This blog covers the day to day progress of water rocket development by the Air Command Water Rockets team. It is also a facility for people to provide feedback and ask questions.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Fog and Long Camera Boom

We're continuing to catch up on the launch reports from the last couple of months.

On June 14th when we arrived at the launch site there was still some fog so we quickly launched a rocket to see if we could get above it.

We also flew a long boom on the rocket to see if we could get a shot of the entire rocket side on.

Here is a highlights video from the day:

The full flight day report is available here:

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Looking At Measurement Errors

We've been quite busy over the last 3 months, though we have had time to build and launch rockets, just not write about them. I am now finally catching up on the launch reports.

Here is the first one from back in March. We looked at the variability in measurements, as its important to understand their magnitude when doing various performance comparisons.

The full report is available here:

Monday, April 06, 2015

Dark Shadow flies to 1752 feet (534m)

Dark Shadow is our latest water rocket project. Construction on this project began in June last year, and we had a chance to fly it 3 times at the recent Thunda Down Under event in Westmar QLD.
The rocket was designed to try to set a new personal best altitude record. We progressively increased the pressure on subsequent flights to finally achieve an altitude of 1752' or 534m.
Here is a highlights video of the 3 flights:

 The full flight report is here:

I have also uploaded the build log that has full details about the rocket's construction here:

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Polaron G2 - Phase 2 Flights

Fast forwarding a few months ....

Two weeks ago we had the opportunity to fly our full size Polaron G2 rocket with boosters at Australian Rocketry's Thunda Down Under international launch event in Westmar QLD.

We were glad to finally get this rocket in the air after several years of development. It didn't take several years to build, we just procrastinate a lot.

We flew the rocket successfully a couple of times, and are looking to now move on to Phase 3, - adding a 2nd stage to the main stage. We are likely to fly this rocket again in the current configuration though in calmer conditions as the two recent flights were affected by strong wind and didn't go as vertically as we would have liked. There may have also been a small stability issue close to booster burn out due to the large amount of water still in the bottom of the main stage that used a very small nozzle. This rocket had been designed for a long burn rather than altitude. It had a predicted burn time of around 10 seconds. We didn't quite achieve that but at ~8 seconds it was still fun to watch.


We've posted a video of the flights here:

And the full G2 launch report with photos (day 157) is available here:

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Axion G2 flights

A few photos from this weekend's launch of the Axion G2 rocket with the lower half of the Polaron G2 boosters. This configuration represents only about half of the final Polaron G2 capacity.

 Ready for launch

Boost phase - This rocket was launched at full pressure.

Near apogee shot from sustainer. 
The cars (in the lower center left of image next to the rocket) were at the launch site. 

I'm still working on full flight report and highlights video from the launch weekend.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

G2 update

As we continue development of the Polaron G2 rocket, we are preparing to launch a smaller version to test the launcher at full pressure with both the main stage and boosters. We have tested the launcher release mechanisms individually at full pressure, but this will be the first time we do a high pressure synchronized release.

The boosters in this test are only the lower half of the final flight hardware G2 boosters. Each of the boosters in this test has a capacity of 5.25L. We are using a rebuilt Axion G2 rocket for the main stage with a capacity of 8.2L. All up for this test the we will use 8.6 liters of water per launch.

We are also testing the new booster retention mechanisms that will be used on the final rocket. We have previously tested half the mechanism on the main stage, but now we're testing the booster half of it as well.

We'll be launching this rocket at our high power launch site in about a week and a half.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Polaron G2 Progress Update

We've been continuing with the Phase 2 development of the Polaron G2 rocket over the last couple of months. I've added a number of photos to the build log here:

I've also included a video of how we reinforce the spliced bottles with fiberglass. All the fiberglassing is now done so next we need to do some pressure testing on the segments. We have also been making progress with the new launcher we are building for the rocket.

Here is a mockup of the final rocket configuration, with the boosters just taped to the side because the retention mechanisms are not finished yet. ... we're going to need a taller ladder, or use the tree.