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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: Sep 7, 1:00 pm
Greenbelt, MD
Next Meeting: Sep 6, 5:30 pm
College Park, MD

ABO Triathlon Fun Event

NARHAMS is hosting a triathlon fun event at Mt. Airy, MD on Saturday, September 20. The event is open to everyone, and there is no fee to participate. Winners in junior and senior divisions will receive medals.

This year the rules have changed slightly to allow any type of motor for spot landing. Scoring is also updated this year to match the way quadrathon was scored at NARAM.

Event rules:

  • The same model must be used to make 3 flights. Minor repairs may be made between flights as needed.
  • Models cannot separate into two or more unattached parts.
  • If the model lands in a location where it cannot be returned (tree, power line, etc), but is visible to a contest official, a similar model may be substituted for subsequent flights.
  • In the event of a catastrophic failure, a similar model may be substituted for a reflight and subsequent flights.
  • First flight must use an A-powered motor and parachute recovery. The goal is to achieve maximum flight duration.
  • Second flight must use a B-powered motor and streamer recovery. The goal is to achieve maximum flight duration.
  • Third flight may use any motor and any recovery type. The goal is to land closest to a target spot on the ground.
  • All flights must be completed by 5 pm.
  • Flight 1 score = time in seconds + 1
  • Flight 2 score = time in seconds + 1
  • Flight 3 score = (50 - distance in meters, up to a maximum of 50) + 1
  • If a flight is disqualified, it shall receive a score of 1 that flight.
  • Final score = (flight 1 score) x (flight 2 score) x (flight 3 score)
  • Flight 1 duration is 30 seconds. Score is 31
  • Flight 2 duration is 25 seconds. Score is 26
  • Flight 3 distance is 15 meters. Score is 36
  • Total score = 31 x 26 x 36 = 29016

If you have any questions, please contact Chris Kidwell

New Launch Pads

New launch pads are in, and looking good in NARHAMS blue! Thanks to Jef Fineran for taking care of the ordering, and to the NAR for providing some of the funding through the section grant program. Look for the new pads at a launch soon!

NARHAMS in the News

We got a nice mention in Carroll Magazine recently, with quotes from Jim Miers, Alex Mankevich, and Mark Wise. Check out the full article!

2014 Meeting Location

Thanks to the efforts of Alec Waterhouse, we have been granted use of the House at the Crossroads meeting room at Wallace Presbyterian Church in College Park, MD. Meeting dates and times remain the same for now, but we may need to be flexible since church events would take priority over us. See the Event Details page for additional info and directions.

Upcoming Launches

September 7, Goddard
This is the monthly launch at Goddard Visitory Center in Greenbelt, MD.

September 20, Mt. Airy
This is our monthly sport launch at Mt. Airy, MD. During the day, we are holding our annual Triathlon contest. The range will shut down at 6 pm to transition to night launch mode. We will start again at 7 pm, and continue until about 9 pm. Remember that all models flown at the night launch must have had a successful daytime launch previously. Jim Filler is launch manager.

Upcoming Meetings

September 6, College Park
The September meeting features election of club officers, and a glider building session. Reminder that meetings for 2014 have been moved to Wallace Presbyterian Church, 3725 Metzerott Road, College Park, MD.

Goddard Launches Waiver Update

Our waiver for launches at Goddard Visitor Center has been renewed through June 6, 2015. 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.


Meetings are usually held on the first Saturday of the month, starting at 5:30 pm. Due to construction at College Park Airport, the location will be moving around. Please check the calendar page for the latest updated on location and time. 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 September 6



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.

Directions to Mt. Airy Field

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

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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Additional Information

NARHAMS President
Alex Mankevich

NARHAMS Section Advisor
Mark Wise
P.O. Box 8507
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