Rockets lift off at High Frontier 14

Chris Day
Jack and James Dixon of Bartlesville tested their rockets at the High Frontier 14 event in Pawhuska. James Dixon earned his high-powered rocket certification and will start mentoring his son, Jack, to get his. Chris Day/Journal-Capital

PAWHUSKA — Kingston Miles launched his first model rocket Sunday at High Frontier 14 at the Pawhuska Municipal Airport.

The 9-year-old from Pawhuska attended the two-day event with his mother, Jamie, who was helping the Pawhuska High School Cheerleaders with their concession stand at the model rocketry event.

Jamie Miles said they purchased a basic model rocket on Saturday, put it together Saturday night and launched it twice Sunday.

“We started looking around, and we bought this rocket. Everybody has been really friendly and helped us put it together,” she said. “We did it today for the Buffalo contest.”

The model rocketeer whose rocket landed closest to a buffalo cutout wins a prize.

Kingston Miles said it took about 10 minutes to put the simple rocket together. “The launch is the best part,” he said, adding he wants to continue his new hobby.

High Frontier is a model rocketry event sponsored by the Tulsa Rocketry Club. It marked its 14th year in Pawhuska,

Bartlesville father-son team of James and Jack Dixon graduated Sunday from basic rocketry to high-powered engine rocketry with their Sunday certification flight.

Basic rocketry uses black-powder fuel in their engines, and the rockets are usually made from cardboard or balsa wood. High-powered engines use the same propellant that NASA used in the solid-rocket boosters for the space shuttle missions. These larger rockets can climb to 10,000 feet or higher.

Jack Dixon said his uncle was involved in model rockets, and he caught the model rocket bug when he and his dad, James, went into Hobby Lobby and he saw the model rocket aisle.

“I said 'Dad, I want one. I want one,” and my dad said to wait until I was a little older,” Jack Dixon said. “I waited a few years and then and finally he gave in and bought me one.”

Jack Dixon said his uncle gave him some motors about a year ago, and it relaunched his passion for the hobby.

“We started getting into it more and more. Now, we are into high-powered rocketry,” he said. “The high-powered rockets are more sophisticated and are usually made from fiberglass.”

James Dixon said the size of the motor is the big difference.

Model rocketry is a good family hobby, James Dixon said.“We spend a lot of time figuring problems out. Jack's pretty good on the computer and runs a simulation, which lets us figure out the weight and size of the rocket and the lift and drag,” he said. “That helps us with the technical math. Building the rocket, sometimes there is problem solving with that too.”

The pair has built rockets from kits and from scratch.

They launched a made from scratch rocket Saturday, and Jack pointed to a hole in the ground. It's landing spot.

The launch worked, but the landing failed. James Dixon said the “body of the rocket became detached from the parachute.”

Oh well, back to the computer as James start mentoring Jack to get his high-powered rocket certification.