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Home / Features / Website Reviews
Hobby Rocketry Website Reviews
Website Review: New web site a benefit to Commonwealth
Website Review by Darrell D. Mobley   
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Website Review: New web site a benefit to Commonwealth

SOUTHGATE,Michigan USA — Started in 1980 as a fireworks store, Commonwealth Displays partners, Steve Le Fleur and Donald Moore, soon let their interest in model rocketry lead them to add model rocket kits to the company's repertoire soon after they opened their business. Their store is located in Southgate, a suburb of Detroit, located nine miles southwest of the city, at 12649 Dix-Toledo Road.

Claimed to be the first model rocketry company online, they duo started doing virtual business before the global networking of computers and networks was even called the Internet. Beginning with advertising on UseNET newsgroups, the pair moved on to Prodigy and then onto the World Wide Web, what is today commonly considered the modern Internet. Commonwealth Displays was a trailblazer for the hobby online, being one of the first model rocketry companies to take credit cards, one of the first model rocketry companies with an e-commerce shopping cart-enabled web and one of the few companies who still ship world-wide today.

 
Website Review: Sunward using new software to help users
Website Review by Darrell D. Mobley   
Monday, November 22, 2010
Website Review: Sunward using new software to help users
Angelo Castellano, the owner of Sunward Aerospace Group Limited, got involved with rocketry after his children saw the movie October Sky and wanted to launch some model rockets. From there, their rocketry hobby turned into Castellano's purchase of Sunward after looking for products to sell for h...
 
Website Review: Payload Bay showcases hobby rocketry
Website Review by Darrell D. Mobley   
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Website Review: Payload Bay showcases hobby rocketry
If you are a fan of hobby rocketry auctions, the name Payload Bay might be familiar to you. To those that don't recognize it, let me formally introduce you to PayloadBay.com as it's known on the Internet, the pet project of Roger Smith of Oveida, Florida, just northeast of Orlando. Smith, a ...
 
Website Review: Vern Knowles has got it going on
Website Review by Darrell D. Mobley   
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Website Review: Vern Knowles has got it going on
If there was one place on the Internet I would point a brand new hobby rocketry enthusiast to, hoping they would catch the fever, Vern Knowles' web site would consistently be among the top choices that comes to my mind. Vern has put together one of the mostcomprehensive rocketry websites on the...
 
Website Review: Rocket Team Vatsaas brightens any day
Website Review by Darrell D. Mobley   
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Website Review: Rocket Team Vatsaas brightens any day
Everything starts somewhere, even if determining exactly where is difficult to pin down. But when you are dealing with three times the fun, sometimes it gets down right difficult. Three times anything can be a lot,yet other times, it can be justright. When it comes to Rocket Team Vatsaas and the t...
 
Website Review: CompositeRockets Yahoo! Group
Website Review by Darrell D. Mobley   
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Website Review: CompositeRockets Yahoo! Group
One of the great things about the Internet is the wide diversity of information that is available. Even within the borders of a small niche community such as hobby rocketry, there is a wealth of information to be had. Finding it? Well that's another story. The goal of presenting regular websi...
 
Website Review: DrSuesRocketWorks.com
Website Review by Darrell D. Mobley   
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Website Review: DrSuesRocketWorks.com
When most rocketeers think of the state of Florida, their mind immediately goes to Cape Canaveral, the launching point used by NASA to compete in the great space race during the 50's and 60's. Certainly that is a very good conclusion to jump to. But Florida is also known for a lot of other t...
 
Website Review: 20/20 Vertical
Website Review by Darrell D. Mobley   
Friday, September 22, 2006
Website Review: 20/20 Vertical
As large as the Internet is, it's strange to end up geographically in similar places, yet this Website Review finds us back in Birmingham, Alabama where Clark Word lives and earns a living as a graphic artist while also attending college. Word, age 40, is a member of both the National Associat...
 
Website Review: VernaRockets.com
Website Review by Darrell D. Mobley   
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Website Review: VernaRockets.com
Verna and Randy DeArman, both 50, live in Pinson, Alabama, just north of Birmingham. They both work for a local SBA lender where Verna is in charge of servicing and Randy is a sales manager and on-site inspector. And they both enjoy the thrill of model rocketry and share their excitement with othe...
 
Website Review: Paul Gray's Model Rocketry Page
Website Review by Darrell D. Mobley   
Saturday, August 29, 1998
Website Review: Paul Gray's Model Rocketry Page
Paul Gray, a 15 year old high school student from outside Denver, Colorado, is is a member of the Colorado Rocketry Association of Space Hobbyists (CRASH), and has been involved in rocketry for eight years. Considering that would make Paul seven when he got started in model rocketry, he has never f...
 
Website Review: Ed Bertschy's Rocketry Home Page
Website Review by Darrell D. Mobley   
Tuesday, August 25, 1998
Website Review: Ed Bertschy's Rocketry Home Page
Meet Ed Bertschy. Ed is a 43 year old graphics artist with a knack for turning ideas into reality. A member of the Southern Arizona Rocketry Association, Ed has been involved in rocketry for six years, three of which as a "BAR", prefering low power and experimental rocketry.
 
