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RockSim Virtual Rocket Contest
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Chan Stevens has stepped up to run our third guest-run Virtual Rocket Contest. He has developed a contest that may seem difficult, but in reality is focused on competitor strategies. Being such he has decided to call this the: Virtual Iron Rocketman Competition.

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 1/16/2006.
  • Contest will take place from 1/17 - 1/23.



RockSim Rocket Design Requirements:

  • Single-Stage
  • Clusters are acceptable, though must light simultaneously at launch. Empty tubes allowed for events.
  • Staging is not allowed (duration events normally measured when first piece touches down)
  • All motors contained in this file are valid. (
    • Motors used may be smaller than motor tube, but not larger.
  • Must use "real" materials, no custom materials
  • Materials must be standard weights that are in the rocksim database
  • Materials must be standard thicknesses that are in the rocksim database
  • All fins must be a minimum of 0.016 thickness
  • Launch lugs and Mmotor Hook is optional
  • Must include realistic recovery:
    • Every flight must deploy a recovery device or be DQ'd. Any velocity at landing exceeding 40 ft/sec will be DQ's as unsafe and the model will be considered destroyed.
    • Recovery device(s) must fit completely within design
  • NO CP Overrides
  • NO Mass Overrides
  • Mass Objects are allowed for adjusting weight and CP
  • Stability: no requirement (unstable would be self-penalizing)
  • Materials with bugs will be pointed out to participants for correction. Below are three known ones:
    • "1.3 oz. Ripstop Nylon (SkyAngle)" Streamer that weighs 0.103 ounces
    • Fins made from "G10 (PML 0.062"")" set to 0.125" thick that weigh 0.000 oz.
    • Use of Virtual-Newtonion priciples to create negative-drag fins first demonstrated by Chan Stevens
  • Select the rocket part colors and decals that your would like to see posted

Contest Events:

  • Your rocket will be flown in (5) events and will accumulate a total score:
    • #1 - (C) Streamer Duration: Motor choices restricted to C impulse*. You may fly this up to two times. Your score will be the combined duration of your qualified flights. You must return at least one to place. Streamer can be any material, but must fit realistically in the model.
    • #2 - (B) Parachute Duration: Same as event #1, though recovery method must be parachute, and motor impulse* is B.
    • #3 - (C) Altitude: You may fly this up to two times, though your score will be the single highest flight with motor restricted to C impulse*. In the event that a track is lost, the contestant has the option of 1) not counting the flight and re-flying, or 2) counting it as a qualified flight.
    • #4 -Open Spot Landing: You may fly this event just once, and select any motor. Your score will be distance to a pin located 135 feet downwind of the launch pad. Closest to the pin wins.
    • #5 - Drag Race: your rocket will fly on any motor and at a launch angle of your choosing. The score for this event will be based on a combined ranking from each of these categories.
      4a) Fastest time to clear the tower
      4b) Longest time to landing
      4c) Closest landing to pad
    • Flight Conditions:
      • Launch Guide Length: 36 inches
      • Stability: RockSIM method
      • CD: Calculate at Simulation Time (RockSIM)
      • Deployment: Deploy at engine ejection
      • Weather: Click Here
      • Misfires: None
      • Field Size: Model loss based on site dimensions and drift distance beyond site. Field would be a half mile radius, mile diameter. Considered lost outside of that range.
      • Failure Percentages:
        • Rare (5%) recovery device failures
        • No damage
        • Track loss perfect conditions (5%)
    • Iron Rocketman Scoring:
      • Your points for each event will be based upon your rank and then multiplied by the weight factor for the event. (* you must have a qualified flight in the event to get the "flight points")
      • Rank Multiplier will be:
        • 1st--10
        • 2nd--6
        • 3rd--4
        • 4th--2
        • all others--1*
      • Event Weight Factors will be:
        • #1--6
        • #2--8
        • #3--10
        • #4--4
        • #5--5
    • DQ Conditions:
      • Each contestant gets to bring two identical models/copies to the field (one design). This means if you lose 1, you can continue flying, but if you lose a second one, your day is done.
      • Every flight must deploy a recovery device or be DQ'd. Any velocity at landing exceeding 40 ft/sec will be DQ's as unsafe and the model will be considered destroyed.
      • *Impulse clarification--total impulse (any combination of motors) must conform to NAR impulse ranges for the class. B=2.51-5 NS, C=5.01-10 NS. For open class events, total combined impulse cannot exceed 160 NS.
  • Submission Checklist
    • Contestants must provide rocksim files for each flight/configuration
    • Each contestant must specify his/her flight sequence (up to 8 total flights) and for each flight include (see example in Q/A):
      • RockSim RKT file
      • Rocket Name
      • Event/flight #
      • Motor selection
      • Launch Angle (+/-30 degrees)
      • Reflight option if altitude/track lost

