Verna & Randy's Rockets

Fire & Smoke!

Home
Rocket Babe-Dust Storm - BOOK 1
Rocket Babe - Fallen Angel BOOK 2
Rocket Babe - Ant Men BOOK 3
Rocket Babe Reflection BOOK 4
*Verna's Photos Of The Month
Fire & Smoke!
Bad Girl Saturn V Full Stack
Rocket Babe 5 Engine Cluster
U.S.S. PANDORA / Cestris Fighter
Space Man Spiff * ARMAGEDDON X-71 Shuttle * Dorothy
Our Fleet
Contact us / Our Favorite Links
Verna's Vipers
Verna's Pedestal

FIRE & SMOKE!     Waving USA Flag 2 - Animated
 

May 2021

meme22.jpg

bar1.gif

Cluster!

jw1.jpg

Jonathon Wilkins', Trident Arrow.

Everyone knows we love building and flying clustered rockets, for many years it's been all we do, so naturally, when we see anyone doing the same, we stop and take notice.

How could you not notice Jonathon Wilkins', Trident Arrow? Obviously, he put a lot of time into the build and we love the red, white and blue paint scheme.

jw3.jpg

I'm not sure if Jonathan has more than one Trident Arrow or if the photo above is of the same one dressed in white but either way, we love it and the shot of it frozen it time.

jw5.jpg

I've been flying since July of 1968, just a few days short of 53 years. While I have no real data to support my estimate, I'd say the percentage of flyers who ever clustered a rocket, is about the same today as in 68.

Speaking strictly from personal experience, I'd guess-timate the number of flyers who regularly cluster is below 10 percent. I've been to more launches than I can remember and with many individuals and clubs. In all that time, Verna and I have usually been the only flyers at most launches to fly a clustered rocket for the day. Once in a blue moon there might be 1 flyer to make a single cluster flight the entire launch.

Why clusters are so rare has always been a mystery to me. Yes, I know there are others who fly clusters but to do so is far and away a minority activity. If you think of the number of clustered kits that have been offered by Estes, I'd say it's roughly the same ratio of cluster flyers. SMALL.

jw2.jpg

Black powder clustering isn't all that hard, most existing kits are easily modified for clustered flight and that to me is part of the mystery of why there aren't more flyers who cluster. We like clusters because they can be more challenging to build and fly; more fire and smoke! And no, because most people don't cluster doesn't make us better than other flyers, just different.

I will say one of the biggest cluster mysteries to me is how and why people are certified Level 1 who have never clustered (just 2 engines) or even staged a black powder rocket. Don't get me wrong, we have nothing but respect for TRA, NAR and HPR flyers. We enjoy HPR as spectators very much, but I've always been mystified how merely assembling a H motor gives anyone a higher qualification in rocketry when many people tell me they certified Level 1 after having built 1 kit and assemble one motor.

As we move on, please allow me to challenge you; if you've never built a black powder cluster, try it. I think you may discover you've been missing out on a building and flying experience you never imagined.

Our thanks to Jonathon Wilkins for his great photos!

Randy

bar3.jpg

Looking for something entertaining and fun to read?

If you'd like something entertaining and fun to read, get your copies of the entire Rocket Babe series, paperback or Kindle. Here's how...

Get The Entire Series On Kindle!

Just click the Amazon links below:

 


Rocket Babe: Reflection

rb4all.jpg

Prefer Paperback? No Problem!

Signed / personalized paperback copies of Rocket Babe - Dust Storm, Rocket Babe - Fallen Angel, Rocket Babe - Ant Men and Rocket Babe - Reflection are all available directly from the author!

Books are great gifts for any occasion! Holidays, birthdays or just because!

Dust Storm $10.00
Fallen Angel $12.00
Ant Men $13.00
Reflection $13.00

Standard book rate shipping: $4 for 1st book; $1 for each additional book per address in the same order. Please allow 7-10 days for shipping, longer during the holidays.

*Special "Set" pricing! Get all 4 books for $46.00 includes shipping within the continental U.S.! Saves over $10 off the regular price and shipping!

