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.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Staging mechanism assembly

This week we have been continuing with the staging mechanism of the Acceleron V booster. We've also made the non-return valve that fits inside the long PVC pipe. The valve was adapted from the old Acceleron booster that was mounted in a bottle cap.

More information and photos of the build can be found on the Australian rocketry forum here:

It hasn't all been smooth sailing though. After test assembling the base plate in the launcher with the actual booster segments fitted with their nozzles we discovered that the central mechanism couldn't go down far enough to lock into the mechanism. Not wanting to machine up a whole new central nozzle, we decided to put a thick plastic washer underneath it on the base plate, and using somewhat longer screws to hold it all in place was enough to resolve the issue.

The other issue we had was while trying to fit the hose on the end of this central nozzle we found it a little difficult, so we decided to machine down the hose connector a little bit to make it easier. While machining the small thin tube caught on the knife and unceremoniously bent, and was damaged. While trying to straighten it, as suspected it snapped off. Dad came to the rescue and machined off what was left, then proceeded to cut a thread into the mechanism and made a new separate hose connector component that simply screwed into the end. We epoxied it in place and all was good again.

We've also had discussions about how we are going to make the top bracket that holds the boosters together. It's going to involve steam.... but more on that later. :)

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