Contributors will receive a free copy of ROCKETS Magazine that their submission appears in.
Story, Technical / Operational Article Out-Line Suggestions
The philosophy of ROCKETS is to acknowledge that the hobby of flying rockets is dynamic and diverse. We understand that one size does not fit all and feel it is important to allow the contributor to express “how they did it.” Occasionally you might suffer from “Writers Cramp” and we have included some suggestions for helping you write your article. You will find them listed below.
Every project or aspect of rocketry has a story to be told and we want to hear yours. Below are a few ideas that may help you develop the story of your achievement. These suggestions can apply to Level I, Level II, Level III, Big/Group Project, Technical and Operational articles. Keep in mind that we want to know who you are and from where you fly. Include this information in any article.
We are interested in hearing your tale, whether it is one of success or failure. Tell the readers of ROCKETS what happened, how it affected your outlook on rocketry, and where the attempt will take you in the future. The suggestions below are simply that, suggestions. They do not have to be used in the order presented. It is your article, use the suggestions as a guide and use them if they apply to your project. Good luck and have fun, which is what it is all about.
Level I, II, III and Big/Group Projects Suggestions
For a Level I, Level II or Level III certification article, keep it focused and to the point. We only have one page for the certification articles. We want to allow room for your pictures to be included. For the Big/Group Project articles try to keep it to six typed pages or less to allow for the inclusion of pictures. Please note that we may have to edit some of the content to make the article fit the pages. Please include many photos and identify who or what is in the photo. If the photo includes a rocket, include the owner’s name, rocket name and the motor(s) the rocket is flying on.
- Who are you?
- Where are you? The Tripoli prefecture or rocket group you will be flying with and field should be included.
- Was this a certification attempt or a large group project?
- Why did you attempt this particular project?
- When did you attempt this project? (This can run from the inception of the design to the day of the flight. Level III and group projects can take well over a year to design, build, and fly)
- Who is helping you?
- How is it constructed? Keep it general. (You don’t need to go into painful detail about every aspect of the construction. However, if there are special construction techniques that you want share with the readership you should consider writing a construction article.)
- What are the materials used to construct the project?
- Did you get all the parts?
- Were the vendors helpful?
- What were some of the obstacles that you encountered?
- How did you resolve them?
- What went right?
- What went wrong?
- How did the painting and detailing effort go?
- What type of electronics are you using?
- How are you planning on recovering the rocket?
- What size drogue?
- What size parachute?
- Is the rocket planned on being launched from a rod or rails?
- Did you have to build a special launch tower for this project?
- What did your wife (or husband) and family think?
- What were the dimensions?
- How much did it weigh?
- What motor(s) did you use?
- How high is it predicted to fly?
- What was it like loading up from the building location to be transported to the launch site?
- How long of a ride?
- How big is the field?
- What was the weather that day?
- How did you feel?
- How did the assembly go?
- How long did it take?
- Who was at the field to help?
- How did the raising go?
- What were you thinking when looking at your creation on the pad?
- Describe the moments leading up to the launch.
- Describe the launch and recovery.
- Share your thoughts with outcome.
- What is next for you or the team?
- Who do you want to thank? (Don’t forget to mention the land owner)
Launch Report Suggestions
Launch Reports can be the hardest of all the stories to write. There is a strong desire to be inclusive of all the fliers that participate at your launch. In most cases it will be impossible to include everyone in the published article. The starting point for writing a good launch report is being knowledgeable of whom your fliers were and having an idea in your mind of who will get the prime coverage.
You may want to consider e-mailing or calling the fliers prior to the launch to save time at the field and ensure the basic information you report is accurate. Once at the field, it is suggested that you speak with them early, preferably before they are busy with the assembly of their project. Basic information to include:
- Name of the flier and/or team and hometown.
- Name of the rocket
- Size of the rocket
- Weight of the rocket
- Motor(s) size
- Staging or air starting information
- Altimeter information
- Recovery information
This is normally information that can be obtained from the flight card. People love to read about a launch that they participated in.
Once you have the basic information, all you have to do is sit back and observe. You will be trying to give the reader a feel for the some of the following items:
- The launch site – remember most of the country has never been there before.
- The weather – make this a short overview.
- The crowd – who was at the launch? Remember to include all vendors.
- Put a plug in for the landowner and thank him/her.
- Thank the volunteer effort on site.
- Give a feel of the excitement at the launch.
- Describe some of the activity in the “pits” as people prepped their projects.
- Describe some of the major and minor launches.
- Descriptions of CATO’s and crashes make for some interesting reading.
Due to the limited space in the publication the editors of ROCKETS may need to trim your article. As always, please include lots of photos. Be sure to identify who or what is in the photo. If the photo includes a rocket, include the owner’s name, rocket name and the motor(s) the rocket is flying on.
Technical/Operational Article Suggestions
The Technical/Operational Articles that will appear in ROCKETS will include both success and failures. Not everything works as planned and this can be a benefit to the readers also. At a minimum your article should inspire discussion among ROCKETS readers concerning the pros and cons of your report. Please include photos labeled with who, what, and where. Some of the questions to consider when writing a Technical/Operational Article might include the following:
- What was the application?
- What led you to this conclusion?
- How will your article improve the current state of high power rocketry?
- How did you apply the technical innovation?
- How was the innovation constructed? Keep it general. (You do not need to go into painful detail about every aspect of the construction. However, if there are special construction techniques that you want share with the readership you should consider writing a construction article.)
- What were some of the obstacles that you encountered?
- How did you resolve them?
- Have you used this innovation successfully?
- What went according to plan?
- What didn’t go according to plan?
- Are there improvements that could be made to your proposed design?
- What should other fliers consider?
- Who would this innovation work best for?
- Are there special considerations that a potential user of this technique or design should be aware of?
- Are there other sources of reference where the reader can learn more about this?
This page will allow the contributor to describe their experience with a particular aspect of high power rocketry. Please include photos, labeled with who, what and where. Include articles about but not limited to the following subjects. Use your imagination and experience:
- Building articles – all aspects of rocket construction
- Building articles – “Odd Rocs”
- Big project considerations
- Big project team building
- Surface applications (such as fiberglass or carbon fiber)
- Tube preparation
- Painting techniques
- Repair techniques
- Fin slotting
- Fin design
- Motor mount assemblies
- Complex motor mount assemblies
- Booster hard point attachment techniques
- Rail guides
- Still photography
- Parasite photography
- Video photography
- R.C. aerial photography
- R.C. flight controls
- R.C. recovery
- Staging electronics
- Inter-stage couplers
- Ejection charges
- CO2 ejection systems
- High altitude recovery
- Staging techniques
- Air starting techniques
- Two stage recovery techniques
- Tether recovery techniques
- Parachute folding
- Parachute heat protection
- Parachute deployment techniques
- Webbing selection
- Webbing heat protection
- Nose cone recovery
- Nose cone electronics options
- Nose cone fabrication
- Launch systems
- Launch pads
- Launch towers
- Launch equipment maintenance
- P.A. information
- Launch site layout
- Flying safety
- Fire suppression
- Power line safety
- First aid response
- Tools of the trade
- RSO requirements
- Pad Manager Requirements
- Delegating authority at your launch
- Fliers meetings
- Starting a club
- Club meetings
- Participation with community activities
- Filing for a FAA Waiver
- Opening and closing your FAA Waiver
- Calling in a FAA altitude window extension
- Dealing with your local authorities, Fire Marshall, BLM, etc.
- Landowner relations
- Finding a field
- Launch site neighbor relations
- Filing for a LEUP
- Selecting an explosives magazine
- Building a magazine
- Fund raising
- Vendor relations