*Shipping outside the USA available. Contact us for a postage quote before placing your order.

HOW TO ORDER:

Send your email order to Verna at: vernarockets@hotmail.com with BOOK as the subject.

List each dedication separately and clearly. Be sure to include the full shipping address.

Verna will reply with how to send in your money order. Sorry, money orders only.

If you have any questions PLEASE email us: vernarockets@hotmail.com

blackopsdavid.jpg

Above you see a rare photo of Dave Miller, appropriately dressed in black as owner of the clandestine black ops organization known as Sirius Rocketry! What does he do in his spare time? He reads Rocket Babe, what else?

That's a nice looking Cestris Fighter he's holding too! Get yours from https://www.siriusrocketry.com

bar3.jpg

Verna Starr Cestris Fighter!

vssl001.jpg

This is our favorite Sirius kit, the Cestris. The kit is intended to fly on a single engine but it was easily modified to a 3 engine cluster complete with Verna Starr fighter decals, also available from Sirius.

Randy

vsl5.jpg

Just click the BLUE link below the banner!

siriusrocketry001.gif

bar2.jpg

kevincoolscifi.jpg

She'll go with you anywhere! Kevin, owner and moderator at the Alien Soup  sci-fi forum, enjoys Rocket Babe - Dust Storm between innings at a recent ballgame!
 

coolscifi.jpg

Visit Kevin at Alien Soup https://aliensoup.com/ and tell him Verna sent you!

bar2.jpg

Mach Diamonds

bjm6.jpg

Have you ever heard of Mach diamonds? Mach diamonds, or as some refer to them, thrust diamonds, are a formation of standing wave patterns that can appear in a supersonic exhaust plume.

bjm61.jpg

The first two photos are courtesy of Ben Jarvis.

Because most hobby rockets are launched during daylight and happen so quickly it can be very difficult to see the diamonds in real time. Usually they are only detected photographically after the fact, as we see in the first two photos taken by Ben Jarvis.

The diamonds are most easily seen in the after-burner exhaust of fighter jets when they first begin to roll because the diameter of the exhaust is much larger, the exhaust continues for many seconds and the jet is almost stationary. 

Now that you know what to look for you can see them as the small stacked bright spots in both photos and yes, even a small black powder engine can have a supersonic exhaust.

pt7md.jpg

The photos above and below were taken by Pete Barrett. The diamonds are visible in both photos but were probably missed by those watching the launch. Yet another reason to remember your camera when you attend a launch.

pt8md.jpg

If you have photos of past launches stored away, you may want to check them to see if you have a few that show Mach diamonds; there is a good chance you do. I had to use a magnifying glass on mine that had been printed but if your photos are digital you can easily enlarge them to check for supersonic diamonds you never knew you had.

Randy   

bar3.jpg

siriusrocketry001.gif

bar3.jpg

bonesall102.jpg

Bones says...

"Mach Diamonds!" 

bar1.gif

Verna & Randy's Rockets is proud to have been featured by:

rp.gif

Darrell Mobley's Website Review on Rocketry Planet http://www.rocketryplanet.com/content/view/667/38/

ord.jpg

Dick Stafford's The Original Rocket Dungeon http://rocketdungeon.blogspot.com/

20years.jpg

Apogee E-Zine Peak Of Flight http://www.apogeerockets.com issue #155
 

sprlogo3.gif

April 2006  Finishing Touches
 
And Virally In Ezines Like:
 
Hobby Media Italy  http://www.hobbymedia.it/

bar1.gif

You never know who will show up on Fire & Smoke!

il.jpg

Imperious Leader never misses Fire & Smoke!

bar1.gif

Who do you fly with? Fly with family!

rfam11.jpg

bar2.jpg

freedom2.jpg

Graphics by Doc's Patriotic Graphics

Thanks for stopping by! Check back soon for a new feature on FIRE & SMOKE!
Verna & Randy
                                                       

*Don't miss Verna's Photo of the Month

usac.gif

Go To Bad Girl Saturn V

                                                                                   All rights reserved. 

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, modified or

redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of

 Vernarockets.com

2003-2021