An easy-to-use, versatile and robust launch pad for rockets of all weights: from a few grams up to K motors! It mounts launch rod of any size or launch rails and is adjustable against the wind.
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Universal launch pad, designed for large models but suitable for small as well.
The SierraPad launch pad is the ultimate solution for the individual flier or for groups or clubs. It allows the launch of rockets of all sizes and is ideal for Level 1 and Level 2 rockets, it is easily adjusted for wind, can be tilted to load the rocket and can mount any kind of rail or launch rod.
Until now there was no launch pad readily available on the market that was suitable to launch rockets with motor larger than F or G, and that could accept either launch rails or launch rods of any diameter.
In many cases the only solution was to custom build it, with all the difficulties involved with materials retrieval and selection, machining and cost. The only way was often to settle for pad not 100% functional, heavy, difficult to transport and to adjust.
During more than twenty years of attending the launch fields in various parts of Europe, we looked closely to the various launch pads used. We noticed that they were always unique specimens, home made by those who had the opportunity, expensive, too heavy, unwieldy, too complicated or too little versatile. And most did not have an efficient system to adjust them against the wind and to load the rocket. Also very rare, if non-existent at all, were pads which can mount either rails and rods of all sizes.
With the SierraPad launch pad we wanted to put an end to all this: SierraPad can use rails up to 30 x 30 mm (not included) and launch rods from 3 mm up (not included) with an effective and quick locking system; It has a footprint of 150 x 150 cm with four legs for an exceptional stability; the rail/rod support can be pivoted to counter the wind but quickly unlocks to be tilted to slide the rocket on the rail without losing the pivot setting.
A feature of which we are particularly proud of is the solution we have found to allow the adjusting of the pad against the wind, simple and effective, while being able to detach it and tilt it down to slide the rocket on the rail at the same time. A threaded sleeve allows to finely adjust the inclination, using only two fingers, while a spring-loaded pin unlocks the sleeve and allows to completely tilt the rail support. Once the rocket is mounted on the rail (or launch rod), the support is put back upright and sleeve locked with the pin without losing the wind adjustment.
In addition, the entire head of the ramp is rotatable and can be locked with a screw knob. So you never have to get help from your friends to turn the ramp when the wind turns: just unlock the head, rotate it in the right direction and lock it again. You can do it even with the rocket already mounted on the pad!
Every launch pad we used or we saw so far were lacking of an efficient way to support the rocket before launch. An improvised solution is often adopted, or some additional accessory was needed. With the SierraPad we found a simple solution: the exhaust deflector has a long vertical part which support rockets of any shape on their fins, keeping the bottom of the rocket high on the deflector inclined part, enough to place the ignitor in the motor easily and avoiding that the rocket touches the deflector at the same time. With this solution also rockets with boattails are supported easily.
Thanks to very careful construction, high-quality materials and legs bracings, SierraPad can bear rockets weighing more than 10 kg. Actually it can bear even heavier rockets, but when a rocket exceeds certain weights it also needs a pad with a larger footprint than SierraPad. We did not want to make a pad for the largest existing rockets, but rather a pad suitable for the most common rockets. Please note that with SierraPad you can launch rockets with J motors with no problem, but you can push it up to K.
The whole head of the ramp is made of stainless steel, insensitive to the exhaust gas corrosion and easy to clean. The parts which are not affected by the exhaust are made of machined or bent aluminum. This way we were able to reduce weight without sacrificing strength: only 7.5 kg!
SierraPad ramp has four legs because this provides the maximum stability. However, we wanted to go a bit further: when the legs are open to the maximum aperture the central tube touches the ground. This way the pad is supported on five points and the center tube supports the weight of the rocket directly, being right below it. If you still do not feet safe, the feet of the legs have a hole that allows you to stake out the ramp to the ground.
Rail or launch rods are not included