Skybusters, NAR #535

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About the Skybusters

We are the Skybusters Rocketry Club, Section #535 as sanctioned by the National Association of Rocketry. We have approximately 50 members in and around the Cleveland, Ohio area. The club is an organization of volunteers dedicated to the promotion of the safe and fun use of model and high power rocketry.

The Northern Ohio area has a rich history when it comes to model, high power and amateur rocketry. Northern Ohio's history in rocketry dates back to 1932, when the Cleveland Rocketry Society began work in experimental rocketry with liquid fueled rocket engines. In 1966 the Natural Science Museum Model Rocket Research Society or NSMMRRS was formed and run by a former curator of the museum. In 1970, The North Royalton Rocket Society or NRRS was formed and operated through 1974. A number of members left the NSMMRRS section and moved over to the NRRS after it was created.The NRRS was formed as a NAR Section by Jon Randolph (1971 NAR National Champion) and Bob Allen. Including "North Royalton" in the name meant the city provided publicity in the local paper, the Royalton Recorder, and a meeting room in the old North Royalton High School. But the primary reason North Royalton was chosen was the availability of a flying field, the WJW transmitter site at Route 82 & Ridge Road. On a calm day, this site could accommodate F motors, the largest available at the time. Several of the original members (Randolph, Fleischer, Pearson) went on to compete in various World Championships and two are still active in the hobby almost 35 years later: Chris Pearson and John Fleischer (Transolve). At this time the Suburban Northeast Ohio Association of Rocketry Club (SNOAR) was formed. This group started holding the Great Lakes Regional Meets (GLRM) that are now known as the annual LDRS launches (Tripoli's annual National High Power Rocketry Launches). The first GLRM's were held at the Garfield Heights landfill in the mid to late 70's and started as the NAR Sport Launches. In 1982, the GLRM's became the Large and Dangerous Rocket Ships launches (LDRS).

The first 5 LDRS launches were held here in Northern Ohio (Medina, Ohio) with the last one being held here in August 1986. In those days the launches were only held for a two day weekend. Betty & Lee Piester (the founder of Centuri) attended the last LDRS held in Ohio. At this time the launches were handed over to Tripoli to run. Around 1990, SNOAR was put on hold due to few active members remaining in the area.

In late 1993/early 1994, the Tri-City Sky Busters Rocketry Club was started by Capt. Dan Harold, Commander, Civil Air Patrol Squadron 535 based at Kent State University Airport. Capt. Harold started the club on his own using his own funds. It would be over a year old before he opened up the membership to the general public. The remaining SNOAR members plus some new members then joined the group.

At our club meeting in January 2007, we voted to change our name to simply the Skybusters. The Skybusters still launch on some of the original SNOAR & LDRS launch equipment.

The club is involved with model, level 1, 2 & 3 high power and hybrid rocketry. We launch ONLY certified NAR and/or TRIPOLI motors, 1/4-A through M.

Design and programming by Jamie Wylie. Maintained by Dan Vento, Pat Easter and Gerry Freed for Skybusters Rocketry Club. Please send your comments/corrections/additions to the webmaster.