Free to the public—hats and sunscreen advised!
Straight up, flat-out and white-hot, a 15-foot behemoth spews fire and soars three miles skyward in seconds. Even from a safe distance of 300 feet, there’s a blast of heat and the ground shakes. Welcome to Hellfire, the annual event that draws rocket specialists and spectators from all Intermountain states.
Hellfire is a popular family activity and a sure crowd-pleaser. Between launches, spectators examine rockets close-up and visit with experts as they assemble and program them for flight. It’s quite a sight — these rocketeers go all-out with professionally air-brushed rockets and high-tech electronics. Food and drink, as well as rocket-related goods will be available for sale at the event.
Admission is free and the public is welcome. Hellfire takes place Thursday, July 31 through Sunday, August 3 on the Bonneville Salt Flats near Wendover, Utah. (Take Exit 4 on I-80 and follow easy-to-spot signs.) Launches start each day around 9 a.m., subject to weather. Bring binoculars, hats, folding chairs, bottled water, portable shade and lots of sunscreen.
Although, technically this would probably be considered a regional launch, it has national appeal and is well-attended. If you want to see some big rockets fly, this is the place to see them. We’ll have rockets ranging in weight from 1 or 2 ounces to over 200 pounds!
SPECTATORS ARE WELCOME - THERE IS NO CHARGE TO COME WATCH!
HellFire has become well known for its high-power contests. Every year people come from around the US to compete in these events. This upcoming year will not be any different, we’ll have a series of contests that will challenge even the most advanced rocketeers as well as contests for the kids just starting out. If you are planning on flying at HellFire, please register early. The sooner you register the better HellFire can be.
About the Flats
The HellFire launch is held on the Bonneville Salt Flats. The Flats are located approximately 88 miles west of Salt Lake City, UT right off Interstate 80. Wendover is the closest town to the Flats for accommodations, food, casinos & night life. If you are familiar with the Bonneville Salt Flats, you know that it’s vast, endless, flat expanses are perfect for High Power Rocketry. UROC's years of experience with high power launches on the Bonneville Salt Flats has allowed the launch to mature into a premier event. Equipment is excellent, support is good, and the site cannot be compared to anywhere else on Earth...
Whatever you've heard about the Bonneville Salt Flats, it is probably true. The vastness will humble you. The Bonneville Salt Flats are one of the most unique natural features in the United States, the flats stretch over 30,000 acres at an altitude of approximately 4320 feet above sea level. Bonneville's heat will cook you alive (hence the name HellFire). We've all experienced bright sunlight, but at Bonneville its intensity is reinforced by being prismatically reflected off the ocean of salt that surrounds you.
You're going to need to block the sun from your face and arms. Bring some good lip balm and sun block, and use them both several times a day. Don't forget. And protect your eyes and head, too. It's easy to spot the people who are there for the first time - they' re the ones without sunglasses and hats. If they've been on the salt flats for more than two days, avoid standing downwind from them, since the wind often blows chunks of crispy, toasted skin off their faces and lips, which eventually settles into a fine crust on the flats.
Where to Stay
One of the great things about holding a launch on the Bonneville Salt Flats is the launch site’s proximity to the town of Wendover (about 15 minutes away from the launch site!) The town is perched on the border of Utah and Nevada. Because of this, it has become an oasis for Utahns wanting to experience some “night-life”.
The Nevada side of Wendover is teeming with casino/resort complexes that include all of the amenities such as pools, spas, exercise equipment, great food and the ever important air-conditioning. It’s a real bonus being able to come in from the heat after a good day of flying.
Hotel and accommodation information is available through the Wendover Tourism and Convention Bureau, 1-775-664-3138Call: 1-775-664-3138 or Toll Free 1-866-299-2489Call: 1-866-299-2489.
The Utah Rocket Club has negotiated a special block of rooms at the Rainbow Hotel and Casino in West Wendover. The pricing is very good. We ask that you at least consider staying with us at the Rainbow. We have used this hotel for years and they have treated us very well and we are pleased to support them.
What you should Bring
Whether you are planning on flying or just watching, be sure to bring a hat, and shade from the sun.
