Rocketry - My Rockets - Ptichka I


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The Ptichka 1 rocket came about from a previous experiment, which involved building a rocket out of nothing but balsa wood. I very quickly built a prototype out of 4 bits of balsa wood. 2 of the bits were glues together, and then sanded to make the nosecone. An appropriate sized channel was cut / sanded to form an engine mount. To my surprise the prototype worked really well, despite utilising tumble recovery (as obviously there was no detachable nosecone).

So I set to work building the Ptichka. The same basic design was used, but I used slightly smaller and a different shape fins (to make it more pleasing to the eye). Once construction was completed, the rocket was launched with paint to ensure it was stable in flight. I like to know that my rockets will work before spending a lot of time finishing them. A couple of coats of paint, a little bit of messing around on the computer creating the decals and a couple of coats of acrylic varnish the Ptichka 1 was finished. I used Acrylic varnish because inkjet ink is usually water based (to make it waterproof and to stop any smudging).

According to google, Ptichka means "little bird" in russian, it seemed apt. I think russian sounding rocket names sound rather cool.


Please note: This rocket has no recovery device (or "tumble recovery" as it's known) it is designed to literally fall out of the sky. As such precautions need to be made to ensure the safe launching and recovery of the rocket. This generally means taking care over the selection of the launch site to ensure the rocket won't fall on power lines, in trees or on people watching the launch, or indeed on members of public. The rocket is very light being made out of balsa wood. Also the rocket is designed for and only flown with A engines. It is strongly recommended that tumble recovery should only be used by experienced rocketeers under controlled conditions.

Length: 13.5 inch (31 cm)

Diameter: 1 inch (2 cm)

Weight: unknown

Recovery: Tumble Recovery

Engines: Estes A engines

Max Altitude: unknown

Number of Launches: 1

A picture of the completed Ptichka 1 rocket.

The Ptichka 1 rocket

A picture of the completed Ptichka 1 rocket tail section.

A close up over the tail section showing the cool flame decals

A picture of the completed Ptichka 1 rocket.

The Ptichka 1 rocket



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