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