All motors used in this Championship must be legal and certified for use, transport, and sale in the United States. To simplify the challenges traditionally associated with motor transport to space modeling events, the organizers will provide all motors to be used by competitors at this World Championships. This will be a change to the traditional World Championships paradigm. By removing the burden of motor transport from the participating teams, this will be an exciting, efficient, equitable, and safe event.

Do not attempt to bring your own motors to the World Championships! They cannot be legally transported on passenger aircraft, and they cannot be used at the World Championships!

If you have specific questions concerning motors please contact Motor Director Matt Steele

US Model Rocket Motor Types

Rocket motors certified by the National Association of Rocketry generally fall into two broad categories: 1) black powder; and 2) composite.

Black powder motors are produced by Estes Industries and are available in D impulse and below. For the 2023 World Championships, we will be using black powder motors exclusively for S3, S4, S5, S6, and S9. Estes black powder motors are very easy to ignite using the igniters supplied with the motors. Delay times on black powder motors cannot be adjusted, nor can the delay charge be reduced or augmented. 6 volt ignition systems are generally adequate for ignition of single black powder motors, and work well with the piston systems typically used by FAI competitors.

Composite motors are produced by Aerotech. These motors will be used for S8, and will also be available for S2/P and S7 users who choose to use them. Like black powder motors, these are easy to ignite, but greater care must be taken with igniter placement as the head of the igniter must be placed as far as possible into the motor grain, against the delay grain. 12 volt ignition systems are recommended for composite motors.

Delays and Ejection Charges

Ejection charge times are fixed and cannot be changed. Do not try to modify the delay time on any motor, as this would be a violation of the National Association of Rocketry Safety Code. Please note that the delay charges supplied with US rocket motors tend to be stronger than the standard charges supplied with European motors. You should plan for this by making your airframes slightly more robust.

Staging, Clustering, and S7

Staging Estes black powder motors is easy and reliable. Typical FAI practice should yield good results with these motors.

Staging Aerotech composite motors is more challenging as composite booster motors will not ignite any upper stage motor. If you are using a composite booster in an S7 model, for instance, electronic ignition of any upper stage motors is highly recommended. We do not recommend the use of composite motors in upper stage applications.

Black powder motors are easy to cluster for S7 models. We do not recommend clustering composite motors, or combinations of black powder and composite motors.


Both black powder and composite motor options will be available for the S2/P event.


The Junior S8 event will use Aerotech D2.3 motors, The Senior S8E/P event will use Aerotech E6 motors.

Motor Costs

The motors used for S3, S4, S5, S6, and S9 will be free to all competitors, as will Estes black powder motors for S7 and S2/P. Composite motors used for S2/P, S7, and S8 will be subject to an additional charge as noted on the attached price schedule. Please place your motor order well in advance of the Championships.

Motor Impound

Consistent with previous World Championships procedures, motors for S3, S4, S5, S6, S8 and S9 will be impounded on the range in motor boxes, and will be available to competitors during practice and competition periods. Motors for S2/P and S7 will not be impounded. Any motors ordered for S2/P and S7 will be available for pickup at team registration.


We recognize that participants will be using these motors for the first time. NAR volunteers will be available on the range throughout the week to answer questions about the successful use of these products. We strongly encourage you to seek out and use the guidance from these experienced flyers, especially with regard to the use of composite motors.

Motor Transport

Do not attempt to transport unused motors home! Rocket motors and igniters of any type may not be legally be carried on commercial passenger aircraft, and transporting them via freight carriers is a very complex and expensive process! If you have unused motors at the end of competition, please return them to the contest organizers.

Common Motor List

The motors below will be available to all contestants for the 2023 World Spacemodeling Championships.  Detailed data on each motor is presented in the 2023 WSMC Common Motor List document.  Additional motor information is available at:



Event Manufacturer Designation Delay Times (sec)
S2P Estes D12 0, 3, 5, 7
S2P AeroTech E20 4, 7
S2P AeroTech E30 4, 7
S2P AeroTech F20 4, 7
S2P AeroTech F42 4, 7
S2P AeroTech F44 4, 8
S2P AeroTech F52 5, 8
S2P AeroTech F67 4, 6, 9
S3A Estes 1/2A3 2, 4
S4A Estes 1/2A3 2, 4
S5B Estes B6 4, 6
S5C Estes C6 3, 5, 7
S6A Estes 1/2A3 2, 4
S7 Estes 1/4A3 3
S7 Estes 1/2A3 2, 4
S7 Estes A3 4
S7 Estes A10 0, 3
S7 Estes A8 3
S7 Estes B6 0, 2, 4, 6
S7 Estes C6 0, 3, 5, 7
S7 Estes C11 0, 3, 5, 7
S7 Estes D12 0, 3, 5, 7
S7 AeroTech E20 4, 7
S7 AeroTech E30 4, 7
S7 AeroTech F20 4, 7
S7 AeroTech F42 4, 8
S7 AeroTech F44 4, 8
S7 AeroTech F67 4, 6, 9
S8D AeroTech D2.3 Plugged
S8E/P AeroTech E6 Plugged
S9A Estes 1/2A3 2, 4

Igniters for motors will also be supplied.

International Sources of Supply

Current international shipping laws prohibit the transport of model rocket motors that are not certified under the provisions of UN Hazard Class 1.4. Both Aerotech and Estes motors are UN certified 1.4S and are CE certified. The following dealers provides can legally import motors to Europe:

Aerotech European importer and dealer

Spacetec GmbH
Neugutstr. 10
CH – 8102 Oberengstringen

Aerotech dealers

Space Rocket Technology UG
Gärdesstraße 59
D – 28755 Bremen

Sierrafox Hobbies (also Estes)
Via Massarenti 15
I – 20148 Milano

United Kingdom
Wizard Rockets
Dauntsey, Wiltshire SN15 4HN


Please note that these motors may not be sent legally by mail or parcel services in most countries in Europe. In most of the cases pick up is the only commercially feasible way.