Projects

Vertical Water Rocket Launcher

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Project Owner : s.subendran
Created Date : Tue, 28/02/2012 - 18:06
Project Description :

This launcher is designed for homemade water rockets constructed from plastic pop bottles. The bottles are one of those rare miracles of serendipity: although designed for something else altogether, they are nearly perfect for making water rockets. They're designed to hold liquids at high pressures, they're very lightweight, and they have a conveniently located ring molded around the neck that's handy for holding the bottle down while pressurizing it. About the only thing that could make them better is to have the fins and nose cone molded in for you!

The rockets made from these bottles are surprisingly powerful. A standard 2-liter pop bottle 1/3 full of water, pumped to 80 psi and then released, will eject all its water in less than one-tenth of a second, and at that point ("burnout") will only be about 2 meters off the ground. Amazingly, its velocity at burnout is around 76 meters per second. That's over 170 miles per hour! This means the average acceleration during thrust is 111 g's! Yowza! Safety rule number 1: Never get in the way of one of these rockets...

 

A plain bottle is of course aerodynamically hopeless, and tumbles fluffily after burnout, rarely going higher than 60 or 70 feet. But if you add fins and nose weight, transforming the bottle into an aerodynamically stable rocket then all that initial thrust can be transformed into truly amazing altitudes of over 300 feet. You really have to see it to believe it. 
 
You will find that this is a fun activity for anyone to get involved in. Designing and building rockets made out of empty 2 liter bottles allows the creative side in anyone to come out (adults included!). The thrill of having your first "successful" flight keeps you coming back for more. Looking for a new hobby, then you gotta get one of these launchers!

This launcher is a must have for anyone wanting awesome and cheap backyard entertainment, anyone looking for a new hobby or anyone that loves model rockets but wants a cheap alternative to the usual "fire-in-the-hole" engine rockets! A great gift for kids that brings out their creativity and keeps them engaged in outdoor activities! Great for science classes too!

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