Launch Pads

Launch Pads

Now it might seem like a launchpad is a simple thing, some legs a pole and you are done, right? Wrong, In model rocketry, there are different types of launchpads.

Rod based and rail-based are available to you but these are all relevant to the type of rockets you are launching and it is not as simple as choosing the type that you want.

A launch guide (a rod or a rail) is used to stabilize a rocket until it has enough speed whereby the fins create enough aerodynamic force to keep the rocket flying straight. Tubes on the side of the rocket that slide on a rod whereas launch rails use Buttons.

Typically, lugs are used on smaller rockets, and rail buttons are used on high power rocket kits. High power rockets benefit from the rails that are longer and stiffer, so they don’t allow the bigger rocket to sway around in a breeze while it is being launched.

ESTES make a great selection of rod-based launchpads that use lugs on the rocket and some even come with launch controllers. they are great value for money and will take you a long way with your hobby before you need to start thinking of a change

You can, of course, choose to build your own launchpad and this brings an amazing amount of flexibility to your model rocketry. you could build a simple launchpad and then upgrade it to a more advanced system as and when you need it. Many of the club members that I have met so far favor the Triton MSA200 that is available from Amazon as a base to the launchpad so that all they need to do is make the changes required for rod and rail. If you adapt it correctly it can bo both.

Sometime in the future, when I choose to change to my own purpose-built launchpad using the triton MSA200 I will be posting an article on how to create it, right here on For now, I am happy to continue to use the club provided equipment.

Happy landings or at least have some fun trying

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