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Model Rocket Club, Section #139
Serving Maryland and the Washington Metropolitan Area
2000 - 2001 and 2003 - 2004 National Championship Section


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Last modified:
6/5/2014 18:59:43

The NARHAMS model rocket club serves Maryland and the Washington Metropolitan Area. The club is an official chapter section of the National Association of Rocketry (NAR). First established in 1965, NARHAMS is the oldest continuously operating model rocket club in the United States and was named Section of the Year for 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006, and 2007. We are also the National Championship section for 2001 and 2004.

Next Launch: Oct 1, 1:00 pm
Greenbelt, MD
Next Meeting: Oct 7, 5:30 pm
College Park, MD
Topic: Classic German Rockets
If a launch is postponed or cancelled, it will be updated here by 6 pm the day prior. Launch is assumed to be a GO unless otherwise noted.

NNRC-1 Launch

NARHAMS will be hosting its first NRC launch on September 16th at Old National Pike Park in Mt. Airy, MD. All NRC events may be flown. NARHAMS will provide launch equipment, flight cards, entry forms and stopwatches. If you choose to fly altitude you must provide your own approved altimeter. If you choose to fly payload you must provide your own payload. If you choose to fly egg loft, you must provide your own egg(s). This event will coincide with the club sport launch and will be followed by the annual night launch.

Night Launch

The annual NARHAMS Night Launch is scheduled for Saturday, September 16. Please be aware of the following special requirements for this launch:

  • Equipment pickup is 11 am at the storage unit.
  • Setup on the field will start about 11:30 am.
  • Daytime flying will be from 12 noon until 6 pm.
  • All night launch models must be safety inspected during daytime operation, including all motors to be used during night flights. All models must have made a successful daytime flight in full night configuration to be considered for inclusion. If you have a new model that has never flown at night, it must make a daytime flight with the RSO observing prior to 6 pm.
  • All models must be lighted. Models between 1 lb and 3.3 lbs must have a high-intensity light source such as a strobe or high-output LEDs (minimum 2000 mcd visible at 2000 feet). Models less than 1 lb and/or gliders powered by B motors or less may use cylume chemical light sticks.
  • Please pay special attention to electronic lighting power connections. Lights need to be visible on your model during boost and during descent. If your battery becomes disconnected on boost or at ejection, this creates a dangerous situation on descent not being able to see the model. So you need to be mindful of your test flight and confirm lighting continues to work on descent.
  • Daytime launching stops at 6 pm, and all daytime qualification flights must be done by 6 pm. The range will close at 6 pm, and reopen at 7 pm until 9 pm for night launches only.
  • During the night launch, all attending persons should be looking for aircraft and notify the RSO if one is spotted. Keep noise and talking to a minimum during countdowns, and keep conversations away from the range head.
  • All lanterns and flashlights must have a red lens cover. See the night RSO if you need one. White light destroys night vision.
  • At the conclusion of the night launch, please assist range tear down and cleanup.

Mt. Airy Launches

Club launches are held on the third Saturday of every month, weather permitting, at Old National Pike Park in Mt. Airy, Maryland. The field can support up to G-powered motors with the appropriate FAA waivers. Launch times vary throughout the year, so be sure to check the Calendar for details. Our launches are always open to non-club members who wish to fly. NARHAMS provides launch controllers and pads with 1/8", 3/16", and 1/4" rods, as well as 1010 and 20mm rails.

Please do not contact Frederick County Parks with questions about launches. Instead, email questions to any of the following people:
Alex Mankevich
Jim Filler
John McCoy

Directions to Mt. Airy Field

Goddard Launches

NARHAMS also supports the oldest public demonstration launches in the United States. These launches are held on the first Sunday of each month at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, starting at 1 pm. Anyone who wishes to fly at these events may do so. Due to the limited recovery area, the flying of high power models and untested designs is discouraged. The impulse limit at Goddard is D engine or less.

Directions to Goddard


Meetings are usually held on the first Saturday of each month, starting at 5:30 pm, at the College Park Airport. The first part of the meeting will be a building session or discussion. The business meeting will start around 7 pm, and will end around 9 pm. Any leftover items will get discussed over a late dinner at Ledo's.

The next scheduled meeting is October 7


Becoming a Member

If this sounds like fun, why not become a member? Dues are only 10 cents a week, with 50 cents minimum required to join. Download the membership form and send it in today!

Please note that to be eligible to vote at club meetings or to compete as a member of NARHAMS, you must also:
a) be a current member of the NAR
b) attend at least one of the previous 3 monthly business meetings

Mailing List

The NARHAMS-members Yahoo group is primarily for NARHAMS members to discuss upcoming events related to the club. Non-club members are free to join in the discussion, but please keep the postings at least somewhat related to model rocketry.

Subscribe to narhams-members

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Night Launch Pictures

Dave Fuller was busy taking pictures of the September sport and night launch. Check them out here.

Goddard Launches Waiver Update

Our waiver for launches at Goddard Visitor Center has been renewed through April 30, 2017. We will continue with our normal launch schedule on the first Sunday of the month at 1 pm. Special thanks to John Hochheimer, Jennifer Ash-Poole, Jim Filler, and Ed Pearson for working with the FAA and TSA to get a waiver approved for our launches. With that waiver come new restrictions: flights are now limited to D impulse motors and 2000 feet altitude.

Additional Information

NARHAMS President
Alex Mankevich

NARHAMS Section Advisor
John McCoy
107 Brandywine Place SW
Washington, DC 20032

National Association of Rocketry
P.O. Box 407
Marion, IA 52302
Sign up for the NAR's electronic newsletter here

Public Launches at Goddard
NASA Goddard Visitor Center