Featured image Model Rocket Recovery Methods - Model Rocket Recovery Methods

Model Rocket Recovery Methods

Both model and high-power rockets are designed to be safely recovered, and they are flown by the operators. The most commonly used method is the parachute and streamer method. In this article, we will have a look at the most commonly used methods among rocketry enthusiasts.

Tumble Recovery

This method is mostly used for smaller model rockets but may also work for large rockets possessing cross-sectional areas. With this method, the rocket tumbles back to the ground by itself but is not safe to use with rockets that will enter a stable trajectory as it falls.

To prevent unsafe use, make sure the rocket uses the ejection charge to slide the motor to the rear of the rocket.

Post image Model Rocket Recovery Methods Parachute - Model Rocket Recovery Methods

Parachute or Streamer

This is another method mostly used for small model rockets. This method uses the ejective force of the motor to deploy or push out the parachute or streamer. The parachute is directly attached to the physical body of the rocket but may also be attached to the nose of the rocket.

Before the parachute or streamer, a piece of fireproof paper should be inserted into the body, which allows the ejection charge to propel the fireproof material. <!–more–>

Helicopter Method

The ejection charge deploys helicopter blades, and the rocket autorotates back to the ground. This recovery method usually happens when the recoil of the motor creates sufficient pressure. This pressure makes the nose cone leave the rocket. Rubber bands should be connected to the nosecone and at least three of the blades.

In some of these rockets, the fins should be used as the blades

Post image Model Rocket Recovery Methods Featherweight Recovery - Model Rocket Recovery Methods

Featherweight Recovery

This is the simplest approach to use with the recovery of the smallest rockets. With this method, you let the rocket flutter back to the ground and eject the motor. It does not rely on systems to destabilise the rocket by preventing it from entering a ballistic trajectory on its way back to the ground as with the Tumble Recovery.

Nose-Blow Recovery

This is a simple recovery method if you have a vintage rocket (very early models which were manufactured throughout the 1950s). This method works by the ejection charge of the motor ejecting the nose cone of the rocket from the body tube.

The nose cone can be attached with Kevlar string or shock cord. It increases drag and reduces the rockets airspeed to a safer speed for landing smoothly. Visit Rockets and Things regularly for more articles on model rockets and suppliers.


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