Rocketry Crib Sheet (Finding height & other math)

This is a quick crib sheet to help you as you build model rockets. There is much more to be found on the Internet. If you find a helpful link please share it in the comments section below.

To Convert Inches (in) to Centimeters (cm):       (in) * 2.54 = (cm’s)

Example: 5 in * 2.54 = 12.7 cm

To Convert Feet (ft) to Meters (m):                     (ft) / 3.281 = (m)

Example: 7 ft / 3.281 = 2.1335 m

To Convert Meters (m) to Feet (ft):                     (m) * 3.281 = (ft)

Example: 30 m * 3.281 = 98.43 ft

Added 1-19-19, for a guide to build your own altitude tracker using a protractor review this guide we put together.

Updated 7-20-16, some of the links below have changed the content and no longer include the simple altitude calculation so we have added it below.

To calculate the height of a right triangle:         tan(angle) * distance = height
(yes, use a calculator to find the tangent)

Example: tan(59°) * 100 feet = 166.43 feet

Example: Sandy is launching her rocket. Her cousin, Tim, is standing 300 feet away with a protractor when Sandy launches her rocket. The protractor angle reads 127° when the rocket reaches its highest point, known as apogee. Tim knows he needs to subtract 90° from the angle on the protractor to get the correct angle. How high did the rocket go?

tan(127° – 90°) * 300 feet = height Rocket Height
tan(37°) * 300 feet = height
~0.75355 * 300 feet = height
~226.07 feet = height

Sandy’s rocket flew about 226.07 feet in the air. (We round off the extra digits after .07)

Finding a side in a right-angled triangle

How to measure model rocket altitude

Rocket Center of pressure calculator

Rocket Altitude Calculator

Determine Maximum Altitude

OpenRocket Model Rocket Simulator – Freeware

Altitude Tracking

Flight Simulator Programs (List of different software)


    • John Forshee on July 13, 2018 at 5:10 pm
    • Reply

    Here is a cool and easy on-line calculator.
    They don’t learn any math but it works slick when you need to calculate several and quickly at a group lauch.

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