Your Story ?

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by bobby_hamill, Nov 10, 2018.

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  1. Nov 10, 2018 #1

    bobby_hamill

    bobby_hamill

    bobby_hamill

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    Let us know

    What is your story .... Let us know what or who got you interested in rocketry ?

    Give some recognition to the person who gave you the rocket bug :D
     
  2. Nov 10, 2018 #2

    lakeroadster

    lakeroadster

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    Neat idea for a thread Bobby!

    I guess I'd have to say JFK got me into rocketry. I was born in 1961 and being a mechanically inclined fella inundated with space related propaganda by the government and media.... it stuck!

    I saw an Estes advertisement, sent in a request for a free catalog (with help from my mother) and then saved my allowance money to buy an Alpha and a launch pad.

    I've been a steely eyed model rocket fella ever since.
     
  3. Nov 10, 2018 #3

    Zeus-cat

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    I was born a poor black child... (that's a movie reference for those to young to know)

    My best friend and I started launching rockets in high school. I have no idea which one of us started it.
     
  4. Nov 10, 2018 #4

    RocketFeller

    RocketFeller

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    I launched rockets as a kid with my friends - I was quite the pyromaniac and rockets shoot out fire....

    After a decade or so of no rockets I noticed a Bullpup 12D hanging in a mall toy store. I bought it for old-times’ sake (I was maybe twenty six at this point) and took it to the school here I worked as an assistant.

    One of the kids took a real interest in the rocket. This kid had never taken an interest in anything up to that point. Our special ed teacher asked if I thought that we could start some sort of after school rocket club. Our first year we had six or seven kids.

    Not long after starting the club I discovered midpower Rocketry after ordering a few NCR kits from Belleville. There was this new (to me, at least) thing called the “internet” that people were starting to use at the time, and by exploring its virtual backroads I stumbled upon a company called Binder Design that sold even bigger rockets!

    As it turns out, Mike Fisher had recently bought the company and moved it to Salem, not far from where I live. Meeting Mike was definitely a pivotal moment in my Rocketry career - from there things have gotten pretty out of hand. If you hang out with Mike Fisher long enough ridiculous stuff starts to happen....

    IMG_1902.jpg
     
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  5. Nov 10, 2018 #5

    rocketace

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    For me, it was the Aurora Project! I was in High School when the Rocket Challenge came out on the Discovery Channel. I launched some Estes rockets when I was younger, but these rockets at LDRS were incredible. When they showed the Aurora Project I was hooked. Because of that my obsession (I mean passion) for rockery began and it also pushed me to get my Aerospace Engineering degree! On a second note, the rockets the Gates Brothers built have also always completely fascinated me.

    http://www.potrocs.org/pics/aurora/index.html
     
  6. Nov 10, 2018 #6

    Banzai88

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    In 1977 (I was 7) my mom worked in a ceramics shop, and the owner's husband had an RC/Rocket shop inside the same warehouse. I was gifted lots of rockets and motors, and flew regularly through the late 80s.

    In 2015 I retired from active duty, and my son wanted for us to do something together, so we bought a rocket kit from a local hobby store. I hooked up with the local rocket club, SEVRA, and launched a lot of LP stuff. Watching the L1, L2, and L3 birds was like watching the Space Shuttle going up for the first time all over again for me, each time one went up!

    I bought a Leviathan and BAR'd my L1 shortly thereafter.

    Since then, my wallet has been destroyed (but not nearly to the extent that 15 years of regional/national level RC car competition did)!

    Since coming here, I've done a shear pin/plate tutorial as a way to give back some from what I've learned here, and posted a lot of pictures!

    Working on my L2 project now, then going to move into airstarts!
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
  7. Nov 10, 2018 #7

    cwbullet

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    I launched rockets with my Dad on our farm in WV at 44 years ago. I fell in love and launched them all the way to middle school when footballs and girls took over.

    In 2007, I return to rocketry after my return from Iraq. I wanted a hobby that my family good do together and it just happened. The community took my family in and it has become a regular part of the South Carolina launches.
     
