By Mike Crewe, NSRG #6, Assistant Scout Leader 5th Bradford South
It all started when we were planning our Spring / Early Summer Programme. The Scouts wanted to do a proficiency badge. We had 'done rockets' a couple of years ago, but not with these lads, and they had heard about it and were interested. A decision was made. One meeting to cover a bit of theory and design some rockets, a couple of meetings to build them, and a final one to go out flying.
There is no specific 'Rocketry Badge' in UK Scouting, so we decided to take the
Modeler's Badge, and use the 'any similar project' rule to modify the requirements.
Initially, each rocket was designed on paper, than I took the designs home and ran
each one through Rocksim to check the designs stability. Some minor modifications in
airframe length were then agreed upon to tweak stability into the acceptable region.
The rockets were constructed from various parts scavenged from some Quest kits acquired from the "Great Beatties Sell Off". Standard (white glue) construction was used, and each rocket was swing tested before flight.
So there we were, Monday June 11th, 6:30pm.
When we got there, the wind had picked up quite a bit, so the first thing to be done was to get rid of the 'chutes and replace them with some streamers.
From left to right we have Daniel, Binyameen, Mick (the Scout Leader), and Shazard, busy fitting the streamers. On the extreme right, Anne (Mick's wife, and Cub leader) looks on and offers helpful advice (as always) :-)
The plan now was to go through the 'Blast Off' pack, with everyone launching at least one of each motor type (starting with the A8).
Firstly, I showed everyone how to prep and load, using my 'Queasy Payloader'
(built from the same parts supply), and then went through the launch procedure.
The first Scout up to launch was Daniel, with his 'Firestorm 3000'
Mike's 'Queasy Payloader' on the pad
Daniel loads his rocket onto the pad
The third flight of the evening came from Shazard
After discovering how high up in the tree it was, we decided to leave it up there!
Shazard loads up
The rocket's up in the tree
Now it was time for Binyameen to launch his rocket. Once again, we had a nice clean flight
For the final flight in the 'A' class launches, Mick launched his rocket for another good flight, which was recovered about halfway to the tree-line.
Binyameen 'helps' Mick load the engine
So far, so good. We had five flights, all successful. It looks like the Scouts have got their badges!
Now it was time to move up a power level, and break out the B6's.
Daniel was first to go again. This time not so successfully.
Shazard's rocket was still up in tree, so I let him prep and launch my rocket. As expected, it was another perfect flight
Binyameen flew next, for a very high flight. Unfortunately this drifted a lot, and was seen to be descending behind the tree line
Once again, Mick provided the last flight in this engine class. It looked like this was going to be another 'tree recovery', but it came down just short of the trees in long grass
Daniel preps again
Mick wires up the ignitor
As time was now getting on, and we had rockets to search for, it was decided that we would call it a day. I packed up the launch gear, while the rest went out searching
Mick's rocket was found, Binyameen's wasn't, and Daniel climbed the tree to get Shazard's back
Mick and Anne sped off into the sunset for a Wedding Aniversary celebration (theirs), and I took the lads back home to base
On the way back, there were various comments such as: