports and instructions sheets and plans of old Model Rockets:

What are the limits that define a Model Rocket vs. a High Power Rocket?:
UPDATED WITH 2009 FAA regulation changes that simply eliminate the entire "Large Model Rocket&"/"LMR"; categlry as it is now part of "Model Rocket&" and no notification is required for "Model Rockets".

Why is the term "cato" used for motor failures?:

Centuri Design Manual:


  • CatoExplanation.pdf
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Shred... You rock. Sticky it is.

To all helpers and newbies... This thread is meant as a repository for info to help folks in need of beginner guidance. Please refrain from posting questions in this sticky thread. Start another thread for specific questions and discussions.

To all helpers... Feel free to post links, anecdotes, historical info, the TRF 1.0 database (oops, sorry. Still working that one!) here as a leg up to our new generation of model rocketeers.

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I put this website online in late December when "The Rocketry Forum" was down.
If you haven't been by yet, the address is:
See Below -

It was written for beginners and those getting back into the hobby. I tried to touch on the points most instructions don't quite cover. And there are two pages of budget rocketry, something I'm practicing now with the economy where it is.

Hope it helps!
Hans "Chris" Michielssen
Old/New NAR # 19086 SR

December 2011 -
This site was donated to the NAR and is located is now located:
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Thanks everyone for the contributions. I'm going to set up an Intro FAQ sticky and link back to this thread. :)
I updated the Estes links in the top message to reflect the new 2010 home of the publications. THANK YOU ESTES for updating the website and re-posting these valuable resources!!!!
I thank you everyone for their valid contributions, and it is very helpful for a beginner. And its a great work done by you all...
hey ; am a new member in here ! am a bigginer and i almost don't know anything about rocketry !! i don't know where to start from ! there's a huge amount of information and am kind of lost !! can u please help me ! i want to build my first mini rocket ! i used to make water rocket but want somthing to fly higher !! in my country we don't have rocketry shops so i can't buy pre-made models like the those of estes so everything should be homemade ... am stuck !! plz help !!
Great post, thanks for sharing some information and resources, really helps.
Glad to join here, well I am a martin brown a towing truck driver at Queens NY Blocked Driveway Towing, I hope I will get new information from here.
All the Estes need updating.
All the Quest send you to the home page.
Just doing my part to help TRF.
Updated this slightly. Need to save it on a current website somewhere....


  • cato_origin.pdf
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Here is the UPDATED Aerotech "Motor Matrix" ( Motor Data Sheet ), for 2020.

This time, I attached a PDF file, rather than relying on the LINK to remain functional.

This is BOTH the 2018 and 2020 documents, ALONG WITH a "very useful" LINK for AEROTECH.

Dave F.


  • AeroTech Master Motor Matrix 7-3-18 Sheet1.pdf
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  • AeroTech Master Motor Matrix 6-29-20.pdf
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