So you want to know everything there is to know about model rocketry? You may be sorry you asked. For such a small hobby, the practitioners are typically very intelligent and very proficient at producing information on the topic. So get ready to dive into a very large pile of rocket science.

Books and Publications

If you are new to model rocketry or want the refresh your memory before diving back in, there are many resources available to you. The book many consider to be the "bible" of model rocketry, and the official handbook of the National Association of Rocketry is the Handbook of Model Rocketry by G. Harry and Bill Stine.

Another excellent book to add to your library is Model Rocket Design and Construction by Tim Van Milligan. If you like SARG member Gina Gibson's exotic rocket designs, then this is the book for you as Tim covers some unique building techniques.

If you want to take your knowlege of rocketry to the highest level, then Topics in Advanced Model Rocketry is what you are looking for. The popular rocketry software program Rocksim was designed using this book.

If you plan to enter the world of high-power rocketry, don't start your journey before picking up a copy of Modern High-Power Rocketry 2. Author Mark Canepa gives you step by step instructions on building a level 1, 2, and 3 high-power model rocket.

Other books include:

50 Model Rocket Projects for the Evil Genius

The Model Rocketry Handbook

Another source of printed material are bookets covering specific topics. Estes offers downloadable pdf files of its publications for free. Apogee Components continues the tradition of offering technical publications.

The Theoretical Prediction of the Center of Pressure by James and Judith Barrowman

Centuri and Estes Technical Publications

Estes and Centuri, two of model rocketry's pioneer manufacturers, produced technical reports and notes in the 1970s. Copies can fetch a pretty penny on eBay, but you can download them free from here:


Designer's Manual

TIR 24 - Lifting Bodies

TIR 30 - Stability of a Model Rocket in Flight by Jim Barrowman

TIR 33 - Calculating the Center of Pressure of a Model Rocket by Jim Barrowman

TIR 52 - Reliable Cluster Ignition

TIR 123 - Multi Staging Principles


Classic Collection of Technical Reports and Technical Notes

TR 3 - Altitude Tracking

TR 6 - Cluster Techniques

TR 10 - Altitude Prediction Charts

TR 11 - Aerodynamic Drag of Model Rockets by Dr. Gerald M. Gregorek

TR ? - Boost Gliders

TN 5 Mathematics of Model Rocket Flight

Science & Model Rocketry

Projects in Model Rocketry

Newton's Laws of Motion


Adventures in Rocket Science

Ares Educator Guide

Missile Aerodynamics

Rockets Educator Guide


Table of Tangents Guide

Rocketry Software

All of the caculations described in the above literature has been bundled up in software programs that allow the hobbyist to design a model rocket on the computer. Here some of the available programs:

Rocksim - RockSim is a full featured rocket design and simulation program from Apogee Components. It comes bundled with Engine Editor, which is used to create engine files.

Open Rocket - The newest of the lot with the perfect price - free! The latest build allows the import of Rocksim files.

SpaceCAD - Less sophisticated than Rocksim, but some hobbyists prefer it. SpaceCAD uses wRASP format files.

Burnsim - BurnSim is a solid rocket steady-state ballistic simulation software package for the Windows platform.

Visual Center of Pressure - is a free Center of Pressure/Center of Gravity stability calculator for Windows.

WinRoc - a popular suite of rocketry programs, with a nice graphical user interface.

AeroFinSim - a structural analysis program, it determines how strong the fins are by determining the aerodynamic fin loads.

Thrust Curve Tool - designed to analyze rocket motor thrust data and to produce standard ‘.eng’ files for use with flight simulators such as wRASP and Rocksim.


The internet offers a huge selection of resouces about model rocketry. Many model rocket hobbyists post how to articles on building and videos or their triumphs (and disasters). Here is a sampling of some:

General How to Sites

John Coker's Rocketry

Strib's Rocket Page

Modifying a Low Power Model Rocket into a Mid to High Power

Turbocharging the Estes Maxi Brute Honest John

Building the Estes D-Region Tomahawk

High Power Certification

Hobbyists who wish to fly Class H and above rocket motors are required to obtain a Level 1, 2, or 3 high-power certification through the NAR or Tripoli. Many of our members hold a high-power certification.

NAR Level 2 Online Study Guide

Tripoli Level 2 Online Study Guide

Astrobee D Rocket Project

Mike Fisher's Level 2 Project

Rocket Team Vaatsas Pershing I

Scott Rockdale's High Power Rockets

Wedge Oldham's Nike Project

Greg Lyzenga's Level 3 WAC Corporal Project