  8. Nov 10, 2018 #8

    DM1975

    DM1975

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    My mom bought me an aviation project kit from Radio Shack and it came with plans and parts to make a rocket. After I launched it I bought an Estes bullpup and built it. I grew up in the boonies and it was an hour drive to anyone that sold motors and we were kinda poor so I only launched it a handful of times.

    After I was injured I decided I needed a hobby and was going to just build models but I saw a rocket at the store, an Estes Guardian, so I built it and started in the hobby again. That was back in 2006/2007. No one really got me interested in it, I just came to it myself.
     
  9. Nov 10, 2018 #9

    boatgeek

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    For me, it was cake. My older child had just started high school and was eating lunch alone in the hallway, not having many friends yet. A member of the school's rocketry club stuck their head out and said "Hey, we have birthday cake in here. Come join us!" After a couple of years of not much involvement, I became the parent mentor. In the meantime, the Estes Wizard bug bit me, followed immediately by a scratch build for my L1. Haven't looked back since. The older child is now studying aerospace engineering (emphasis on the space) and my younger child has an L1.
     
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  10. Nov 10, 2018 #10

    ThirstyBarbarian

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    My parents gave me an Estes launch set with launch pad, launch controller, and Alpha for Christmas in 1973 or 1974. The moon landings were pretty recent and interest in Space and rocketry were very high. We flew rockets as a family pretty consistently for several years.

    During the middle school years, my interest was pretty sporadic, but I never completely gave it up, and I do remember flying a few times with friends after we were old enough to drive. During my college years I was busy with other things, but some time after college a local shop was clearancing all their rocket items, and I bought another launch set and started up again temporarily.

    After that, I dropped out for about 20 years, except every few years, I’d have a nephew or a friend’s kid get to an age when I thought he’d enjoy rockets, and I’d get them started and launch a few times with them. Launching at the local schoolyard felt like something I should be doing with a kid, so if they lost interest, I dropped the hobby.

    The last time I had a nephew around the right age was 5 or 6 years ago, and while I was helping him build a kit, I had a few questions, and found my answers here on TRF. That’s when I found out about “Big Boy Rockets” and the huge range of kits and motors that you don’t see in hobby shops. Up until that point, my biggest rocket was a 3x18mm cluster, and I’d never flown a D motor. I joined a club, started going to organized launches, got into MPR, got my L1, and now I’m L2. This period of being a BAR has been my longest sustained interest in rocketry.
     
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  11. Nov 10, 2018 #11

    Huxter

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    I got interested in rockets when my dad and older brother flew rockets - 3 clustered even. Somewhere around 1968. I got hand-me-down rockets (read broken), but enjoyed them anyway! My imagination was heightened flying these rockets thru the house!

    For me, it was lunch on a spring day in 2004. While making a sandwich, I heard, from the bowery/field next door, the familiar WWHHHOOOOOSSSHHhhhhhhh…. I knew immediately, exactly what it is, and go tearing outside to see (I think) an Alpha coming done. It was my neighbor and his son working on a merit badge.

    I too, originally lost interest when I got my drivers license (out cruizin da 'vard.)
    I too, love fire (too much!?)

    >> I was born a poor black child...
    Comedic genius! (From his stand-up)
    "I'd like to thank each and every one of you. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, ….."

    That's also how the end users start w their problems, when calling tech support :eek:
     
  12. Nov 10, 2018 #12

    dhbarr

    dhbarr

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    I was studying VLD bullet shapes, particularly nose cones and tail drag. Then I watched some drag race videos and started lurking around here.
     
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  13. Nov 10, 2018 #13

    blackjack2564

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    1958 I watched Sputnik fly over our town with my grandfather...he had a shortwave radio & as it went by, we listened to "beeps" from space!
    [Since then I watched EVERY launch on TV leading up to the moon walk.shortly after there was no more TV coverage of space related stuff]

    Years later [1964-66?] there was an article & add for buying Estes rockets in Popular Science or Popular Mechanics [not sure which] I mail ordered for an Alpha [.85?] and tube of 3 motors .99 I still have that Alpha &my first rockets....... found years later [2000] in parents attic.
    Decided to give some to my young nephew figuring he would play with them.
    Shortly after...he asks me if they really fly..yes I answer. Then a trip to hobby shop where I see they now make much LARGER rockets......so here I am.lol

    100_2276_2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
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  14. Nov 10, 2018 #14

    bobby_hamill

    bobby_hamill

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    I love hearing about the good old days and rocketry ,

    I even read where they were using mercury tilt switches to do
    2nd stage ignition so I place a mercury switch battery and a igniter
    in a nose cone of an Estes rocket just to see if it would work.

