Archive for Vince Huegele

Schedule goes fluid for when the field is not

The frustration of having to cancel or slip launch dates due to bad weather or muddy field conditions prompted the officers to move the March launch up a week from the 13th to the sixth to match a favorable forecast. The decision allowed the club to be out on the Butler Mill field for a beautiful day of flying; clear sky, mild temps and moderate wind. HARA had a diverse manifest with certs and college team flights, novel mid power rockets, a shuttle glider, a high-power 2 stage, and a high power drag race that was more eventful than planned.

For more photos and an awesome video from John Kraieski’s very upscale Mars Lander sparky ascent and four legged landing see  Thanks to Gene, Greg and Patrick for contributing pictures!


Launching in a November Sky

The autumn colors of red, orange and yellow decorated the trees in the mountains of north Alabama but also the flames of the rockets flying at the monthly HARA launch. After being rained out in October and waiting since March for the field to be cleared the club was out in full force to launch into a mild calm November sky. The pads were particularly busy with HP certification flights.  The crowd was present when the waiver opened at 10 am and was solid until sunset.

For a more detailed discussion of the day go to Bill’s blog at A multitude of rocket pictures are on the HARA facebook page



World Record Finally Certified

On July 16, 2019, the rocket center attempted to launch 5,000 model rockets in an effort to set the record as part of a week-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. More than a year later, it’s official. Guinness certified that 4,923 rockets fired and reached at least 100 feet in altitude – a requirement for the record. No reason was given why it took a year to announce the record, the paperwork was filed with the numbers a few days after the launch. The previous Guinness World Record of 4,231 model rockets were launched at Teylingen College during a European Space Science Convention in the Netherlands, in the summer of 2018.

An army of volunteers assisted rocket center staff in the rocket launch preparation, with 178 volunteers working 696 hours over 13 sessions to build the rockets. Twenty volunteers worked 75 hours to build the wood frames on which the rockets were placed. see last year’s post

Rain and Redemption

It takes a lot of faith to load up rockets on a morning when it’s sprinkling rain. Then more faith after you arrive at the field to sit in the car to wait for the shower to pass at noon. But when you finally squish your way out to the pad and the motor exhaust smoke from your flight just hangs over the rack because there’s no wind you’re glad you made the trip. HARA got out on ‘pi’ day (3.14) and enjoyed a mild winter afternoon after two months of denial due to floods.

The motor count for Saturday taken from the flight cards shows most of the thirty flights were high power.

  • 1/2A           1
  • B                1
  • C                1
  • D                2
  • E                4
  • G                2
  • H               13
  • I                 2
  • J                2
  • L                2

Almost all of the H flights were for L1 Certification. The two L flights were by the UAH student team shown prepping in the above photos. For another story on the UAH rocket see –

Winter Outreach

HARA was invited by the Space and Rocket Center to host a display on MLK day. Six members spent the holiday showing off rockets and talking about launching to the guests, many who were families touring the facility. Kids really like seeing the small models and everyone is impressed with the large ones asking, “do those really fly?” In clear skies, yes.

Merry Christmas from HARA

Witness the Spectacle

Fifty years to the minute that Apollo 11 lifted off the US Space and Rocket Center set a Guinness record for mass launching the most model rockets. Of the 5000 Pathfinder models loaded on 1/2A62 engines, 78 failed to launch and 44 failed to reach the required 100 foot altitude, but still beat the Teylingen College in the Netherlands record of 4,231 model rockets launched in summer 2018.

The event was under the direction of the USSARC assisted by local aerospace sponsors and employee volunteers. Aside from some local members helping on their own to load the racks and a few who built kits, there was no connection to NAR. HARA had approached USSARC last year but they already wanted to do this Guinness record attempt rather than a scale Saturn V model launch or a Land the Eagle type event.

