UKRoC 2018
[MRS intro]

UKayRoC is now UKRoC - a bit more elegant but the web URL stays the same!

Here's what you need to get on top of the 2018 UK Rocketry Challenge - links and design tips

The links below will take you to sources of information about the Challenge and the things you may need to enter and WIN :-) Please be aware that sometimes there are changes in the schedule or in the rules which we are not in control of. Nevertheless, Model Rocket Shop will do all that it can to help you in this exciting STEM exercise.

UKRoC 2018 Rules

What's it all about? Take a look HERE


You are going to need some rocket simulation software. There are some free ones on the net and in the US they like Rock SIM. But for rocketeers on this side of the pond, the best we have found is SpaceCAD.

Lots of local products are already in their component database. And is is very easy to use. You can download a free demo copy to check it out. You can buy single copies from their web site.

If you want a site license for your team, then we can have great deals on three or more seats. Look HERE if you are interested.

Airframe Choices

This year's rules require two different size body tubes. For the first time, there is an alternative to Estes. Estes tubes are light but somewhat fragile. Klima tubes are more robust but a bit heavier as a result.

Having to join two different tube sizes requires a transition. This can be made of card (SpaceCAD will generate a template, or made from a truncated nose cone, called the "Apogee method". We hope to have a video shortly to show you how this is done. In the meantime, you can see what we are on about by looking at the picture of the Klima 75mm nose cone.

The advantage of the Klima tube system is that you can buy all the parts from Model Rocket Shop. There are three issues with the Estes system: One, Estes does not have nose cones for their BT-70 tubes, and, Two, there are no transitions for the BT-70 tube either and, three, BT-70 tubes are not a standard Estes part and are all but out of stock here in the UK at this time.

There are some suppliers in the US and we will try to get some in but supplies will be limited and they will be priced a la carte. Of course, if you have a lot of time, the right equipment and some skill you can 3D print a nose cone or carve one out of a foam block. But the availability BT-70 tubes will be an issue for a while.

Apogee makes lovely BT-70 cones for $15.73 plus postage, VAT, duty and post office handling charges if HMRC is feeling greedy.

Aerodynamic drag is an issue if you are trying to get a 650g rocket to 800 feet. Estes BT-80 tube has less frontal area than the Klima 75mm tube. However, the Klima 50mm tube is more aerodynamic than a BT-70. SpaceCAD to the rescue!

We will be offering bundles for Estes and Klima airframe components. The Estes one is slightly cheaper but has no couplers or a nose cone. Take your choice.

You can check out our airframes and associated bits by CLICKING HERE

Motor Selection

For the first time, Klima motors have been included on the Approved Motor List. They have an 18mm form factor (like Estes A/B/Cs) but each motor has the a total impulse much closer to the maximum in a given category. For example, Klima D9 motors have 19.5Ns total impulse while Estes Ds have 16.8Ns.

This is important if you need to get to the contest height. In addition, Klima Ds weigh the same as Estes Cs so in a cluster of four there is a considerable weight advantage vs. four Estes D12s.

Some Klima motors also come with a -P configuration - that means there is no ejection charge; the motor is plugged. One thing you may consider if all your motors ejecting at once that's quite a hot and strong event for a thin cardboard tube.

Lighting a cluster of motors, whether they are Estes or Klima, is made so much easier with Igniter Sticks and Tape Match. Quick Match is messy and can be less than totally reliable in inexperienced hands.

We hope to have a video showing how easy it is to be virtually sure that all your motors will light with Tape Match and Igniter Sticks. If you have a cluster of motors and one or more don't light, the motors that did catch will take your rocket directly to the scene of the accident :-( This is the reason why clusters are banned when the Challenge final is at the Paris Air Show (2019) as of this date.

Cesaroni's Ammonium Perchlorate Compound Propellant (APCP) motors are also a popular choice. Both Pro24 and Pro29 motors come in a variety of formulations with an F-range total impulse. These motors are reloadable - very different from the single use Estes and Klima motors. You'll need to have a case and a closure which can be re-used (unless it is hanging from a tall tree). Another advantage of Cesaroni motors is an adjustable delay to precisely determine when your parachute makes its debut.

Alas, Cesaroni had a fire a while back and they are not yet back into full production at the time of this writing. We anticipate having our stock of Pro24 and Pro29 motors in November, early or late, we can't tell yet. If you want to get going right away, this could be a problem.

Click HERE to go to our Approved Motor section.


With all the other factors to juggle, this part of the UKRoC set-up is easy :-) There are three approved altimeters, all from PerfectFlite. Some can interface with a PC to download full flight data while others, cheaper :-), will beep out a code telling you (and the judges) just how high your entry went.

To see our Altimeter Section CLICK HERE

Ground Support Choices

While the organisers will provide the where-with-all for the actual contest, you will need a sturdy pad and a safe and effective launch controller to do your trial flights and dial in your performance.

If you are tight on budget for a pad, you can always stick a 6mm rod in a bucket of cement ;-) On the other hand, the commercial pads are more than adequate and not terribly dear. Estes and Klima both make competent pads but do not try to use a wimpy starter set pad with an F powered rocket weighing 650 grams!

Your launch controller need not have the amperage to do arc welding but you will need to have enough current to ping a model rocket igniter if you are going with an Estes or Klima entry. If you are using Cesaroni power then you will need more amperage to get a Pro24 or Pro29 igniter to pay attention. Both the Klima and Estes mid-power controllers allow the use of an external battery. We use a 12V 7A motorcycle battery but one from a computer UPS works well, too. LiPo battery packs have been suggested. Maplin is a good source.

A note about home-brewed launch controllers. Sure, it's an easy DC circuit but the two accidental launches that we have seen were from DIY controllers that seemed OK. If you are determined to save money this way, test, test again and test yet again before you get near a live motor.

Click HERE to check out the commercial pad and controller options.

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