    Keep the history of the good old days coming :)
     
  15. Nov 10, 2018 #15

    BDB

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    I started in the 80’s when an older kid in my bus route brought an Estes Space Shuttle for show and tell.

    My first kit was the Challenger II starter set. After that I bought dozens of rockets and launched them on our family farm.

    30 years later, I got back I tot he hobby to give my kids something to do that didn’t involve a screen. But I quickly realized that this wasn’t just for the kids. I keep building bigger and bigger rockets with no end in sight! 70871496-3D4C-4295-8031-05647017C8E1.jpeg
     

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  16. Nov 10, 2018 #16

    BDB

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    It’s a good thing I only know Mike through TRF. Otherwise I’d probably be building a bigger garage.
     
  17. Nov 11, 2018 #17

    MattJL

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    I'm still on the journey, so my story probably isn't all that exciting yet.

    I liked space a lot as a kid. Really wanted to be an astronaut growing up, so I got into a really good university, worked hard... and wound up getting into geology. Turns out that math just isn't my thing, and that's important when it comes to stuff like engineering. I also just fell for the field, and think studying it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Still have a little more than a year left as an undergrad, and then I have to figure out whether or not I'm going down the academic road or into the professional world.

    In the meantime, I haven't really given up on doing things with rockets, so I wormed my way into the high-powered rocketry team and made some great friendships along the way. I'm currently trying to figure out whether or not I should do my L1 through the university or by myself, but I've helped cut fin slots and paint some body tubes on some much larger birds. Up to this point, the largest motor I've ever flown was a D12-3 on a little scratchbuilt egg launcher (I lost both eggs that I flew... should have taped the hatch shut) - but that was 6 or 7 years ago.

    Can't wait to see where this hobby takes me. Just wish I had a little more time than I currently do to get a head start on my certs.
     
  18. Nov 11, 2018 #18

    muddymooose

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    I got into rocketry around 1988 when I was about 11. Nothing in particular inspired me to take it up, it was just an ad for an Estes starter kit in some comic book. I thought it looked cool to try and I had a little cash to blow so I gave it a whirl. I knew nothing about it at first but learned quickly. I spent the next 5-6 years building and launching over a dozen eclectic Estes models on my parents' farm.

    Around the same time I was reading science and astronomy magazines, and at the time had a real love affair with space exploration. I spent a great deal of time listening to my mom's audio recordings of the Apollo missions.

    I had an uncle who was into rockets, and although we'd yack about it when we saw each other we only launched together once. His stories of TRA high-power launches really made me starry-eyed.

    By the time we did a launch for 7th grade science class I felt like a pro. Everyone was building and launching an Estes Yankee or Alpha and I built and launched a space shuttle glider. The glider wowed everyone and for a moment I felt like a rock star.

    The last rocket I built as a kid circa 1993 was an Estes Maxi-Force that took a cluster of 3 D motors. It came with a page-long disclaimer about getting an FAA waiver and at the time it was kind of overwhelming. By then I had discovered cars and girls, and I quickly lost interest in rockets.

    I spent the next 23 years working, going to school, dating, marrying, starting a business, etc. and hardly had time to give rockets another thought.

    That all changed a couple of years ago when I finally found myself with a newfound wealth of money and free time. I went back to Lego to entertain my mind. Before long I found myself building their Saturn V rocket, and in the middle of it I had an epiphany: "Holy **** why am I not building actual rockets?!"

    I jumped back into Estes with their Pro-Series Ascender, Mammoth, and Nike Smoke. I bought Estes E and F BP motors from Hobby Lobby with great excitement. I dug out my old 7.2V/14.4V Command Control launcher and launch pad and was thrilled that it all still worked. The 23-year hiatus felt like nothing and I was right back into the thick of it like I had never left.

