If you want to build model rockets, you should know that this an incredibly fun and usually inexpensive hobby, which has two major components. The first is the assembly of the rocket, and the second is the launching of the craft. Both of these components can be a great deal of fun for your family, friends, and of course – you! Read on to learn how to get started in model rocket building.
1. What You Need To Build Your First Rocket
Back in the day, you had to build your own rockets from scratch. Fortunately, times have changed! These days you can buy all sorts of model rocket kids, depending on your skill level. All you need to get started are the following;
- A basic model rocket kit, which has everything in it that you need to build your first rocket
- Engines that you insert into the base of the model rocket
- Fireproof wadding
- A pad to launch from
Your model rocket kit will probably look something like this:
Many kits come with two or more rockets so that you can build several and use it with your launch pad. This is a very cost-effective way to get started in your new rocket hobby.
The engines look like this:
You only use each engine once, so you will need to buy a bunch of them; you normally buy them in 3-packs.
And here is what the wadding will look like:
Wadding will have the same consistency as heavy paper, but it is completely fireproof. You have to have wadding in your rocket to stop your rocket and parachute from going up in flames.
Your launch pad will look something like this:
This launch pad is the simple one that comes with a typical Estes rocket kit (one of the big brands). You will find that it is about 3 feet high. Your rocket will sit on a plate of metal, and when you launch it, it shoots up the rod of metal and into the air. Your rocket and launch pad will come with a controller so you can launch your rockets. You run the wire from your kit to the controller, just press the button and off the rocket will go. You’ll also need to have about 4 AA batteries to operate your controller.
2. Build Your Rocket
There are tons of different model rocket kits on the market today, depending on your age and skill level (and budget!). Generally speaking, there are two basic types: balsa wood/cardboard, and plastic. The balsa/cardboard ones take more work. The plastic rockets are usually made for beginners to assemble quickly. In either case, both types of rockets come with detailed instructions, so you should be able to assemble either without major incident. Usually, you should take maybe an hour or two to build your first model rocket.
3. Launch Your Rocket!
Now the real fun begins! First of all, you need to find a really safe field where you can launch your rocket. Model rocket company Estes recommends that you have a field with at least 500 feet in all directions, and there should be no dry grass/weeds that can catch on fire. You also want to have a clear field so you can easily recover your little rocket.
All you really need to do now is to put the igniter into the engine, and make sure the wires are secured on the igniter according to the directions. Then you put the engine into the rocket, and put the rocket on your pad. Stand back at least 50 feet, and press the button, and off your first model rocket will go!