Southern Area Rocketry began simply enough in 1997. Three guys, an empty field, and the desire to bring together as many people as possible for a common interest. To fly rockets.
Greg Burke had talked of his interest of rocketry to Tom Winterbottom and Joe Williams at work. Soon, they located a field, and, with three Porta-pads began flying rockets together.
While at the field one day, somebody brought up the idea of starting a club. A couple of slow days at work and the talk about starting a club continued. We soon agreed that we would form a NAR Section.
The first thing we had to figure out a clever name. There were some interesting ideas, Rocketeers Against Sir Isaac Newton (RASIN), Rocketeers Against Gravity (RAG), and Southern Area Rocketry Association (SARA). SARA was the best one but that name was already taken. The other two names seemed a bit negative. Other names were discussed but Southern Area Rocketry kept sticking in our minds. We abbreviated the name and SoAR was born.
The work then began. We put a sign up sheet at Hobbytown in Kennesaw to see if there was really any interest from the public. After a couple of weeks we had about 30 names. Plans were made to have our first launch, but wait, we didn’t have a launch system. Greg built the launch system with help from Matt Cooper of Tripoli Atlanta. It would control eight pads. A Mantis pad and Interlock controller would be used for models requiring a ¼” launch rod. Tom took care of the flyers that were handed out at Hobbytown and mailed to all of the names on the sign up sheet and every NAR member in North Georgia. The first launch was held the third Sunday of April 1997. We’ve been flying with all of our newfound friends ever since.