Wednesday, 28 October 2009

2 stage water rocket explosion

Today we launched the new 2 stage rocket, but things didn't turn out to well. The new 2 stage rocket has a 2L second stage instead of the 0.5L old rocket.We changed this because the small rocket wasn't secure when attached to the booster, it kept bending when it was full of water because it was too heavy. The new 2L sustainer has a ring fin that just slipped over the top of the booster. The staging mechanism is exactly the same as before.

When we launched it there was no wind and perfect flying weather, but it was only launched at 80psi because the staging mechanism was leaking. This may be the problem why it flew in a big arch. Its strange why the staging mechanism failed because it had worked in all our previous tests. The explosion was really loud and it echoed for while, we are so glad that it didn't land too close to us!
This rocket idea is going to be scrapped because we have had to many problems with 2 stage rockets, we will stick with using single stage rockets because they are much simpler and more reliable. The next project will probably be a new 8L rocket with reinforced bottles and we will attempt to beat our old record of 408ft

Sunday, 19 July 2009

New 2 stage rocket

This is our new 8L 2 stage rocket, and it should work this time. The Flight Computer is between the two bottles (about half way down the booster) because it reduces the height of the rocket and probably reduces the weight too. Most of the things on the rocket are the same as the old 2 stage (staging mechanism and flight computer are the same). The only things that have changed are the pressure bottles and the booster's parachute system. The parachute for the booster is deployed when the sustainer is launched, the sustainer pulls a pin (at separation) and out flies the parachute, the parachute is also between the two bottles.
The weather forcast are forcasting 20mph winds for the next week, so i don't think it will be good rocket flying weather.

Friday, 17 July 2009

2 Stage water rocket update

Unfortunately, we haven't been able to fix the cluster launcher, so we have decided to make another 2 stage rocket that it isn't a cluster. The new rocket will be 8L (4 bottles coupled together) and will hopefully be more reliable because it is simpler (it only has one nozzle). The sustainer won't change and the staging mechanism will still stay the same too. This new rocket should be finished quite soon but we don't know when it will be launched because the weather forecast is not good.

When it is finished we will upload some photos and more details!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

2 stage rocket CRASH!!!

The new 2 stage rocket was all complete until it was launched. On the launch pad it fell over and launched at a 45 degree angle, this was caused by one launch tube that wasn't secured in place. The launch tube came out of the launch and blocked one of the nozzles, this made it fly sideways. 

The only good news about this launch is that the staging mechanism worked, you can't see it in the video but if you listen carefully you can hear it separate. The next launch probably won't be for another few days because the booster will need to be rebuilt, luckily the sustainer was almost undamaged although it was fired towards the ground at 80mph. The rocket still managed to reach 111ft.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

2 stage rocket

This our first 2 stage rocket and will hopefully break our personal record. The 2 stage mechanism is controlled by a Flight Computer that we bought from Aircommand water rockets and the release mechanism is pretty much the same. There is a servo that pulls the release on a garden hose connector and launches the sustainer. The launcher is very simple and it works, there are 3 male hose connectors that are being released by elastic bands and a piece of wood stops them from releasing until launch.

If none of this makes any sence to you, then watch this video:

If this links doesn't work click here


Capacity: 12L
Water: 3L
Weight: 745g (1075g with sustainer)
Nozzle: 3 x 7mm

Capacity: 0.5L
Water: 0.2L
Weight: 140g
Nozzle: 5mm

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Update June (cluster project)

Because of the windy conditions lately, we have be doing some thinking and have made a new launcher for a cluster rocket. The launcher is very simple and will hold high pressure (110psi+), I will update some pictures in a later update. The rocket will be a 2 stage and the rocket dart will be the second stage, the dart will be pressurised. The booster will be 12litres and will have 3 nozzles.
This is a 3d design of the rocket.

Details (these are only estimations)

Capacity: 0.5L
Weight: 140g
Nozzle: 5mm

Capacity: 12L
Weight: 600g
Nozzle: 3 x 7mm

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

new rocket dart design

This new dart design should be more reliable than the last design, now that we have added the new parachute system. The dart has been made longer to improve stability but other than that, it is still the same rocket. Another change to the booster, it is now a straight 4litre rocket with a 10mm nozzle, the problem with the cluster rocket is it couldn't hold very high pressures.
 The booster doesn't have fins because it is stable during the thrust phase of the flight and the dart separates at the end of the thrust phase, so the booster just tumbles back down to earth!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Rocket Dart

We have finally launched the rocket dart but it wasn't as successful as we had hoped, we launched it three times and it crash three times. We thought it would be a good idea to use an airspeed flap for the parachute deploy but it just increased the drag and made the rocket crash. The rocket will be modified to use a tommy timer (wind up mechanism) because this is more reliable! The highest altitude recorded was only 171ft so we were very disappointed. 

