Pack 3322 Space Derby Rules
The space derby is similar to the pinewood derby except that the models are miniature “rockets”, propeller driven by rubber bands - that travel along a heavy monofilament fishing line. Parents may provide assistance to scouts in building their rockets.
As this is our first Space Derby we anticipate the need for judgment calls and rules adjustments. Parents and Pilots should keep this in mind and do their best to promote understanding and good sportsmanship.
- Only the basic materials supplied in the official BSA kit may be used. The hanging device in the kit must be used. Paint and decals are allowed. Replacement Rubber Bands and Propellers are available through the Scout Shop. These are the only acceptable substitutions or replacement parts.
- No more than three rubber bands may be installed on the rocket.
- Do not attach numbers to the Rocket. Numbers will be assigned.
- The nose cone (propeller assembly) must not be glued in place. A notch or groove must be formed in the rear of the rocket to seat the band holding dowel. The band holding dowel must not be glued in place. These rules allow broken rubber bands to be replaced during the race.
- The rocket body may be no longer than 7 inches, not including the propeller.
- There are no restrictions on the weight or design of the rocket. Rockets may be detailed in any manner as long as the meet the length restrictions, are flight worthy, structurally sound and do not interfere with other rockets during the race.
- Dry graphite powder may be used to lubricate the propeller shaft and bushing, if desired. All other forms of lubrication are prohibited on the propeller. Rubber bands may be lubricated.
- Rockets are to be submitted to the registration table prior to the beginning of the race. Each rocket will be inspected, registered and assigned a race number. A Repair/Maintenance Hangar will be available to make any needed modifications to rockets that do not meet the official rules.
- Once the rocket has been accepted no further adjustments may be made except in the case of mechanical failure.
- Pilots will keep their Rockets in the staging area until it is time for them to be raced.
- Rockets will be assigned to a lane for each race.
- Pilots will have Two Minutes to report to Rocket Staging when called. Any Pilot not presenting his Rocket within the allotted time will be placed 4th place for his heat.
- In the staging area the rocket propeller will be wound and the Pilot must line up in order of the lane they are assigned to. Pilots will then present his Rocket to the Starting Line and then proceed to the Finish Zone. Only Pilots racing in the current heat are allowed in the finish zone.
- Upon completion of the heat, “Mission Control” will remove the rocket from the Race Lane and hand off to the Pilot to retain until their next heat.
- Rockets that do not reach the finish line will receive a fourth (4th) place finish. In the event that more than one rocket fails to reach the finish line during a heat, the rocket that travels the furthest will receive the higher place finish.
- Any and all rockets that experiences a mechanical failure will be fourth (4th) place finish for that heat. All repairs must be done with “Flight Operations” observing and certifying the rockets flight worthiness. Repairs must be done by the time their next heat is announced or the rocket will receive 4th place finish.
- All rulings by Flight Operations and Mission Control are final.
SPACE DERBY TIPS
- Use small rubber bands to hold the balsa halves together while the glue dries.
- A potato peeler is a good tool to shape the rocket. Sandpaper also works to shape the rocket’s body.
- Use a pencil or putty knife to form the grooves in the rocket for the fins.
- Lighter rockets tend to go faster than heavier ones.
- Spray paint may melt fins.
- Do not remove too much wood from the area where the hanger will be fitted.
- Don’t carve away the nose cone area (the smaller hole).
- Make sure the groove in the rear of the rocket is deep enough so that the plastic dowel isn’t forced out by a fully wound rubber band.
- IMPORTANT: The small plastic tube in the kit needs to be placed over the curved portion of the propeller shaft. If you soak the tubes in very hot water for several minutes and then slide it onto the straight portion of the shaft using a pair of needle nosed pliers you can get the hook end covered. This protects the rubber bands from breaking.
- IMPORTANT: The propeller goes onto the shaft with the rounded edge touching the bushing.
- IMPORTANT: Make sure the propeller shaft is bent properly to hold the propeller in place.
- IMPORTANT: Make sure the covered hook is open enough to accept two (2) rubber bands.
- Lubricant for rubber bands- Silicon spray, Teflon spray, glycerin, castor oil, or ethylene glycol will help your rubber band motor last without breaking. Soak overnight before installing.
- Have fun searching the Internet, there are many more hints and tips to be found!