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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Not to be confused with black powder powered bottle rockets.
Water rocket launch A water rocket is a type of model rocket using water as its reaction mass. The pressure vessel² the engine of the rocket²is usually a used plastic soft drink bottle. The water is forced out by a pressurized gas, typically compressed air. The term "aquajet" has been used in parts of Europe in place of the more common "water rocket" and in some places they are also referred to as "bottle rockets" (which can be confusing as this term refers to a firework in other places).
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1 Operation 2 Multi-bottle rockets and multi-stage rockets 3 Sources of gas 4 Fins 5 Nozzles 6 Launch tubes 7 Safety concerns 8 Water rocket competitions 9 World Record 10 Hot water rockets
usually air compressed from a bicycle pump. For example: salt can be added to increase the density of the reaction mass resulting in a higher specific impulse. Soap is also sometimes used . Sometimes additives are combined with the water to enhance performance in different ways. The bottle is then pressurized with a gas. and the water increasing the mass fraction and providing greater momentum when ejected from the rocket's nozzle. but Students test a water rocket. 3) The water is pushed out the nozzle by the compressed air. 4) The bottle moves away from the water because it follows Newton's Third Law. as it is compressible. up to 125 psi. or cylinder sometimes CO2 or nitrogen from a cylinder. with the gas providing a means to store potential energy. 2) The bottle is released from the pump. The bottle is partly filled with water and sealed. 1) compressed air is added which creates a bubble that floats up through the water and then pressurizes the air volume in the top of the bottle.y y y 11 Bibliography 12 References 13 External links  Operation Simplified animation of how a water rocket works. Water and gas are used in combination. air compressor.
In addition to aerodynamic considerations. The expulsion of the water thus can cause the rocket to leap a considerable distance into the air. Often the pressure vessel is built from one or more used plastic soft drink bottles.to create a dense foam in the rocket which lowers the density of the expelled reaction mass but increases the duration of thrust. altitude and flight duration are dependent upon the volume of water. plastic pipes. the initial pressure.  Multi-bottle rockets and multi-stage rockets Two multi-bottle rockets with a cat for scale. There is a net force created on the rocket in accordance with Newton's third law. The seal on the nozzle of the rocket is then released and rapid expulsion of water occurs at high speeds until the propellant has been used up and the air pressure inside the rocket drops to atmospheric pressure. and the unloaded weight of the rocket. but polycarbonate fluorescent tube covers. the larger the stored energy. . Typically launch pressures vary from 75 to 150 psi (500 to 1000 kPa). the rocket nozzle's size. and other light-weight pressure-resistant cylindrical vessels have also been used. It is speculated that foam acts as a compressible liquid and enhances the thrust when used with De Laval nozzles. The relationship between these factors is complex and several simulators have been written by enthusiasts to explore these and other factors. The higher the pressure.
like those used in workshops to power pneumatic equipment and tools. bottles can be connected via their nozzles. or by connecting them opening to bottom.A larger multi bottle rocket with cylindrical fins. capable of reaching at least 75 psi (520 kPa). much like the multi-stage rockets that are used to send payloads into space. An air compressor. Care must be taken with bottled gases: as the compressed gas expands. by cutting them apart and sliding the sections over each other. Increased volume leads to increased weight. Multi-bottle rockets can be unreliable. Multi-stage rockets are much more complicated. Examples include CO2 in paintball cylinders and air in industrial and SCUBA cylinders. To make sure the launch goes well. Compressed gases in bottles. it cools (see gas . designed to launch while in the air. and nitrogen gas (N2). making a chain to increase volume. as safety is a concern. These are very good if you want to make the rocket go high however they are not very accurate and may veer off course. as any failure in sealing the rocket can cause the different sections to separate. as can using high-pressure gases in from cylinders.  Sources of gas Several methods for pressurizing a rocket are used including: y y y A standard bicycle/car tire pump. air. Modifying a high pressure (greater than 15 bar / 1500 kPa / 200 psi) compressor to work as a water rocket power source can be dangerous. pressure tests are performed beforehand. but this should be offset by a commensurate increase in the duration of the thrust of the rocket. but the crushing-sleeve method is quite popular. Multi-bottle rockets are created by joining two or more bottles in any of several different ways. Methods to time the launches in correct order and at the right time vary. like carbon dioxide (CO2). They involve two or more rockets stacked on top of each other.