    Before long (and largely thanks to TRF) I learned the old restrictions on MPR were now gone and there was now a clear and reasonable path to HPR. I finally launched my Estes Maxi-Force on 3 D motors and it went perfectly. That was the big bridge from my teenage interest to my new adult interest. I joined NAR and TRA to show my appreciation for the liberalization of the laws and my commitment to their further advocation.

    A month later I eagerly moved on to a PML Ariel and Endeavor. Then a LOC Performance Warlock. HPR L1 and L2 came and went within a year. It was an exhilarating time. I ate up knowledge about reloadable motors, DD, staging, clustering, materials like FG, CF, and canvas phenolic, and newfangled awesome gadgets like the JL Altimeter3 and JLCR.

    Then I started making mistakes and smashing hundreds of dollars of things into the dirt. These setbacks were costly but invaluable lessons.

    So now I've spent the last few months building a range of 54mm-4" rockets with 29mm-54mm mounts in an effort to build my experience in the L1-L2 range before proceeding. Getting from LPR to L2 in the last two years has seemed trivial, but getting from L2 to L3 seems like a huge jump. I'll probably spend at least a few years here building my knowledge and experience before even attempting L3.
     
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  19. Nov 11, 2018 #19

    Fattbank64

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    Sherman, set the WEBAC Machine to 1974(?) I joined a rocketry club that the science teacher was sponsoring in middle school. I'm almost certain my first rocket was an Estes Alpha III. I would launch rockets at the parade grounds because my dad was in the military. I bought rockets with money earned from cutting lawns and shoveling show. I wanted either a Cineroc or Camroc model but it was beyond a kid's budget. My highest flier was a Centuri Arrow 300 only flown once because I didn't want to lose it. I lost an Estes Goblin that landed in a nearby pond. I remember building a Cherokee D flown on a C motor because Estes had just released their D series motors.
     
  20. Nov 11, 2018 #20

    SteveThatcher

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    Born in the 50s, I grew up in the 60s in Washington state where a pyrotechnics license was required by an adult to be able to buy Estes motors. My Dad was a blue collar worker and had very little understanding about what motivated me. I poured through every Estes catalog I could find and looked at all the rockets and never bought one. Couldn't buy the motors... I pursued rocketry using fireworks... the pinwheel tubes made great sky rockets. I would even tape a firecracker on the end of the tube. Can't say it was soft recovery... Even the CO2 cartridge I taped to an arrow worked great. Don't know how high it flew, but it landed in the corner of a roof on a house... the house owner was actually very understanding... Somewhere in the same time frame, Vashon Industries came out with their gas propellant rocket using chemicals we don't allow anymore. I flew it a few times and I could never get the chute to come out like it was supposed to. I didn't have any help or mentors, etc. Speed forward to 1990, a co-worker named Bill Maness introduced me to Aerotech and mid power power rockets. That was the day of the copperhead igniter. I really disliked never knowing if it was going to launch or not, so I designed a launch controller called Veri-Fire that measured the igniter resistance and would let you know if the igniter was shorted, open, or okay. That product was sold by Impulse Aerospace at LDRS in 1991 where I did my L1 cert flight. I have been flying rockets every since for the most part. I am an electrical engineer by trade and have used those skills and my Dad's blue collar abilities to pretty much design and make anything. Now I spend my time between launches designing and printing 3d parts for my company.
     
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  21. Nov 11, 2018 #21

    tomsteve

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    it was a dark and stormy night.......:eek::)

    started back in the 70's and would say it was my brother. got back into estes stuff in the early 90's- saw some kits at a local store and had some memories.
    THEN
    went to an rc plane show and there was a tent off to the side with some BIG rockets in it. a couple guys with michigan team-1 and going to do a demo flight or 2. told me about commonwealth displays down in taylor.
    its all their fault!!!

    BUT
    its not a dark and stormy night any more.:)
     
  22. Nov 11, 2018 #22

    kuririn

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    Sometime in the late 60's, my friend in middle school gave me a Centuri catalog and said to let him know if I wanted to order anything. Wound up ordering three kits and a launch system. Three of us combined our orders to save on postage. Short while later discovered the Estes catalog. We would take bus trips down to the local shopping mall to pick up engines from a hobby shop. Numerous launches from the local school fields. Fast forward to about four years ago and I became a BAR. Now building the rockets I couldn't afford as a kid. Making new memories.
     
