My Level 3 Rocket

In 2005, when I had more money than sense I built a level 3 rocket. In the model rocket industry there were many levels of rockets and the industry was self policing with these levels. As an example, a person can’t launch a level 1 rocket until they have obtained a level 1 license. You can’t get to level 3 until you have a level 1 followed by a level 2. All this happened over 15 years ago so it may be different today, but, back in the day, in addition to licenses the achievement of a level 3 involved a long process of documentation, justification, review and observation. And why shouldn’t it be tough? The level 3 license is the highest achievement a model rocketeer can achieve. As you can see by the pics, the level 3 packs a huge punch. The pics here represent my level 3 certification finale. The end requirement of this year long process is that the rocket launches and can be successfully recovered and be re-launchable. Needless to say, I achieved my level 3. : )

  1. Carrying “her” out to the launching pad
  2. Carefully lifting “her” onto the pad
  3. Arming the electronics
  4. 3-2-1-Launch
  5. No explosion…so far so good
  6. How large do you think that flame is? The rocket was 12 feet so the flame must be 6-8 feet
  7. The flame was a cool blue. The motor’s name was aptly named “Blue Gorilla”
  8. It was a windy day and “she” arched into the wind. After going over a mile high, she separated and landed a little over 100 yards away from the pad. A perfect flight. Usually for level 3 rockets they have chase vehicles ready because they tend to drift for miles. I’m happy to report the chase vehicles didn’t move that day.