back to article Blighty's rocketeers gather for ballistic love-in

Those of you with a penchant for things that go really fast with flames coming out of the back are directed to this weekend's Festival of Rocketry 2011 – Europe's "largest model and amateur rocketry event", which blasts off on Friday at Oxhill in Warwickshire. Rocket launch. Pic: Festival of Rocketry 2011 The three-day …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    I wonder if JFL will be there?


    Perhaps they should warn attendees of the possible consequences of being contaminated with nanogram quantities of RDX at such events?

    It would be nice to see a follow-up article on JFL's current situation after such shoddy treatment by our "establishment".

    1. Anteaus

      RDX in model rocket motors?

      Seems unlikely that model motors would intentionally contain RDX, but it occurs to me that Estes probably get their propellants from a pyrotechnics manufacturer, and there might be minute amounts of cross-contamination for other production lines in the same factory.

      I wonder if Plod followed-up that possibility. OK, silly question really. Detector reads positive. We have an arrest.

  2. dit-dit-dit-dah


    Twenty thousand miles of baler twine and we've got the start of the british space elevator project.

    Don't give me any of that carbon nanotube nonsense. I grew up on a farm - you can tie *anything* together with baler twine.

    1. zaax
      Thumb Up

      Thats a go then I think i've got that much

      105 600 000 feet, thats only a couple of hundred quids worth, and I might have most of that laying about in the bottom barn. Though you'll have to be quick as we're using it pretty quick at the moment.

    2. stucs201

      re: baler twine

      Hmmm, sounds like this might be the country bumpkin's equivalent of gaffa tape.

    3. David_H

      It's got to be seen

      As Deputy President of the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs and someone who has designed electronics for past (and future) space missions, I feel uniquely able to comment on this.

      Although half of the countryside seems to be held together with baler twine, I have yet to see it in an assembly clean room, or on any launch site. Therefore I shall try to be there at the weekend to witness the launch of some of these rockets, and hopefully get a few pictures with baler twine in use. I might even join one of the classes and make sure I use plenty of twine ;-)

      It’s great to see a fun and educational hobby thriving so well – it’s just a shame that our government stopped our space program when Blue Streak was proving so successful and reliable.

    4. Anonymous Coward


      It's not properly British unless it involves grey Duck tape in some capacity.

      1. Disco-Legend-Zeke

        The American Definition Of...

        ...high quality:

        There are no wrinkles in the duct tape.

    5. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Pure bloody genius

      If you wrap it with gaffer tape it will be even stronger.

  3. Alfie

    Fairlie Near Space

    Who knew that International Rocket Week was taking place outside Fairlie?!

    However a ceiling of 16,000 ft isnt really near space is it?

    On the plus side, a wayward rocket could aim^H^H^H accidentally hit Hunterston B from there. That would be entertaining!

  4. Jon Thompson 2

    I'm surprised that...

    ...this wonderful event hasn't been got at by the dreaded Health and Safety nazis. Mind you, I'm still amazed that building and launching your own ballistic missiles is perfectly legal, while taking a drink of water onto a plane can get you convicted of "terrorism"...

  5. Anonymous Coward


    We live in a society that won't let kiddies play conkers or climb a tree. Yet here we are encouraged to do a corporate softball event every year here in the office. Dunno why they call it softball because it's big white and rock solid...fnar fnar!

    Let's face it though I'm really rubbish at softball, but if I manage to get a good hit then I really do pack some beef into it.

    Last year while attempting to bat, I missed the back of a colleagues head by three inches -I have no aiming skills whatsoever -nor it would seem do any of my colleagues. Other people were just as lucky, also just missing people in the park by mere inches. Amazingly there were no injuries (just a matter of time though) but it's fantastically dangerous.

    We can do all that and the 'elf n safety' brigade say nothing. Chase a rolling cheese down a hill (much safer in my view) and their all over you.


    Full thrust to the rocketeers though I think thats great.

  6. Adrian Esdaile

    16000ft ceiling

    Is nearer to space than I am now!

    Wish I was there, I love the smell of black powder and hearing things go whoosh!

    ROCKETS! What's not to like?

  7. Mark York 3 Silver badge


    Always reminds me of The Goodies episode & THO recently suggested using it (with fairly massive ground pegs) to secure the kids trampoline down so high prairie winds won't blow it away

    As string& a nail banged into something inappropriate is her response to any problem requiring support , my retort that string was a wonderfully strong material frequently used in the construction of bridges, did not amuse her. It did amuse a woman passing us by at the time, who was trying desperately (& almost suceeded) not to laugh at that.

  8. Dave Cheetham

    Do you get a badge for it?

    Cardboard tubes, washing up liquid bottles, string, sellotape (durex to you aussies), ah that brings back memories... and here's one we made earlier.

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