From: Trip Barber, NAR# 4322 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Proposal: Regular
Brief Summary of the Proposed Change: Prohibit the use of piston or other pressurization-type launching devices that use exhaust gases from the rocket motor to increase its launch velocity and altitude. This restriction has been implemented in international (FAI) competition for altitude-type events starting in 2019.
State Logic and Intent of Change: Years of R&D reports and development have led to the use of increasingly sophisticated piston-type launchers in competition by the most experienced and advanced competitors. These devices substantially improve the flight performance of rockets launched from them. This “arms race” has reached near-ridiculous proportions, with long elaborate devices being erected on the field. This is profoundly discouraging to other competitors, particularly new ones, who do not have the experience or resources to create and use such devices and see that if they do not use them they have little chance of success. If we want to spread the popularity and accessibility of model rocket competition, we need to level the playing field by making events a competition between flight vehicles, not launch systems. I expect experienced competitors who are engaged in this piston-launcher “arms race” will oppose this proposal because they think that with the next step up in their launcher’s complexity they can win. Rocket competition should be about flight vehicle (“rocket”) performance, not launcher performance.
Effect, if any, on current competition and NAR records: Many performance records have been set with use of piston launchers, but they are not specifically identified as such. It will be difficult to exceed these records in future without use of piston launchers, but there is no reason to retire any existing records if this proposal is enacted.
Exact wording for the rule revision as it should appear (include section#):
5.6 Launching Device A launching device must not impart to the entry any velocity or change of momentum by any means. The entry must free- fly from the device.