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Maximum Wind Speeds for Launching a Model Rocket

  • 26 Sep 2023

There are few things more satisfying than helping young students get their model rockets ready for launch and watching their faces as the rockets shoot into the sky. While everyone would prefer to launch their model rocket on a day with perfect weather conditions, you might find yourself facing a torrential downpour or blustering winds on your planned launch day.

If this is the case, you may wonder if it is safe for you and your students to safely launch your model rockets. Review this guide on the recommended maximum wind speeds for launching a model rocket to decide whether the launch can commence.

How Windy Is Too Windy for a Launch?

According to the National Association of Rocketry, you should never launch a model rocket when wind speeds exceed 20 miles per hour. Ignoring this advice and launching a model rocket under windy conditions could result in a dangerous scenario called weather cocking.

Weather cocking occurs when aerodynamic forces on the model rocket cause it to turn into the wind. The model rocket could move far away from the launch site and damage nearby property or hurt one of your students.

Essentially, high winds make the flight path and descent of your model rocket unpredictable. To guarantee the safety of yourself and your students, you should ensure that current wind levels do not exceed the maximum wind speeds for launching a model rocket. In fact, many expert model rocket launchers recommend waiting until wind speeds drop below 10 miles per hour for optimal safety.

Determining the Wind Speed at Your Launch Site

If you and your students have successfully set up your estes rocket launch kits, you will want to get your model rockets launched as quickly as possible. However, to ensure the safety of your students you will need to determine the wind speed at your launch site.

The easiest way to do this is by checking your local weather report. If wind speeds are close to 20 miles per hour, then you should wait to launch your model rockets at a safer time. You can also purchase an anemometer to get an accurate reading of the wind speed at the launch site. The average anemometer costs between $15 and $45, so they are an affordable option for the classroom.

Finding the Perfect Model Rocket Launch Kit

If you are searching for an educational rocket launch kit, look no further than AC Supply. We have the perfect selection of model rocket launch kits for the classroom, and our products will help make learning and STEM projects fun for students at every skill level. Please visit our website to learn more about our customized model rocket supply kits.