NARAM-51 logo NAR logo
National Association of Rocketry Annual Meet
Johnstown, PA          Aug 8 - Aug 14, 2009

Hi Folks!

Your NARAM staff has been hard at work finalizing the plans that will help make your visit to Johnstown an enjoyable one. I'd like to take this opportunity to update you on an assortment of items that are either "new" or have changed since my previous communique:

Evening Activities Schedule Changes

A few minor tweaks: first the FAI briefing, model check-in, and measuring will begin at 8:00 pm instead of 9:00 pm. Also, the Competition Forum is being moved from Monday to Sunday, beginning at 9:00 pm following the competitors briefing. This was done to open up a longer time slot for this meeting, and will use the Monday meeting time slot for some "Scale Talk"

Evening Activities - Parking Downtown

The Holiday Inn parking garage is available to all NARAM participants, regardless whether you're staying at the host hotel, and it's free - the key gate has recently been removed, so you do not need any special pass or key to gain entry. You may notice in the schedule that the evening activities on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are in the conference center - this is about a 2 block walk south of the Holiday Inn with the entrance located on Napoleon Street.

Food Vendor at the Launch Site

We will have a lunch time food vendor on site - this vendor will have a variety of grilled items, sandwich options, fruit salad, chips, cookies, water and soda available. The menu will change some throughout the duration of the event.

Motor Vendors at the Launch Site

Just as a reminder, based on the field size (5,000' x 2,400') and the proximity of the event to the Johnstown Airport, NARAM-51 has been given a flight waiver of 5,000 feet AGL. Fliers will be permitted to fly motors up to "J" impulse. NARAM-51 will be well supplied, as Balsa Machining Service, Impulse Buys, and Performance Hobbies will be offering a broad impulse selection at the field.

Balsa Machining Services will be offering a good impulse selection from their stock, from Micro Maxx motors up to G impulse.

Impulse Buys will be offering motors from 1/8A to J impulse, made by Aerotech, Cesaroni, Estes, Quest, Roadrunner, and Ellis Mountain. The Impulse Buys purchases will be "cash only", as Jay won't be set up to take plastic on the field.

Performance Hobbies will be offering motors from 1/2A to J (and above), and the line will consist of Aerotech, Animal Motor Works, Estes, and Loki Research.

For those of you interested in specific manufacturer products, impulse varieties, and sizes, you are encouraged to contact our motor vendors directly and arrange your purchases beforehand. Each vendor is well known for their excellent service, and will be happy to bring your advanced purchases to the field for you.

Sport Range Volunteers - Sign Up Online

Many of you have asked about volunteering on the sport range during the week; well we will need your assistance as PSC is a fairly small section and we will have our members spread thin performing various tasks throughout the event. We also have very few PSC members that have any level of high power certification. We have created an online web page where you can sign up for the duty of your choice: (Note: help with range set-up is not expected).

FAI Fly Offs - Contestants Need To Help

Just like the NARAM events, those who participate in the FAI events need to help share in the range duties and the timing of models. The events will be run with a "BYOT" approach - bring your own timer when you come up to fly (we will have some extra volunteers, so don't stress if you don't have one, but the default should be to bring your a stopwatch). And if you can help with duties like RSO, LCO, card check, etc - please get in touch with John Langford;

Our NARAM-51 Alien now has a name! "NAR-MAR"

We received a total of 12 entries in this competition, and the judging was split broadly among a number of good choices. Some of the entries that were considered for the Adult category were: "Roswell", "Melvin" "NARMAR" and "Narnu Narnu". The winning Adult entry was sent in by Dave Fitch, and he will be awarded the prize package sponsored by K & S Rockets, consisting of a heavy duty KSR-4 Chute, 15' 9/16" tubular nylon recovery harness with sewn ends, and a fire protection sleeve for the harness. We also had a pair of excellent names submitted by the Alexander sisters; since the judging here ended in a tie, each of the girls will receive a prize package sponsored by FlisKits. The name submitted by Michala Alexander was "J.A.S.S." (pronounced Jazz); it stands for Johnstown Alien Support System. Sarah Alexander suggested "Zappy" because the Alien is always zapping something, including rocket competition. Congratulations to the winners - "NAR-MAR" says he is ready to take on all comers!