  23. Nov 12, 2018 #23

    jlabrasca

    jlabrasca

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    It predates the movie. It was part of the routine recorded for the Lets Get Small LP (LP's were long-playing recorded music discs for those of you who are too old to be retro-hip and too young to remember phonographs. People who were not themselves very funny purchased recorded comedy routines to play at parties).

    No clear idea anymore if rocketry was my entirely idea or if there was a parent or sibling involved in the decision, but I picked an Estes WAC Corporal off the wall in the Two Guys hobby department sometime in 1973-75. Stopped building rockets in 1979, I guess, just before high school. Built one rocket in grad school (something that I know wasn't an Alpha, but which had about the same specs and form-factor) when I TA'd an honors physics lab where the students built and launched rockets -- about 1989, maybe. Made the BAR conversion in 2016 when my kid built a couple of rockets at a camp through the local science museum, and the camp counselor pointed us at the monthly OROC low power launches as a place to fly them. I sharply reduced my participation in the hobby through 2020-21 -- flying less frequently and building fewer rockets -- as my kid's interest waned and my own imagination turned to more complicated and challenging rocketry projects. By 2023 I was only attending one or two high power launches in a season. Then, of course, the extraordinary events of 2026; which affected me in exactly the same that they affected everybody else involved in the hobby.
     
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  24. Nov 12, 2018 #24

    jadebox

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    Most people around my age started with rocketry because of their interest in the space program. For me, it was the other way around. The space race was just a part of my world. I really didn't pay much attention to it. Then, in the sixth grade, we built rockets as a class project. The rockets were integrated into all of the subjects that we studied for a few weeks, English, history, math, and, of course, science.

    I was hooked on rocketry. It inspired me to learn more advanced physics and math on my own. When we started studying Calculus in school, it made sense because I had already been using integration to get the total impulse of a motor and derivatives to calculate acceleration.

    And, my interest in space exploration grew. Though I have some memories of manned missions going back to Apollo 11, the Apollo Soyuz Test Project is the first one that I recall following with great interest. Somewhere I have an 8mm movie that I filmed by pointing the camera at the TV during a telecast of the mission.

    I recall being excited that my Estes Space Shuttle flew before the real thing (though the real thing usually flew much better).

    I don't recall the name of my sixth-grade science teacher who spearheaded the use of rockets as part of our curriculum. But, I have vivid memories of the Estes catalog that he gave me. :)
     
  25. Nov 12, 2018 #25

    krislhull

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    I got interested in model rocketry as a kid, around 8 years old or so, when I discovered a copy of Stine's Handbook at the local library. I must have checked that book out many times over the course of the next year or so, because I remember my mom rolling her eyes at me every time she saw me bringing it to the check out counter! When I was 9, we took a trip to Florida, and knowing that we would be near Kennedy Space Center, my mom bought for me the National Geographic film For All Mankind, about the Apollo program. For me, that was what clinched the deal. In Florida, we spent a day at KSC, saw a shuttle launch, as well as a Atlas II and a Delta II launch, and I remember being in awe of everything. That was summer 1992. When we got back home to Washington State, I started reading everything I could on spaceflight, and as a result, also started reading books on aviation. In the spring of 1993, my mom told my sister and I we were moving to Florida that fall, and we would be living on Merritt Island, home to the Space Center! Following another summer trip to Florida that summer, and witness a couple more launches, my mom finally relented and let me buy a model rocket. I was 10 years old when in August of 1993, she had my oldest sister's husband (who was a middle school science teacher) take me to a hobby shop and help me pick out a rocket and everything I would need to fly it. Over the course of that weekend, he helped me build my first rocket, an Estes Thunderhawk (Kit No 2002). I flew it maybe four times with him before it was time to pack up our house and move to Florida in late September 1993. Once In Florida, I continued to build estes kits for the next two years or so, building a fleet of maybe 10 rockets, before I gradually lost interest in the hobby.

