Amateur rocketry

The parachute of the N15. Gerben-Jan Ligthart shows the parachute of the N15, which crashed at NLD6 on 23 April, 1996 after its main parachute didn't deployed properly.

Amateur Rockets are the ultimate engineering challenging for rocket amateurs. These amateur rockets don't generally use HPR components. Mostly they are built using other materials, like PVC rain-pipe and aluminium. Within the NAVRO most amateur rockets are built as a team effort of a group of people, each with his own fields of knowledge. The NAVRO's amateur rocket can be divided in club projects and private projects. Most NAVRO club projects have been launched with our own Kalinitrox motors. Most private projects uses potassium nitrate/sugar (Kalinidex) based propellants instead.

Each flight is an experiment or it carries some sort of experiment; this could be an improved version of one of our in-house developed motors or a live transmitting video camera. Flights like these have tested and helped to improve lead to our parachute system, which is the most overlooked part of rocketry. Burning through break lines triggers the parachute system. First a drogue chute is deployed, and a few hundred metres above the ground the bigger main parachute opens. After some 20 rockets, the NAVRO projects have grown in size and complexity.

The launches take place twice a year at "Artillerie Schietkamp 't Harde", a military shooting ranch, which is currently the only place you can launch amateur rockets (and HPR rockets) in The Netherlands. Most amateur rockets are launched from a six metre long launch rail. Over the years, the NAVRO got some media attention, and even appeared on national television.

The N7 and N9 in front of an Honest John launcher.This is a photo of the N7 and N9 in front of a veteran Honest John. Both rockets were launched at our second launching day, the NLD2 at ASK 't Harde, 27 May, 1994. The N15, with the people who built it.The N15, with the people who built it. At waist level you can see the camera canopy.