Re: (Junior?) HPR Certification

Jonathan Sivier

I think you will need a mentor who is certified to fly high power in order to get a junior high power certification. My understanding is that your mentor will need to be the one who purchases and prepares the motor. You may already have looked at it but there is information on this on the NAR web site at the following page, about halfway down the page.

An overview of the program is at

The first thing you need to do is join the NAR. Then I would recommend building and flying mid power rockets (E, F and G motors) to get experience in building and flying larger rockets. Then, with the assistance of your mentor, choose a rocket to build for a high power certification flight. There are several very good kits that will work well for this. We often recommend 4" diameter cardboard tube kits such as the LOC EZI. They go together much like the smaller rockets you have made in the past, but are larger and use some different techniques that you may have gained experience with building those mid power rockets.

Depending on where you live you may be able to find a member of our club who is willing to be your mentor. Even if there isn't anyone nearby I think we can probably work something out to help you, though it will be a bit more challenging to do so remotely.

You will need the permission of your parents to participate in the program. It might be helpful for us to be in touch with them. Have them contact us.

As far as sugar motors go I think most of us would say DON'T DO IT! This is very dangerous. There are ways to go about designing and making your own motors, but that is only for very experienced, knowledgeable and advanced rocketeers. Even then sugar motors are more dangerous than other types of motors. The melting point (in order to mix the oxidizer into the sugar) and the flashpoint (where the mixture catches fire) are very close together. This is a good way to burn your house down. There are much safer ways to go about making your own motors, but you should wait until you have gained a lot more experience before trying anything like that.

Non-commercial motors are not allowed at any of our launches. You would not be allowed to use a homebrew motor to certify for high power in any case. Tripoli does have an Experimental program which allows for the construction and flying of non-commercial motors, but I think you need to have a Level 2 certification before you are allowed to do that and the rockets can only be flown at certain special launches, not at regular club launches.

At the moment we aren't holding any launches due to the COVID restrictions. Hopefully, things will get better in the new year and we can start holding launches again. You should bring your rockets and fly then at our launches and get to know some of the people in the club. This is a good way to gain experience with smaller, and then gradually larger, rockets to pave the way to your high power certification.

I hope this is helpful. Feel free to post any additional questions you may have.


On 12/28/2020 2:09 PM, George Stevens wrote:
First of all, I apologize if I’m using this incorrectly, I’ve never used an email group like this before.

I’m a high school student and I’ve been launching small model rockets for a couple years now, and recently got started making small sugar rockets with a friend. I’m looking to start working on my HPR certification, but I’m not really sure where I have to start, especially because I’m not 18 so I think I have to get a Junior HPR cert instead of a regular one.

I have two main questions: what should I start doing to work toward an HPR certification, and would it be possible to use sugar rockets to get my certification?

Thank you for any help you can provide!
-George Stevens

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