More Days to Launch

We have just been approved for field use for launching model rockets at the WyEast Middle School and there are a couple of days where we can also launch at the Westside School ( to support rocket build and Hood River Hobbies)

The dates are the following:

August 2016

August 7th (Football Field)   9 am to 12 pm WyEast (Permit #1607-0003)

August 27th (Middle Soccer Field) 9 am to 12 pm WyEast (Permit #1607-0003)

September 2016

September 10th (Middle Soccer Field) 9 am to 12 pm WyEast (Permit #1607-0003)

Sat September 17th, 10:30-12:00 Introduction to Rocketry and build a rocket at Hood River Hobbies.  1pm Launch at Westside School

September 25th (Football Field) 9 am to 12 pm WyEast (Permit #1607-0003)

October 2016

October 1st (Middle Soccer Field) 9 am to 12 pm Hood River Hobbies participants at 10 am WyEast (Permit #1607-0003)

October 23rd (Football Field) 9am to 12 pm Hood River Hobbies participants at 10 am WyEast (Permit #1607-0003)

November 2016

November 5th (Football Field) 9 am to 12 pm Hood River Hobbies participants at 10 am WyEast (Permit #1607-0003)

Saturday Nov 19th – 11am Introduction to rocketry and build a rocket at Hood River Hobbies

Thursday Nov 24th- Thanksgiving rocket launch Westside School 10am

November 27th (Football Field) 9 am to 12 pm WyEast (Permit #1607-0003)

December 2016

December 3rd (Football Field) 9 am to 12 pm WyEast (Permit #1607-0003)

December  18th (Football Field) 9 am to 12 pm WyEast (Permit #1607-0003)

Saturday Dec 31 New Years Eve rocket building class at Hood River Hobbies 10:30am New Year’s Eve rocket launch at Westside School 1pm




  • Construct the rocket using adequate levels of craftsmanship and materials;
  • Perform calculations and/or simulations to assure performance for the given flight configuration to assure proper CP (Center Of Pressure) to CG (Center of Gravity) relationship for the given flight configuration. This is only necessary for scratch-built rockets or modified kits;
  • Have the CP and CG marked on the rocket (not necessary for unmodified kits);
  • Properly select, assemble and install the motor;
  • Test any electronics used in the recovery system;
  • Ground test the recovery system – perform live ejection charge tests for the given flight configuration and any time the rocket configuration is changed;
  • Fill out a launch card;
  • Present himself/herself and the rocket to be flown at the RSO table when ready to fly;
  • Execute the RSO’s preflight procedure – SEE/REF RSO CHECKLIST;
  • Be prepared to answer any questions the RSO may have about the rocket at the preflight safety check;
  • Fill out the launch log;
  • Confirm the pad and personnel positions are correct in relation to the projected flight path;
  • In coordination with and approval from the LCO proceed to pad and ready rocket to fly;
  • Confirm launch rod/rail alignment is correct for conditions;
  • Arm and confirm flight electronics after rocket is upright on rail;
  • Install igniter after electronics armed and rocket on rail (not required for most model rockets);
  • Arm pad launch circuit;
  • Upon approval from the LCO, proceed to launch the rocket;
  • Perform range and sky checks at T-Minus 30 seconds;
  • Perform final range and sky check at T-Minus 10 seconds;
  • Arm launch controller at T-Minus 10 seconds;
  • Begin Countdown at T–Minus 5 seconds;
  • Start ignition at T– Minus 1 second;


At the RSO table;

  • Physically inspect the rocket for construction integrity
  • Assure CG and CP are marked on the rocket
  • Inspect the recovery system; shock cord, hardware, and parachute
  • Ask the rocketeer about the motor;  proper selection, proper loading/construction process
  • Perform CG check
  • Ask any questions the RSO deems prudent
  • Check the rocketeer’s launch card and fill out appropriate parts
  • Ascertain the rocketeer understands launch process and range  safety procedures
  • Assure launch pad alignment is safe for given wind conditions and personnel location
  • Communicate a GO/NO GO to the Launch Controller
  • In coordination with the LCO, assign a launch pad


  • Alert all personnel that a launch is imminent
  • Assure recovery personnel are at standby Perform a sky check
  • Perform a range clear check
  • Work with rocketeer to perform the launch


  • Act as safety monitors – safety is EVERYBODYs business – call “KNOCK IT OFF” if you see a safety issue
  • Assist in tracking the rocket upon launch
  • Follow the directions of the RSO and LCO



Open Rocket Software background information

A free program for designing your own rocket is called Open Rocket.

Here is a good link that talks about the program:

Open Rocket Information

software source:

Supporting documentation:

Rocket plans that can be viewed with Open Rocket of RocSim:

Rocket plans database:

RocSim plans database:

Rocket Camp at Sorosis Park was fun (June 14-16th 2016)

The three day class was very fun and educational.  Seventeen students were present on the first day of class.  The first hour covered safety.  Then the next two hours went over the beginning of building the Estes Viking rocket kit.  We first assembled the shock cord mount, and then attached the fins to the body tubes, launch lug and engine block.  At this point we stopped for the day.

On the second day, we continued with completing the building of everyone’s rocket kit.  We even set up an area where each participant could spray paint their rocket if they wanted to.  During the last hour of the second day’s class, I brought out the multiple launch control system and went over the launch procedures.  I addressed who the Range Safety Officer would be and what their responsibilities involved. Then I went over the Launch Control Officers duties.

On the third day (launch Day) the weather was just right.  We had a mild breeze of a 7 mile per hour wind coming from the west.  We were having a Spot landing contest and everyone did a great job.  The closest distance from the target was 73 feet.  Everyone was able to launch their rocket twice with an Estes A8-3 motor.  Two competitors had their rockets land in a tree.  They were given a new kit to build at home, since their rockets were not able to be retrieved.

I hope that we will have more classes offered similar to this one by the Parks and Recreation department again.

Today ended up nice minus a light breeze

Hood River Rocketry
See you at the next launch on March 5th 2016 at 10 a.m. !

Had a nice day at the west side elementary launching model rockets and boost gliders. A little breezy but still fun.I got to the site a little early to assess where best to launch and did have the quad launching system with a new battery so it would fully function. The first time I brought it out to the launch site the rechargeable battery was only generating maybe five volts and not the full 12 volts that is necessary.
It was just me and my son for the rocket launching. There were a few young children and families walking by that were spectators for a few of the rockets that were launched.
I launched three boost glider kits, one two stage rocket (that was under powered)and one old Quest classic kit. The best boost glider that performed well was the Estes Tercel that was launched on an Estes A3-4t 13 millimeter motor. The boost glider caught a nice thermal after liftoff and descended just before it was about to fly past the field and into the residential area.