Vern's Rocketry

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What's New 

Photo Gallery


My Best Photos







Nike Dart


Black Widow


Hybrid Dart


Scott's Rockets

The Early Years

Aerial Photos

Tripoli Idaho Photos

LDRS 26  (2007)

     Angelfire at LDRS 26

     Starfire    at LDRS 26

     Wildfire   at LDRS 26

     Scott's Flights at LDRS 26

LDRS 24  (2005)

Desert Heat 2008

Desert Heat 2006

Desert Heat 2005

Summer Skies 2008

Summer Skies 2007

Summer Skies 2006

Summer Skies 2005

Orange Crush Loop

XPRS 2008 Photos

XPRS 2007 Photos

XPRS 2006 Photos

     Starfire    at XPRS 2006

     Angelfire at XPRS 2006

     Wildfire   at XPRS 2006

     Nike Dart at XPRS 2006

XPRS 2005 Photos

XPRS 2004 Photos

FITS 2009 Photos

FITS 2007 Photos

FITS 2006 Photos

FITS 2003 Photos

Vulcan Ignition

Other Photos

Video Gallery







Other Videos

Video Help          





     Airframe fiberglassing

     Fin slots

     Motor tube construction

     Fin attachment

     Nitrous vent

     Booster bulkhead

     Fin fillets and finishing


     Altimeter bay

     Recovery system

     Motor adapter & tailcone


     Rail guides



     Fin fillets


     Altimeter bay

     Altimeter electronics

     GPS electronics

     Recovery components





      Fins & motor tubes

      Fin slots

      Body tubes

      Coupler tubes


      Mirror hood

      Altimeter bay

      Antizipper band

      Antizipper straps

      Booster Elec-bay

      Camera module

      Camcorder module

      Paint & decals

      Rail guides




Nike Dart

GPS Radio Downlink

Wildfire Camera Module

TV Transmitters

      Transmitter #1

      Transmitter #2

Launch Controller

G-switch Timer

Flight Data


Angelfire GPS Trajectories

Angelfire Altimeter Data

Flight Log

Misc Info



Altimeter Port Sizing

Altitude Charts

CAD Drawing Software

Centering Rings

Metal Plates

Delay Time Charts

Ejection Charge Sizing



Launch Pads

Parachutes (etc)

Rocket Finding



General Information

Clubs & Organizations

Rocketry Vendors

Kits and Components

Rocket Motors

Fun & Useful Sites


Construction Supplies

Software Tools

Rocketry Magazines





Welcome to my web site!

This site is an online scrapbook and photo album about my projects and adventures in the hobby of high power rocketry.  It is intended to simply share the fun and excitement of the hobby.  I hope you enjoy it.

You can navigate around the site using the links on the top, bottom and left side of each page.  Check out the photo gallery, the videos, and the construction projects.  The flight data page links to some GPS flight trajectories that are fun to view using the Google Earth program.  The misc info pages contain general information about rocketry topics that are not associated with a specific rocket or project.

Unfortunately, I have not had enough spare time in recent years to update this website as often as in the past.  I am still very active in high power rocketry and someday I hope to find the time to add more material here.  Until then, this site will probably have to remain fairly dormant.  If I do make changes I will update the "What's New" page.


Vern with Coldfire just after completing construction in June 2007.  Click here to see a larger image.

Coldfire was completed in June 2007.  It is seven feet long and four inches in diameter. 

Coldfire is designed to fly on the HyperTEK hybrid motor system.  This motor uses liquid nitrous oxide (N2O) as oxidizer and ABS plastic as fuel.


View Coldfire construction details here.

View Coldfire launch photos here.

First Flight of Coldfire

The first flight of Coldfire was on October 7, 2007 at the Tripoli Idaho "Birds of Prey" launch on a HyperTEK K240 hybrid motor.


See other Coldfire launch photos here.


Vern with Angelfire just after completing construction on July 5, 2005.  Click here to see a larger image.

Angelfire was built between February and July 2005.  It is five inches in diameter and eleven feet long with a 98 mm diameter motor mount. 


View Angelfire construction details here.

View Angelfire launch photos here.

First Flight of Angelfire

The first flight of Angelfire was on July 14, 2005 at the LDRS-24 launch in Alberta Canada.  It reached 16,146 feet flying on an M1450 motor from Cesaroni TechnologiesThe launch was just before the wavier closed at 9:00pm so the lighting was very poor for taking this liftoff photo. 

The second flight was at the Oregon Rocketry "Desert Heat" launch on July 30, 2005.   View photos of that flight right here!

See other Angelfire launch photos here.

Angelfire Flight #15

Angelfire completed a 15th perfect flight on June 22, 2008  at the OROC launch site near Brothers Oregon. Angelfire was flying on an AMW M2200 Skidmark motor for the first time.   It was perfect boost to 8,147 feet with lots of noise, black smoke and titanium sparks from the motor.  The drogue chute deployed at apogee and the main chute deployed at 1500 feet just as planned.  To top it all off, it landed only 454 feet from the launch pad.  It doesn't get much better than that!

