Richard Nakka's Experimental Rocketry Web Site


Links to other Websites

  • Experimental Rocketry
  • General Rocketry, Engineering & Science
  • Resources
  • Chemical Suppliers
  • Tool, Hardware & Rocketry Suppliers

  • Experimental Rocketry

    The Amateur Rocketry Link Library, maintained by Hans Olaf Toft.   ARL Library is probably the best page on the net for amateur rocketry related web resources, including lots of useful downloadable software and links to every known experimental rocketry web site.

    The NEAR group of Norwegian experimental amateur rocket builders have recently launched a large rocket to an altitude of over 10 km. This impressive rocket was powered by 40 kg. of KN-Sorbitol propellant. Check out the details and video in their GALLERY page. Also check out the FILES page for some great technical reports on some of NEAR's rockets.

    VRO Belgian Amateur Rocketry -- One of this group's projects is the development of a successful KN/Sorbitol/Sucrose motor. Other projects include a hydrogen peroxide/methanol motor, cast zinc/sulphur/aluminum propellant and AN composites.  VRO

    NERO is a long-standing Dutch amateur rocketry organization. Although their web site hasn't been updated in awhile, it still worthwhile to take a look, as this groups activities have encompassed many interesting aspects of rocketry. This includes KN-Sorbitol motors, AP composite motors, hybrid systems, electronic recovery systems, and motor test apparatus.

    The Aerocon website page Examples of Test Stands for Solid, Liquid, and Hybrid Motor Testing features a real "dog's breakfast" of test stands. A "must see" for anyone interested in the amazing diversity & ingenuity that goes into the design and construction of rocket motor test rigs.

    The experimenal rocketry web site of Guillermo Descalzo features a modified design of the B-200 rocket motor, fitted with BATES grain for longer burn time. In Spanish.

    Inverse Engineering
    This is a new website created by Dan Pollino, who has been doing extensive work on KN-Sugar rockets for the past 5 years. Dan has come up with many innovative ideas for rockets, motors and testing, such as a steam rocket, 'pulse rocket', 'box' rocket, and a water tank for static testing. Also included on Dan's site are detailed instructions for making the IGNIS rocket motor from 2" PVC tubing. This rocket incorporates a clever nozzle design, being cast in a simple to make mould. Also, lots of great photos and videos of Dan's rocket tests and flights.

    Stuart's Rocket Motor Development Pages
    A new website, Stuart's site is a 'must see'...he features the design of a handsome 1/2 inch reusable aluminum motor. All of the parts are "turned" on his drill press. Included on his site are the technique for making fuel grains by rolling them out and cutting to length. His latest variation of the motor includes a Delay Element for parachute ejection.

    Recrystallized Rocketry is Jimmy Yawn's inimitable rocketry website. Jimmy has developed a novel method of preparing sucrose based propellants, based on recrystallization. But more than that, Jimmy is a highly devoted rocketry experimenter who has come up with a whole bevy of unique and clever motor making & testing techniques.

    TOPUS Group
    This webpage covers development work on rocket motors and flights of the Brazilian rocketry group TOPUS, which was formed by the students of Aeronautical Engineering of the University of São Paulo. Their objectives include design and construction of rocket components and launching techniques. Currently they are working on two parallel projects: static test of rocket motor of 900 N. thrust, powered by potassium nitrate and sucrose; secondly, a rocket that will reach 4 km height and 2100 km/h top speed.

    Bulgarian Rocketry Forum
    Discussion forum dealing with all aspects of Experimental Rocketry. Currently in Bulgarian language only.

    GCCE (Grupo Cientifico de Coheteria Experimental)
    An extensive and well-documented Spanish website devoted exclusively to amateur experimental rocketry, aimed at designing, developing and the building of experimental rockets for recreational and scientific purposes. Additionally, this website is aimed at establishing relationships and friendships with people and groups who share a similar interest in rocketry.
    In Spanish language only.

    Randy's Rocketry
    The website of Randy Dormans, a fellow rocketeer that I have known for several years. Randy has a talent that has culminated in many awesome rockets and related hardware. He is currently working on a new "camera rocket" that is expected to soar to 18,000 feet.

    YAKAMIM Experimental Rocketry
    Website of Brazilian rocketeer Bruno Ferreira Porto. Contains information on rocketry basics, theory, recovery system, propulsion as well as Bruno's latest projects. Discussion forum. In Portugese.

    Serge 77 - My Rocketry Workshop
    In his web site, Serge documents his innovative experiments relating to many facets of amateur rocketry, including development of various propellants (mainly sugar based). Be prepared for many hours of enjoyable and rewarding reading. In Russian, but can be automatically translated into English.


