Archive for TARC

TARC Teams March On


HARA gambled with the forecast on the Saturday morning TARC launch, March 12, and won, but had few takers. Two teams made one practice flight each at Bragg’s farm in calm air beating the rain that came later that afternoon. The HOPE Rising team from HOPE Christian Academy and the Falcon Rocketeers from St.John Paul ll Catholic High School were each represented by a single student who burned a motor to fly eggs. Duane Mayer burned several motors although the chuffing performance of a bad F threw his bird lamely into the air off the rail and then on to the ground where it fizzled until it popped. He had better luck on another flight with his Jolly Logic Chute Release which worked well.


HARA’s launching looked better Monday March 7 at the Columbia Elementary demonstration. Elliot and Vince fired about a dozen small rockets before a crowd of about 700 students, which was the entire school population short of the kindergarten. The flights generally went well except for the one that drifted onto the school roof. The children were sufficiently hyped by the rocket countdowns to be useless in class for the rest of the day, but spring break is pending anyway.

Russellville wins World Rocketry Championship in Paris

558773610e5e9.imageAfter winning the national level in TARC the Alabama team has gone on to win the rocket contest for the USA by beating France and Britain. Members of the team are Christian Ruiz, Niles Butts, Andrew Heath, Katie Burns, Evan Swinney, Cady Studdard and Chelsea Suddith.


The international rules were the same as the TARC rules that 695 other teams this year across the country and here locally had to follow. Russellville had two excellent flights qualified by HARA that took them to the finals in Manassas. Congratulations to the team, teachers and parents and all who supported this TARC victory. DSC_0170s

We’re Number One!

russivle wins tarcThe Alabama team from Russellville has won first place in the TARC finals. They receive a cash prize of $20k and will be traveling to Paris in June as the guests of the Raytheon Company representing the United States to fly against the winners of the TARC-equivalent event in the UK and France at the Paris Air Show, which is the biggest aerospace show and exhibition in the world in 2015. 695 teams (representing over 5000 students) entered TARC 2015 from 48 states, 459 teams made at least one qualification flight attempt (66%, a record high percentage), and the 101 teams that came to the Finals represented 28 states plus the US Virgin Islands. Congratulations to the Russellville team on their decisive win with flights scores of 12 and 4 to total 16. Second place was 33 and third was 37. This is the first Alabama team to win the TARC championship. The next best was Bob Jones that came in third nationally in 2010, John Paul II was fourth in 2013 and Liberty Middle fifth in 2012.

Smoke Trailing TARC 2014

It was another active student rocketry school year for HARA as North Alabama had ten teams out of the total of thirteen for the state. Besides these teams there were five others from three schools in middle Tennessee that we assisted. For all the rockets fired it was the first time since 2009 that only one team from Huntsville made the top hundred nationally. That sounds like quite a bust from the six teams that went to the finals last year, except Read more

2014 TARC Regional Launches Many but Scrambles Few

tarc1The HARA March Madness TARC launch was a fantastic success with over a hundred people attending at Bragg farm on a mild calm day. Ten teams from six schools made a total of 43 flights, almost twice the number of launches from last year. The skill of the students in their flights was very impressive. Read more

The Huntsville TARC Regionals

Today was a good day to fly…

At least 9 TARC teams converged on Bragg Farms just north of Huntsville for our annual TARC regional launch.

Read more

HARA is go for launch March 15th at Bragg Farms!

We are go for launch! HARA welcomes TARC teams from around the Tennessee valley and the public to participate in low and mid power rocket flights tomorrow (March 15th) at Bragg Farms. High power rocket flights are restricted at Bragg Farms. We will target a start time of 10am, but we may start earlier or later depending on rage setup and the weather.

The address to Bragg Farms is:1180 Grimwood Rd, Toney, AL 35773

Enter Bragg Farms from Grimwood Rd on a dirt road. The road turns left then right.  You will pass between barns with large harvesting equipment and their may be farming related activities in that area so please be mindful as you enter the area. Carry on down the dirt road into the field. Park off of the dirt road on the grass to the right.

You are welcome to bring coolers with snacks and drinks, and some chairs. There will not be a motor vendor, so be prepared.

Stay tuned to the website and facebook for updates on the launch. See you there!

Rocket Design/Simulation Programs for TARC

by Bill Cooke

TARC is like the real world of rocket design in that the teams must resort to design/simulation software to help flesh out the initial concept, making sure it can meet the goals before pressing on to actual construction/testing. Here the vendors have come to the rescue in providing three outstanding packages, any one of which can be used to design a winning TARC entry. Read more

Thoughts on the 2013 TARC challenge

by Bill Cooke

NAR and the AIAA have just released the objectives for the 2013 TARC season. In brief, they are

  1. Altitude mark of 750 feet
  2. Flight Duration of 48-50 seconds
  3. 15″ parachute must be used to recover the egg and the altimeter
  4. Egg must be placed horizontally (“lying on its back”)
  5. Section of rocket containing the egg must be at least 60 mm (2.362″) in diameter
  6. Gross liftoff weight of under 650 grams
  7. Motor impulse must be 80 newton-seconds or less

At first glance. this seems simple; after all, each of these has been used in past years. No surprises, so pretty easy challenge for the TARC teams, right? Read more

Sunburned on St. Pat’s Day

by Vince Huegele

Westminster Christian Academy won the regional TARC contest March 17, 2012 in the best attended launch since HARA began hosting the event at Bragg’s farm. Westminster Christian has been in TARC since 2006 with only modest results each year, but this team scored a ‘4’ for a school record. These points are likely good enough for an invitation to the finals in Virginia, May 12.

A TARC rocket sits on the pad in the last second before lift off

Westlawn Middle School took second place and Williams Middle was third. Ten teams from seven schools participated and flew their egg carrying rockets in unseasonably warm and calm skies. This was twice the number of teams that came out last year so we thank everyone for supporting this very successful launch. There were a total of twenty-five TARC flights, most of which were for practice but ten were formal qualification attempts. Six flights were successful and scored points.


Liberty Middle 1 and Ridgeland High of Rossville, Ga. made practice flights only. Ridgeland’s second flight was great and would have been a ’27,’ but rocket damage in a subsequent flight kept them from attempting points. Madison Academy had parachute deployment problems and Bob Jones had an uncooperative altimeter.

All capsules contained two eggs and had to be flown on an “F” motor or less. The target altitude was 800’ but those flights that hit the 43-47 second duration window were rewarded with a zero time deduction.

This year’s trophies

The trophies were beautiful models donated by United Launch Alliance and were awarded to the top three places. Over seventy people were on hand to watch the launches. Vince Huegele and Bill Cooke provided the local officiating to qualify the flights as well as mentoring the teams throughout the year. Teams have until the deadline on April 2 to complete their qualification attempts.


Vince Huegele presents the first place award to Westminster Christian Academy team members Charles Nottingham, Nicholas Kromann (Team Lead), Ben Cyr, and Shane Nelson.

Ray Cole and David Bishop also had the HARA range set up for whatever members wanted to fly. There were 27 sport flights, nine of which were HP and three of them L1 certification attempts.

A Madcow Patriot takes to the skies on an I motor