a SCUBA first-stage).  Fins As the propellant level in the rocket goes down. Crumple zones. By increasing fin size. state and national laws in most countries and must be safety tested periodically by a certified test center. and safe launch practices can be utilized to minimize damage or injury caused by a falling rocket. which reduces off course veering. where the rocket nozzle is not perfectly positioned. However this initial movement reduces stability and tends to cause water rockets to start tumbling end over end. such as PVC and ABS. Another possible recovery system involves using the rocket's fins to slow its descent and is sometimes called backward sliding. can become brittle and weak when severely cooled. well behind the center of mass at all times. fins can be added which bring the center of drag further back. more drag is generated. slowly. the rocket will nose dive. Long air hoses are used to maintain a safe distance. the bent nozzle can cause the rocket to veer off the vertical axis. and pressure gauges (known as manometers) and safety valves are typically utilized on launcher installations to avoid over-pressurizing rockets and having them explode before they can be launched. All compressed gas containers are subject to local. stabilizing fins cause the rocket to fall with a significantly higher velocity. and the gas should be delivered to the rocket via a regulator device (e. the explosion creates the pressure to launch the rocket into the air. In the case of super-roc or backgliding rockets.y laws) and rocket components cool as well. possibly damaging the rocket or whatever it strikes upon landing. greatly decreasing the maximum speed and thus the length of glide (time that the rocket is flying under its own momentum). . but the rocket will be stabilized. However. it can be shown that the center of mass initially moves backwards before finally moving forwards again as the propellant is depleted. and resulting in the rocket falling sideways.g. Ignition of a mixture of explosive gases above the water in the bottle. Highly pressurized gases such as those in diving cylinders or vessels from industrial gas suppliers should only be used by trained operators. Rubber bumpers. The rocket can be made to spin by angling the fins. This is noteworthy if the rocket has no parachute or other recovery system or it has one which malfunctions. Another simple and effective stabilizer is a straight cylindrical section from another plastic bottle. This should be taken into account when designing rockets. ensuring stability. This section is placed behind the rocket nozzle with some wooden dowels or plastic tubing. Some materials. To lower the center of pressure and add stability. In the case of custom-made rockets. the rocket is designed such that the relationship between center of gravity and the center of pressure of the empty rocket causes the fin-induced tendency of the rocket to tip nose down to be counteracted by the air resistance of the long body which would cause it to fall tail down. If the center of mass is placed forward of the fins. The water exiting the nozzle will still be able to pass through the section.
This allows almost perfectly efficient conversion of the potential energy in the compressed air to kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy of the rocket and water. The high efficiency during the initial phase of the launch is important. A launch tube therefore significantly increases the speed and height attained by the rocket. Because water is essentially incompressible the divergent section does not contribute to efficiency and actually can make performance worse. and very little water is ejected until the rocket leaves the launch tube. the launch tube blocks the nozzle. P is the pressure and At is area of the nozzle. The launch tube is anchored to the ground. Launch tubes are most effective when used with long rockets. Larger diameter nozzles provide faster acceleration with a shorter thrust phase.  Launch tubes Some water rocket launchers use launch tubes. Restricted which is anything smaller than the "standard". Certain safety procedures are observed by experienced water rocket enthusiasts: . while smaller nozzles provide lower acceleration with a longer thrust phase. y The size of the nozzle affects the thrust produced by the rocket. A popular restricted nozzle has an inside diameter of 9mm and is known as a "Gardena nozzle" named after a common garden hose quick connector used to make them. Different nozzle types generally require different launcher arrangements.  Safety concerns Water rockets employ considerable amounts of energy and can be dangerous if handled improperly or in cases of faulty construction or material failure. It can be shown that the equation for the instantaneous thrust of a nozzle is simply: F = 2PAt where F is the thrust. As the rocket begins accelerating upward. because rocket engines are least efficient at low speeds. Nozzles Water rocket nozzles differ from conventional combustion rocket nozzles in that they do not have a divergent section such as in a De Laval nozzle. There are two main classes of water rocket nozzles: y Open also sometimes referred to as "standard" or "full-bore" having an inside diameter of ~22mm which is the standard soda bottle neck opening. which can accommodate long launch tubes. A launch tube fits inside the nozzle of the rocket and extends upward toward the nose.
