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RockSim Virtual Rocket Contest
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MORE POWER Douglas Gardei has become our fifth guest judge and creator of this Virtual Rocket Contest.

The theme for this contest is MORE POWER TO EM!.

This is the moment you have been waiting for! The new "Rocksim" Hobbyshop just opened up a block from where you live, and your No Limit Platinum Card just arrived in the mail! Unlimited supply of rocket parts, and unlimited supply of rocket motors! You feel challenged to build then biggest baddest rocket of them all!

Previous Rocksim contests there was a limit to how powerful the rockets can be. This contest is the first to break from that mold. Instead of limiting the Total Impulse the rocketeer can use, the materials they can us draws the line. Ie. The parts database is all you can use, you can not make custom parts (except transitions, which have to be made realistically). Cram all the power you can in a single stage rocket!

Contest Requirements:

  • RockSim Owners: Entry must be (1) RKT files (any version)
  • RockSim DEMO Entries: Entry must be from version 8 Demo
  • Non-RockSim Entries: Entry must include all the details necessary to recreate the rocket in RockSim, which can then be tested in the RockSim version 8 Demo
  • Name your Rocket
  • Contestants may only have (1) entry
  • Contestants must be on EMRR's Announcement List to be eligible
  • Build Bonus: Bonus points will be gained if you build, fly and produce pictures of the rocket:
    • +1 point for picture of the rocket static
    • +1 point for picture of the rocket launching or descending
  • Newbie Bonus: To encourage new contestants, bonus points will be awarded to first- and second-time contestants
    • +1.6 points for first-time entrants
    • +0.5 points for second-time entrants
  • Early Bird Bonus: To reduce log-jams near the contest deadline early entrants will receive bonus points, based on the time they submit a qualified design.
    • If there are 10 entrants or less, the early-bird bonus will be +0.9 points for first entrant +0.8 points for second entrant etc. to 0.1 points for 9th entrant
    • If there are more than 10 entrants, the early-bird bonus will be (0.1 * Number of later entrants).
    • No early bird bonus during final week, regardless of order of entry
  • Bonus points are added to the final score.
  • Entries must be received by 8/15/2006.
  • Contest will take place from 8/21 - 8/27.



RockSim Rocket Design Requirements:

  • Single stage
  • Payload requirements:
    • All designs must have an internal cargo space capable of carrying a payload measuring 3.9" in diameter and 12" long. (Fits inside a 3.9" body tube).
    • All designs must have a mass object of 2oz for flight computer used for deployment and/or air-starts.
    • Recovery system and electronics can not be in the payload area
  • Body Tubes:
    • All tubing must come from RockSim database.
    • Tubing sections may not be longer than their database default lengths.
    • Tubing sections must be joined by realistic couplers, bulkheads, transitions, centering rings, or sleeves.
    • There is no limit on airframe sizes.
    • Thinnest airframe can not be smaller than half the diameter of the widest airframe. (This does not apply to motor tubes).
    • There is no minimum length of combined tubes.
  • Transitions:
    • All transitions must have realistic forward and aft shoulders.
    • Maximum length of a transition is 2.5x max diameter.
  • Fins:
    • There must be 3 - 8 fins.
    • Custom fins allowed but must meet fin rules.
    • Each fin must have a semi-span and a root length equal or greater than half the diameter of the tube it is mounted to.
    • Additional sets of 2-8 fins are optional. These extra fins do not need to meet the location, semi-span, or root-length requirements. (microscopic fins can go here)
    • Fins cannot be any thinner than 1/16" (0.063") and must use strong material.
    • Tube fins and ring fins are allowed, but must have both their mass and drag accounted for.
  • Recovery:
    • Parachute recovery.
    • Parachute must be at least 0.001" thick.
    • Maximum size: Whatever will fit into the body tube.
    • Minimum size: Speed at landing must be less than 20 feet/sec.
    • You must include a realistic shock cord.
    • Dual Deployment is allowed.
      • Must deploy drogue or drogue less at apogee.
      • Minimum altitude for main deployment is 500 ft.
  • Motor Configuration:
    • No Maximum total impulse.
    • You must choose your motors for each Event
    • All motors contained in this file are valid. (
    • All motor tubes have to be filled for all events. Motor size may be one size smaller than the motor mount tube (i.e. 38 mm in 54 mm, 29 mm in 38 mm, etc…).
    • Motor delays must be set to none. Rocket will use electronics for deployment.
    • No manual modification of the .eng file.
    • No Home Made motors.
    • Motor overhang will be the default 0.5 inches unless told otherwise.
    • No external motor pods
  • Other:
    • Launch lugs are OPTIONAL. We will be flying from our trusty virtual 6-foot tower.
    • Materials must be standard weights that are in the Rocksim database
    • Materials must be standard thicknesses that are in the Rocksim database
    • NO CP Overrides
    • NO Mass Overrides (other than those in the standard RockSim database)
    • Mass Objects ARE allowed for adjusting CG. Mass objects may not be located in the cargo area of the rocket.
    • Must have at least 1 caliber of stability (RockSim Based) when loaded with your selected motor(s)

