Rocketry – Where to Begin?

Rocketry – Where to Begin?

Let us assume your reading this and right now you have no launching kit and no model rockets to launch, Just where do you begin?

Well the answer is simple … At your local rocket club if you can!

You can watch all the YouTubes in the world and read all the books but until you get the experience first hand your never truly going to know, So take my advice, Get down to your club meet the people, watch the launches and have fun. Who knows you may even find a member that will let you launch a rocket on your first visit like I did.

Regarding the club, always reach out to the range safety officer before or club organiser and he will keep you up to date with whether it will happen on the date specified. Launch day often get cancelled because of wind, rain or a global pandemic and if it does go ahead he can guide you to exactly where they are launching from

You should also take time to ask them what to wear as some of the clubs are in farmland in the middle of nowhere or near marshland or worse you may be sharing the farm with cows… Wellies will definitely be needed.

When you arrive the first thing you should do is make yourself known to the range safety officer and have your safety briefing otherwise you will not be able to take part in the fun. It doesn’t take long and will help you to get to know people straight away. After that, you can take the time to watch what goes on and see some spectacular Launches and maybe an epic fail or two. The member of my club was quick to remind me that if you can afford to lose it… Don’t fly it.

I take along camping chairs and table now so that I have a place to set up my gear and also relax and watch others launch their rockets and it just makes the whole thing easier to be prepared. I have seen others with trolleys, windbreaks, and tents but that’s your call which you can make after your first visit.

Clubs often have launch pads, Launch controllers as well so your only investment to get going is time and the cost of the rocket ( as little as £12 ) and motors (as little as £7 for three ) so the cost very little for the amount of fun you can have

Clubs often have shops that make an appearance at some of their scheduled meetings. On arrival, stock up on motors or other consumables or even buy a rocket kit but don’t go crazy until you have had your first experience and know the hobby really is for you.

Clubs are important because they make a safe space for you and other to enjoy, Everything from calling the local air authority to notify aircraft not to fly over the space to keeping an eye on the launch space to ensure that it isn’t waterlogged and you end up making a long trek for nothing. I have nothing but respect for Clubs and the work they do and only wish this country had more because its a great hobby.

Clubs have small membership costs which allow them to provide a safe space and even provide insurance for people visiting for the first time for free so you don’t need to pay ( depending on your club so please check ). But if you really want to get more serious about the hobby then you will have to pay for membership and this may also provide you with insurance in most cases and but if not you can get it directly from the British Model Flyers Association for a very small fee.

Your local club is the fastest way to have fun, learn about the hobby, watch some spectacular sights and make friends whilst doing it and I highly encourage it.

If you come away from that first visit thinking its not for you well that can be just as valuable as the opposite which is why visiting your local club is the best thing to do when starting out.

You can find a list and map of clubs here-

Happy landings or at least have some fun trying

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