If the bottle ruptures. and is attended by a variety of "works" and private teams. and the bottle will not explode. it is less likely to hit the operator or bystanders. or else the glue will chemically "eat" away the bottle. The greater distance for each rocket over the two flights is recorded. mechanisms for releasing the rocket at a distance (with a piece of string. who was also a personal friend and student of Hermann Oberth. Water rockets should only be launched in large open areas. A typical two-liter soda bottle can generally reach the pressure of 100 psi (690 kPa) safely. they can become harmful projectiles. Scotland and organized by STAAR Research through John Bonsor. and the final team distances are collated. Safety goggles or a face shield are typically used. for example) are used. it is pressure tested. organized by the Paisley Rocketeers who have been active in amateur rocketry since the 1930s. which may then fail catastrophically and can harm bystanders when the rocket is launched. The trophy is named after the late founder of ASTRA.  Water rocket competitions The Oscar Swigelhoffer Trophy is an Aquajet (Water Rocket) competition held at the Annual International Rocket Week in Largs. The rules and goals of the competition vary from year to year. some traveling from abroad. Using metal parts on the pressurized portion of the rocket is strongly discouraged because in the event of a rupture. Glue used to put together parts of water rockets must be suitable to use on plastics. but preparations must be made for the eventuality that the bottle unexpectedly ruptures. It has schools and open categories. in order to prevent damage to property and people. The United Kingdom's largest water rocket competition is currently the National Physical Laboratory's annual Water Rocket Challenge. The competition was first opened to the public in 2001 and is limited to around 60 teams. This ensures that if the rocket veers off in an unexpected direction. which are flown in two flights. Oscar Swiglehoffer. the amount of compressed air inside it (and thus the potential energy) will be very small. or animals. property. and then pressurizing it to at least 50% higher than anticipated pressures. Metal parts can also short out power lines.y y y y y y y y y When a rocket is built. Each team consists of six rockets. away from structures or other people. The competition has been regularly dominated over the last 20 years by the Paisley Rocketeers. While pressurizing and launching the rocket. The competition involves team distance flying of water rockets under an agreed pressure and angle of flight. The water jet from a water rocket is sufficiently fast that it can break fingers. one of the founding fathers of rocketry. The competition goes back to the mid-1980s. bystanders are kept at a safe distance. with the winning team having the greatest distance. Typically. . thus hands should not be near the rocket upon launch. As water rockets are capable of breaking bones upon impact. The winner in 2007 was ASTRA. they should never be fired at people. This is done by filling the rocket completely with water.
together with students of the Delft University of Technology.  Hot water rockets .  World Record Apogee photograph taken by the onboard video camera from U.068 feet (630 m). The oldest and most popular water rocket competition in Germany is the Freestyle-Physics Water Rocket Competition. The current record for greatest height achieved by a water and air propelled rocket is 2044 feet (623 meters). 2009 they launched 213 of them at the same time. where students are tasked to construct various machines and enter them in competitive contests. when on June 19.The Water Rocket Achievement World Record Association 1000 Foot Challenge. Water Rockets on June 14. Water Rockets' record breaking X-12 Water Rocket at an altitude of 2. Science Olympiad also has had a Water Rocket event in past years. by Gotta Launch  The Guinness World Record of launching most water rockets simultaneously is in hands of Gotta Launch.S. The first flight achieved 2068 feet (630 meters) and the second 2020 feet (615. This altitude was calculated by averaging two flights. 2007. Teams compete to be the first to fly a water rocket over 1000 feet (305 meters).S. Most water rockets launched simultaneously.7 meters). The rocket also carried an onboard video camera on both flights. The competition is one part of a larger part of a student physics competition. held by U.
I have taught Scout leaders how to incorporate simple rockets. and in the classroom. See my PowWow Rockets Handout to learn more about these rockets. Water is kept in the rocket under pressure. Wesley's Water Rockets & Rocket Derby Water rockets are a great activity to do with the family. including water rockets. As it exits through a rocket nozzle. and do not require permits to launch. and are also educational. Water rockets are perfect for younger children because they are relatively safe. Leave the solid fuel rockets to the older kids and parents. stickers and markers can be used for decorating the rocket. They also help the environment since the rockets can be made from recycled materials. You will also need a roll of 2" wide clear packing tape. a 20 oz. The Water Rocket Derby Rocket (using Mailing Tube) The rocket that we use for our Water Rocket Derby consists of an 18" mailing tube. The rocket is constructed from the materials listed below. There is an Engineering professor at MIT that uses water rockets to examine the principles of thermodynamics. at below its boiling point at that pressure. are easy to build. the pressure drops and the water instantly boils and expands against the nozzle and this greatly increases the exhaust speed and thrust. in their Scouting program. soda bottle. They are fun to make and launch. Color paper. your Scouting group. fins and a nosecone.Main article: Hot water rocket A hot water rocket (or steam rocket) is a water rocket which uses hot blast water as its propellant. 18" cardboard mailing tube (3" wide) with tube cap . A well constructed water rocket can go over 100 feet.