Contest Events:

  • Your rockets will participate in four events and will accumulate a total score. All events will use a 6-foot (72") launch tower and your choice of motor configuration (different for each event). For each event, you must also choose a launch angle, no more than +/- 20 degrees.
  • No changes to the rocket for each event (except chosing either timer or dual deploy)
    1. THE SKY'S THE LIMIT!: See how high you can get your beast! No payload. Must have a safe landing.
    2. IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE: You will be carrying an experimental payload for your local community college. You don't want to travel far to retrieve the rocket. So the goal is to get your rocket as high as possible, but land as possible to the launch pad. Payload is 10 lbs. Must have safe landing. Dual Deploy is allowed.
    3. ROCKETS TO THE RESCUE!: The coast guard asked to borrow your rocket! Their ship is out for repairs and they need to deliver important medial supplies to an off shore island 10,000 feet (up-wind) from the shoreline. Launching from the edge of the shore, you must safely land your rocket on an island that is 500 feet wide and nearest to the soreline without getting wet! Payload is 5 pounds. Dual Deployment is allowed.
      • Landing at 10,000 feet is perfect
      • Landing at 10,500 feet is okay
      • Landing at 9,999 or 10,501 is zero points
    4. - KING OF THE GRUNT: Your are asked to launch your rocket at an airshow. However, you are asked to keep the rocket moving as slow as possible, and as low as possible so spectators can be as awestruck as possible. Looking for two things here, slowest "Safe" speed, and lowest "Safe" altitude. No payload. Must have safe landing.
  • Flight Conditions:
    • Cloud Coverage: No Thermals.
    • Calm winds (0-2 mph), fairly constant speed (0.01).
    • Launch Guide Length: 72 inches
    • Misfires: None
  • DQ Conditions:
    • Your landing speed is higher than 20 feet/sec.
    • Flying out of bounds in event 3.
    • Rocket does not have a safe velocity (slower than 50 ft/s)
    • Rocket does not have a safe altitude. (lower than 1000 ft)
  • DQ Results:
    • No points just for that event.
  • Submission Checklist
    • Contestants must provide one RockSim file
      • RockSim RKT file
      • Rocket Name.
      • Times for air starts and deployments.
      • Main deployment altitude if using Dual Deployment.
      • Motor and rod angle selections for Events below:
        • (Launch angle limited to +/- 20 degrees. Be sure to give the proper "plus" or "minus" sign indication. If no sign is specified, we will assume you wanted "minus", into the wind.)
Motor Configuration Launch Angle Time for Airstart Time for Deployment Altitude for Main
Event #1 _________ ____ Degrees _________ _________ _________
Event #2 _________ ____ Degrees _________ _________ _________
Event #3 _________ ____ Degrees _________ _________ _________
Event #4 _________ ____ Degrees _________ _________ _________



Apogee Components
Apogee Components
(1) CD-ROM of the "Building Skill Level 2 Model Rockets" by Tim Van Milligan
Cowboy Rocketry
Launch Controller
(1) each DMB Launch Controller
Art Applewhite Rockets
UFO Picture Any Style of Flying Saucer kit of your choice of design up to a 29mm motor mount.
Pic One complete Electric Match Package:
1- ML-KIT *PLUS* Choice of (2):
1-bag of ML-12
1-bag of ML-24
1-bag of ML-48
1-bag ML-72
Link Out
$10 Gift Certificate for something of your choice!
$20 Gift Certificate for something of your choice!
SpaceCad Logo
(1) SpaceCAD Registration License

Let the Games Begin!

