#3.15 Open Rocket Overview with Neil Weinstock

The Model Rocket Show https://themodelrocketshow.com/3-15-open-rocket-overview/

You’ve found Episode 15 of the Model Rocket Show!  This time around, are talking to Neil Weinstock from  the Open Rocket project about this useful software tool.

Neil Weinstock is one of the developers working on open Rocket, which is free open source model, rocket and high power rocket design and simulation software. Many folks find that it’s also a great tool for designing paint schemes too!

We’ll dive into what it is, where you can get it, and about some exciting new updates. 

If you stick around til the end of the show, The N00b has a little something for you.


#13 Mike Nowak and James Duffy – FAI Competition Rocketry

The Model Rocket Show https://themodelrocketshow.com/13-2/

James Duffy, left, and Mike Nowak, right, at the opening ceremonies of the European Space Modeling Competition in Ukraine, 2015

Here’s an episode we recorded a while back, and since it’s been a hot topic recently due to virtual NARCON, we’re dropping it now.

We chat with Mike Nowak and James Duffy – two skilled rocket builders who’ve been competing on the American team in international rocketry competitions for years. FAI – the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale – is the world governing body for air sports, including model rocketry. The International Championships for Spacemodeling are frequently held in Europe, and until next year, have never been held in the United States.

That’s about to change, as the Internats will be held in the U.S. in 2023, giving Americans the opportunity to fly for the national team without the often challenging aspects of getting themselves – and their fragile model rockets – overseas.

We talk with Mike and James about what it takes to build good competition scale models, what competing in the internationals is like, and much more, on this episode of The Model Rocket Show.

In other news, the N00b has opened an Etsy shop of rocketry-related t-shirts and coffee mugs. You can find it by clicking here.

11: Frank Burke and His RC Rocket Gliders

The Model Rocket Show https://themodelrocketshow.com/11-frank-burke-and-his-rc-rocket-gliders/

Model Rocket Guy Jesse U (left) with our guest, Frank Burke

In this episode, Model Rocket Guy Jesse U of The Rocketry Show sits in for the N00b. Jesse talks with Frank Burke, maker of a number of amazing, large, radio controlled rocket gliders.

Frank uses AeroTech’s long burning composite motors to loft these models vertically, and then controls their long, gliding descent with the RC controller he’s holding.

As Frank discusses in the episode, it’s not as hard to get started with these rocket gliders as you might think, if you’re a traditional 3-fins and a nose cone kind of rocketeer. In fact, Frank can help, as he sells the kits for these fabulous birds at his website, Dyna Soar Rocketry (click here to visit the site).

On his site, Frank has most of what you need to get started, including the right motors, instructional videos, and a radio settings page.

To see the rockets discussed in the latter half of the episode, click on the link to Dyna Soar rocketry and view the pictures.

Thanks to Frank for joining us on The Model Rocket Show, and thanks to Jesse for stepping in for the N00b!

Randy Boadway – eRockets.biz and Semroc

The Model Rocket Show https://themodelrocketshow.com/randy-boadway-erockets-biz-and-semroc/

Our guest this week is our esteemed sponsor – Randy Boadway, owner of eRockets.biz and producer of Semroc kits and parts.

We have a great conversation, lots of fun, and Randy even tells me what the “best wood glue in the world” is!

Randy has one of the best jobs in the world – owner of the world’s largest supplier or model rocket kits and parts. Here’s a picture from his office, featuring the Semroc Mars Lander.

As a member of the Wright Stuff Rocketeers, Randy hosts build nights once a month at eRockets. And during the time of pandemic, lots of people have been able to join via Zoom, making tours more accessible, even to people who live far away.

Thanks, Randy!

Chris Michielssen – Model Rocket Building!

The Model Rocket Show https://themodelrocketshow.com/chris-michielssen-model-rocket-building/

Our guest, Chris Michielssen’s fantastic blog

I found Chris Michielssen’s blog, Model Rocket Building (which you can visit by CLICKING HERE) shortly after I got started in this hobby back in 2014, and in it I found a wealth of knowledge. Chris is a real craftsman. His blog lays out builds, usually from start to finish, and is full of tips and advice to get good looking builds. Just by visiting Model Rocket Building on a daily basis, my own builds quickly went from rough, beginner’s models to much more polished looking, because I was able to easily adopt some of his building techniques.

