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Backyard Rocketry: Converting Model Rockets Into Explosive Missiles Paperback – November, 1992

15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Paladin Press; illustrated edition edition (November 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873646908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873646901
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,609,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By David R. Moffatt on June 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
Yet another Paladin Press classic, this book purports to contain hidden secrets of how to build supposedly destructive devices. And like most similar titles, it doesn't tell you anything that the average mischievous 12 year old could not think up--or that grown-ups could not acquire with a few minutes of internet searching.

Allegedly a technical manual, this is a slim volume of skimpy text and VERY basic drawings of assorted model rocket and "warhead" designs, most of which the author clearly sketched without ever having tried them and many of which simply would not work (thank heaven!).

As a work of somewhat offbeat humor, "Backyard Rocketry" certainly delivers some light laughs--not all of them intentional. But actually following any of the directions contained within would be illegal at best and quite possibly fatal at worst. Just don't do it.

Rest assured, someone picking up this book with the "wrong" motives will not find it useful. If anything, this treatise casts an undeserved shadow on the legitimate hobby of model rocketry. Which would be a far better subject for a book, to my mind.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By selzer@binary.net on November 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
Paladin Press, the controversial book publisher that has brought us such classics as "How To Kill" and "Get Even" (which is the kinder, gentler version of the former) has slithered its way into model rocketry.
Sure to put G. Harry Stine into a spin, and make Vern Estes spend some time strapped onto a heart monitor, this book seems to this reviewer to have two purposes: first, to really scare the crap out of ATF, second to make fun out of purists such as Estes.
Attractively packaged, as are most of Paladin's wares (don't ask how I know), this book starts with the bare essentials of model rocketry under the chapter "Principles of Operations" (ending with the warning "Always fire modified/explosive rockets from behind cover"). Farrel soon gets to the meat of the matter with Chapters such as "Improvised Missiles, Warhead Safety, Warhead Designs, Missile Plans". It ends with a farcical safety code entitled "Dangerous Rocket Club Code" which the author admits "If followed, you will probably go to prison". Check out the recovery part of the code: "I will spend at least twelve hours recovering after a heavy night of drinking before firing explosive-filled missiles".
Is this a recommendation? Hardly. While Farrel does writes most of this book with a healthy sense of humor, it could be construed that this book is more than a joke by some parties. The bombing devices seem sound, and could cause damage. The real danger is, and all of us in this hobby knows this, is that model rockets are notoriously unstable, and unpredictable.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 2, 1998
Format: Paperback
Read this book for the twisted humor, but DO NOT try to make a missile out of a model rocket! As a member of the Pyrotechnic Guild International and the National Association of Rocketry, I can tell you this... the design and construction of rockets for pyrotechnic (or other) use is MUCH DIFFERENT than that for model rockets. The limbs you loose could be your own!!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By DocSab on July 28, 1998
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a longtime rocket enthusiast, I have often wondered how missile payloads were constructed. The meat of this book is approximately ten pages of warhead schematics. But don't take this book too seriously, it is a tongue-in-cheek slap at the model rocketry hobby. Those of you who have heard the Model Rocketry Safety Code just one too many times will enjoy the "Dangerous Rocket Club Code" which had me rolling off my chair! I do recommend that you have one thing before buying this book- an intact sense of humor!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is a good first primer for the model rocket enthusiast on how to accomplish something more practical than "shoot off and chase" with his/her hobby.
With all the data listed for various engines' performances, Farrell could have added additional columns to show actual performance vs. total weight and size of model rocket used. How much total weight and payload can a particular engine carry? He does not mention E-F-G-H size engines which would be required to lift off the heavy payloads he discusses.
The drawings are nice, neat, clean, simple but are confusing because they are definitely NOT to scale nor proportion and they are so simple the reader is unable to see what is happening.
There are many drawings with ideas to try but no real plans with measurements to guide the enthusiast.
There is no appreciation of practical payloads other than dealing with explosive warheads which Ferrell does NOT tell how to create. He only tells how to trigger them. (Negative reviewers note this carefully).
The enthusiast would like to learn how to incorporate still camera advance mechanisms, directional alignment so someone doesn't take pictures of the blank sky, incorporating a video camera and how to send back video signals with a radio transmitter, or weather, speed, altitude, attitude (directional), wind velocity, etc.
Even though Ferrell mentions guidance and control using model airplane radio control techniques, there is only one page and one drawing on this subject. There needs to be info on transmitters-receivers so the enthusiast can control the rocket from the ground and the rocket can send data back from its airborne flight.
Ferrell should have mentioned how to aim and land model rockets accurately . . .
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