#9 - Bob Cox LooseGooseOfZeus image 0 0.2 0 1
Length = 106.8"
Diameter = 7.7"
Weight = 15.1 lbs
8x 54mm
Don't tell anyone this, but I think Bob's is the coolest looking entry. Just look at the decals on the body and fins! This rocket would look so cool in real life.
#8 - Bruce Levison Prometheus image 0 0.3 0 2
Length = 169.5"
Diameter = 11.7"
Weight = 36 lbs
1x 150mm, 5x 98mm, 5x 38mm
Wow! Bruce read my mind! If I was playing this contest, this is how I would of done it! Most of the power of the rocket is in the nose section, while a single 150mm motor pushes from behind. I am anxious to see how well it works out.
#1 - Todd Mullin Scrapyard Pariah image 0 1.0 0 3
Length = 115"
Diameter = 11.7"
Weight = 18.7 lbs
Scrapyard Pariah
1x 150mm, 12x 54mm, 12x 24mm
The first entry I got, and what an entry it is! Looks like something from Junkyard Wars! Guess he needs the no limit card just for fuel! This hunk of junk gets up there on 25 motors!
#5 - David Allen Vizier image 0 0.6 0 4
Length = 87"
Diameter = 4"
Weight = 15.4 lbs
1x 98mm
Another minimum diameter attempt. Sports a 98mm power plant and cool fins.
#2 - Aaron Head CompRock II image 0 0.9 1.6 5
Length = 124"
Diameter = 6.16"
Weight = 27.4 lbs
CompRock II
1x 54mm, 6x 38mm
Second Entry looks like Aaron is placing his chips on the last three events. Good looking rocket, a realistic one to build too.
#7 - David Austerberry Prometheus II image 0 0.4 0 6
Length = 127.75"
Diameter = 11.7"
Weight = 38.8 lbs
4x 98mm, 4x 54mm, 1x 38mm, 8x 29mm
Powered by 17 motor, this sharp looking rocket with its barely attached fins reminds me of some fireworks I shot off a long time ago. Good thing I am not simulating fins snapping off.
#6 - Joe Allen Big n' Fat image 0 0.5 1.6 7
Length = 128"
Diameter = 11.7"
Weight = 90.2 lbs
4x 98mm, 1x 75mm
This rocket reminds me of a Scud Missile. Powered by a central 75mm surrounded by 4 98's. I like the simplicity of the design.
#4 - Andy Peart The Asparagus and Tuna sandwich of Oblivion image 0 0.7 0 8
Length = 97"
Diameter = 11.87"
Weight = 26.1 lbs
1x 98mm, 7x 75mm, 7x 29mm, 14x 18mm
Not only does this beast look cool, it is also powered by the largest number of motors in this contest! 29 Total! All bets are on winning the first three events it seems.
#3 - Adam Incera Longshot image 0 0.8 1.6 9
Length = 161.8"
Diameter = 4"
Weight = 16.6 lbs
1x 98mm
Minimum Diameter, single motor power plant. Very modest approach here. I hope this rocket is called Longshot due to its length.

Final Standings

  Event 1 Event 2 Event 3 Event 4 Total Bonus Final Place
Todd Mullin 7 5 0 7 19 1 20 3
Aaron Head 1 7 0 7 15 2.5 17.5 5
Adam Incera 1 5 0 3 9 2.4 11.4 9
Andy Peart 4 3 0 4 11 0.7 11.7 8
David Allen 2 3 10 3 18 0.6 18.6 4
Joe Allen 1 4 0 5 10 2.1 12.1 7
David Austerberry 5 4 0 5 14 0.4 14.4 6
Bruce Levison 10 10 0 2 22 0.3 22.3 2
Bob Cox 3 3 7 10 23 0.2 23.2 1

Bob Cox gambled everything on the last two events. He knew he would not break any records with the first two which relied on pure power. His gamble worked. He was one of the two people that landed on the island, and took first place in event 4! Bruce had a early lead, but falling 6ft short of the island cost him dearly and he fell into second place. David Allen averaged in the middle, but he got first place in event 3, and because of all the wet or treed landings, he landed in third.

