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This primer presents, in one place, all the information you need to succeed in NAR model competition in this event.
TCC has provided a link to the official rules whenever we discuss a rule.
Your entry must:
* Comply with the NAR Model Rocket Safety Code: http://www.nar.org/NARmrsc.html USMRSC 2.2
* Be a model rocket as described by the United States Model Rocket Sporting Code. USMRSC 3.1-3.9
* Use NAR Contest Approved motors: http://www.nar.org/SandT/NARenglist.shtml USMRSC 4.1, 4.4
* NOT eject its motor casing(s) without a recovery system. USMRSC 9.2
* Have your NAR number or your name on the outside, large and clear enough that the contest officials can easily read it. Teams must use the Team number or name. USMRSC 9.4
* Have been constructed by yourself or by one or more members of your Team. You may not enter Ready-To-Fly rockets (no construction required) in NAR sanctioned competition. USMRSC 9.9
Know the rules
Your having a grasp of the bigger picture can increase your enjoyment of NAR competition. You can read the Pink Book Lite to see only the rules for competitors, not for Contest Directors or other contest officials. Read the full USMRSC (Pink Book) to see all the rules.
* Pink Book Lite: https://ojames3.tripod.com/tccnarcontesttips/USMRSCLight.html
* Full USMRSC: http://www.nar.org/pinkbook/
General Competition Tips:
TCC NAR Competition Strategy and Tactics
Contest Etiquette by Kevin Paul Wickart, NAR 59720, cr 1998, the author
Beginning Competition -- The RSVP Principle by Kevin Paul Wickart, NAR 59720, cr 1998, the author
Guide to NAR Contest Rocketry Information for Beginners by Jeff Vincent, NAR 27910, Northeast Regional Contest Chair
· The main rules are 9, 16, 53 and 54.
The purpose of this competition is to duplicate in miniature the full-scale operation of a sounding rocket or space vehicle and its launch complex. USMRSC 54.1
* The model you choose to replicate must meet three main criteria:
1. Is an accurate scale model of an existing or historical guided missile, rocket vehicle, or space vehicle. USMRSC 54.1
2. Your entry, its flight and its launching complex must comply with USMRSC 53, Sport Scale and will be judged by that rule. USMRSC 54.2
3. Is not a scale model of an amateur rocket or missile, unless the prototype is of obvious historical significance. USMRSC 53.3
4. Must not be built from a plastic model kit that was not intended to fly, such as a PMC entry. USMRSC 53.5
* Space Systems entries will be judged for scale points in accordance with Sport Scale Competition (SPSC). USMRSC 53.
* You want to construct you model carefully, to the best of your ability because judges will award points based on the quality of your work and how closer your entry matches the appearance of the real guided missile, rocket vehicle, or space vehicle. USMRSC 53.9, 50.12.5
* If your entry includes the OPTIONAL launcher, the launcher will be judged for scale points at the same time and in the same manner as the rocket/missile flying portion. USMRSC 54.3
* You can use parts from commercial plastic kits on Scale models. However, you must point this out to the judges in you supporting documentation. USMRSC 53.5
* For maximum points, no one can catch the model as it descends. You may choose to catch the model or have someone else catch it as it descends (human intervention). If anybody catches the model as it descends instead of letting it hit the ground, the judges will award maximum damage points as a penalty. USMRSC 16.7
* If the ‘human intervention’ (see above) is accidental (in the opinion of the Range Safety Officer), you can choose to accept maximum damage points or do the flight over (unofficial flight). USMRSC 16.7
* You must supply data to substantiate your model’s adherence to scale in dimensions, color, and paint pattern. USMRSC 53.6, 53.12.1, 53.12.2
* If the prototype is staged, you can fly it single staged. That is, your model will have all the stages, but only the first stage will have a motor. USMRSC 53.7
* If you enter an upper stage by itself, you must provide documentation that the upper stage did, in fact, fly by itself. For instance the WAC Corporal is a popular single stage kit. However, the actual prototype never flew without the Tiny Tim booster and is thus not suitable for Scale Competition. USMRSC 53.7
* You can earn up to 200 additional points by simulating the operation of the actual vehicle (see Flight Simulation Point Schedule below). USMRSC 54.6
* You must return your entry to the judges so they can award damage points. USMRSC 16.8, 50.13.1
* The Contest Director can require that you return your entry. USMRSC 9.10
* You can make two flights, but the judges will use only the best flight for scoring. USMRSC 10.1
There are two sections for scoring: Static Judging and Flight Simulation. Your score will be the sum of the points from these sections. USMRSC 54.7
* In Static Judging, the judges award points using the scale data you provide. You will earn points for: similarity of outline, accuracy of color and markings, accuracy of details, and craftsmanship. Scoring will take into consideration the difficulty of building the model and adapting it for flight. The judges will award one tenth (1/10) of the SPSC static judging score. USMRSC 53.12
* In Flight Simulation, you will earn points for successfully simulating your prototype’s flight characteristics. You must provide documentation of the flight characteristics your entry will simulate and a written flight plan listing the simulations you will attempt. The judges can award up to 100 points for a single simulation. The judges will add the points for all of your simulations and award a maximum of 200 points. (see Flight Simulation Points Schedule below) USMRSC 54.6
Flight Simulation Points Schedule
> Egg Loft: 25 points per egg. Up to one egg per astronaut/cosmonaut. If any egg is cracked, the flight shall be disqualified.
> Predicted Altitude: 50 points minus the score accumulated by Precision Predicted Altitude (Rule 22.6). Prediction must be the actual or scale prototype altitude.
> Predicted Duration: 50 points minus the score accumulated by Precision Predicted Duration (Rule 39.6). Prediction must be the actual or scale prototype duration.
> Spot Landing: 50 points minus the score accumulated by Spot Landing (Rule 60.6).
> Multi-stage: 50 points per stage after first stage.
> Cluster: 20 points per motor, -20 points per misfire.
> Deployment: 50 points per simulated action.
> Data transmission/photo/instrumentation: 50 points.
> Launch from scale launch complex: 50 points. The launch complex shall be awarded points for accuracy, complexity, and craftsmanship.
> Other simulations of rocket or launcher operations approved by the flight judges or the Contest Director: 50 points each.
* Contest or Safety Officials will disqualify your entry if it fails to make a safe and stable flight. USMRSC 54.5
* Build a commercial kit that was based on an existing or historical guided missile, rocket vehicle, or space vehicle.
* Aerospace Specialist Products has Saturn Press (Peter Always) kits: http://www.asp-rocketry.com/store/category.cfm?Category=182
* Apogee Components has some very nice Saturn kits and others: http://www.apogeerockets.com
* Use plans from Sport Rocketry (http://www.nar.org/SPR/index.html), NARTS (https://blastzone.com/nar/narts/store.asp?groupid=92400111757284) or other acknowledged sources.
George Gassaway’s Scale Competition tips:
Good info on building and packing competition parachutes:
Yahoo group for discussing model rocket competition:
Yahoo group for discussing Scale Competition:
Use computer simulations to determine altitude and sink
rate for various rocket/motor/parachute combinations.
* Free altitude simulations:
wRASP - http://www.wrasp.com/
wRASP 32 - http://tccnar.tripod.com/sims/082_wRASP32_221.zip
* Free sink rate simulation:
US Spacemodeling (International Competition Tips):
US Spacemodeling Home Page (International Competition):
George Gassaway’s NARAM Tips:
rmr Frequently Asked Questions – Part 9: Competition and
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