SUBMIT to Chan Stevens HERE:

PRIZE TABLE (Can you contribute? Earn a point in the EMRR Challenge by contributing under your name!):

Model Minutes US
Model Minutes US
Space Racer
(1) G200 Heavy Carrier
Link Out
$10 Gift Certificate for something of your choice!
$20 Gift Certificate for something of your choice!
$10 Gift Certificate for something of your choice!
Apogee Components
Apogee Components
(1) CD-ROM of the "Building Skill Level 2 Model Rockets" by Tim Van Milligan
Chan Stevens
(1) Semroc Hydra VII

Let the Games Begin!

Cox  Allen  Levison  Paquin  Pontikos  Mullin  Cooke  Stanley  Duchesne  Myers  Laherty
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th

Final Standings
#10 - Bob Cox Lil' Pink Rocket Of Zeus image 0 0 0 1
Length = 11.8"
Diameter = 0.54"
Weight = 0.475
Bob returns trying to reclaim his status atop Olympus with the "Lil' Pink Rocket of Zeus". One of (3) 13mm designs, I can see why Bob has routinely been a top performer-attention to detail. Among the 5 variations submitted, there were over 400 simulations (Bob claims only a hundred or so weren't copied over from file to file). He even went as far as folding the streamer for duration events, but packing it unfolded/flat for altitude and spot landing. Sadly, he seems to have neglected his trademark lightning bolt fins.
#11 - David Allen entry image 0 0 1.6 2
Length = 5.2"
Diameter = 0.54"
Weight = 0.533
David rounds out the newbie class with a carefully designed "Entry". Boasting Texas pride decals, David's design is short, skinny, and barely large enough for a motor, let alone some of the larger streamers of the competition. I've seen launch lugs that are bigger than his entry. Let's hope the virtual trackers can get a reading on this little guy.
#3 - Bruce Levison Steelyeyed image 0 0.9 0 3
Length = 11.3"
Diameter = 0.74"
Weight = 0.578
Bruce returns with the Steely-Eyed determination of a veteran frequently among the top performers. With precision calculation of optimum rod angles, and a 5x500 streamer that fits "virtually" perfectly inside his tube, he's poised to soar. Check out another cool decal design.
#6 - Claude Paquin Bah Humbug! image 0 0.6 1.6 4
Length = 6.0"
Diameter = 0.54"
Weight = 0.3228
"Bah Humbug"? I wonder what Claude was up to during the Christmas season. One of (3) 13mm models, it's the lightest in the field. It looks like he was dipping into the egg nog when attaching the fins, though. If I didn't know better I'd say he attached at the tip, not the root.
#4 - Michael Pontikos Fast Bird III image 0 0.8 1.6 5
Length = 11.5"
Diameter = 0.74"
Weight = 2.39
The first newbie of the contest, Michael's Fast Bird III sports classic styling, and a monster 40" chute. He'll get plenty of exercise retrieving that bird.
#1 - Todd Mullin Log image 0 1.1 0 6
Length = 5.1"
Diameter = 0.74"
Weight = 1.05
Watch out for the log! More like a stubby number 2 pencil, you can't beat it with a stick. Check out the fins (or lack thereof). The optical illusion is that they're translucent.
#7 - Bill Cooke Eisenman image 0 0.5 0 7
Length = 14.8"
Diameter = 0.74"
Weight = 1.16
Bill's "Eisenmann" is another relative longneck at 14.8 inches long. Another cool decal job. The question is, though, will it fly like balsa or like iron, a little over double Claude's weight?
#8 - Peter Stanley Stanley Screamer image 0 0 0.5 8
Length = 12.2"
Diameter = 0.74"
Weight = 0.444
Peter returns as a semi-newbie with his Stanley Streamer. His 6x60 streamer and 14" long design still come just a few grams over half an ounce.
#9 - Remi Duchesne Explorer image 0 0 1.6 9
Length = 12.7"
Diameter = 0.74"
Weight = 0.405
Remi's "Explorer" makes (3) first-timers and one second-timer out of the first 8 entries. His efficient design is about twice the length of Claude's, 18mm diameter, yet only slightly heavier. Big fins, though, might be a bit of a drag on performance.
#2 - Jim Myers Ivan image 0 1.0 0 10
Length = 16.5"
Diameter = 0.98"
Weight = 4.63
Jim's "Ivan" is a no-nonsense design. It's the longest and biggest diameter entry in the contest. We'' see how that 8.5" wide streamer holds up.
#5 - Rich Laherty Ironman Rocket image 0 0.7 1.6 11
Length = 11.9"
Diameter = 0.77"
Weight = 0.753
Another virtual newbie, Rich's "Ironman Rocket" hopes to grab some hardware in this contest.

