The Ginny-I
September 5th, 2012 | Back to Blog Listing

Showcasing the completed Ginny-I
The Ginny-I is the loving name that I gave to the most recent rocket I built. Caroline's family enjoys building homemade rockets, filling them with a variety of flammable powders (gunpowder, phosphorus, etc.) and setting them to launch.

I didn't build mine to blow up, but instead to fly with some level of precision. Unfortunately I didn't quite have the right engine for the job, but it did manage to fly three different times. The third time I knew it wasn't going to end well since we only had an E12-8 engine left. The '8' designates the amount of time needed for the ejection stage to occur (triggering my parachute). It crashed long before that 8 seconds was up.

Here are the videos:

If you're interested in building a rocket like this, here is a rough approximation of the costs:
  • Body - 3" diameter postage tube from Office Depot.
    About $7.00 for a pack of two.
  • Nosecone - paper mâché from Michael's trimmed to size.
    About $3.50 for one.
  • Fins - 1/4" basswood from Michael's.
    One sheet for about $3.50 - plenty for all fins.
  • Launch Lugs - plastic shell remnants of firecracker (2 were used for stability).
  • Parachute - made from aluminum-like wrapping paper with hearty rope tied to corners.
    About $1.00
  • Spray Paint - red and black spray paint for the final look.
    About $3.50 each can.
  • Engine Mount - shaped from postal tube ends.
So the rocket only cost about $18.50 to build from scratch, about $11.50 if you exclude the paint job. Far cheaper than most of the sets you'll find in the store.