We thought you might like to hear some of our material suggestions to help you get started with your rocket building…

Fins are used to keep the rocket flying in a straight line.

  • If fins are too thick they slow the rocket down and reduce its altitude
  • If they are too thin they could snap during flight or landing.

We would recommend that the ideal fin needs to be made of a thin but strong material. Some very good fin materials are:

  • Balsa wood is very light and fairly strong but can split easily
  • Basswood which is heavier than balsa but significantly stronger
  • Plywood is very useful for fins, particularly aircraft grade plywood as this has no voids and is less prone to warp
  • Fibreglass or Carbon fibre make for extremely thin and strong fins, which can be custom made relatively cheaply.

Parachutes are a key part of your flight profile and deserve some attention. Most model rocket kits come with a polythene parachute, but experienced rocketeers would recommend that you throw this away.

  • Polythene parachutes are very fragile and often tear or melt.
  • Nylon parachutes are stronger and less prone to melt and can lasting for many years. These can also be made yourself, for which we particularly recommend ripstop nylon.

We hope this helps and has given you some good materials hints and tips!