Saturday, May 30, 2009

"Rockets Beyond Strange" at NARAM 51!!!

As you all are aware, NARAM-51 is just around the corner. It will be held near Johnstown, PA on August 8 - 14, 2009. I sure had fun at NARAM-50 and #51 should be a blast. Unfortunately, even though it is relatively close, I won't be attending. As you all probably also know, I LOVE ODDROCS! So, when I noticed one of the events is entitled "Rockets Beyond Strange", I felt a heartache. Here's what the organizers have to say:
For the past eight years, a bizarre column has appeared in the pages of Team Pittsburgh. A few think it is strange. Many think it is quite beyond merely strange. In this discussion, Francis Graham, a physics professor at Kent State University and the founder of the Tripoli Rocketry Association, will discuss highly unusual rockets which use 18mm and 13 mm engines featured in his column "Rockets Beyond Strange". These flying devices include monocopters, aplanocopters, spinnerspools, helical rockets, magnus effect lifter rockets, caudipetors, rack rockets, autophagous rockets, and a host of other exceedingly unorthodox designs.
Let's run down the list of oddities:
  • monocopters - there are so many of these around these days, they are almost not odd
  • aplanocopters - follow the link for a description/photo
  • spinnerspools - nope, never seen one
  • helical rockets - yup, I built one - the Screw-Up
  • magnus effect lifter rockets - follow the link for a description/photo
  • caudipetors - follow the link for a description/photo
  • rack rockets - also barely odd
  • autophagous rockets - Never heard of 'em either. autophagous means 'self-consuming'. I want to see one in action!
Let me close by saying Francis Graham and the Pittsburgh group actually developed or at least introduced me to all of the above, except for the Screw-Up, which I screwed up all by myself. (See one of his latest projects here.)