I want to thank all the players who participated in this event. You were all a good sport. This contest was a real challenge for everyone involved. My goal was to try something different, and because of that, things that we have not thought of have appeared. We found out some things were not as clear as we thought they were. I appreciate the understanding of contestants that were asked to make some changes, and for understanding my decision on what happened in event 3. - Douglas Gardei


Looks like Bruce's interesting design works well. He has a lot less power then Todd, but managed to pull ahead of him by several thousand feet. One thing I noticed with the large motor clusters is how airstarts were used. Many contestants "Revolver" fired them, one after another. Todds rocket produced almost constant trust for over half a minute! It is also interesting to note which motors were the most popular! In 150mm, the CTI O5100 (like there was any other choice? lol), 98mm was the N4800, 54mm the L1500, and 38mm the Ellis J228 showed favoritism. Probably they were the most powerful motor of that size. The two single 98mm rockets held their own with the Vizier taking 6th, and the Long Shot placing at 8th.

EVENT #1 - THE SKY'S THE LIMIT! (click here)


I was curious to see if there was going be any changes with altitude placement between Event 1 and 2. There was one change! Joe Allen's single motor Vizier snuck past Bob's Goose! Bruce is doing very well. He got first place in event one, and looks like he easily landed first place in this event too! Todd is also holding second place with his beast. Aaron, Adam, and Joe are tied for third. David Allen and Bob are tied for 4th.

EVENT #2 - IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE (click here)


Apparently the barrage of medical rockets launched on a day that was so foggy, that four people could not tell where the island was located. I examined the rules, and thought long and hard about whether or not I should count the landings that landed on the wrong island. Going by the rules, only one person qualified for a second chance (he did not specify + or - angle). Unfortunately, I could not do any favors for the other contestants. Everybody got three tries to land on the island. David Allen and Bob Cox were the only rockets that qualified. Bruce, who was leading in the first two events, lost his lead when his rocket fell only 6ft short of the shoreline! So close... sorry Bruce.

EVENT #3 - ROCKETS TO THE RESCUE! (click here)


Bob Cox really did his homework with this event. Not only did he get the slowest velocity for the event, he also got the lowest altitude! Aaron and Todd was not that far behind him, both tied for second place. Joe Allen and David Austerberry tied for third place. As expected, the large cluster rockets did not fair well with this event. Andy Peart managed 4th place, while Bruce got last place.

EVENT #4 - KING OF THE GRUNT (click here)


  • If we submit a design and it doesn't qualify for some reason, are we allowed to rework the design and resubmit or even submit a new design?
    • Yes, either, both...we will review them and let you know.
  • What is the measure for the one caliber rocket stability requirement Barrowman or Rocksim?
    • RockSim.
  • How are Contest Points scored?
    • An event "placement score" is determined based on your rank. First place gets 10 points, second place 7 points, third place 5 points, fourth place 4 points, fifth place 3 points, sixth place 2 points, seventh place and below get 1 flight point. If you DQ due to excessive landing speed your score would be zero (must be a qualified flight to score).
    • Your overall ranking will be based on your total score for the four events.
  • Aren't the RockSim 8 and less going to be upset about not being able to use the latest RockSim variations?
    • No, RockSim 8.0 Demo is now available at Apogee
  • How about using the other software?
    • Okay. What do you have? We will need to build up your model in RockSim 8.0 to participate.
  • Drag coefficient: Should we use the default Cd (0.75 for sustainer, 0.78 and 0.80 for boosters), or should we calculate Cd at simulation time?
    • Calculate at Simulation Time. Also, it will be set to "Use the Rocksim Simulation equation in simulations".
  • How do I simulate a Drogue-less Rocket?
    • Simulate drogue-less by using a very small parachute diameter.

The winners agree to write a kit review using the format guidelines included in EMRR's site. Previous winners are eligible for future Rocket Give-Away. EMRR assumes no responsibility for the kit once it leaves our location. EMRR is not liable for any damages or injury caused by the assembly or use of the kit.

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