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Handbook of Model Rocketry, 7th Edition (NAR Official Handbook) Paperback – April 22, 2004
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From the Back Cover
The classic guide by the "father of model rocketry"revised and updated for the twenty-first century
This new edition of the "bible of modern rocketry" shows you how to safely build, launch, track, and recover model rocketsjust as the experts do it! Whether youre a beginner or a veteran model rocketeer, the Handbook of Model Rocketry explains everything you need to know to get your rocket off the groundfrom rocket construction and ignition systems to launching techniques, aerodynamics, altitude determinations, and recovery devices. G. Harry Stines son, Bill Stine, covers all the latest changes to the hobby since the last edition was published. This authoritative guide, the official manual of the National Association of Rocketry, provides the expertise you need to launch your rocket skyward.
- Features new types of rockets, motors, and electronic payloads, as well as computer software and Internet resources
- Includes the latest regulations and a new chapter on high-power rocketry
- Explains building and flying large rocket models, and using radio- controlled boost gliders and rocket gliders
- Lists the latest resources as well as information about joining model rocket clubs and entering contests!
About the Author
G. HARRY STINE was the founder and one-time president of the National Association of Rocketry. An engineer, science writer, and author, Stine also started the first model rocket company, whose kits are now in the Smithsonian.
His son, BILL STINE, is a model rocket expert in his own right and is the founder and president of Quest Aerospace Inc.
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At times it can be a bit tedious depending upon your present level of experience but I think most people in model rocketry will learn something new and interesting and gain a good overall understanding.
Potential readers should know that this is a guide to the hobby of model rocketry (altitudes up to about 2,000 feet, motors up to G size), and not a manual to mid-power or high-power rocketry. The text appropriately emphasizes the topics one would expect to find - rocket kits, launch systems, recovery systems, field selection, simple aerodynamics. Engines get somewhat summary treatment. The author is quite clear that, at the hobby level, we are involved in building and recovering rockets and not in the business of designing and building rocket motors. From size 1/2A to size G, we buy our single-use rocket engines prefabricated.
Remember that the first edition of this book appeared in 1964, and much of the text derives from that edition. That's not a bad thing, but just an observation. There is definitely an emphasis on the "garage-build," DIY methods of the golden age, and a relative lack of information on more modern RTF kits. The book assumes that you have an interest in building models as well as flying them. Recovery systems and rocket stability are also discussed at length, because it was these systems that presented the most challenging problems to rocketeers from the 1960s and 70s. So, in a way, think of this book as a reference to the hobby "pre-Estes."
This book is so very good because it just oozes appreciation, nostalgia, and technical mastery. It's a real treat to learn from one of the true masters. Got an interest? This is the book you want.
But when taken for what it's intended for it's a rather good book. It gives a lot of advice that you might not have come up with on your own and in fact is a pretty good guide for anyone who is a light hobbyist model rocketeer and is looking at getting into clubs and more frequent and serious model rocketry. He keeps the book interesting and amusing with some comments that I found absolutely hilarious. For example he always refers to trees as "Rocket Eating Trees" and in one illustration he has a rocket saying "Bye Bye" as it is carried off with the breeze. I found those kept the book readable. While I liked the anecdotes to his own rocketry experience and found them enlightening those after pure facts may find them excessive.