Website Review: Paul Warren's Rocketry Photo Gallery
Website Review by Darrell D. Mobley   
Sunday, August 23, 1998
Website Review: Paul Warren's Rocketry Photo Gallery
This feature segment is on Paul Warren's Rocketry Photo Gallery. Paul is 30 years old, and works at AT&T. Paul works there as a Senior Software Engineer who is responsible for the layout, format and production of the AT&T residential long-distance bill. He is probably known to many of us even th...
 
Website Review: Frank Burke's Rocketry Webpage
Website Review by Darrell D. Mobley   
Tuesday, July 21, 1998
Website Review: Frank Burke's Rocketry Webpage
Thispremiere Website Reviewfeature segment is on Frank Burke's Rocketry Webpage. At age 30, Frank is an Electrical Design Engineer for Intel. He has been re-involved in rocketry for the last five years. In his own words, he re-tells the story of his youthful adventures. Frankgot started aroun...
 

Hot Topics

 

High Power Rocketry's Top 10 Biggest Regional Launches

I have a friend who has the goal of watching a baseball game in every big league stadium in America. He's been to Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium, to Fenway Park and Chavez Ravine, and a dozen other parks scattered throughout the land. Every year he makes it to a new field, sometimes even two, and returns home with great memories—and enough hats and shirts—to last a lifetime.His most recent journey—to Progressive Field in Cleveland—got me thinking about high power rocketry's biggest venues and how this hobby has continued to grow in the last ten years. Some impressive traditions are alive and well out there at the biggest regional events in America.

 

Chasing the N record: Pursuing stratospheric dreams

Four years ago, James Dougherty didn't know the difference between a G80 and an M2500. A computer programmer from Northern California, Dougherty spent most of his time in Silicon Valley helping start-up companies and their customers with complex computer systems. In his spare time he liked to drive sports cars, have fun at the beach, or just hang out with his wife and daughter.Today, Dougherty is among a handful of hard core, high-power rocketry enthusiasts — in the United States and abroad — who are quickly moving toward a new altitude record for a commercial N motor. These fliers, taking advantage of technologic advancements in rocket motors and recovery systems — and their own hard work — believe they can clear 50,000 feet, or higher, on a single N. That's an altitude nearly two miles higher than commercial jetliners typically fly, and close to four miles higher than the peak of Mt. Everest. This is the realm of the stratosphere, where thunderstorms are born and the air density is nearly one-eighth that found at sea level.

 

One man's quest to honor America's Saturn V rocket

On April 25, 2009, history will be made.  At Higgs Farm in Price, Maryland, Steve Eves will enter the history books as the person who flew the largest scale model rocket in history. The rocket will weigh over 1,600 pounds, it will stand over 36 feet tall and it will be powered by a massive array of nine motors: eight 13,000ns N-Class motors and a 77,000ns P-Class motor. The estimated altitude of this single stage effort will be between 3,000 and 4,000 feet and the project will be recovered at apogee. In a special to Rocketry Planet, author Mark B. Canepa and ROCKETS Magazine wish to share Steve Eve's story with the readers here.

 

The Jarvis Illustrated Guide to Carbon Fiber Construction

Over the last few years, many people have asked Jim Jarvis of Austin, Texas, how he makes his carbon fiber rockets. So when he had an opportunity to make a new fin can, he decided to document the process in detail.The result of the build was the TooCarbYen Tutorial presented in this article. Actually, tutorial isn't a particularly accurate name for the build since it implies instruction on the proper way to do something. This article isn't about the best way to build carbon fiber rockets, it's about how Jim builds carbon fiber rockets, presented in enough detail to allow others to execute the process if they so choose.

 

HJ101: Turbocharging the Estes Maxi Brute Honest John

This edition of the Rocketry Planet How-To Classroom is based on the Estes Maxi Brute Honest John, a 1/9 scale model of the venerable ballistic missile used by the United States Army. This class covers the Estes first edition Maxi Brute kit #1269 released in 1975, the Estes second edition Collector Series kit #1269 released in 1993 or the third edition Maxi Brute kit #2166 released in 2000.This kit is approaching collector status, if it hasn't already, and you can still find them occassionally on eBay for reasonable prices. This class project features dual deployment with an altimeter bay, fiberglass airframe reinforcing and fiberglass fins to replace the thin styrene shells that come in the standard kit. In fact, of the original kits, we are mainly using the styrene fin canisters and the two-piece styrene nose cones while replacing most everything else — this is imperative to be able to fly these kits on 38mm and 54mm motors.

Upcoming Events

ROSCO Sport Launch Orangeburg, SC
October 13 - 14, 2012
(Local Launch)
Rocketry of South Carolina sport launch Night launch Saturday possible

Oktoberfest, Tripoli Las Vegas, NV
October 19 - 21, 2012
(Regional Launch)
at Jean Dry Lake South of Las Vegas, NV. Located between mile marker 9 & 10 Las Vegas Blvd South....

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