The Rocket Doc
High Power Rocketry
Brad Evans, MD
Gilbert, AZ
Superstition Spacemodeling Society
NAR #88880 L3
TRA #13578 L3

I was a physician for over 22 years and joined the pharmaceutical industry in 2004. So, they call me Doc.
  I began playing with rocket toys when I was 10. By the time I was 14, I had been doing black power rockets for a couple of years or so when I found Rocket Manual for Amateurs by Capt Bertrand Brinley. I got immediately into sugar fuel and powdered zinc and sulfur. Back then and for another 3 years I was building rockets with my friends made out of metal airframes and fins. Metal shop, wood shop and electrical shop in high school moved me right along. Things really slowed down in college (BSc, Chemistry), but I always built black powder rockets right through med school. Like so many of my rocketeer friends, we all settled into our professional lives and raising families. And like so many rocketeers, kids grow up and leave home. I was getting itchy back in 2009. My grandson, Gunnar, was 4. He was interested in rockets for some reason, so I bought a couple of Estes kits (Bull Pup and Patriot), and the "torch" was past to a new generation. I was a flight away from a rocket a day. I got on the internet, found high power rocketry, and the rest is history. I built an Initiator from Aerotech and joined the Superstition Spacemodeling Society out of Phoenix, AZ. I brought the rocket to one of the launches one Saturday anxious about my first mid power launch. I bought some little motor for it. I showed it to Dwain Desbien who said I needed something big. He found the biggest 29mm motor he had. "Go big or go home!", he said. I've been living by that motto ever since. Thanks Dwain! Maurice "Moe" Bertrand, whether he knows it or not, has been a mentor from the start, a great friend and photographer for my and many others' launches. This site is filled with his photos. Thanks Moe!  My L3CC Terry O'Brien, former President of the Superstition Spacemodeling Society, and Gerald "Skippy" Meux, Jr have been invaluable moving me to the top of the game. So, the site is dedicated to my grandson Gunnar, my rocket widow Kris, Moe, Dwain, Terry and Skippy.

You have to start somewhere (Aerotech Initiator).


                                                                               Photo Maurice "Moe" Bertrand


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The National Association of Rocketry (NAR)

The Superstition Spacemodeling Society (SSS Rocketry)

Tripoli Rocketry Association (TRA)
What is Tripoli?

Tripoli Phoenix (TRAPHX)

-Tripoli Phoenix (TRAPHX) is Prefecture #47 of the Tripoli Rocketry Association (TRA). It is a club of likeminded individuals who have joined together in the pursuit of high power rocketry. Their main goals are to provide a safe, fun, inclusive environment for our members, which enable them to further their aims and purposes as related to high power rocketry.

Triploi Phoenix
Eagle Eye Launch Site
Aguila, AZ

From a few thousand feet, the town of Aguila (about 40 miles west of Wickenburg, AZ) is in the upper right. Eagle Eye Mountain is near the center of the image.


Arizona High Power Rocketry Association

-AHPRA was formed as a Tripoli Rocketry Association Prefecture to promote high power rocketry in Arizona. They hold monthly meetings and local launches as well as hosting the National Experimental Launch at the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.

Most Recent Launch

General Dynamics AGM-78 Standard ARM

Tripoli Phoenix Eagle Eye Launch Site
Aguila, AZ
January 24, 2015

Flight 3



My L3 Certification rocket, the AGM-78 flew again at the Tripoli Phoenix Eagle Eye Launch Site on a Cesaroni N1800 Classic. Here are some screen shots off the various video cameras. Thanks to Terry O'Brien and Dwain Desbien for help with set-up and launch.The rocket was 80 lbs on the pad! Special thanks to Terry and the incredible TRAPHX Lost Rocket Recovery Team. It took all day to find as the drogue chute opening and harness stretch separated the 13.5 lb nose cone and the main deployed at apogee The rocket drifted ~3.5 miles west of the site and was recovered with no significant damage.

Terry O'Brien and Dwain Desbien at the pad.  


Click the image for launch video


Lift off and stable flight. Click to view nose cone video from launch to drogue/main deployment and initial decent

 Click to view ground launch to drogue/main deployment


Predicted (Rocksim)
Altitude- 9101 ft
Maximum velocity- 915 ft/sec
Apogee- 23.7 secs

Altimeter 1 (Perfect Flight Stratologger)      Altitude 8,369 ft (barometric)     Apogee in 24.6 secs
Altimeter 2 (Missile Works RRC2mini)     Altitude 8,309 ft      Peak Velocity 980 ft/sec, apogee in 23 secs

Launch Schedule

Completed Project (s)

The Raytheon (General Dynamics) RIM-67 Extended Range
1/3rd Scale
"The Rocket Frog"
Scheduled for Launch on February 28, 2015
Tripoli Phoenix Eagle Eye Launch Site
Aguila, AZ

On September 6, 2013, the 70-foot (21-meter) high Minotaur V rocket carrying NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) lifted off from a pad at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility at Wallops Island, Virginia. A NASA camera accidentally captured an airborne frog as the agency’s LADEE moon mission blasts off. 
-Credit: NASA Wallops Flight Facility


My RIM-67 ER is dedicated to Rocket Frog.



Current Project

The Western Electric MIM-14 Nike Hercules
"Bad Boy"
2/5 Scale



Best Past Project
Two-Stage Cluster
April 29, 2012
Rainbow Valley, AZ



Click the photo for the ground video (courtesy of Geoffrey Kerbel)


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