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Dart Prototype

We have made a prototype dart and booster. The booster is a cluster, just the same as the drop away booster rocket except the boosters don't fall off. the dart uses an airspeed flap for the recovery system so it keeps the rocket simple. The dart will only carry the alitimeter but later models might have a camera.


weight:   120g
Diameter:   40mm

Capacity: 5L
Weight: 260g
nozzle:  1x  10mm   
              3x  11mm 

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Rocket Dart Idea

We have been looking at the Water Rocket Index and they have made a rocket/dart that is powered up to high speed using an ordinary water rocket (22mm nozzle for high speed) and then the dart coasts the rest of the flight. The dart is not pressurise but it is quite heavy, so it will carry a lot of inertia. The Water Rocket Index haven't put a payload on their dart but we thought that we could attach our altimeter on it and then make some kind of recovery system. They estimated theirs to reach 400ft at 100psi so we would like to run a couple of tests with this dart idea.

For more info, here is a link to their page:

Thursday, 19 March 2009

New Parachute Deployment System

We have made a new Deployment System that should help our rockets survive a couple more launches! We have bought a Flight Computer V1.6 from Aircommandwaterrockets and we are very pleased with the quality of this product and would like to say a big thank you!!! This flight computer is very light and it can also be used to power the Altimeter with the same battery, so it reduces a little weight.

Here is a video of how we made our parachute system/nosecone:

if this video doesn't work, click here.

How to set it up for a launch:

1. Turn on the Flight Computer to reset the servo.
2. Pack the parachute nice an tight and close the door.
3. Stretch the elastic band around the bottle twice and hook it over the servo arm.
4. Arm the Flight Computer.
5. Launch!!!!!!!

I hope this can give you some ideas when make your new rockets and please comment if you have any questions!

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

February Update

Sorry that we have done an update for a while, because we have been busy with lots of non-rocket related things!

FTC Progress
The FTC rocket is ready for another launch but we need to make some adjustments to the new launcher to hold higher pressures. The Backslide test worked very well and we hope it will work every time!

Booster Rocket
The booster rocket project is going a little slow because we haven't been drinking enough lemonade, we need to get some more bottles to create the spliced pairs. Once we have made  enough spliced pairs, the rocket should be ready for a launch!

Saturday, 14 February 2009

FTC backglide test

Here is a video of our new FTC rocket being launched:

(it was only launched at 50psi because if did nose dived then it wouldn't break)


capacity: 2.1L
water: 0.5L
pressure: 60psi
weight: 280g
nozzle: 10mm

Monday, 2 February 2009


Its snowing in the UK!!! This is the most snow we have had for 13years. There is about 15cm of snow but there is for casted 30cm and that is a lot of snow for England. Its very windy and that won't be good for rockets. 

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

FTC progress

We have finished making our FTC rocket and we have made a new launcher for 22mm nozzles. The FTC rocket is a little different to most tube rockets because it has a 1litre bottle added to the top for extra capacity. This bottle also helps the rocket to backglide/backslide (descends backwards) so the rocket won't need a parachute! It will only carry an altimeter because the camera is too heavy and we want to reduce as much weight as possible.

Capacity: 2.1L
Weight: 280g
nozzle: 22mm

Splice Progress
We had a problem with one of our spliced pairs, It exploded!!! The reason why it exploded is because when we sanded the bottles for the glue to be strong, it also decreased the thickness of the bottles and makes them a lot weaker. We will have to make some more when we have collected enough bottles and next time we won't make the wall thickness too thin!!!

Friday, 23 January 2009

Splice Update

We Tested the new splice (glued bottles) today and it didn't leak, which is really good news. We put a layer of silicone inside the gaps were there was no glue to add a better seal because We knew that the glue would hold the force of the pressure but we didn't know if it would leak! It was tested to 120psi because that is the max pressure of our pump. When we have made a few more splices we will use them in our booster rocket design.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Update January 2009

We haven't done very much things to do with rockets over the past week but we have tried something new! We have made a spliced pair of bottles (two bottles glued together) and we hope to pressure test them next week. We have found a glue that we think will work and is easy to purchase in the UK if anyone is interested. It is called 'TiteBond' and it is a special Polyurethane glue and it has epoxy like strength! It is rated for 3510psi according to the manufacturer! The glue foams up when it sets so it fills all the gaps in the joints to prevent leaking. If this works then we will use it in our booster rocket design for less weight (no heavy metal coupling) and to improve altitude!

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Booster test flights #2 (dummy main stage)

These are some test flight launches of the booster rocket. The reason why the boosters didn't fall off is because the main stage wasn't pressurised because it is a dummy stage. If the rocket was pressurised then it would have traveled faster than the boosters and the boosters would fall off. The rocket didn't have a parachute system and that is why it crashed, but that doesn't matter because it's only a dummy.

Here is the video of the launch:
click here if the video doesn't work.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Happy New Year

We wish everyone a happy and exciting new year! 

In the first part of the new year we will try to get the booster rocket working and try to beat our personal record of 408ft! The booster rocket will be a little bigger for more stability, the mainstage is going to be 6litres but the boosters are going to remain the same size (1litre). 

NOTE: The big 10litre MAXTOR II is no longer in service because it is to large and we have taken it apart to make the new and improoved booster rocket!!!