Your local Scout shop can order custom patches. Awards and Recognition All scouts who attend our rocket derby receive a derby patch and a participation ribbon. such as Michaels. Bulk quantities can be ordered from packing supply companies on the internet such as Papermart. The top 3 winners (rockets with longest flight times) from each rank also receive a medal.). and is sold out each year. and taught some basic rocketry classes at Cub Scout Pow Wow. Prior to that. as a project for my Wood badge ticket. Fun Foam Santa Clara County Council Water Rocket Derby Our water rocket derby began as a district-level event in 2002. We use four launch pads in our derby. . Set. one of our local community/residental newspapers in Silicon Valley. Ask your local eating establishment or office building with a soda bottle vending machine if you can collect their empty soda bottles. The derby patches are custom designed and are different each year. We provide the rocket kits and the materials to build the rockets. The medals were purchased from Crown Awards. 2007 issue of the West San Jose Resident. and can handle up to 150 scouts. For large quantities.Small quantities of mailing tubes can be purchased from the post office or mailing supply stores (Mailboxes Etc. Matte board This can be purchased at craft supply stores. Get these in a variety of bright colors for the nosecone. and used to make a tight seal around the bottle when inserted into the tube. I had organized a couple of rocket derbies for my Pack. The 2006 rocket derby was featured in an article titled "Ready. Matte board is used for the fins. The fun foam is cut into strips.com . Some framing stores sell their scrap pieces for very low prices. The council water rocket derby is one of the most popular events in the council. Cut the tube into a 12" section and 6" section. Launch!" in the Scouting Magazine Nov-Dec 2006 issue. See our 2007 Rocket Derby program for our event schedule and an illustrated construction guide. try your recycling center. Poster board This is the thick cardboard used for framing pictures and photos. and the ribbons were custom ordered from H & R Trophies. Water Rocket Derby The 2007 rocket derby was written up in the May 4. I have also ordered custom patches from Stadri Emblems.
The participant stands at the end of the launch rope. 5. The launch crew will place the rocket onto the pad. The participant retrieves his scorecard. and hands his scorecard to the timekeeper. on the scorecard. He then proceeds to the back of the line by the water station to prepare for the second launch. The timekeeper records. and recovers his own rocket. . only one rocket is launched at a time. 7. the elapsed time of the rocket leaving the pad until the first part of the rocket hits the ground. If you are using multiple launch pads. and air is pumped into the rocket. The first boy in line takes his rocket to the launch pad.Contact Me: 4. Countdown from 3: 3-2-1-Blastoff! Pull on the launch pad rope to launch the rocket. 6. adjust the launch pad so that the rocket lands away from the spectators. If the wind has shifted.
.ohio-state.com/homepages/pagrosse/h2oRocketIndex.leeds.edu/~rockets Leeds University Water Rocket Page: http://www. Water Rocket Links There are many websites devoted to water rockets.outsideconnection. the third launch can be for fun (not timed). Here are some of my favorite water rocket links: Peter Grosse's Water Rocket Site: http://ourworld. or plan to do water rockets with your group. After the second launch. Some people are very serious about their rockets .compuserve.uk/~knapp/rockets Mike Passerotti's Rocket Pop! Site: http://www. hand the scorecard to the head timekeeper for the official tally. Call up the next group of participants.com/rocket Water Rocket Car: http://www.com Jim Gallant's Water Rocket Site: http://www.waterrocketpop.com http://mpassero.tripod.htm Gary Ensmenger's Water Rocket Site: http://www.htm Please sign my Guestbook if you have enjoyed this website or the article in Scouting magazine.8.ast.outsideconnection. where multiple rockets are launched simultaneously.h2orocket.ag. If time permits and you are using multiple launchers. and repeat steps 3-8.the world's record height for a water rocket is over 2000 feet! Some sites sell launch pads. and some explore the science behind the rockets. some simple ones and some very sophisticated ones.ac.com/rockets 4-H Club activity sponsored by Ohio State University: http://www. 9.com/rockets/rocketcar.
or as a fun Pack Spring or Summertime activity.Rockets can be used to teach the scientific method. water rockets can also be used in your den program to fulfill Wolf. Experiment with different fin designs and see which ones give the best flight. Bear and Webelos badge requirements. Den & Pack Activities with Rockets In addition to an organized Rocket Derby. . They are also great for recruitment! Den Activities: Wolf Elective 5g: Make a model rocket Bear Achieveient 21f: Make a model of a rocket Bear Elective 1d: Build a model of a rocket or space satellite Webelos Scientist 5: Webelos Scientist 6: Webelos Scientist 7: Show the effects of air pressure Show the effects of watr & air pressure Build and launch a model rocket Additional Activities: . All Rights reserved Scouting Magazine cover image used by permission of Scouting Magazine. Previous Site | Join the Webring | Index of Sites | Next Site Feel free to contact me. to determine the optimum water level.Copyright 2006-2009. or how to run a water rocket derby. Experiment with different amounts of water and chart the launch times verses water level. Wesley Wong. if you have any questions on water rockets.