If you intend to set up a 'semi-permanent' spectator area, you must secure a tarp as a floor covering on the salt. Don’t forget your camera and bring lots of film, because you will want to remember everything you see. Binoculars are also a great idea since the vehicles are at least 1/4 mile away as they lift off.
Please pick up ALL of your trash and take it with you—everyday. There will not be dumpsters provided. HellFire is a "Pack it in, Pack it out event."
Some Important Notes...
The waivers, land use permits, and section insurance are only in effect during our regularly scheduled events. Please note that UROC does not promote the use of our launch locations at any other times. The club's waiver, Special Recreational Permits, and Landowner insurance are not in force at any time other than during actual club events.
Typically, if a scheduled launch is cancelled due to poor weather conditions we will try to reschedule for the following weekend.
In order to fly mid or high power rockets at any UROC event, you must be able to provide proof of current membership in either the National Association of Rocketry and/or the Tripoli Rocketry Association. Addtionally, you must be certifed or performing a documented certification attempt for the appropriate level. For further information about certifications please contact either our NAR Advisor or our Tripoli Prefect.
Our Sport Launches are held under NAR or Tripoli rules and are for certified motors only. Our Research Launches will be administered as a Tripoli Research launch with flyer-made propellants and motors as well as potentially some larger rockets.
This Really IS Rocket Science!
UROC makes every effort, as defined by the Tripoli Safety Code, the NAR Safety Code, NFPA 1122, NFPA 1127, and FAA FAR 101, to ensure the safety of all participants and nearby aviation traffic. But rocketry is not a zero risk endeavor. By participating in any Utah Rocket Club launch activity as either a flyer OR as a spectator, you are accepting the risks inherent to the hobby and you acknowledge that you assume full financial risk for participating or attending the event.
Avoid bringing pets to a launch. If you must bring them, they MUST be on a leash at all times. Fireworks, firearms, explosives, or illegal drugs are strictly forbidden. Alcohol use is restricted to the hours after flight operations have ceased for the day. We ask parents and caregivers to carefully consider whether it is appropriate to bring small children (or the old, infirm or disabled) to this event as some of the rockets are large and powerful enough that they could cause serious injury or death in the event of an accident. Attendees should be fully mobile and aware of their surroundings in the event it becomes necessary to move rapidly away from a falling or malfunctioning rocket.
Registration fee for HellFire
This fee includes you, your spouse and any children (under 21)
UROC's planned NAR Sport Launch scheduled to take place on March 21st appears to be a go! UROC President Ken Park recieved notification from the BLM SLC Field office that the launch site has been cleaned up and our documentation is in place. Additionally, the FAA waiver is in place and will be activated if the launch commences. The weather appears to be cooperating for this launch and we will continue to update the UROC.org website with any further news or announcements regarding the launch.
It's time to get out there and fly!
UROC president Ken Park recieved a phone call today from the BLM agent responsible for taking care of the recent toxic waste spill at our Frank Hunt Field launch site.
The agent reported that the clean up is already in progress and they fully expect the launch site to be available for our February 21st Research Launch! This is much faster than any of us expected. Of course things change so please watch this site for further details and updates about the upcoming launch.
UROC would like to thank the BLM Salt Lake Field office for responding to this issue as quickly and professionally as they have. We really appreciate their support and assistance!
With this new, the new 2015 flying schedule will be posted to the website shortly. Stay tuned!
We will keep you appraised of the situation as it progresses.
The tradition continues... weather permitting...(which looks to be really good) Brave UROC souls will be at Frank Hunt Field on Saturday,January 24th.
The flying should begin around 9:00am and continue until everybody has had enough. Rod Green has volunteered to bring out the trailer and there will be a porta potty on site as well. Please check this site prior to heading out to make sure the launch is still on based on weather.
Launch status is subject to change without notice...
2015’s HellFire marks a special occasion. This is HellFire 20! That’s right 20 years of salt, sun, AP and fun. As part of the preparations for HellFire each year we generally develop a theme for the event and a slogan. This year we really need your help.
The (Name that Launch!) contest is open to everyone. You can enter as many times as you’d like and the entry that wins (based on a vote at the January 12th UROC meeting) will receive a nice prize!
In the event of a duplicate submission, the person that submitted the suggestion first wins.
Please Submit your entry as a comment below: