This blog was drafted back in April after I’d bought a home rocket kit from Model Rockets. Due to the COVIC-19 pandemic, it had been sat in my office (prepped and ready to launch) until last weekend! In the meantime, SpaceX launched a manned rocket into space which certainly reinvigorated my interest in space, and hopefully a whole new generation of wannabe astronauts.
I can’t remember exactly what triggered the purchase, but it was almost certainly something my daughter had seen online. It might have been the Glasgow Science Centre videos we watched every day during the lockdown while she was being schooled from home, or it could have been some other nonsense on Youtube!
Whatever it was coincided nicely with the SpaceX preparations for their manned launch to the International Space Station and with some extra disposable income due to lockdown. I’d always quite fancied buying one of the small home rocket kits, so didn’t need too much persuading. The kit I went for was the Eridanus Ready to Fly which included everything I needed, and I added some extra motors too.
As restrictions eased around the lockdown we did consider a launch, but eventually decided it would be inappropriate and was therefore shelved. We’d taken a camping trip with some friends that I blogged about here, although due to a lack of space in the car hadn’t been able to fit in the rocket or my drone (which I’d blogged about here).
We arranged another camping trip last weekend to Montrose, and the rocket and drone had been mentioned again so we found space this time, although did manage to forget to take pillows!
I’d never visited Montrose in Angus before, but we’d gone as one of our camping friends was born there so had some good local knowledge. The campsite was great, and our pitch was super easy to setup with the car parked right next to the tent and a power outlet for the mini-cooler. We’d forgotten to take anything to charge the other electrical devices we’d taken, which won’t happen again, but it was a good weekend with some great weather for the end of September in Scotland.
The campsite was right next to the beach and also a large open space which used to be a pitch and putt course next to the main golf course, but hadn’t been maintained for some time so was now just a large open space. Perfect for flying drones and launching rockets!
I was a little nervous about the rocket having never launched one before, but I needn’t have been. After setting up the launch pad, inserting the motor and connecting to the trigger both rockets launched with 100% success. I’d seen quite a few videos of countdowns when the rocket failed to fire, but both of ours launched and returned perfectly.
The first one was using an A6-4 motor which came with the kit and was rated to 45 meters. It was still pretty spectacular and landed within about 20-30 meters of the launch pad. I repacked the parachute and fitted a C6-7 motor for the second launch, which you can see on the video below. I’m pretty sure it went up as far as stated 360 meters, if not higher. We’ll never know as it was lost for a few seconds in the clouds!
It landed some distance away, but other than a few strings disconnected from the parachute was in good shape. I’d not prepped any more motors, so we had a little play around with the drone before heading off for lunch.
The rocket kit came with 6 x A6-4 motors and I’d bought a pack of 6 additional C6-7 motors, so I’m looking forward to some more rocketing in the future. I’ll try and post some more video the next time I do…