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.

Friday, December 26, 2008

FTC flights update

We've updated the main website with the FTC flights report from last Sunday. Included is a short video of the highlights from the day.

In putting together the pictures and video for the update we noticed that in both of the last two higher pressure flights the rocket was bending quite a bit on take off. This probably explains the lower than expected altitude. The rocket is very flexible and under the acceleration loading it just bends. This is likely to be inducing fairly large drag.

Monday, December 22, 2008

T8 FTC rocket flights

We had perfect launch weather this weekend, but since it wasn't a NSWRA launch day, we went back to our old launch site to test fly the FTC rocket and check out all its systems.

We had to launch at a lower pressure in order to keep the rocket in the park. We launched the FTC rocket 4 times and also launched a number of other rockets on the day. There were no crashes on the day so we were happy.

We are putting together another update for our main website with more pictures and a video of highlights from the day. This should be available in the next few days, but it may be after Christmas depending on how we go for time.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Still Here

In the lead up to Christmas we've had to curtail rocket development as we are busy with family and work related obligations. Development is still continuing in the background although not enough for an entire update. I am waiting until the start of the holidays to have more time for development. We will also be extending the workshop under the house to have more room for building and storing larger rockets.

Since the NSWRA picnic was also canceled due to bad weather we haven't had a chance to launch our FTC rocket yet. We will try to launch it on a weekend at the local park at a lower pressure to check out all systems. If all goes well, we will launch it at full pressure at the next NSWRA launch day.

We hope everyone has a great Christmas and a safe new year!


Wednesday, December 03, 2008


We've been spending quite a bit of time this week writing and testing the FC V1.6 software. We are making it a little more user friendly to set up and operate in the field. The delay, offset and multiplier parameters were more difficult to set because you really needed to have the manual with you. Although you loose the precision of V1.5 the new settings allow you to set the time directly, so you can quite easily set it in the field. The settings allowed, however, should cover pretty much most flight profiles.

This also has meant that we've needed to update the operator manual which will be published when the FC is finished.

Last weekend was supposed to be a launch day but the wet weather cancelled those plans. :( NSWRA is meeting again this weekend so we will try to make it, but at this stage I'm not sure since family commitments were scheduled around last launch day and can't be moved. In any case NSWRA is meeting again the following week for a launch/picnic day, so we should be able to make it to that. We have four rockets itching to get off the pad, so they'll need to wait a bit longer.