    General Rocketry, Engineering & Science

    Dr. Robert Goddard -- rocket pioneer    NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center

    Orders of Magnitude -- A concise history of the NACA and NASA, 1915-1990.   SP-4406

    A Science Odyssey -- People and Discoveries, a databank consisting of 120 names of 20th century scientists and their stories, such as Albert Einstein, Wright brothers, Stephen Hawking, Rosalind Franklin, Edwin Hubble, J.Robert Oppenheimer, Charles Best, Francis Crick and other remarkable discoverers.   People & Discoveries

    Gallery of Videos of the RocketCamTM aboard various launch vehicles...a must see!
    Ecliptic Enterprises

    Rocketdyne Technical Consulting, a collection of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) technical reports and presentations, featuring downloadable articles on liquid rocket engines and engineering in general.   Data & Resources


    Resources

    Lots of great links to reports and web pages that deal with rocket stability, including Barrowman method, "cardboard cutout" method, extensions to the Barrowman equations, wind induced instability, purpose of fins, weathercocking, and a whole lot more.    Apogee's Model Rocket Educational Guide

    Rocketry Online --Comprehensive source of rocketry related material including HPR, model rocketry, as well as amateur experimental rocketry. Great links to useful software.  Rocketry Online

    Parachute Prep & Packing Guide -- An excellent guide on how to pack a parachute into a rocket which will help ensure successful and tangle-free deployment.
    Dura-Chute

    Parachute Tips -- Calculating parachute drag, impact forces and terminal velocity.
    Aerocon Systems

    Nichrome Wire Technical Data -- Provides tables giving current vs temperature, resistance vs gauge, resistance vs temperature, as well as wattage and mechanical properties.
    Wire-Tronic Inc

    O-Ring Gland Design -- All the information you need to properly design O-ring glands ("grooves").
    Allorings.com

    Materials Database -- Free online database of over 15,000 different materials such as metals, polymers and ceramics. This database provides detailed physical properties data, such as mechanical strength and thermal properties.   MatWeb

    MatWeb Weight Calculator allows for on-line weight calculation of metallic or plastic tubing and other shapes.

    Chemicals Database --The NIST Chemistry WebBook provides users with free access to chemical, physical and thermodynamic property data for many chemical species. The data provided in the site are from collections maintained by the NIST Standard Reference Data Program and outside contributors.   NIST Chemistry WebBook

    Build Your Own Scale Models of JPL Spacecraft       Galileo, Cassini, Mars Pathfinder, Mars Odyssey, Genesis, Near and other Jet Propulsion Laboratory spacecraft. "An excellent way to learn more about a JPL space exploring machine, and its mission, is to build a scale model. Spend some time assembling one, and you'll be sure to know the spacecraft very well indeed! The scale models offered here have parts for you to download and print on card stock, instructions for putting them together, and links to mission information. Everything you need, such as white glue, scissors, etc. is listed. Some are quick and easy to assemble. Others require several hours' time and great care. Sometimes you'll find copies of these assembled models on the desks of engineers and scientists, using them for reference in their space mission. "
    JPL (California Institute of Technology)

    Golden Days of Model Rocketry - Vern Estes Story
    Although he is best known as the archetypical model rocketeer, it is important to recognize that Vernon Estes' foray into rocketry started out at the level of an amateur rocketry experimentalist. Vern's web site ( http://www.vernestes.com/ ) contains a link to a fascinating three-part interview in which Vern (and his wife Gleda) describe the "Golden Days" when they started their own company to develop and manufacture hobby rocketry supplies over 50 years ago. Included are detailed descriptions of "Mabel", the ingenious machine that churned out model rocket motors at a rate of one every 5.5 seconds. An interesting snippet reveals how Vern mistakenly deemed his model rocket motors as "engines", a term that has adhered to this day.
    The Golden Days of Model Rocketry
    Estes historical video footage


    Oshun -- Cosmetic ingredients & packaging supplier. Chemicals such as red iron oxide, black iron oxide, yellow iron oxide, ascorbic acid, chromium oxide, citric acid, clay, epsom salts are stocked by this on-line ordering company located in B.C., Canada. Minimum order is $100 CAD.

    FIREFOX ENTERPRISES -- Vast selection of chemicals for rocketry and pyrotechnic needs (e.g. potassium nitrate & other oxidizers, sorbitol, dextrose, etc.), as well as other rocketry components, such as igniters, nosecones, body tubes, etc. Also a great selection of interesting and informative literature relating to rocketry.

    PAINTING WITH FIRE -- Potassium Nitrate source in the U.K. Purchase online, £2.50 per 100 grams.