    My passion for space flight and aviation never went away, though. I won a scholarship to Space Camp in 1995, and still read every book I could find on the subject, as well as on aircraft. Fast forward to 1998, and my mom bought me a Christmas gift of an introductory flight lesson when I was 15. When I was 16, I started actively flying once I had a job, and flew at least two or three hours a month, slowly building my time. When I was 17, I got a job working at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Center. By chance, my first month on the job was the 20th anniversary of STS-1, and the day of the official NASA ceremony, I was one of the employees asked to work the event. I happened to be answering questions about one of the exhibits for an attendee when the director of the tour guides happened to overhear me. She pulled me aside and offered me a job working for her on the spot. All of the reading and research I had done for years paid off: I was the youngest tour guide on staff at the time, and the only one without an education degree, any work experience in the aerospace industry, or a college student studying a related field, which was a requirement for the job at the time. Then came September 11, and I lost my job due to the center being closed for security reasons, and as a result, couldn't afford to fly and finish my pilot's license. That when I remembered that at the Patrick AFB airshow that spring, the local NAR section did a display of high power rockets, and even flew a couple. I was hooked. I got back into rocketry, and bought a PML Tomahawk. I flew it on an failed L1 attempt in August 2002 at the Spacecoast Rocketry Association (I think that was their name!), and failed when the rocket drifted beyond a canal, and I couldnt recover it. Shortly after, I moved back to Washington State, and joined the local club, WAC, and certified L1 for the first time in Orting, WA in April 2003 on a BSD Sprint. I then built a PML Blank Brant X for a L2 attempt, and failed miserably when a coupler failed (I didnt use enough epoxy) on the flight. Being a poor college student, and with the BATFE issues at the time, I got out of the hobby for the next 13 years, but stayed on our local email lists, commenting on various threads once in a blue moon.

    In November 2016, after a rough year personally, I decided that I was in a place where I could afford to get back at it, and purchased a Binder Excel, and a few mid power rockets. I started back flying at the local FAR101 launches locally last year, and then recerted L1 at Fire in the Sky in May 2017. Since then, I certed L2 a year ago, and have flown many great flights, culminating with many firsts a couple of months ago, when I flew my first 54mm motor, my first K motor, and broke a mile for the first time. Its been an interesting journey, and a very fun one! Sights are now set on L3 in the near future!

    Oh, and that interest in aviation? its still there! I never did go back and get my pilot's license, but I did go to school and got my FAA Airframe and Powerplant mechanic's license. I now work for a living as a quality inspector with Boeing. And that interest in reading all I can get on the topic? I have a vast library of books on aviation and spaceflight in my home office, and I am a freelance aviation historian specializing in the aerospace industry of the former Soviet Union and CIS states.
     
  26. Nov 12, 2018 #26

    jjwb22101

    jjwb22101

    jjwb22101

    Flying on a student budget

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    When I was 6 I built an Estes Wizard as part of a summer camp (still have it, sans 2 fins, lying around somewhere), and I haven't really looked back. Built a bunch of LPR stuff as a little kid (occasionally with my dad helping - there were a lot of very crooked fins at that point), but didn't really know about NAR or TRA or any of the bigger launches. When I got to middle school, I saw this poster (or maybe heard an announcement? I don't remember) that they had a rocketry club there. I of course joined at the very next meeting, and was introduced to TARC. Through that I went to the local NAR section's launches, where I met a bunch of really experienced fliers, and asked a LOT of questions (quite frankly I'm astounded they've put up with me for this long). After my first two years flying TARC rockets, I went for my Jr. L1 high power cert. I continued in TARC through high school, and picked up the Battle of the Rockets competition, and got my L2 cert a couple months after graduating from HS. Balancing rocketry with college has been an interesting task, especially since we don't have much of a rocketry club here at RPI (about the only thing I can say about it is that it exists, and we did decently in Battle of the Rockets last year), so I haven't gotten to nearly as many launches as I'd like (also there's not any nearby fields for me, which is disappointing), but I'm still working on some oddball projects and my L3.
     
