Factsheet Europe

During the past years, model rocketry showed different stages of development across Europe. In some countries such as the UK, good progress was achieved.  In some others like Germany, there was some progress, and in a few regions in Eastern Europe, drastic changes took place due to the political situation.

Some general notes regarding rocketry: always remember that people have different reasons why they are flying rockets. There are fathers, sons and families who fly for fun. There are competiton flyers who do not care about rocketry in general but love to compete against each others. There are people who like to collect old kits as well as people who just like to find social contacts. There are many different groups: rocketeers flying sport rockets, model rockets, high power rockets, amateur rockets and semi-professional rockets and it seems sometimes hard to get them all together in the same organization.

United Kingdom

In the past years, 2 head organizations were founded: the United Kingdom Rocketry Association (UKRA) and the older British Space Modeling Assoc. (BSMA). The BSMA is basically focused on sport flyers (so it can be considered the smaller one) why the UKRA is more hobby-focused. Although the UK is often considered as a more conservative-minded country, lots of UK clubs, organizations, dealers and individuals have rocketry web-pages by now and the rocketry scene seems to be more progressive than in the rest of Europe.


In France, rocketry has a long tradition, but was done in small groups for many years. Some organizations like ANSTJ (focused on space topics) run small rocketry clubs. A few attempts took place to import rocketry products and to make them available to a greater audience in shops, but it failed.

France has a few individuals who even participate in World Champs, but, not unlike Germany, rocketry gets never very popular in the wide public.


Also, many attempts to make rocketry products available to a greater public audience though shops failed thanks to few club support and very strict laws. Different to the US or the UK, where individuals, dealers, manufacturers and organizations worked together to establish the hobby, every single part seemed to see only their individual point of view. After the German reunion, 2 different worlds meet together and it does not always worked well. For example, commercial rocketry products were not accepted by many rocketeers and they failed to understand that the availability of such products is the key to attract more people for the hobby.

Eastern Europe

In the past decades, rocketry was very popular in most Eastern Europe countries such as former Czechoslovakia, Poland, Russia, former Yugoslavia, Rumania, Bulgaria and other countries. Sport rocketry was forced by the government as a competiton class and it was easy for a club or an individual to get engines and supplies. After the political changes a decade ago, this support was stopped and many former rocketeers finished this hobby as well.

Today, model rocketry is still popular in some countries, however, it is still mainly focused on competition-flying only. It is hard to find any rocketry product in local hobby shops and there are few manufacturers around. Still most European competitions are taking place in Eastern Europe, but the hobby also would need to get more input from people who are not only interested in sport competion flying to help the hobby to survive.

Future forecast

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