The weather Tuesday morning was great but getting hot as the Sun rose on fifty pallets each of a hundred rockets. Each nozzle sat on an e-match pushed through a hole in a wooden slat and as long as it stayed aligned it was good to go. The loading was completed on time with no technical glitches as the large digital countdown clock rolled along. A thousand space campers, a thousand more spectators and 175 volunteers chanted the seconds and watched as the wall of smoke rose in the flight field. A large cloud instantly formed in the sky as 4922 ejection charges fired to deploy mylar streamers. Then it rained rockets. Fortunately all pieces landed in the prescribed area well away from any spectators. What earlier had been an immaculately orderly range was now littered like a Mardi Gras parade route with landed rockets and, oh yes, all that wadding.


Wearing his NAR cap Rus Hardy of Birmingham corrects an alignment.

HARA Prefect Art Wooding and VP Allen Owen rack them up.

as my first act with this new authority, I will create a grand rocket clone army of the Republic.”

The launch had the collective impulse of an ‘L’ motor.









Meanwhile later that day Hope Rising’s TARC team flew models at Pegasus East to commemorate Apollo 11. For another report on launches that day see Bill’s blog at

Rockets and Pants

Last June we told about HARA’s project to help Levi’s jeans do a photo shoot for a fashion ad- and promised to post the pictures when they came out. Well, the spring collection is released and here are some representative shots from the portfolio, mainly ones with our rockets in them. It’s a nice homage to the ‘rocket boys’ style of the fifties and the amateur dreams of spaceflight.


Six Alabama TARC teams going to Finals in Virginia

Congratulations to these teams who will be representing our state at the TARC finals May 18 at Great Meadow, The Plains, VA.

Team Number, Team Name, City

19-5573, Cullman Area Technology Academy, Cullman

19-4984, Rogers High School, Florence

19-5089, Lincoln High School, Lincoln

19-4727, Tharptown High School, Russellville

19-4998, Russellville High School (Team 1), Russellville

19-5000, Russellville High School (Team 2), Russellville

HARA would like to salute the eight Huntsville area teams for their efforts. It’s been a tough year – not only were the design goals for this TARC challenging with three eggs to fly, but there was also the fight against some very persistent wet weather. Despite the rain, the local teams managed to complete many practice flights and all got qualified scores.


19-5055 , HOPE Christian Academy , Huntsville

19-5135 , St. John Paul II C.H.S. , Huntsville

19-5136 , St. John Paul II C.H.S. , Huntsville

19-5137 , St. John Paul II C.H.S. , Huntsville

19-5530 , Bob Jones High School , Madison

19-5439 , James Clemens High School , Madison

19-5704 , James Clemens High School , Madison

19-4885 , Liberty Middle School ,  Madison


Thanks to the rest of these state schools for registering and participating in TARC. We hope you all had a prodigious “rocket boys” experience.

19-5781 , Hewitt-Trussville High School , Trussville

19-5782 , Hewitt-Trussville High School , Trussville

19-5329 , Wetumpka High School , Wetumpka

19-5297 , Winfield City High School , Winfield

19-5523 , Coppinville Junior High School , Enterprise

19-5576 , St. Michael Catholic High School , Fairhope

19-4825 , Central High School , Florence

19-5274 , Goshen High School , Goshen

19-5027 , Alabama School of Mathematics and Science , Mobile

19-5236 , Muscle Shoals Career Academy , Muscle Shoals

19-4722 , Phil Campbell High School , Phil Campbell

19-4999 , Russellville High Schools , Russellville

19-4726 , Tharptown High School , Russellville

19-4728 , Tharptown High School , Russellville

19-4996 , Rogers High School , Florence

19-4997 , Rogers High School , Florence

TARC March Madness continues

On this beautiful 23rd day of March, 13 teams made 50 flights at the UNA regional challenge. Vince and Allen provided HARA launch and scoring services for the contest held at the Russellville field. Cullman HS did the best with a ‘15’ and might be up for the finals with that qualification score. Rogers, MASE and Central HS also qualified with the rest of the schools flying just for regional points. They opted to keep tweaking before they use another attempt turn, so the March madness of TARC continues.