Science Fair Projects

Do Different Fin Designs Affect a Rocket's Maximum Altitude


The objective: The point of this project is to see if different fin designs affect a rocket's maximum altitude and the stability of the flight, and if so, which fin design makes the rocket go the highest. This was done was by designing five different fins and launching them each 3 times then comparing how high the rocket went and how stable the flight was.


4 by 3 sheet of Balsa wood, 3 Polaris Estes Model Rocket Kits, 1 Estes Altitude Tracker/theodelite Estes Launch Equipment (Igniter, Launch pad), 5 packs of C-6-5 Engines.

1. Put together all 3 Estes model rocket kit
2. Spray paint the rockets red so you can see them in flight
3. Design and cut out 4 different fins
4. Go to your launch site, prepare rockets and launch equipment
5. Launch rockets and have someone record the altitude and flight stability.
6. Repeat three times for each design. Change fins as required to complete flights.


The low drag clipped-delta fin design went the highest and was the most stable flight. This fin design was #2 and went 99 meters and was graded a 9.8 on a scale of 1-10, ten as the most stable. The lowest altitude was 24.5 meters made by the rocket with no fins.


The hypothesis that a low drag clipped-delta fin would make the altitude the highest and would be the most stable flight was supported by the findings of the experiment. The fins that came with the rocket did not perform as well as the clipped delta fin design. Other people may be able to use the information in this report to design new and better fins for their model rockets.

This project is to find the launch rockets with five different fin designs and see how the designs affected the rocket's altitude and stability.

Science Fair Project done By Christopher A. Hinds



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