The ‘Rocket Man’ of Evening Shade shares display

Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Ryan Harrington’s model rockets on dispay at the Evening Shade Library.

Evening Shade resident, 27-year-old Ryan Harrington, has always had a love for rockets. So much so, when he could not afford the kits, he began constructing detail oriented and scaled models from paper.

“When I was little I always wanted model rockets, but they were always too expensive and actually they still are. Some of the models run over $100 easily. I found out that you can get PDF patterns for free off the internet and then frame it out and build them yourself,” Harrington said. “The only cost is the card stock, ink and time.”

As Harrington began to grow his collection, he learned he was not the only one who found them interesting as they have been requested for display. Although most recently on display at the Evening Shade Library, Harrington said they were displayed at the Batesville Library for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Apollo landing.

“The rockets can take up to a month to build and it takes between 15 to 20 hours to build. Sometimes longer than that. I’m limited by the patterns available, but I built the Saturn 5 for the 50th anniversary of the Appollo Moon Landing in July,” Harrington said.

When asked what his favorite rocket to be constructed was, he said he was partial to the Falcon Heavy Rocket.

“I would like to build the space shuttle next. I am in contact with the guy who designed the Falcon Heavy and the SLS and he said he will release the space shuttle on the same scale as my rockets eventually,” Harrington said. “I want to continue to build more rockets.”

In addition to the artistic and scientifically accurate nature of the rockets he constructs, Harrington said it is an exciting time for the space program and also yields to the promotion of education.

“I have five on display, but you can learn a lot about the rockets. Part of why I’m getting excited about the space program again is because there are a lot of different aerospace companies building new rockets and NASA is working on a new rocket which is one of the models I made. We’re at the dawn of a new space age,” Harrington said.

When asked how his rockets came to be displayed at the Evening Shade Library, Harrington said it was sparked through the summer reading program.

“This year they had a space theme, the Universe of Stories. I put the Falcon Heavy there and the Saturn Five was at the Batesville Library, but I want to inspire kids to get interested in the space program. Really, I’d like to get anybody interested in the space program because there is a lot of interesting stuff going on,” Harrington said. “I’d also like to draw people into the libraries that might not otherwise go in. They will be there for another month or two.”

Once the display of rockets has finished its time at the Evening Shade Library, Harrington said they will be available for display at other locations if requested.

“In the mean time, I plan to keep making more and hope to display them in other places to help generate interest. I have, over time, been able to figure out which sites have the best rockets and the most accurate replica patterns. I would be willing to share those with others if anyone is interested,” Harrington said. “I’d also be willing to teach others how to build them if there was enough interest. The hard part is finding good patterns.”

If you would like to learn more about Harrington’s rockets, would like to request them for display or to learn more about building them, you may contact him by e-mail at harringtonryan88@gmail.com.

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