Australian Youth Rocketry Challenge Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit the Australian Rocketry Forum as a great resource to communicate with other teams and mentors.

AYRC FAQs

Q: I have never launched a rocket before, where do I begin?

A: Everything you need to know is in the Australian Youth Rocketry Challenge Handbook. We recommend starting with a few basic kits and motors to get a basic understanding of how rockets work. There is a selection of reputable suppliers listed on the Partners & Sponsors page. They will be able to inform you of what kits are best to start with. Make sure you grab a launch rod and controller also to launch your rocket.

Q: Am I insured to participate in the AYRC?

A: ABSOLUTELY! AYRC is a member of the Australian governing body for rocketry, the Australian Model Rocket Society (AMRS) who carries a $20,000,000 public liability insurance policy for its members.

Q: I am in primary school, can I enter the egg lofting challenge?

A: Yes, any student/team may enter the egg lofting challenge, however only primary school students may participate in the primary challenge aka the ‘show and shine’.

Q: Where can I purchase parts and motors for my rocket?

A: There are a number of stores that supply rocket products and the AYRC has partnered with the biggest and best suppliers. Please visit the AYRC Vendors/Suppliers page to see where the best place to source your products: http://rocketcontest.org.au/resources/vendors/

Q. We have multiple teams, do we require a launch rod and controller for each team?

A. No. You can share the one launch rod and  controller between each team. You only require more than one launch rod and controller if you want to have a drag race.

Q: How large is the egg?

A: The egg to be used in AYRC is a raw hen’s egg of 57 – 63grams weight and no more than 45millimeters in diameter.

Q: Do we need to supply our own egg at the fly-off?

A: No, eggs will supplied to teams at the fly-off.

Rocket Assembly FAQs

Q: Where do I position my launch lugs?

A: The vertical position of your launch lugs can be critical as the rocket comes off the rod/rail. Make sure when you are learning on kits you read the instructions carefully. It is often best to centre the top lug over the CoG. REMEMBER, make sure your launch lugs are NOT in line with the fins!

Model Rocketry FAQs

Q: What is Model Rocketry?

A: Model rocketry is aerospace engineering in miniature. This popular hobby and educational tool was founded in 1957 to provide a safe and inexpensive way for young people to learn the principles of rocket flight. It has grown since then to a worldwide hobby with over 5 million flights per year, used in some 30,000 schools worldwide. Its safety record is extraordinarily good, especially compared to most other outdoor activities, and its safe and inexpensive products are available in some model shops and dedicated vendors in the US, Europe, the UK and most importantly Australia. Model rocketry has inspired at least two generations of young people to pursue careers in technology.

Q: What is a Model Rocket?

A: A model rocket is a reusable, lightweight, non-metallic flight vehicle that is propelled vertically by an electrically-ignited, commercially-made, certified, and non-explosive solid fuel rocket motor. Beside very important safety reasons, it is illegal for any rocket hobbyist to mix, load chemicals or manufacture raw propellant; all model rocket motors are bought pre-made, including reusable casing type systems. Model rockets are always designed and built to be returned safely and gently to the ground with a recovery system such as a parachute.

They are always designed to be recovered and flown many times, with the motor being replaced between flights.

Model rockets come in two size classes: LOW & MID POWER rockets, which are less than 1500grams in weight, have less than 62.5 gram (125 gram under some conditions) of propellant, and generally available to consumers of all ages; and HIGH-POWER rockets, which are larger, use motors larger than “G” power, and are available only to certified individuals.

Q: Are these rockets legal?

A: Model rockets may be legally flown provided that the entire flight starts and finishes land for which the landowner has given permission. Flights may be made in uncontrolled airspace, which is away from airfields. The guiding principle is that model rockets must not cause a hazard to other air users. This is amplified in CASA’ CASR part 101.

Flights should not be made in mountainous areas or on estuaries, as the rockets could be confused with emergency flares causing an inadvertent call-out of the rescue services.

Q: Is this hobby safe?

A: ABSOLUTELY! The hobby operates under the simple and easy-to-follow Model Rocket and High-Power Rocket Safety Codes, which have been fine-tuned by professional engineers and public safety officials to maximize user and spectator safety. The foundations of these Safety Codes are that model rockets must be electrically ignited from a safe distance with advance warning to all those nearby, must have recovery systems, must be flown vertically in a suitably-sized field with no aircraft in the vicinity, and must never be aimed at a target or used to carry a pyrotechnic payload. All model rocket motors are subjected to extensive safety and reliability certification testing to strict international standards.

There has been well over 500 million flights since the hobby was founded. With internationally recognised safety codes, model rocketry’s record shows that it is safer than the majority of other model or outdoor physical activities.

Q: Are these rockets fireworks?

A: NO! Most Australian guidelines recognise model rockets as different from fireworks. Fireworks are used by professional operators only. They are single-use recreational products designed solely to produce noise, smoke, or visual effect. They have few of the designed-in safety features or pre-consumer safety testing of a reusable model rocket, and none of the model rocket’s educational value.

Fireworks are fuse-lit, an inherently dangerous ignition method that is specifically forbidden in the hobby of model rocketry. Model rockets are prohibited from carrying any form of pyrotechnic payload; their purpose is to demonstrate flight principles or carry educational payloads, not blow up, make noise, or emit a shower of sparks.

Q: Who are the experts?

A: There are varying rocketry groups throughout the world and in Australia the governing body for rocketry is the Australian Model Rocket Society (AMRS). The best source of information is through your local club which has plenty of members with many years of experience. Visit the AMRS to find a club near you www.rocketry.org.au. The next best source is the largest rocketry forum in Australia, which we encourage everyone to join and discuss everything relating to your project. www.ausrocketry.com/forum.

Q: How do we safely fly our rocket?

A: By following the Australian Model Rocket Society Inc. rocketry safety code, your rocket flights will be extremely safe and enjoyable. The safety code can be found in your Australian Youth Rocketry Challenge Handbook. Click here to visit the AMRS website.

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