Thunderbirds - Countdown to Action - Book Promotion

All Fliers that enter a Gerry Anderson Production themed model in the Science Fiction and Future Scale event at NARAM-51 will receive a copy of the book; Thunderbirds Ė Countdown To Action ( compliments of Pratt Hobbies (

The NAR Auction Needs Your Support

The Robert L. Cannon Education Award is funded primarily by the annual NARAM auction through donations made by NAR members. The funds received at the auction are restricted to this award. So far we only have received a couple of dozen items for the auction; if you would like to make a donation to the NARAM auction you can either send me a list of the items you plan to donate, or if you need to ship the items ahead, send them to me at the following address:

Steve Foster
NARAM-51 Auction
125 Crestline Drive
Leechburg, PA 15656

If you have any questions, please donít hesitate to drop me a note.

See you in Johnstown in just a few weeks!

Steve Foster
NARAM-51 Contest Director

NARAM-51 – Launch Site Location Change

Within the last two weeks we have learned more about the details and changes to the scheduled windmill construction on the NARAM-51 site. With this latest information it is now clear that the event can no longer be viable at this location. The good news is we have been able to find an very good new location that should be able to keep most everyone’s travel plans intact; the new site location is just east of Johnstown , Pennsylvania , near Windber. One of the benefits arising from the location change is that travel time between the host hotel and the launch site will actually be reduced. Camping on site, however, will not be permitted, and other camp sites with hookups still seem to be limited in this area. We are in the process of filing for a waiver for this site, and based on the field size (5,000’ x 2,400’) and proximity to the Johnstown Airport, we hope to have a waiver of approximately 4,000 to 5,000 feet AGL and able to fly motors up to "J" impulse.

On behalf of NARAM-51 and the host section PSC 473, I would like to thank everyone for their understanding of this unexpected, but necessary, change and I look forward to seeing each of you at NARAM-51.

Steve Foster
Contest Director

Contest Director's Welcome

Hi Yunz! …Yes, we say it just like that around these parts. It's been 10 years since NARAM was last held in Western Pennsylvania, so it's about time that we bring the best week of model rocketry back to our neighborhood once again. NARAM-51 will be held near Johnstown, Pennsylvania, during the week of August 8 - 14, 2009. During the summer of 1999 the Pittsburgh Space Command crew hosted NARAM-41; we had such a great time hosting this event that we knew we would eventually have to bring the event back here again. Since the early days of model rocketry, Pittsburgh-based rocketry clubs have built a rich tradition hosting national events for the NAR, and we are eager to continue this tradition by bringing NARAM to you next summer.

I'm Steve Foster, your Contest Director for NARAM-51; I have been a member and an officer of PSC for most of the last 14 years. I've always had a competitive personality but I never really gave model rocketry competition much of a thought until I chose to attend NARAM-40. I was definitely hooked when I won the A BG event that first year and I have had a great time at every NARAM since - my goal is that you have as much fun attending NARAM-51 that I've had each of our annual meets over the past decade. I've also got a great group of volunteers excited about hosting this event as well; many of them were also involved in hosting NARAM-41 so we've got an experienced staff that includes two former NARAM Contest Directors.

We've got a great week planned; whatever your rocketry interest may be you won't be disappointed. The launch site (Area 51 East) is in a rather remote and sparsely populated area, so much so that there isn't even a single residential home within 1 mile of where we will set up the ranges. This remote location makes it a great place for the events we have planned for the week. For the sport flyer we expect to have a waiver of 10,000 feet AGL for the entire week, and we'll be able to allow you to fly motors up to "M" power. There will be great competition in the FAI Spacemodeling U.S. team selections during the first weekend of the event, along with the crowning our own NAR national champions with a selection of 10 pink book events from Monday thru Friday. But we couldn't just stop there - we're going to extend the flying time on Saturday with a Night Launch. And to spice up the night even more we've come up with a fun event for you to participate in: "Area 51 Certification". What is this event? Think of it as an "Imagination Celebration" with a twist; your goal will be to please the crowd (and the judge) with a visually interesting model rocket flight with illumination; and the judge tells me it won't hurt your chances of winning if your entry falls under the category of an "Unidentified Flying Object".

Our host hotel will be the Downtown Holiday Inn in Johnstown, Pennsylvania; this is a very nice hotel with all the amenities for a family to enjoy their stay, including wireless internet and an indoor pool along with indoor parking right next door. The world's steepest vehicular incline plane is just a couple blocks from the hotel; it will take you up to a great view of the Johnstown area, and for a family excursion the Idlewild Amusement Park and Soak Zone are just 25 miles away. And should you find you have a little extra time during the week, you might want to visit the Flight 93 Memorial near Shanksville, just 3 miles away from the launch site.

I'm looking forward to seeing you and your families and I hope yunz come visit us for NARAM-51 next summer. It should be a fun week for everyone. Let me know if you have any questions as we have even more items on our schedule that I didn't cover here. You can reach me by email at

Hope to see you there!