For more than 25 years, Jeff David Weiss has held important positions in sales and marketing, recently at NAVEX Global in Charlotte, NC. Giving back to his community of Charlotte, NC, Jeff Weiss teaches model rocketry as a means of enhancing the mathematical skills of students.
Successful launches require a rocket, an engine, and a launch pad and controller. The complexity of the launch kit should be geared to the age and dexterity of the user. Younger children, who have less fine motor control than older ones, should start with rockets that require no assembly. This is also a good idea for novices.
Older children and adults generally have more skills. Introduce them to more complex assembly-required kits. An important part of construction involves attaching the fins. It is vital to have the fins installed correctly, since this enables the rocket to fly vertically and safely.
Selecting a rocket motor is straightforward – the instructions for any model specify the proper types. Motors are rated A, B, or C, with C motors lifting the rocket the highest. Remember that high flight has its risks – increased altitude brings with it a chance of the rocket being lost.
Launch pads are essential for safety. They feature vertical rods which help keep the trajectory of the rocket straight up. The pad’s supports should be wide enough for the rocket to stay upright in a breeze during launch.
Initiating the launch itself is the controller, which sends an electrical charge to the rocket’s igniter. It is designed to operate at a safe distance from the pad, and is far superior to using a fuse or wick.