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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

J4IIIb crash and foam flights

This weekend we were going to test performance differences between foam and water-only rockets, but after crashing the rocket on the third flight, we went back to just launching another one for fun. The altimeters are working well for us and I am happy with their performance.

The full update is here:

This update includes a highlights video for the day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Polaron IV development & Hybrid Splice

Since the weather has not been favorable this week, we have been doing further development in the workshop. We are currently rebuilding the Polaron rocket and adding three external boosters. With a number of static tests earlier this year we noticed that Polaron was able to produce around 7 seconds of thrust when using foam and a 7mm nozzle. Because of the low peak thrust during take-off we are assiting the rocket with three boosters each with a 13mm nozzle.

We also tested a hybrid splice technique for joining bottles.

The full update including pictures are here:


Friday, October 12, 2007

Glue test results

The glue test results are now available here:

We tested one splice that held at least 170 psi. This glue although not as nice to work with as PL is definitely a viable alternative if you can't get your hands on PL here in Australia. It has good bonding strength to PET.


Monday, October 08, 2007

Glue Tests

This weekend we did some tests with the VISE polyurethane glue that Damo of Damo's Water Rockets found here locally in Australia. PL premium is not sold here and shipping costs can be quite high from the US. The VISE glue seems to have good adhesion properties to PET but its viscosity is much higher compared to PL which makes it more difficult to work with when splicing bottles.

We did tests to change the viscosity of the glue and also glued two splices. One with the regular vise glue and one with the thicker mixture. We will publish the findings in the next update of the main web page.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Zero-G experiments

We had a chance to fly an experiment several times this weekend that we have wanted to do for quite a while. The purpose of the experiment was to demonstrate what forces act on internal components of a water rocket in flight. Gravity based parachute deployment systems appear to work on the ground, but are unreliable in flight.

The experiment shows what happens to a handfull of loose M&Ms inside the rocket during take-off and susequent zero-G (freefall) conditions. The M&Ms were inspired by Mike Melvill's handfull of M&Ms inside of SpaceShipOne.

The update includes lots of photos,videos and an explanation of the experiment.

It can be found here:

The update also includes our first altimeter flights and some interesting results about foam.