Rocket building and flying is a popular activity for schools, scouts, and children’s organizations such as 4-H. Lessons learned from rocket building include how to plan, start and finish a project, organization of tools and parts, model building skills, and how to use tools. Rocketry can also introduce kids to the exciting world of space technology. Rockets are also lots of fun, which is the main reason for building and flying them. A good first rocket for individuals or groups is the Gnome from Estes. It is an E2X kit which needs no painting or complex gluing. It is available in economical bulk packs for group building.
A minimum of tools are needed for rocket building and include:
Plastic Cement - model glue
The first step in building the rocket is to lay all the parts out on the work surface in front of you, identify them from the plans and make sure they are all there. Using the plan as a guide, organize the parts in the order in which you will be using them.
Glue the nose cone assembly together
Mark body tube for fins using a door frame as a guide
Install the fin unit on the body tube - use the line you drew in the last step to properly align the unit
Install engine hook.
The Gnome uses a streamer recovery system to slow down it’s descent
The shock cord/streamer is installed in the next step - cord glued inside the body tube - the shock cord is an elastic cord
The streamer is taped to the shock cord
Streamer is rolled up and pushed into body tube - install nose cone.
Decal the rocket - its ready to fly!
The Gnome takes about an hour to build and will fly to 200 feet. It can be launched from a baseball field with a 1/2A3-4T engine. Launch using instruction from an earlier column.
After building this one, you are ready to build and fly many other of the many kinds of rockets available in the hobby shop. An earlier column outlined many of these exciting and colorful rockets.
Back To History of the Rocket © 2012 Hobby Hobnob
Basic information about various hobby and craft topics.