Tom’s Vashon Rocketry Site

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This is the model that got me back into flying Vashon rockets. At the right you can see Mark Hamilton launching it for me so I could take a picture. This is also the model you see me launching in the animated GIF on the home page.

I bought this model, already assembled, at a NARAM auction in the early 1990's. Later I noticed that whoever had put it up for auction had drilled a hole in the bottom pressure dome of the motor (possibly to Save The World from dangerous CFC emissions). Grrr. But I fixed that bit of technological vandalism with a piece of tape and a hefty layer of epoxy. The fittings at the top of the motor and bottom of the separator also leaked, and I had to fix those as well.

Even when the leaks were fixed, the separator did not work well. It refused to "grab" the parachute tube unless I inverted the model after fueling — but then it worked fine. I guess it needed some of the liquid propellant forced through the paper timer disks. Possibly there is another slow leak in the top of the separator. But, the model can be made to work successfully.

The model has a balsa nose (not an original Vashon balsa cone) and plastic fins.

Below is a photo of the model with a can of Paasche airbrush propellant (Difluoroethane) that I use to fly it. This propellant is not harmful to the ozone layer since it contains no chlorine.



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Page last updated February 5, 2007