The NAR has two safety codes, one for model rockets and one for high-powered rockets. The main differences lie in the indicated distances that everyone must remember from a take-off and in the additional high performance rules that require user certification and compliance with FAA airspace rules. The NAR Model Rocket Safety Code follows Chapter 2 of NFPA Code 1122, Code for Model Rocketry, while the NAR High Power Rocket Safety Code follows Chapter 2 of NFPA Code 1127, Code for High Power Rocketry. The NAR and TRA High Power Rocket Safety Code are virtually identical, as they are based on the specific requirements for rocket construction and operation. NAR insurance does not cover accidents attributable to safety code violations, and such violations are illegal in states that have adopted NFPA codes as law. The sports rocket hobby is divided into two general “classes”, the miniature rocket and the high-performance rocket. The dividing line between them is based on two factors: the characteristics of the rocket engine and the launch mass of the rocket. Rockets with engines above power class “G” (or engines with an average thrust of more than 80 Newtons, regardless of power class), with a combined total impulse of more than 320 Newton seconds or a launch mass of more than 1500 grams, are still called “high-performance rockets”. Rocket engines and high-powered rockets (together consumer rockets) are divided into a series of letters from A to O depending on the total momentum (power).
The total momentum is the integral of the thrust over the burning time. Flying rockets is not illegal per se and many rocket engines can be purchased, stored and flown without the need for certification or approval. When buying rocket engines, it is important to ask your seller if the engines you buy have any specific legal requirements. Most rocket engines cannot be purchased by miners. All N-class and higher missiles fall into this classification and all flights are strictly regulated by the CAA, which requires prior approval for flight. The UKRA Large Rocket Scheme was set up to help pilots complete this approval process with the CAA. For model rockets, the “safety distance” depends on the total power of all engines ignited on the platform: 15 feet for 30 N-sec or less and 30 feet for more than 30 N-sec. For high-power rockets, the distance depends on the total power of all the rocket engines, regardless of the number of engines ignited on the launch pad, and whether the rocket is “complex”, i.e. multi-stage or powered by a group of engines. The distance can range from 100 feet for a rocket with a single “H” engine to 2000 feet for a complex rocket in power class “O”. These distances are indicated in a table of NFPA code 1127 and NAR high performance safety code. However, for high-powered rocket enthusiasts, carrying larger engines often means an application to local police, as some UK police forces require larger rocket engines to be stored in a secure, fireproof safe as a safety precaution.
The process involves contacting the local gendarmerie and seeking advice on storage and security requirements. This may or may not involve a certification process, depending on how the local police interpret the issue. After years of discussions between UKRA and HSE, most rockets now require very little paperwork. All models of medium high-performance engines and even some smaller engines can now be purchased without an explosives license, only one RCA is required for transportation purposes. The most detailed safety guidelines available in the UK are the National Association of Rocketry (NAR) safety guidelines, which accompany Estes rocket designs. They are applicable to rocket enthusiasts everywhere and must be respected. Title 14, Chapter 1, Subchapter F, Part 101, Subdivision C – Amateur rockets, explicitly defines unmanned rockets as: There is no minimum age to purchase or fly model rockets and most types of model rocket engines under federal regulations or NFPA codes, Although most manufacturers recommend adult supervision for people under 10 years of age. Some states (such as California) and local jurisdictions have minimum age requirements for the purchase of engines, especially “D” and larger sizes. Hey, I`m really interested in getting into model rocket technology as a hobby because I love rockets and space and pretty much everything related to 2s. I live in the UK and wonder if there are any restrictions on using model rockets (so far I know they`re legal, but that`s about it). Also, what kind of space would you need to get into the hobby? There are no rocket clubs I`m in, so there`s no place I can do it specifically, and even though I have a back garden, it`s not that big. These rockets are known in UKRA affiliated clubs as High Power Rocketry (class H and above) and require certification to fly in a UKRA affiliated club.
The UKRA does not recommend that these missiles fly outside of a UKRA member club, as increased safety concerns are associated with the higher mass and performance of these flights. However, there are some local regulations in some parts of the UK that restrict or prohibit the launch of model rockets. This is similar to model remote-controlled aircraft, which are also subject to similar restrictions. With this in mind, UKRA acknowledges that many pilots struggle to get to existing clubs and want to fire missiles on their own. This page documents some of the things to keep in mind when deciding when and where to fly your rockets. The first requirement for a launch site is permission from the owner to use it to fly rockets! Using land – even public property – without permission is generally illegal and always sets a bad example for an NAR member to demonstrate responsible citizenship. NAR will issue “site owner” insurance to chartered sections to protect landowners from liability for rocket air accidents on their property – such insurance is generally required.