Ron Beard's Page

AKA: Big Daddy Ron

Location: Dayton, OH

Certification Level: mid-power

Club Memberships: NAR,TORC 703

Favorite Rockets: the next one i build!


I Started out in the "Golden Years" 1975 to 1985.  My dad was a physicist and mathematician who wanted to work for NASA but ended up designing computers for NCR in Dayton Ohio.  He and I would go out to the local high school game field and launch my "Nike-X" or "Big Bertha" until the summer sun went down.  Good times. 

Then girls, school, sports, work (you know the drill).  I didn't think about rockets for years.  5 years ago a guy walked into my work with a big box.  Said he had owned a hobby shop that had closed years ago and found all of this stuff in his basement.  He was moving and did I want to buy it?  The box contained about 40 estes kits, as many packs of motors and ignitors, half a dozen launchers, a couple of launch pads, and various and sundry other rocket stuff that you would have found in any mid-western hobby shop with a rocket section around 1985 or so.  I paid $50 bucks and split the cost and the loot with my best friend.  We had an awesome summer of bulding outrageous kit-bash monsters and trying out ideas we had wanted to try when we were kids but never had the $$$ to do back then!  That fall my buddy returned to his first love (table top minatures gaming) and I inherited the rest of what he had left as well as my own stash. 

Since then I have never looked back!  I have built kits, upscales and pure scratch designs.  I have clustered and multi-staged.  I have experimented with fiberglass and composites and new construction techniques trying to find out what works best for me.  I'm convinced that the challenges and obstacles I face and then overcome in getting a rocket built and flown successfully help me do the same with challenges in my professional and personal lives as well.  More than just a hobby, I tell my wife, I'ts therapy!

As I move into my second childhood (age 40 - ???) Rocketry will be a large part of my life.  It is even more special now that my son James is old enough to start enjoying the hobby with me!  I get to work on something with him that we both love so much and then get outside and enjoy the fruits of our labor in an exciting blast of fire and smoke!  this is why Rocketry has endured and will endure.  Cheers and I'll see you on the range!

Favorite Quote:

"Unfortunately, many people do not consider fun an important item on their daily agenda. For me, that was always high priority in whatever I was doing."

— Chuck Yeager.

Club Home Page:


Orange Whip


As promised, here is the build, with photos of my level 1 cert. rocket. All props to Larry Brand who inspired me with tales of his own tube-fin experimenting on this very site! Lots of home-made parts and low cash expenditure are the hallmarks of this great flyer. Flys on G through J impulse ... [More]

Orange Whip - Post production:

Build Entry

This rocket is completed and has flown well on a G-79 and an H-128. The boost is always strait and the rocket does not weathercock much either. I will post a full review soon with more pictures from the upcoming "Buckeye Blast" November 10th 2012 (see for details) where she will fly ... [More]

Orange Whip - Of Note: Engine mount

Build Entry

As mentioned above the engine mount tube is standard LOC material but the intallation is not. First, the centering rings were made by laminating 3/16 balsa sheet in between layers of heavy construction paper using Titebond II like this: Heavy CP Balsa Heavy CP Balsa Heavy CP A ... [More]

Orange Whip - -untitled-

Build Entry


Orange Whip - Basic Construction

Build Entry

The body tube is a standard Staples or Office Depot purchased, 4 inch diameter mailing tube - about $12 ordered online. no special prep other than sealing well with sanding sealer and several coats of paint. The tube fins are cut down 3 inch mailing tubes of the same pedigree as above - 1 tube, ... [More]


Uber cheap level 1 cert rocket - Project Terminated!!!!

Build Entry

GAAAAAAHHHHH!!! As often happens on this mortal coil, fate and bad luck have intervened to end this project for now. While moving/ consolidating all things rocket related to a new basement workshop, one of my "helpers" tripped on the staris while holding the box containing (among other things) the ... [More]


Uber cheap level 1 cert rocket - Part 2 - Procurement!

Build Entry

OK, we have assembled some parts and made a few purchases and it looks like we can begin. What we bought: - We found a super deal at an online hobby shop for 6-15" BT-60s for $5.00! (Yes Virginia, these are the low-power, thin wall type but we will be remedying that later!) - A Dr. ... [More]


Uber cheap level 1 cert rocket


Part 1 - Can we do it? 5 years into being a "BAR", the "L1 Cert Bug" has finaly hit me and I have decided that I MUST have that pin for my rocket hat!! But what to do? Purchase a kit? Clone an established design? Ensure success by traveling the well defined path of those who have certified ... [More]

Ron Beard


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