If you haven’t checked it out, you really ought to be reading Chris’ blog. Especially if you’re building a more challenging model – say, a Saturn V or Little Joe kit – Chris has probably already tackled it, and has hints for good building as well as traps to look out for.

In addition, Chris has his own line of model rockets, unique kits called “Odd’l Rockets,” featuring flying pigs, little green aliens, and some pretty cool looking fighter jet style kits, as well as some useful accessories and motor mount upgrades (thicker tubes for longer lasting and sturdier rockets). The website is HERE, and if you’d like to order some kits or accessories, you can do so at our show sponsor, eRockets.biz, by clicking HERE.

I first met Chris in person at NARCON 2019, which feels like ages ago, with all that’s gone on since then. He was such a great guy to talk to, and I’m thrilled he joined me on the podcast.

Detail of Chris’ Dr. Zooch Mercury Redstone – a very challenging build

By the way, if you’re wondering what happened to Field Notes 2020, Part 2… Well, there was just too much recorded material. Editing was taking far too long. This was supposed to be two nice little episodes for last Christmas and New Years, and here we are nearly halfway through 2021. The project was more ambitious for the time I had to devote to it.

But there are some nice little moments in there, I think, so look for bits of field recordings as Easter eggs at the end of future episodes.

The top two pictures are from Chris’ blog, and used with permission.

# 8: Field Notes 2020: Part 1

The Model Rocket Show https://themodelrocketshow.com/8-field-notes-2020-part-1/

2020 was a tough year. Rocketry really helped some of us get through it.

I took a recorder along to almost every launch I went to, and the result is this 2-part series, Field Notes 2020.

Because of the uncertainty, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to fly at all this past year. The NAR prohibited organized club launches for a while, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eventually, I made it out to some casual, 2-3 person launches. And then the clubs were able to fly again.

Despite the difficulties, I might have had more actual flights this year. At club launches, I spend a lot of time chatting with people, and don’t always fly as much as I mean to.  Informal launches are where I fly much more frequently in fewer hours’ time.

I introduced Little N00b to flying this year. He seemed to enjoy it, for a bit, until the excitement became a little too much for him. Two A-motor flights to start the year – it was better than nothing.

I finished a few new builds early in the summer, and they looked quite nice. I get nervous flying a model rocket when it turns out too nice, but they’re made to fly, so I eventually make myself do it (when the wind isn’t too bad!).

I flew my first Semroc models, the Cherokee D and Bandit, two “Retro-Repro” kits from earlier Estes designs.

When the club got back together, I wasn’t sure if I was more excited about the rocketry, or just seeing other people again! I took along my new camera and tried to capture some launch photos. I didn’t really get the hang of this at first, and it would be later in the season when I would get my first decent liftoff shots.

But I did get plenty of what I call “rocket boudoir photos,” rockets on the ground with the chutes out after a safe recovery.

I spent a lot of time after launches taking pictures. I didn’t always find the rocket I was looking for, but I got some nice shots of flowers and bees. And other peoples’ old, lost rockets.

It turned out to be a rather nice summer with mostly good weather. I hope you enjoy the episode.

Season 2 Episode 1 Teaser: Field Notes 2020

The Model Rocket Show https://themodelrocketshow.com/season-2-episode-1-teaser-field-notes-2020/

The N00b has hours of audio to edit.

I took my recorder along to document (almost) every single launch I went to this  year. There weren’t as many formal launches as we had planned, obviously, but I still managed to fly quite a lot.

A big two-part episode is coming – Field Notes 2020. But since there’s so much audio to wade through, here’s a short episode of a few highlights you’ll hear in the full length episodes, a teaser episode.

Workshop! With The Rocketry Show Guys

The Model Rocket Show https://themodelrocketshow.com/workshop-with-the-rocketry-show-guys/

After a hiatus (you know, it’s 2020…), we’re back with The Model Rocket Show!

This episode is a classic “workshop” episode fans of The Rocketry Show have come to enjoy – and the N00b is joined by Jesse and Gheem from The Rocketry Show! CG is there, too, but just listening quietly in the background (you know how Gheem and the N00b can ramble on…)

In the first half of the show, we answer listener questions, including one from a Patreon patron which slipped through the N00b’s email for a while (sorry about that, Les!).

After our break, we get to talking shop with a fun, longwinded conversation which culminates in… MURDER!!!

…of the N00b’s Mercury Redstone escape tower.

A lot of rocketeers have been frustrated by a build over the decades, and sometimes smashing a piece which is getting your goat feels like the only solution…