Rockets red glare will fly on Saturday when the Kansas Organization for Spacemodeling, a chartered section of the National Association of Rocketry sets up at the Ellinwood Municipal Airport located on NE 100 Ave. The event is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The group has received a waiver FAA to fly rockets up to 10,000 feet. Ellinwood is the only place where the club is allowed to do this. The Ellinwood launch site is the largest and most open launch area, which means that high power rockets are allowed.
"Some do go up that high," said Keith Ravenstein, president of the KOSMO. "Even smaller rockets go up to 2,000 feet.
"The rocket I’m working on weighs 45 pounds and can go up to 6,000 feet," Ravenstein said. The rocket was not cheap, however. He spent $700 on it alone.
Rockets can be purchased from hobby stores or over the internet. The rocket can be reused if it is not too badly damaged upon reentry.
According to Raventstein, there are two types of solid fuel propellant. One is fuel by black powder such as Estes rockets. The second is fueled by composites, the same fueled used by the space shuttle.
The motor is lighted by electronics. A three pack of small motors can run from $8 to $25.
The best way to get an idea of what happens is to see it, said Ravenstein.
Ravenstein built his first rocket in 1977 in shop at school. After taking a few years off, he got back into his hobby eight or nine years ago.
"I’m happy doing things like that," said Ravenstein. "I’m a big kid at heart. It’s always fun when what you created comes down safely."
The rockets come equipped with a parachute. They can be reused unless they come back hard. Even then, sometimes they can be repaired.
A family or individual membership in KOSMO is only $10 per year. Individuals under age 14 must sign up as a family with at least one adult because the use of model rocket motors requires adult supervision.
Saturday, a barbecue lunch will be available for a separate fee.
The alternate date in case of bad weather is March 24.
The Spring Fest launch is one of two annual launches in Ellinwood. Note that you must be properly certified or be getting your certification to fly high power rockets.
The KOSMO group in central Kansas has about 30 members. They will help others or provide information on certification.
While high power rockets are allowed at this launch, most flights tend to be of low and mid power rockets, according to the group’s website.
The final event of the year will also be held at Ellinwood on Sept. 9.