DINOSAURS ROCK-et EXTREME HERE
1st Place - Odd Rocket Competition
Neil Brown with Kari Byron
(host of MythBusters) after receiving the First Place Trophy.
I don't care how corny this sound but I could have never
won this event if it wasn't for my team pictured above. Starting at the left is Dr. John Caramagna, John
Huibregtse, Barbara Grocki (Caramagna), Aliza Brown, Neil Brown and Dan
So here are some much deserved
First - a huge thanks to my good friend and rocket mentor Dan Michael with whom I consulted with on each step of
the building process and who advised me on building techniques, construction and rocket motor choice as well as
taking his time to come to my home to help me build the braces to hold the jaw in place on the Meg Jaw Rocket. No
question that Dan helped me win this competition with the highest score ever awarded (98 Points out of a possible
100!!) at a ODD ROCKET Competition at the Large Dangerous Rocket Ships
To my daughter Aliza whom from the
beginning kept telling me to go for it with "NO REGRETS". Aliza was very motivating all along and told me
numerous times not to short change anything and to do everything possible to make sure I knew in my heart
that I did the best I could. This advice was especially helpful at the field 1-hr before the launch when I
had a "feeling" that something may not be 100% with the altimeter bay. We actually had to open up the rocket,
pull all the parachutes out, unhook the altimeter bay and I noticed that the battery was not 100% secure
which could have led to a catistrophic failure of this rocket if the parachute didn't deploy. So - with the
altimeter bay now 100% secure I felt completely confident that there was nothing else to do but wait and see
what happens. No Regrets Aliza - I love you my little girl!!
To my good friends John and
Barbara Caramagna who helped tirelessly and stayed an extra day to help and support this effort and to make
sure the Meg Jaw Rocket was placed on the tower correctly and helped with the recovery of all of our rockets.
Great photos as well so thanks for all your help.
And finally to my good friend and
Director of the Challenger Center in Suffern, NY where the Meg Jaw Rocket is now displayed, John
Hubregtse (pronounced: hu-brex), helped all the way through with the initial test launch (see photo below), as
well as with any and all details of the launch of this rocket.
John Huibregtse and I are getting the test launch ready.
Sharp Entertainment filmed the event for Discoveries Sciecne Channel.
Below are some photos of that great day at LDRS 31:
John and I putting the final screws into place to hold the nose cone in place during
The Meg Jaw Rocket placed on the truck to be transported to the launch
Shooting more footage.
Facts about the Megalodon Shark are being discussed with Kari Byron.
Here we are talking about the physics and flight pattern of this rocket.
John Caramagna took this great shot of me wondering what the hell he was doing under the
Dan Michael inserting the thermite ignitor into the huge N3300 Aerotech Redline
125-lb Meg Jaw Rocket Launching
The rocket was over 7-ft tall.
Look at the huge red flames.
The Meg Jaw Rocket swung back and forth during the flight
just as I had predicted to the judges. It flew within 1-ft of my predicted altitude -
It first went to the right now its turning to the left - thats from the air hitting the jaw. It viered back
and forth 3 times and the 16-lb weighted nose cone kept straightening it out.
The Aerotech N3300 Redline was the right motor choice for this Odd-Rocket!
Starting to come back to the right again.
The moment of truth - will the parachutes deploy?
Once I saw the nose cone blow off I knew we were home free.
Successful deployment of a 24-ft RocketMan Parachute for the main airframe and jaws and a 8-ft
RocketMan Parachute for the nosecone brought this rocket down
Both judges scored the design, engineering, flight and scientific significance of the rocket
(by the way, that is what they said) a total of 49 points each out of 50 which gave me a 98 out of
100 which is the highest score ever awarded at a Odd Rocket Competition at
Here I am accepting the 1st Place Trophy for myself and my
Below is a more detailed
look at the construction of this rocket for the engineering junkies out
Flying Sunday, July 15, 2012 at LDRS-31
Motor: N3300 AEROTECH Redline
Giant 5-ft wide Megalodon Shark Jaw attached to a 7-ft tall, 10-inch wide rocket that look like a scared fish thats
about to be eaten. Add the red flame and it will look like blood trailing the beast.
Apogee Deployment of a 24-ft Rocketman Parachute.
Nose cone will come down on its own 4-ft Rocketman
Inspired by the real Meg Jaw I stood in at the Tucson, AZ Fossil Mineral Show
There used to be a company called BC Bones that originally made this but they have been out of business for years
and I had this model sitting around for years. What a great excuse to make a cool rocket out of this!!
All pieces laid out and ready for assembly.
Cut from 1-inch thick plywood.
Set of teeth completed
Attaching 1 set of lower jaw teeth
Preparing other set of teeth
Attaching 2nd set of lower jaw teeth
Hammering teeth in place
Lower jaw completed
This part now needs to be epoxied - thinking dark brown teeth with lighter brown for jaw for eventual
realistic paint scheme.
Following day - a lot of progress.
Basic components of the jaw are completed.
Rear view of Megalodon Shark Jaw.
Attaching this to the THUMPER is going to be quite a feat.
Next week we paint this
Above is the artwork (by Dave Rose) for the booster
Below is a rendering of extended 1/2 plywood fins and
Still trying to figure out the best way to attach this beast.
The biggest problem I encountered with the build of this
rocket was how was I going to attach the huge Meg Jaws to the rocket itself. I designed an extended fin from
the original Polecat Aerospace Thumper design. Pictured below is the original fin next to the new
outline of the new fin. 1/2 inch plywood was used for the new fin.
Below is a movie of me cutting the fins and comparing it to the original that came with the
Next Day - Fin Attachment
Before we attach the fins we have to build up the motor tube with centering
rings, u-bolts and threaded rods.
Above - threaded rods attached to Centering Rings.
The fin slots need to be widened to fit the 1/2 inch plywood fins.
See movie below:
First fin is attached with epoxy.
Second fin is attached.
Third fin is attached.
All four fins now attached.
OK - the first test - the Meg Jaws now resting on the attached
Close-up of fins used as a cradle.
Fin fillets are applied.
Just after fins fiberglassed to motor tube.
Interior of airframe where the motor tube, unistrut rail button base and fins were fiberglassed
using West Systems Epoxy.
First coat of "primer" paint.
Video of applying the first coat of a darker brown "base" paint.
Applying fin fillets to the main booster.
Sanding the fins and airframe.
Pre Mega Foaming the interior of Rocket.
Mega Foam has filled in the aft section of the rocket strengthening the fins
Primer Paint on the Booster
Sanded down rocket after primer.
Going to work on the aft section next
Happy that I finally painted the booster.
Fish Decals ready and will be applied this weekend.
Finished Megalodon Shark Jaw Rocket