The Flame Trench is a group of British and American students and professionals interested in model rocketry. While their portfolio certainly includes the rockets that you might have launched as a kid, some of their exploits involve rockets taller than a human, attempts to break altitude records, and even thrust vectoring via BPS Space with the end-goal of landing a model rocket vertically under power. You know, the kind of stuff SpaceX has been doing so successfully these days.
I got to catch up with member Ben Cartwright, who in addition to his experiments, operates a new Flame Trench Tindie store. Items for sale there include stickers for marking the center (or centre as he resides in the UK) of gravity and pressure for your model aeronautical equipment, as well as disk-shaped electronics prototyping platforms meant to fit inside the cones of model rockets.
As with many of us, Ben has always been interested in electronics in some respect. His dad started him off with model planes and helicopters as a young child, and since then the magic of invisibly moving electrons about to do his bidding had him hooked. After quite a bit of study, and discovering his love of space and rocketry along the way, he’s about to get a Master’s degree in Electronic Engineering and Computer Science. After that, he has a job lined up at RAL Space (the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory) upon graduation.
The Flame Trench Organization was looking at building hardware and kits to sell for the model rocketry community in the UK. Tindie was a perfect platform for selling this type of product. While their product offerings are currently limited to what’s seen below, they’ve got several exciting projects in the works, including flight computers, rocket altimeters, image sensors, and more.
Ben Cartwright and the Flame Trench are quite new to Tindie, having just opened in Mid-March of this year, but Ben describes it as “super simple to use,” and notes that the “quality of the content on there is fantastic!” Having listed a few things here myself, I’d wholeheartedly agree with it being easy to use. If you’ve ever written a blog post on WordPress, or put a project on Hackaday.io or similar, listing a product here is equally simple.
He does note that there’s currently not a lot on Tindie from the model rocketry community, but he hopes to change that. We’re looking forward to it, and invite anyone else who has a rocketry related gadget to sell to get it into a Tindie store of their own.
It’s always fun to get together (whether virtually or in real life) with those who share common interests, and swapping ideas could even save you from having to reinvent the
wheel solid rocket engine! For a preview of the kind of projects that Flame Trench members take on, check out the BPSspace promo video below:
For another take on high altitude experimentation, you might also check out the CatSat1. While high altitude ballooning might not have the same kind of high speed excitement as model rocketry, getting a glimpse of the earth from far above using your own equipment has to be amazing as well.