Virtual Iron Rocketman Contest
Final Standings

Conestant C-SD B-PD C-ALT OSL DRAG Contest Early Newbie Bonus Final
Name Points Points Points Points Points Points Bird Bonus Points* Points
Cox 60 32 60 24 50 226 0 0 0 226
Allen 6 16 100 40 20 182 0 1.6 8 190
Levison 6 80 10 4 50 150 0.9 0 4.5 154.5
Paquin 24 8 40 4 5 81 0.6 0 3 84
Pontikos 6 48 10 4 0 68 0.8 0 3.2 71.2
Mullin 6 8 20 16 10 60 1.1 0 5.5 65.5
Cooke 36 0 10 0 5 51 0.5 0 1.5 52.5
Stanley 12 8 10 8 5 43 0 0.5 2.5 45.5
Duchesne 6 8 10 4 5 33 0 1.6 8 41
Myers 6 8 10 4 5 33 1 0 5 38
Laherty 6 8 10 0 0 24 0.7 1.6 6.9 30.9

FLIGHTS - Day 1 (click here)
Commentary - Day 1 (click here)

FLIGHTS - Day 2 (click here)
Commentary - Day 2 (click here)

FLIGHTS - Day 3 (click here)
Commentary - Day 3 (click here)

FLIGHTS - Day 4 (click here)
Commentary - Day 4 (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.
  • Show me an example of submission data to this contest?
    • Event Flight Motor Rod angle RocksimFile Name Refly
      #1 - C-SD 1 C6-7 -2 stevens_streamer4x40.rkt  
      #1 - C-SD 2 C6-7 0 stevens_streamer6x60.rkt  
      #2 - B-PD 1 B6-6 0 stevens_chute-9 (9" chute).rkt  
      #2 - B-PD 2 B6-6 0 stevens_chute-24.rkt  
      #3 - C-alt 1 C6-7 0 stevens_streamer2x24.rkt N
      #3 - C-alt 2 C6-7 0 stevens_streamer2x24.rkt Y
      #4 - OSL 1 A8-3 12 stevens_streamer2x24.rk  
      #5 - Drag 1 C6-7 -3 stevens_streamer2x24.rkt  
    • The strategy above would require 5 rocksim files, with the only difference between them being the recovery device.
    • Note that while this strategy might safely get you points in each event, it could be hard to get a multiplier for higher placement without more aggressive flights.
  • How are Contest Points scored?
    • An event "placement score" is determined based on your rank and weighting multipliers. Example--You place 3rd in the C altitude. Your score would be 10 (WF) times 4 (rank multiplier), or 40 total points. You place 11th in Open Spot Landing. Your score would be 4 (WF) times 1 (rank), or 4 total points. You DQ in B-PD due to recovery device failure (separation). Your score would be zero (must be a qualified flight to score).
    • Your place will be based on total score
  • You say materials must be those listed in RockSim ... can I build/design any part using those materials?
    • Yes, you may. This does not imply that you have to take the part from the database.
  • Aren't the RockSim 5 and 6 users going to be upset about not being able to use the RockSim 7 variations? How about using the other software?
    • 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".
  • I didn’t see anything about dual deployment (i.e. drogue chute and main chute). Is that allowed?
    • No, you must use the "Deploy at engine ejection" option
  • Do I have to fly the events in order?
    • No. Of the 8 contest flights, you may choose which ones you want to fly in sequence. For example, you could fly OSL, drag, altitude, streamer, altitude, streamer, chute, chute.
  • Do I have to fly the same file for both flights in the duration events?
    • No. You may use different files for first and second flights, as long as you specify which files is used for each flight. Changes are limited to recovery device size and mass object (nose weight).

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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