Manufacturer: Saturn Press
(by Kerry Garrison courtesy of WildRocketry.Com)

Pic If you are interested in the history of early rocketry or would like to try building a scale model of some of these history making rockets, then this book is a must read. Covering Domestic and foreign rocketry development from 1926 - 1941, Retro Rockets goes through the early attempts of building a liquid fuel design. 

I found the book to be very well laid out and the scale drawings were fantastic. Not only do the drawings show the actual design, but Peter Alway (author) has gone through great effort to make the coloring schemes available as well,

I am a history buff myself, and if I am watching an TV it is usually TLC, Discovery, or the History Channel. I have yet to see a single show that goes into the detail of such a wide variety of accomplishments. 

One great feature of Retro Rockets that really made me take notice, is that along with the technical specs of most of the rockets described in the book, is a N.A.R. Designation equivalent of the rocket motor. This really began to put things into perspective. Imaging Robert Goddard's first liquid fueled rocket (as shown to the right) which weighed in at 10.45 lbs loaded and realizing the motor was the equivalent of an H80! 

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Goddard's First Liquid Fueled Rocket
It really added a new dimension to my perception of those early rocketeers who struggled for years to build rockets. Just think, with the commercially available motors we have today, many of us routinely make flights that make these early pioneering efforts look hopeless.
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The first liquid fueled cluster
Granted, some of only dream of ever launching like the German A-5 with it's huge motor equivalent to a T-15000.

Retro Rockets is very well written and can be enjoyed by young and old alike. A very handy section in the back of the book shows how to take standard Estes components and build some of the rockets detailed within the books pages. 

I highly recommend this book for anyone with an interest in early rocketry. I could have only wished for the book to be bigger so that I could have spent more time reading instead of actually working.

Additional information about this and other books by Peter Alway can be found on the Saturn Press website.

NOTE: photos courtesy Saturn Press
 

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