PO Box 1523, St. Charles Mo. 63302 | Toll Free: 1-800-842-7859 | FAX: 1-800-466-4354
  FREE SHIPPING - Applies to online orders over $100.00 in the lower 48 states (Purchase Orders Excluded).
user image

7 Mistakes To Avoid When Building Your First Model Rocket

  • 08 Feb 2023

Model rockets are perfect for educational and leisure purposes. Working on a model and watching it launch is both rewarding and exciting. However, it’s not enough to place the rocket on the launch pad and turn on the controller. There’s more to it than that. Knowing the challenges that you may run into makes things easier. Here are seven mistakes to avoid when building your first model rocket.

Leaping Before Looking

Have you ever heard the saying, “Look before you leap?” Well, you have now, and it’s a rule you want to apply to building model rockets. Remember that haste makes waste. Don’t rush through the process or even start building without having a thorough knowledge of model rockets.

It’s not enough to read the instructions. Consider getting a few books on building model rockets and watching a few videos of various varieties. Some could be on the safety guideline or the process of building certain components.

Knowledge is power, and you’ll always want to have a thorough knowledge of building models that have the potential to hurt people. The blast from the launch alone could be detrimental—especially if you don’t take the necessary steps to avoid mistakes.

Starting Unorganized

Being organized stops a lot of mistakes before they even have a chance to form. Start off with a plan. As a first-time rocketeer, you’ll start with a beginner’s kit, but these kits can still come with their own set of challenges. Read up on the Estes beginner rockets and know what the different compartments do.

Create a schedule for yourself so that you don’t move too fast and do more than you can at a time. When it comes to building model rockets, it’s a marathon, not a sprint; you don’t need to rush through the process. It’ll take more than a day to construct the model and launch it.

Start scouting out locations after you’ve finished the construction. You need an even and spacious location. Furthermore, the weather on the day of the launch matters. Some natural elements might cause more restrictions than others, so find out your ideal weather for a model rocket launch.

Working Alone

If you want to build it alone to say that you did it by yourself, that’s fine. It’s rewarding when you see your work, and you can learn from any mistakes you make. However, having no experience can make things difficult. So consider consulting with an expert.

There are plenty of online groups and clubs for rocketeers that you can join. Whenever you get stuck or feel confused about anything, you can reach out to them for advice. Hopefully, you will find a mentor during this exchange, and they can give you a little more insight.

Hearing about first-hand experiences is sometimes better. Experts have tricks and loopholes to try that guidebooks don’t tell you about. A simple Google search about model rocket clubs will stir you in the right direction.

Cutting Corners

Never cut corners. If something doesn’t make sense or a part doesn’t fit right, don’t ignore it or chuck it. There’s a reason why manufacturers included the parts or the instructions in the first place. Here’s where you should reach out to that expert and ask for help.

Don’t skip steps, and refrain from being cheap. Building model rockets comes with expenses, and for a good reason. These are pristine machines, and they’re more than a toy. Minimizing the price for your hobby is OK, but not to the point where you’re squeezing pennies. There are some things you’ll need to spend money on.

If you’re going for a high-power flight, you can’t use a smaller rocket because it’s more economically sound for you. Save up enough to afford the right model and think of it as an investment. This way, you’ll get more than one use out of that rocket.

Neglecting Safety

Ignoring the safety guidelines for constructing and launching a rocket is dangerous. By doing this, you can harm yourself and others in the vicinity. Model rockets and safety go hand-in-hand, and they’re non-negotiable.

Approach the project with safety at the forefront of your mind. There are rules that all rocketeers must abide by, so familiarize yourself with them before making any purchases. The National Association of Rocketry (NAR) does a good job of outlining its requirements.

They also provide the rocketeer with some suggestions on how to practice launch safety. These suggestions will make it easier for you to find a location for the launch and choose a day with optimal weather conditions.

Overcomplicating the Work

Building a model rocket is complicated enough without adding to it. On the first go-around, you don’t want to make things more difficult for yourself than they need to be. So don’t make the flight overly complicated due to your excitement.

There will be other launches in the future, but for now, it’s better to stick to the basics. Try and refrain from adding dual deployment. Yes, it all sounds appealing, but as a beginner, it’s not something you need to venture into just yet.

Dual deployment makes it easier to retrieve the rocket because it will land closer to the launch pad, but it’s too difficult to figure out on the first launch.

Using Too Much Power

A lot of newbies make the mistake of asking and looking for an H motor. The minute you call and ask for one, the expert will know that you have little to no experience. H motors are powerful, but they’re too powerful for a beginner flight.

There are different H motors, and if you don’t know the one required for your model, you can damage the rocket during the launch. Knowing the difference in thrust between two H motors can save you a lot of trouble. While it might be hard to gain that knowledge if you buy model rockets online, you can always ask your provider for additional help.

Here at AC Supply, we’re dedicated to educating and supplying all our hobbyists. We want everyone to stay safe and have the best of the best.

These seven mistakes can be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful launch. Avoid them when you build your first model rocket.

7 Mistakes To Avoid When Building Your First Model Rocket