Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A brief history of the Dangerous Origins of Model Rocketry

io9 has published an interesting post about the history of model rocketry: The Dangerous Origins of Model Rocketry. The article explains that, while model rocketry has an 'almost impeccable safety record', its origins were not so safe. The article provides a short look at G. Harry Stine, Model Missiles, and Vern Estes, i.e. the beginning of model rocketry as we know it. I then expected a classical look at 'basement bombers'. Surprisingly, the article goes off on a tangent, focussing on very early attempts to attach rocket motors to airplane models. I didn't know that Alexander Graham Bell "fooled around" with rocket-propelled model airplanes as early as 1893. It presents examples of similar projects, some ads, and ends with a sci-fi spaceship. The latter is not dated, but I assume it was circa the 1950's. For hobby rocketeers, this pre-history is not complete, however, what it does present is worth the read.