Monday, September 7, 2020

A Conversation with James Duffy - Scale Modeling, FAI Competition, and More


James Duffy on the cover of Sport Rocketry Magazine, published by the NAR.

Episode 6 of The Model Rocket Show podcast is up, and I really loved this conversation.

I chatted with James Duffy of the Austin Area Rocketry Group. James was one of the organizers of NARCON 2018 in Houston, TX, and is a skilled builder of flying scale models. He is on the American team in international FAI rocketry competitions, and runs Spacemonkey Models, selling the most detailed V-2 static scale model available.

James' main specialties are the Bumper WAC - an early American sounding rocket consisting of a captured German V-2 for a first stage, topped by an American WAC Corporal sounding rocket as a second stage...

Bumper 8 lifting off from Cape Canaveral

James Duffy's Bumper WAC model

...and the Little Joe test vehicle, used by NASA during Project Mercury to test the launch escape system.

Little Joe 5B Liftoff

One impressive model is the 1/12 scale Little Joe, flown in international competition, and which can be seen in the image from Sport Rocketry magazine at the top of this post. This rocket flew on a combination of 13mm mini A motors and two F motors - an unusual cluster!

Through Spacemonkey Models (CLICK HERE), James sells a plastic, static model (non-flying) of the German V-2 missile. It can be converted to a flying model with a kit sold by Apogee Components (CLICK HERE).

The Spacemonkey V-2 is beautifully made. There's a fully detailed build series on James' YouTube channel, (CLICK HERE to see the playlist).

The podcast episode can be heard on any podcatching app, or directly on The Model Rocket Show website (CLICK HERE).

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