Verna & Randy's Rockets

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FIRE & SMOKE!     Waving USA Flag 2 - Animated

July 2017



William Congreve, Father of HPR


According to Wikipedia, the Congreve rocket was a British military weapon designed and developed by Sir William Congreve in 1804. Fired by the thousands during the War of 1812 the British rockets weighed from between 6 to 300 pounds depending on the intended target and featured simple exploding warheads or incendiary warheads. Made of iron and strapped to a 4 foot bamboo pole the rocket proved to be both accurate and deadly.


When you have that much weight and a range of approximately 3,000 yards when launched at a 55 degree angle, we could very easily consider William Congreve the father of HPR rocketry but since he flagrantly violated most of the NAR and TRA safety codes on a regular basis, he'd probably need to form his own rocketry association.

With his style of flying, i.e. severe angles, warheads, no waiver, etc. I don't think he would be allowed to join either group today.


When the well known poet, Frances Scott Key penned the Star Spangled Banner this is the type of rocket he watched rain down on Ft. McHenry; 100 years after, the Star Spangled Banner became our national anthem.

About now some of you might be asking yourselves, "Why a feature on the Congreve rocket at this time?" From Robert Goddard's small prototype to von Braun's Saturn V, there's nothing more American than the 4th of July, rockets and the Star Spangled Banner.

For those Americans reading this, as you prepare to celebrate yet another 4th of July and all the freedoms we have enjoyed over the last 241 years, may we always remember that because hundreds of thousands of men and women have given their lives for this country, we have been the most blessed nation in the history of this planet.

Truly, we are the land of the free, because of the brave.




Raquel Welch, the classic All American girl.


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Prefer Paperback? No Problem!

Signed / personalized paperback copies of Rocket Babe - Dust Storm, Rocket Babe - Fallen Angel and Rocket Babe - Ant Men are all now 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

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 3 books for $32.00 includes shipping within the continental U.S.! Saves over $9 off the regular price and shipping!

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


Send your email order to Verna at: with BOOK as the subject.

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

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Comes stock to fly on a single D.
Ours is a 3 engine cluster. D12 core with C6 outboards!

We love the Cestris!


We are always looking for great rockets and launch photos for Verna's Photo Of The Month.
If you have a great photo send it in and you might be featured as the Photo Of The Month. Just email your best jif or jpeg to



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!


Visit Kevin at Alien Soup and tell him Verna sent you!


Rolf Stabroth - Russian Proton


When Rolf Stabroth (Rollie) isn't appearing as the super scientist in our Rocket Babe book series (who works with David Miller at the black ops firm Sirius) he actually builds and fly's world class rockets in his home workshop.

Rollie just sent us this fantastic shot of his clustered, Russian Proton, lifting off last month at a launch in Germany.


7 engine clustered perfection! What does it soar on? How about 6 H123-SK CTI, with a core H225-WT


It can be hard to gauge size from just a launch photo so here's Rollie standing next to one of the most awesome rockets we've ever seen! And remember, he builds all of his amazing birds from scratch; whatever is required.

Thanks Rollie for sharing another great photo of this fantastic cluster!



Kevin Haworth - Dingle Rocket


Over in the U.K. Kevin Haworth loves to enjoy some Pringles once in a while and he likes to build and fly rockets on occasion too. So it comes as no surprise to us that he decided to put his talents and taste buds to good use. Introducing... the Dingle Rocket! The end result is something we couldn't resist and that's a nice size clustered rocket!


How can you make your own Dingle Rocket? First, to acquire the tubes needed, eat a dozen cans of Pringles then scrounge around for 2 slightly smaller cans for the top section. Kevin designed and made all of the custom 3D parts that hold it all together but an experienced scratch builder should be able to come up with your own version of the parts needed to mold this cluster into one well assembled beast!


For power, Kevin settled on a 38mm G-69 core with 6 D-12 outboards. When the time finally came to launch, someone suggested that the clustered D's have their quick match tails brought into the path of the 38mm with the idea being that if the igniter for the cluster failed, the jet from the G engine would act as a backup and ignite them all.


Foot note here, what sounds good on paper, doesn't always turn out that way at the field. What happened was the plume from the D's was so fierce that it ripped out all but one of the quick match lines and forced the rocket to launch on the G only. The result of which meant the Dingle did not gain enough altitude nor have enough time to deploy the recovery system, resulting in a lawn dart.


Nice liftoff shot!

As you might expect, some damage was sustained but nothing fatal. Kevin has been working on repairs and hopes to have her ready for another try sometime this month and he has decided the next flight will probably be on a H and 6 D's. If things work out and we get some photos we'll certainly post the results here.

In the meantime we will be waiting to hear from Kevin on try #2 and wishing him lots of luck!






Bones says...

Happy 4th Of July!


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


Darrell Mobley's Website Review on Rocketry Planet


Dick Stafford's The Original Rocket Dungeon


Apogee E-Zine Peak Of Flight issue #155


April 2006  Finishing Touches
And Virally In Ezines Like:
Hobby Media Italy


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


Our ground hog Odie would never miss Fire & Smoke!


Who do you fly with? Fly with family!




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


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