Resources

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Below are resources that have been found useful in the analysis of model rockets. Many useful scientific aerodynamic articles and documents are available at the invaluable NASA Technical Resources Server (NTRS).


Development of an Open Source model rocket simulation software, Sampo Niskanen, 2009.
Master's thesis describing the methods used by OpenRocket.
The Theoretical Prediction of the Center of Pressure, James and Judith Barrowman, 1966.
The original NARAM R&D report explaining how to calculate the CP position of a rocket.
The Practical Calculation of the Aerodynamic Characteristics of Slender Finned Vehicles, James Barrowman, 1967.
The more in-depth and technical thesis, where Barrowman presents methods for calculating the CP position of a rocket at both subsonic and supersonic velocities and its other aerodynamic properties. Available on NTRS.
Wind instability—What Barrowman left out, Robert Galejs.
An extension to the Barrowman method to account for body lift at large angles of attack.
Topics in Advanced Model Rocketry, Mandell, Caporaso, Bengen, MIT Press, 1973.
An excellent theoretical study on the flight of model rockets. Available as a reprint edition.
Fluid-dynamic drag and Fluid-dynamic lift, Sighard Hoerner, published by the author, 1965 & 1975.
Two compendiums of all wisdom and knowledge. Contains extensive gatherings of experimental data and compact explanations of the aerodynamic effects. Available as reprint editions.
Tactical missile design, 2nd edition, Eugene L. Fleeman, AIAA, 2006.
Useful approximation methods for estimating the aerodynamic properties of rockets.
Applied Computational Aerodynamics, William Mason.
An online textbook on computational aerodynamics.
Design of aerodynamically stabilized free rockets, MIL-HDBK-762, US Army Missile Command, 1990.
Military handbook on the design of rockets, a good resource for aerodynamic estimation methods.
ThrustCurve.org, John Coker.
An excellent resource for model rocket motor thrust curves.
Static stability investigation of a single-stage sounding rocket at Mach numbers from 0.60 to 1.20, James Ferris, NASA-TN-D-4013, 1967.
Static stability investigation of a sounding-rocket vehicle at Mach numbers from 1.50 to 4.63, Donald Babb and Dennis Fuller, NASA-TN-D-4014, 1967.
Experimental data of a wind tunnel investigation of a sounding rocket at subsonic, transonic and supersonic velocities. Available on NTRS.