  27. Nov 12, 2018 #27

    Bat-mite

    Bat-mite

    Bat-mite

    Rocketeer in MD

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    Watched my neighbors launch rockets in the wheat field behind our houses. Only saw them do it once, but that one time stuck. My parents wouldn't let me do it, or do it with me, so I put it in the back of my mind to do when I turned 18. ;)

    Well, it actually waited till I was 46 and had two kids! We went to GFSC's gift shop and bought a starter set. Started launching frequently, and then found out about the NAR and joined a section. Soon learned about HPR and certification, and as my rockets were getting bigger and bigger, that was the next step.

    Joined MDRA and got level 1 on March 15, 2014. Level 2 on June 21, 2014. Level 3 on March 12, 2016. During that stretch, I joined TRA, attended URRF 2, and visited BARC.
     
  28. Nov 12, 2018 #28

    Huxter

    Huxter

    Huxter

    Well-Known Member

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    >> Then, of course, the extraordinary events of 2026

    I think it was for the best. I will miss the old days tho!
     
  29. Nov 12, 2018 #29

    Bat-mite

    Bat-mite

    Bat-mite

    Rocketeer in MD

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    Really, this is what did it for me.

    upload_2018-11-12_11-37-22.jpeg
     
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  30. Nov 12, 2018 #30

    Nytrunner

    Nytrunner

    Nytrunner

    Master of Rivets

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    I was a talented and hardworking but aimless student through most of childhood until jr year of highschool. I'd been playing basketball (6' by the time I was 12, capped at 200cm :cool:), volleyball (till they made the league girls only...), doing student council stuff, and probably would just apply myself to go towards medical school for lack of a better passion. But that Jr year, I read a report by another student about an aerospace scholars program at Johnson Space Center (JSC). It sounded really cool, I applied, got accepted, and completed the program (btw, one of the challenges was a rocket launch, but I wasn't on that team). Although I learned I was too tall to go to space, for the first time I had a roadmap towards a career to something that I found absolutely thrilling: spacecraft, propulsion, and the related technologies.

    Come graduation, I enrolled as a Mech. engineer student because that was most interesting and had good variety of career options/prospects. Sophomore year (several years ago), I interned here in Rocket City (foreshadowing....) at Marshall SFC working to improve and develop the US Space and Rocket Center's Robotics Camp material/activities. In order to learn the mindset of the kids, we did temporary duty as Crew Trainers (the blue suit crew). While there......we built and launched space camp rockets (the Space Eagle, not the dinky ones they use now) so we could better help the kids with the activity later. This clearly resonated with me more than the rest of the intern group. After that experience, I bought my first kit (SAM the estes Patriot, now signed by Vern Estes at NARAM 60) and would fly it when I could, where I could, not knowing anything about clubs or organized rocketry. I was a broke college student working a u-grad research asst. job, so I only bought a new kit every year or so (including BroncBuster, my first Leviathan that taught me not to launch Green and Orange rockets on windy days near citrus orchards that are also Green and Orange). Jr/Sr year, I took Sr design early and focus on more internships. I return to Huntsville interning with my current employer for a few months, then spent an amazing several months at a certain private launch company where I learned the importance of work-life balance.

    Returning for my last semester with job offer secured, I only have 3 classes and an audit elective. With more spare time than I'd ever had in college, I begin learning the rubik's cube. Then I see a sign for a club called Rocket Launchers and zoom in to find out what's going on. They had started while I was off interning, and were entered to compete in IREC (no aero program at school, and no club or mentors within striking distance). Cue crash course in HPR, dual deployment, OpenRocket, and composite construction. Myself and the club VP build L1 rockets, but can't get to a club to certify that semester. Since I have a job offer already, I'm able to curb some outlandish attention-getting design ideas and keep things simple as a learning year. I graduate with my Bachelors, we compete in Green River UT (dino avatar pic!) and hit 10.7k' on a 10k target coming in 7th overall. That made my motor history to that point Bs, Cs, Bs, Cs, D12, D12, G80, G80, M1297!

    The rest is recent history. I move back to Rocket City no longer a broke college student (though I still live like it), get involved with the local club, get certified on the L1 I built as a student, and any rocket progress since then has pretty much been documented here.

    I'm sorry, I must have missed that section in pre-history class. Care to fill us in?
     
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