High-Power Rocketry

The second class of rockets are High-Power Model rockets. A rocket is considered high-power if it exceeds any of the following.

  • Uses a motor with more than160 Newton-seconds of total impulse (an "H" motor or larger) or uses multiple motors that all together exceed 320 Newton-seconds of total impulse.
  • Uses any motor with a thrust of more than 80 Newtons average thrust
  • Has a launch weight (including the engines) of more than 1,500 grams
  • Includes any airframe parts of fiberglass or ductile metal
  • Is powered by a pre-manufactured motor that involves any assembly by the modeler.

High-power model rockets fall under a different code of regulations from those for model rockets. The high-power regulations are known as National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Code 1127. This is a relatively new code (1995) and so most states have not yet had time to adopt it. You should check your own state's laws before attempting to launch high power rockets.

In addition, high power rockets and motors are directly regulated by the federal government including the FAA and the BATF.

  • Before you can fly high-powered model rockets, you must apply for and receive an FAA waiver, The purpose of this waiver is to arrange for air traffic to be routed clear of your flight area.
  • You must certify with the NAR or Tripoli for a High-power model rocketry license in order to purchase high-power model rocket engines.

LUNAR provides the FAA waver for its launches but you must obtain the level 1, 2, or 3 license to purchase the engines.