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13.6.3 What Rockets and Motors can I buy and use in Germany?


This article is from the Model Rockets FAQ, by Wolfram von Kiparski with numerous contributions by others.

13.6.3 What Rockets and Motors can I buy and use in Germany?

Some hobby shops with a good flyers' supply sell Estes and Quest model
kits. There are even some genuine German manufactures whose parts and kits
occasionally show up at stores. Most suppliers and manufacturers sell their
products by mailorder too.

T1 motors:
Currently there is a range of Estes A,B and C motors available at the same
stores. The greatest variety is from Estes. They cost about DM 8-12 for
a 3-pack. A8-3, B4-4 and C6-3 motors are also available from a German
manufacturer (Moog-Nico) and sell for DM 22-35 in packets of 10.
In some places you can also get the brave old HELD1000, which is basically
a C2-0 originally intended for boost gliders. All these motors are
BAM-T1 and can be bought, stored, and used without problems.

T2 motors:
There are several motors listed in the addendum of the German explosives law,
but most of them are out of production (eg. some FSI motors). There are some
remaining HELD5000, but the last batch was manufactured in '88 and
depending on transport and storage conditions, they have degraded by now.
One member of the RAMOG (address in the Club/Address section), Mr. Maurer,
sells a manufacturer-reloadable motor, the BC360. It is a double-base
propellant motor with 360Ns. The (filled) casing is about DM 350 (may have
changed by now) and a refill is around DM 70 plus S&H.
There is also a BC1800, but it is not yet BAM certified.
There are some more motors to come, but they are still in the process of
design and/or BAM certification. Please check with the DERA or the RAMOG for
more current information!

Last fall we (the DERA people) discovered, that the Estes D12-5 has its
BAM-T2 classification, but only when it comes through a certain importer and
with a prescribed German text on the motors and packages (this is part of the
BAM certification and published in the explosives law word by word).
We then found out that this importer is out of busines :-((
After some negotiations we found a pyrotechnician who is willing (kind of
;-)) to take over the importing part. Then we contacted Estes for the
customized (German) motors. Status: Our batch of motors will be
manufactured sometimes in August'96. It will then take some time to cure/pack
and get them to Germany and through the customs. By then we should be able to
calculate the price. Please contact the DERA for availability.

If you wish to get a motor approved by the BAM be warned: It is possible
but costly both in time and expenses.
First you must have a complete list of chemical ingredients of the
pyrotechnic compounds. Try to get that from a foreign manufacturer!
(The author (and others) once tried that with Aerotech - without success.)
Then the BAM needs several sample devices in order to test the stability
sensitivity of the pyrotechnic materials, and the consistency of the
device's performance. Third they need proof (not an affirmation) of the
quality control system of the manufaturer, and that QC is done on a
regular basis by trained staff. If you can't get this, some of the BAM people
want to inspect the manufacturers site(s). They must be sure (by law) that
all subsequently manufactured devices are of the same quality as the ones
submitted for the tests. And remember: YOU will be charged for all expenses
they have. If you got through all that, be aware that the BAM will
occasionally request more samples for further testing to determine if the
motors continue to meet approval criteria.

The whole procedure is no big deal for a manufacturer who sees a market,
but it's hard to do for private people.


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