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What are the costs associated with rocketry?

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What are the costs associated with rocketry?

Old 02-05-2008, 12:27 AM
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Default What are the costs associated with rocketry?

I am into every part of r/c and saw this forum. As a child I had a few rockets. Now as a dad I bought a few of them from walmart over the years and had a blast with the kids. I know my 11 year old would fall in love with these bigger ones. What and where do I buy this stuff from? I guess the other Q's would be answered from a link or place to buy from. Wondering how much it would cost to get started. Very interesting photo's so far. I love the size of some of those. I will do some digging myself but figured I would ask folks who buy it all the time.

Old 02-05-2008, 10:25 AM
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Default RE: What are the costs associated with rocketry?

I think cost is relative.. But I know what youre' saying..

From my experience the costs are:

Joining one of the clubs / organizations / groups. Tripoli memebership is required for the big stuff, and helps for the medium stuff, as well as club dues.

The kits can get expencive, but expect about $70 - $100 for your first 'simple' MPR / HPR rocket. I think I scored a few 29mm x 2.6" dia MPR birds for about the $50 mark. And the bits needed to complete the kit, epoxy typically, tools, and finishing supplies..

Binder Designs & PML & LOC / Precision seem to be the starting points. LOC / Precision being the more popular & easily found kits out there

Motors. For me, all my MPR stuff is Level 0 and 29mm (motors are defined also by their diamaters). So, I'm limited to a 'G'. A G80-7 Single Use will run me about $25, and somewhat less for the lesser sizes. Yes, that's $25 per push of the button.

Aerotech brand are typically the motors of choice, and are readily available.

There are also reuseable motor systems. Basically a kit of the reuseable parts: casing, nozzle end cap, etc.. And the expendable parts, fuel grains & depoyment charge need to be bought for each flight. The motors are then assembled & prepped for each flight. A higher initial cost at first, but the savings are in just buying propellant grains afterwards. One you get to 38mm & above, this is the only option..

Then, the lauch system. Most clubs have their own launch system: rods, rails, stands, and fancy / isolated launch equipment. And a power system capable of igniting the larger motor igniters.

I built my own. 6' x 1/4" rod in a PVC tube stand & a simple key & button box, and 50' of speaker wire. I use my RC starter battery for power.

Finally, electronics. The simplest is an altimeter which can run as little as about $50 - $75. But are not really needed for the lighter MPR stuff. The larger birds require one for safe recovery system deployment. Again, the costs increase with additional bells & whistles (outputs & triggers).

For me, my initial "1st MPR [29mm] kit & launch" cost was probalby about $150.
$70 for the rocket (LOC vulvcanite 76 with 29mm adapter)
$60 for a few motors (G SU motors)
$20 fro home-made launch system
or there abouts!

I stock up on motors, and that'll run me a few hundred bucks. The odd MPR kit here & there is another $75 or so..
A typical launch day of about 12 flights: at least one 29mm [F & G], a few 24mm [D], and a slew of 18mm [A, B, C] would run me in the $40 - $100 range..

Old 02-05-2008, 02:14 PM
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Default RE: What are the costs associated with rocketry?

Thanks for all the info and links. I do not think there is a club around here. I will investigate but I don't think so.
This seems pretty inexpensive compared to my other hobbies....good thing.

Old 02-08-2008, 08:29 AM
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Default RE: What are the costs associated with rocketry?

You can have a great time without going past G motors. If you're familiar with the Estes D motors, they have a total impulse of 8 N/sec, and a G has 64 N/sec, so it's like 8 D motors; plus, you have more choices within that range, in terms of average impulse and burn times. You can get something like a G25, burns for about 2.25 sec, gives a slower longer boost, or something like a sledgehammer with a G160, burns for 0.5 sec. Sounds more like an explosion than a burn, and you can hardly follow the rocket on the way up, plus you better have the fins firmly attached.

The rockets can be big enough to detail if you like scale stuff, but still small enough to fit in the back seat of your car, and you can have a bunch and not fill up the garage.
Old 02-08-2008, 03:22 PM
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Default RE: What are the costs associated with rocketry?

Kevin -

Unless you live in the desert and have knowledge of how to deal with the FAA, it's best to fly MPR and HPR with an established local group. Go to a nearby launch - you will learn a bunch and there are usually local vendors that are set up for onsite sales. There is a good size MPR/HPR community in MI - see here http://www.tripoli.org/prefecture/prefusmi.shtml and here http://www.nar.org/NARseclist.php .

I would suggest starting your daughter (and you) out with low power (LPR) motors before you try MPR or HPR. Adults can buy and use up to G motors without requiring NAR or TRA licensing, and you can have a real blast (pun intended) with D's, F's, E's and G's. FWIW, the current "F" motor altitude record is over 6700 feet...[8D] You still need to understand and follow all local (fire) and FAA rules...the FAA can and will pursue rogue rocketeers (!) that violate federal regs for airspace violations.

NAR has a "Junior Level 1" category that allows rocketeers under 18 to fly up to "H" motors under the supervision of an experienced adult, but it does require progressing through a number of steps to demonstrate that the candidate has the knowledge and skill to safely use these bigger motors... see here: http://www.nar.org/pdf/JRHPR.pdf

As to cost, the typical MPR rocket kit runs $30-$100 and the motors are $12-$50 each, though if you invest in reloadable engine cases ($25-$50) the cost per launch can be as low as $4. HPR kits run from $40 or so to $1000 (or more). Motors are almost always built on reloadable cases ($50 to $500 each) and reloads run $18 to over $1000 per motor. If you launch with a club then you do not need to buy launch pads or ignition systems.

There are a number of excellent online vendors, but some MPR and all HPR motors need to be bought (and used) at the launch site from an ATF licensed vendor due to federal exposives use regulations. Some good vendors are Tim Lehr at Wildman Rocketry http://www.wildmanrocketry.com/ , Giant Leap (high end stuff) at http://www.giantleaprocketry.com/hpdefault.asp , and direct from PML (one of the biggest mfrs of HPR kits) at http://www.publicmissiles.com/ .

It's a great and rewarding hobby, I hope that you and your daughter pursue it!

Old 06-12-2008, 09:44 AM
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Default RE: What are the costs associated with rocketry?

If you're familiar with the Estes D motors, they have a total impulse of 8 N/sec, and a G has 64 N/sec, so it's like 8 D motors;
Actually, an Estes D is 20 N/sec (D range is 10.01-20 N/sec) and a G is 80.01-160 N/sec. The Estes E9 is a middle E at 30 N/sec.

I've flown rockets since the late 60's and was into high power from 1996 'til about '01 but now am into low and mid power due to the increase in red tape (the ATF has really messed things up). I find I have as much fun with the small stuff and at a much lower cost. Plus with the smaller stuff you can launch at home which for me was a big issue with HPR. The closest HPR launch site was 3.5 hours away.

There are a number of companies besides Estes that make kits and parts for the smaller stuff so there are a lot of options. Semroc, Quest, Flis Starlight, and many more.

I used to belong to Tripoli but since I switched to low power I decided to join NAR (national Association of Rocketry). If you go to either of the sites you can find out where the local clubs and launches are.

Old 07-13-2008, 09:03 AM
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Default RE: What are the costs associated with rocketry?

It is like any hobby it turns in to a money pit! LOL Keep in mind any rocket over one pound with engine ready to fly you most file with the FAA when and where you are going to launch. This is why club launch are so nice as they do all the paper work. Did you check with NAR to see if there is a club in your area?

I am building my first medium power rocket and the supplies to build and finish are going to cost about as much as the rocket or at least half. [X(]
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