Click here to see many other photos from that same launch.

See other Angelfire launch photos here.


Vern with Starfire just after completion of construction.

Starfire was built between Dec 2003 and April 2004. It is almost 8 inches in diameter and 12.5 feet tall.  It has a central 75mm motor mount and six 38mm outboard motor mounts.  It is designed to carry a camcorder in the lower payload bay and a remotely controlled TV transmitter and still cameras in the forward payload bay.

View Starfire construction details here.

View Starfire launch photos here.

View Starfire videos here.

Starfire maiden flight on an M1315 motor on May 1, 2004.  Photo by Vern Knowles.


First Flight of Starfire

The maiden flight for Starfire was on May 1, 2004 at the Tripoli Idaho "SpudRoc-9" launch.  It reached 4988 feet flying on an M1315 motor and was safely recovered after a flawless flight.


See other Starfire launch photos here.

Starfire on AMW M2500GG on July 24, 2004. Photo by Vern Knowles. Click here to see a larger image.

Starfire Flight #3

Starfire completed a third perfect flight on July 24, 2004  at the OROC launch site near Brothers Oregon. It was flying on an AMW M2500 Green Gorilla motor and air started two J350 outboard motors.  It reached 8598 feet.


See more Starfire launch photos.

As of July 2005, Starfire has flown a total of nine times.  Three times on the M1315 White Lightning motor, twice on the M2500 Green Gorilla, twice on the M2200 Skidmark and twice on the M3000 Super Tiger motor.  Most of those flights also included either J350's or J420's as out-board air-start motors.    The two most spectacular launches so far have to be the ones on the M2200 Skidmark motor.   That motor generates a very loud "crackling sound" as it spews out a huge spray of sparks.  Once you experience one of them it will be an instant favorite.  Photos of the skidmark launch at XPRS can be seen here.  Photos of the skidmark launch at the Oregon Rocketry "Summer Skies" launch can be seen here.


Vern with Wildfire just after completion of construction.


Wildfire was built during the summer of 2002. It is 5.5 inches in diameter and over nine feet tall.  It was specifically built to carry my video transmitter module to transmit real time video, sound, and GPS information back to the ground during flight.  The maiden flight was on September 28, 2002 at the XPRS-1 launch at Black Rock desert in Nevada.  The launch and recovery was picture perfect.  It went 8862 feet high on an M1315 motor.  It was recovered without a scratch on it.

View Wildfire launch photos.

View Wildfire on-board video.

View Wildfire construction details.

Widlfire lift-off on an M1315 motor on Sept. 28, 2002 at Black Rock desert.

Photo by John Lyngdal

First Flight of Wildfire


An M1315 motor boosted Wildfire to 8862 feet at the XPRS-1 launch at Black Rock desert in Nevada on Sept. 28, 2002.



See video of this launch.


Wildfire liftoff on an L1080BB.  Click on the photo to see a larger image.

Wildfire Flight #13

Wildfire completed a 13th perfect flight on August 28, 2004. This one was  at the Tripoli Idaho launch site near Fairfield Idaho.  It was flying on an AMW L1080 "Blue Baboon" motor and reached 4235 feet.  If you click on the photo and look closely at the larger image, you can see the shock waves in the exhaust flame. 

See video of this launch.

See more Wildfire launch photos.

As of July 2005, Wildfire has flown a total of seventeen times and each new flight has been just as much fun and as exciting as the previous one.  All of these flights have been on either an L or an M motor.  All of the flights have been very successful and with any luck I'll continue to fly Wildfire many more times.

My Launch Schedule for 2011

I plan to attend all of the Tripoli Idaho launches.    That schedule is right here.

I will also be attending four out-of-state launches listed below.  Hopefully I'll see you at one or more of these launches.   Be sure to stop by and say hello!

"Fire in the Sky"  (FITS launch) at Mansfield Washington on Memorial Day weekend.  May 27-30.    Details about that launch can be found here.

I will be attending at least one Oregon Rocketry launch near Brothers Oregon.    "Summer Skies" on  June 17-18 and maybe "Desert Heat" on July  22-24.  The complete OROC schedule for 2011 is available here.

The XPRS launch is at Black Rock dry lake in Nevada on September 16-18.   XPRS info is here.

I want to thank everyone who has sent me photos and provided material for this web site. Without your efforts, this site would not have been possible.  I plan to add new material as it becomes available and as time allows.  Suggestions for improvements to this site are welcome.

Photo by Neil McGilvray

Vern Knowles
TRA  4061  L3
NAR  45236  L3


Vern at the Summer Skies launch in June 2008.



Read a review of Vern's Rocketry  web site at  Rocketry Planet.



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 All photos not otherwise credited were taken by Vern Knowles

Vern Knowles 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 All Rights Reserved