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Rocket Man set for another big launch

Frank Sharman 'the Rocket Man' of Kirkby, is celebrating 10 years since his last rocket launch with another launch

Frank Sharman 'the Rocket Man' of Kirkby, is celebrating 10 years since his last rocket launch with another launch

Nottinghamshire’s own Rocket Man is preparing for lift off once more - 10 years after he last launched one of his homemade aircraft.

Frank Sharman (60), was known throughout Mansfield, Ashfield and beyond when he used to attend public events and launch his model rockets.

But it is 10 years since he last let one of his creations take off and he has now decided to mark the anniversary by holding another launch event.

This is due to take place this Sunday at Newark Air Museum at around 1pm.

Frank, of Richmond Road in Kirkby, said: “Hopefully we will get something about six-foot or eight-foot long up but it depends on the weather.

“If not we will have a programme of smaller rockets that we know can get away.”

An interest in balloons and airships led to Frank originally becoming interested in rockets.

He realised that he could quite easily build his own models and set about doing so.

He has launched rockets of various sizes over the years, from miniature ones that could sit on the palm of your hand, to the biggest one at an approximate 23-feet tall, which needed its own launch tower to support it.

Thousands of people came to see the launches, which were held in Blidworth, Newark and in Newstead.

His rockets are made of lightweight materials such as paper and foam and are powered by multiple model engines.

Frank has tasted both success and failure during his launch events and he says it is this element of the unknown that makes them so popular with the crowds.

“People just want to see what’s going to happen,” he said. “Because, whatever you plan for, you never know what is going to happen.”

Frank is not sure if this event is going to signal the start of another series of rocket launches but he is looking forward to it and added that he may be tempted to have a go at launching a bigger rocket than he ever has done before.

 

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