. and have them put together a rocket they think will fly the highest.Attach glow sticks to your rockets for some cool night launches. for any interested scouters. attach all the fins at the same angle slightly off vertical. Get the thin kind that are used for glow bracelets. Explore options for recovery systems such as parachutes..To make your rocket spin during the flight up. I have a few extra rocket derby patches. Give materials to the boys without any directions. . .Foster creativity and exploration (for older boys).
may require two people to assemble (a Cub Scout and his buddy or adult partner). A 26"x20" sheet of heavy-stock paper (at least 80-lb stock) is wrapped around the two 20-ounce bottles that are taped to one side of the sheet and rolled. This is the second generation of the Barbie Rocket. This rocket appeals to the girls and the Moms. The white one is 28" long. The 3" fin pattern from the handout is used for this rocket. The boys think that Barbie will blow up. Two 20-ounce bottles are placed end-to-end and taped together. or in the mailing tube before it is taped to the bottles. It also lands harder than the all paper rockets. The red rocket will flip in flight. Click on image of rockets to see enlarged view. . it is very light. The red one is 19" long. The longer rocket (white one). it will actually float down (good science project to determine optimal length). Then a 12"x10" sheet of colored poster board is wrapped around and taped to the bottles. The 4-1/2" fin pattern from the handout is used for this rocket. You can place an object (payload) in the top bottle.Paper Wrapped Rockets The two rockets on the left were made by wrapping heavy paper around two 20-ounce soda bottles. You will notce that this rocket has a passenger (a small Barbie doll from a McDonalds happy meal). Since it is longer than the red rocket.and looks just as cool. All Plastic Rocket (Barbie Rocket) The rocket on the right is made by taping two 20-ounce bottles to the ends of a plastic mailing tube. but is simpler to make. When the nosecone becomes too mangled. The fins are cut from a sheet of heavy plastic mylar. as well as the boys. and flies very high.and is sealed with a bottle cap. Barbie has survived over 50 flights! Because the rocket is all plastic. so that about 21/2" of each bottle extends beyond each edge of the sheet. I was able to find some recycled plastic sheets that I cut out and doubled over for the fins. so you will need a larger and softer landing area. If you make this rocket longer. it is replaced with a new bottle. it will be more stable and fly straighter than the red one. The top bottle is the nosecone.
The openings of the soda bottle fit nicely onto the launch tube of the launch pad. because they all have fairly uniform openings (to fit standard screw caps). Can other types of bottles.these are OK. Webelos-ree . So what brand of soda bottle works best? I try to collect as many bottles as I can.. Soda bottles make the best water rockets..Pack Picnic or barbecue . and test the openings with my launch tube after rinsing out the bottles. etc.Camporees. juice bottles.Summer Day Camp / Family Camp . because these are too wide for the launch tube. Plastic bottles come in many varieties: water bottles. Rocket Derby Photos (requires Java run-time engine) . and are rated to withstand high pressures (carbonation process).Space Theme .Scout-O-Ramas . Stay away from juice bottles with the wide mouth (Sunny Delight).Cub Scout Roundup or Recruitment Types & Sizes of Bottles You have probably noticed that I have only mentioned 20-ounce soda bottles for my rockets. and other sizes (such as 16-oz) be used? That depends. but they are not rated as high as soda bottles. Alhambra) will work.Pack Activities: . I have found that the Pepsi and Aquafina bottles tended to fit the best. Some water bottles (Aquafina) are actually made by soda bottlers . Water bottles made by water companies (Crystal Geyser. soda bottles. These water bottles have a shorter cap depth and narrower rim.Space Derby or Rocket Derby . There is enough variation in the openings that some bottle may not slide onto the launch tube.
from very small (8-oz) to jumbo (5-gallon). I prefer the 20-oz bottles becase that is the most common type of soda bottle to collect from recycling areas. 0. 2-liter bottles make nice bottle rockets. but they should be saved for the older boys. They are the ideal size for the Cub Scouts and the rocket derby.Only for the diehard water rocket fanatic ( . 25-oz. but you may need to adjust your launch pad to fit the opening. What size bottle you use depends on your launch system. 1-liter) will work. and they fit the best inside the 3" mailing tubes.Bottles come in a variety of sizes. For the paper wrapped rockets described above. bottles other than 20-oz size (such as 16-oz. and how you plan to use it. because they require more air to pressurize (can be tiring with a bicycle pump). What about the 5-gallon bottle? That's way beyond my league .5 liter.
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