The Accelerator is a modified version of an unknown Estes kit. Most of the parts were missing when I uncovered this kit, and the refurbishment effort is detailed in this blog. At 11.9 inches (30.2 cm) in height and 19mm in diameter, the Accelerator is small but powerful. It weighs in at 19.6 grams (0.69 oz) and takes A-C motors. The Accelerator carries no payload and has an 8-inch parachute. There have been 6 flights to date (5 success, 1 partial success, 0 failure). This rocket is listed as Missing In Action, and is no longer a member of the fleet.
The Apache I is my Level 2 high-power certification rocket. It was designed from the deep recesses of my imagination . Apache stands at 89 inches (2.26 m) in height and 4 inches in diameter. (The nosecone is 3.9 inches in diameter. Chew on that one for a while.) It is designed with a 54mm motor mount and has flown on J motors. The structural weight is estimated at 2112 grams (4.66 lbs). It utilizes an enormous orange-and-white-striped (think Apollo) 72-inch parachute and is designed to carry between 0 grams (0 lbs) and 907 grams (2.00 lbs) of payload to altitudes between 3200 feet (975 m) and 8800 feet (2682 m). To date, there have been 2 flight (1 success, 0 partial success, 1 failure). Apache was destroyed while cruising past Mach 1. Some pieces were recovered, but it is no longer part of the fleet.
The Grim Reefer
Originally built as a boosted dart for researching dart rocketry, it was re-purposed to a single stage rocket after recovery on the dart failed to activate, destroying the dart stage. The booster supported a 54mm motor mount and came down on its own recovery. The un-powered upper dart stage drag separated and traveled to a higher altitude before coming down on its own recovery. To date there have been 2 flights (0 success, 1 partial success, 1 failure). The program has been retired.
Harold’s Purple Crayon
Harold’s Purple Crayon takes its name from a 1950’s children’s book by Crockett Johnson. Built as part of a club contest and featured on Instructables, this rocket was a fun attempt to convert a crayon-shaped bank into a formidable flying rocket. It used a 38mm motor mount and had a nosecone bay for avionics mounting. Unfortunately, its parachute discovered the top branch of a tree after its maiden flight, an otherwise great flight. To date, there has been 1 flight (0 success, 1 partial success, 0 failure). It is currently on leave from the fleet while taking an extended vacation in the tree tops.
Unlike my high-power version, this rocket actually has the same paint scheme as the U.S. Army Patriot missile. There have been 5 flights to date (5 success, 0 partial success, 0 failure).
Patriot IThe Patriot I is my first high-power rocket. It is modeled off the U.S. Patriot missile, scaled to have a 3-inch diameter. Standing at 56 inches (1.42 m) in height, the Patriot I is formidable in stature. It is designed with a 38mm motor mount and flies on H motors. The structural weight is estimated at 843 grams (1.87 lbs). This rocket was used for my Level 1 certification flight. It utilizes a 42-inch parachute and is designed to carry between 235 grams (0.52 lbs) and 730 grams (1.61 lbs) of payload to altitudes between 1500 feet (457 m) and 2000 feet (610 m). To date, there have been 6 flights (5 success, 1 partial success, 0 failure).
The Payloader One, by Quest, is a great kit, especially for beginners. At 16.5 inches (41.9 cm) tall and 32 grams (1.12 oz) unloaded, this rocket delivers solid performance at each launch. The 18mm motor mount is standard as far as low-power rockets go, as is the 12-inch parachute. To date, there have been 2 flights (2 success, 0 partial success, 0 failure).
Space Shuttle Discovery
Space Shuttle Discovery is a kit model (with stickers for every shuttle, but Discovery is my favorite) I got from Space Camp several years back. Discovery is heavy, though a weight is not currently available at the time of the most recent update. From nose to nozzle, Discovery is 12.1 inches (30.73 cm) long and has a wingspan of 9.2 inches (23.37 cm). The orbiter is all foam and employs a glider recovery (not tested). The cardboard motor tube (18mm motor mount) ejects from the orbiter and is recovered by an 18-inch parachute. There have been 2 flights to date (0 success, 1 partial success, 1 failure).
SpaceX Falcon 9
The SpaceX Falcon 9 is a kit model based off the same rocket built by the Hawthorne, CA, astronautics company. At 22.8 inches in height and 42mm wide, Falcon 9 is a formidable low-power kit. It weighs just 58.8 grams (3.22 oz) without motors and can support any motor of diameter 18mm (most A, B, and C, and Aerotech D). The Dragon capsule separates completely from the Falcon 9 and descends on a 12-inch parachute with a 3.5-inch spill hole. The main stage descends with a 12-inch parachute. There have been 3 flights to date (3 success, 0 partial success, 0 failure).
SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1
The SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 is a kit model based off the same rocket built by the Hawthorne, CA, astronautics company. This model is equipped with a 24mm motor mount to support D and E motors. There have been no flights to date (0 success, 0 partial success, 0 failure).
SpaceX Falcon Heavy (coming soon!)
The SpaceX Falcon Heavy consists of 3 modified cores from the Falcon 9 v1.1 kits. There have been no flights to date (0 success, 0 partial success, 0 failure).
“That won’t fly straight!” says everybody ever about the Acme Spitfire. Of course, they would be wrong. The Acme Spitfire kit from FlisKits is among the more the more interesting and durable rockets in my fleet. The Spitfire supports a 24mm motor mount. There have been 2 flights to date (2 success, 0 partial success, 0 failure).
When the President of Boeing Network and Space Systems jokingly issued a challenge to launch an iconic building of our alma mater, this project became a reality. Built of a questionably-reinforced cardboard box, this rocket had a 54mm motor mount with a 38mm adapter to support high power flight. It was clearly not built for water landings, as it disintegrated following landing in a lake after an otherwise great flight. To date there has been 1 flight (0 success, 1 partial success, 0 failure). Due to its lack of non-disintegrated airframe, it has been retired from the fleet.
Yuma is my attempt to build a rocket completely for free–using no purchased components. With parts scavenged from wrapping paper tubes and postal boxes, some might call this a Frankenrocket. It weighs in at 146 grams (5.15 oz), and its 29mm motor mount allows the flight of some pretty large motors. For scale, Yuma stand 25.25 inches (64.14 cm) in height and 2.082 inches (5.29 cm) in diameter. There has been 1 flight to date (1 success, 0 partial success, 0 failure).