Tuesday, June 14, 2016
We recently discovered a way to easily adapt our Radial Parachute Recovery System so that it can be used to release a payload module carried along the side of the Water Rocket Airframe. Our first thought was to use this as a way to take a Paper Glider to a very high altitude, and then release it.
We improved further on this concept when we realized that a rubber band could be used to forcefully fire the Paper Glider away from the Water Rocket when it is released.
We took this concept and mocked it up and performed a number of ground tests on it to see how well it would work, before we did an actual test flight. With a number of really promising tests conducted, we then decided to perform a test flight.
We added several cameras to the rocket so we could see the plane from different angles, and with any luck some dramatic footage of the plane in flight. Then we armed the system and prepared for launch.
In this video, we show the concept in more detail, and then we want to hear your opinion. Do you think it will Fail or Fly? Post your ideas in the comments section of this video, and we may use your comments in the results video, which will be published at the end of the week.
Get your comments in now, and let us know. Will it Fail or Fly!
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Our team was recently asked to assist some students participating in a water rocket distance competition held by their school. We had never done any experiments in achieving maximum distance, so we were excited by the prospect of applying our experience in setting world records for altitude, as well as the chance to work with students in the STEM field.
We have published the first episode of our documentary series that covers our experience in this project. In this introductory episode, we jump right into analysis of the competition rules and our thoughts on designing the perfect water rocket for this competition.
The video begins with a history of our involvement in the competition, and how we became involved, and then outlines all of the rules for the competition which we had to comply with. The video concludes with a rough design for the ideal rocket, and a test plan for the design which will fine tune the rocket to maximize the performance.
Check out the video, and let us know what you think in the comments section of the video.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Many people have discovered that 2 liter soda bottles can be used to store compressed air and used in places where "canned air" is typically used. Dusting electronics and airbrushing are just some of the uses people have used homemade soda bottle air tanks for. Some of the more inventive people out there have created arrays of soda bottles to increase their tank capacity. Some of these people have even realized that they can increase the volume of their individual air tanks by joining multiple bottles together using our bottle splicing technique.
The usual method for making an air tank involves drilling holes in the bottle caps and then attaching a rubber hose fitting to the hole. This technique is time consuming and can leak air. Fortunately, people wishing to find a better way to do this have another option: the U.S. Water Rockets Soda Bottle to 3/8" NPT Pipe Adapter!
These adapters were created so that we could more easily pressure test our water rockets or for burst testing of bottles, and we still use them for this purpose. But these adapters are a great solution for making a soda bottle compressed air tank farm! You can use them for either of these purposes, and probably a lot more functions that we have not even thought of!
The files and instructions are available for download on our Thingiverse page. Enjoy!
Thursday, May 5, 2016
This week's video demonstrates a Water Rocket painting technique we have developed and tested for some time, and it has proven to give excellent results. This technique is very simple, and produces a finish that is as smooth and glossy as glass, without any buffing or polishing at all. Best of all, it's incredibly easy for anyone to get these results.
Not only does this method produce a great finish, it also is much more durable and will not scratch off from repeated use, nor will it peel away if you apply tape to the rocket. It is so tough, that you can paint the entire rocket, including the pressurized parts, and not even the pressure will affect it!
Check out the new video, and leave us a comment to let us know what you think!
Stay tuned for more exciting videos by subscribing to our channel. We have wrapped some really fascinating projects up, and will be publishing the results very soon!
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Introducing the U.S. Water Rockets Ultimate Tornado Tube! This free downloadable 3D Printer object is our take on the classic "Tornado Tube", used for joining soft drink bottles together to create massively huge water rockets.
The "tornado tube" name comes from a science toy which is used to connect two bottles together to demonstrate a vortex when water moves from one bottle to another. Water rocket builders quickly seized upon this science toy and repurposed it as a water rocket bottle coupler.
However, the science toy version of the Tornado Tube is notorious for leaking air or water when under pressure, and it is also known for choking the flow inside the rocket, due to the small opening between the bottles that is formed by the seats for the flat washer seals.
Our design uses an external o-ring seal on each end, which we invented when designing our Gardena water rocket nozzle. Our seal design creates an unrestricted flow between bottles for optimum performance.
When you combine this design with our technique for splicing multiple bottles together, you can create gigantic water rockets that fly to incredible heights.
You can download the files for this design (and our other designs) from our Thingiverse page. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1522968