    HYDROPONICS.CO.NZ -- On-line source for Potassium Nitrate and other oxidizer chemicals in New Zealand.

    1-Stop-Sugarless-Shop specializes in sugar-free products and supplies. The price current price (Jan./06) is $5.39 USD per pound. This is where I orginally obtained my sorbitol.


    Tool, Hardware & Rocketry Suppliers

    PRINCESS AUTO & MACHINERY -- I'm like a kid in a candy shop when I visit Princess ! Many of the items sold are surplus or used, so the prices are greatly reduced. Items includes all kinds of electric motors (AC & DC) including gearhead motors of all sizes, electrical and electronic components, power supplies, hardware including hi-strength fasteners, snap rings, O-rings, springs, roll pins, safety clothing, welders supplies, hydraulics and pneumatics, valves, pipe fittings, pressure gauges (great surplus selection), bargain priced machinist tools such as calipers, micrometers, rules, depth gauges, steel and aluminum, etc. All kinds of hand tools and hobbyist tools. Stock is always changing, so you'll never know what you'll find...on my last visit, I picked up half a dozen small (2') surplus parachutes ($3.50 ea.) and a 10' weather balloon ($10)! Over 20 locations across Canada. Purchases may also be made online.

    METAL SUPERMARKET -- A good source of metal products (steel, aluminum, brass, etc.). This is where I usually shop for my metal supplies. They typically have a good selection of 'cutoffs' in 1018 mild steel and 6061 aluminum alloy (cheaper to buy cutoffs, which are sold by weight, rather than length). Locations in Canada, USA and UK. No minimum purchase.

    ACTIVE SURPLUS -- Bins and bins of surplus and used items, mostly electronics, but also a good selection of surplus hardware. Fasteners sold by the pound, including hard to get mil-spec fasteners. Good source for metals and plastics...I got the tubing for my Kappa motor casings here, for a steal. Located in downtown Toronto (Queen St.).

    CP TECHNOLOGIES -- CP Technologies publishes a bookset entitled How to Make Amateur Rockets that is sold to amateurs, junior high schools, high schools, universities, government agencies and contractors in the United States and around the world. CP Technologies sells supplies needed to make amateur rockets, such as propellant chemicals, motor making supplies, rocket body tubes, nosecones, fin material, rocket recovery electronic and more. CP Technology's motors are based on an ammonium nitrate/magnesium/polymer system.

    OnlineMetals.com - The Small Quantities Specialist -- Source for a wide variety of metal products such as pipe, tubing, bar, sheet, plate, etc., including 6061-T6 alum. alloy tubing in sizes up to 5 inch diameter. No minimum order size, and purchases may be made online.

    E-COM PLASTICS -- Source for all kinds of plastic material, including PVC rod, sheet and pipe. Minimum order size is $25 USD, and purchases may be made online.

    BRAFASCO carries a vast selection of hardware, fasteners, adhesives, cuttings tools and more. Minimum purchase $10. Stores in Canada and USA.

    MCMASTER-CARR -- Supplier of a vast array of hardware related products, such as: gaskets (including ceramic paper), plastic including PVC rod and pipe, tools (including micrometers and calipers), fasteners such as screws, bolts and rivets, O-rings, seals, welding rod, springs, lubricants, pipe and tube fittings, metals of all shapes and types, thermometers, heat-shrink tubing, and much, much more (370,000 products!). No minimum order size, and purchases may be made online. Prices are a bit high, but service is very good and fast, I usually receive my shipments in a couple of days. UPDATE: NO LONGER SHIPPING TO CANADA (apparently they can't be bothered, thanks to ITAR).

    DIGI-KEY -- Great source for any kind of electronic parts, including microprocessors, IC's of all types, transistors, relays, switches, sensors, circuit boards, project boxes, battery holders, wire and cable, and a whole lot more. Purchases may be made online. A nice feature of online ordering is that you'll know immediately if an item is in stock. Service is great, I usually receive my shipment within a couple of days.

    Metal Working Machinery Tools
    HARBORFREIGHT   New metal lathes, $400 & up (U.S.A.)
    SHERLINE   $550 & up miniature lathes, milling machines, etc. (U.S.A. & Canada)
    BUSY BEE TOOLS   Good prices on "offshore" machinery tools. I bought my 12x24 metal lathe at Busy Bee. Seven stores across Canada.
    KBC TOOLS & MACHINERY   Vast inventory of both high quality and reasonably priced "offshore" machinery tools & supplies. Stores in both Canada & USA.


    Last updated

    Last updated November 29, 2013

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