7 thoughts on “Confessions Of A Rocket Boy”

  1. When I read this story earlier this morning I was hoping you’d pin this story to your blog.

    Fond memories of blue skies, rocket trails, orange parachutes and elementary kids on the playground hundreds of yards away yelling and jumping up and down and pointing to the sky.

  2. Fond memories as well. In summer camp, we had an extensive rocket program One of the councilors built the Estes Saturn 5 kit. Even with a D engine, it climbed rather slowly, adding to the realism. Alas, the parachute failed to deploy and it became a lawn dart.
    Later on, my friends and I resurrected the defunct rocket club in high school and uncovered an old collection of kits, parts, and motors, a wind tunnel built from a furnace blower and a 5 station launch pad. Lots of fun on Parents day, including a 2 stage D rocket where the first stage exploded on ignition, throwing the rocket about 10 feet in the air. At the peak of its arc, the 2nd stage lit, sending the rocket screaming horizontally down range over the woods at the far side of the ballpark, about 30 ft up, never to be seen again. We found out that the older engines had “dried out” and developed cracks that made them “unreliable”. This reinforced our safety procedures more than any amount of lecturing would have. The crowd loved it!

  3. Lots’
    of fond memories building and flying Estes Rockets. My ultimate design was a 3 stage Titan III with a 3 engine first stage.

    I also wanted to build a finless rocket but the tech and my knowledge wasn’t up to the task back then. Not so today.

    Eventually lost interest because you can only fly a rocket and retrieve it so many times without some sort of purpose. Model Rocketry fell into the same category, for me, as chemistry sets: no function for the capability.

    1. Back in the day it was possible to ‘fake’ a fin-less rocket using transparent plastic fins. I never got around to building my Trident missile model, but in those days (70’s ahem) that was the avenue available.

      1. Yeah I know but I couldn’t take the plastic “fin-less” method. Even though I had one of those small Saturn 5 versions that used them. I wanted true engine gimbaling.

        I really liked the Titan II back then and wanted a fin-less version.

  4. I still have most of my teenage rockets in the closet of the second bedroom. Was an instructor to younger kids for the rocketry club in my last years of high school.

    Got out of flying model rockets because once Dad stopped buying motors, I found that I didn’t like setting my *own* hard-earned money on fire. 😉

  5. I think I still have a few of my Estes rockets in a box in a garage, and some motors too. I only gave up the hobby because the desert lot which served as test range for my father and I was being turned into ranch houses.

    I had not thought about that in years. Those memories are good ones.

Comments are closed.