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.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

How to make a nozzle tutorial

This weekend we've put together a couple of short video tutorials on how to make a 9mm Gardena nozzle. One of the issues that people have been reporting is that they are unable to get a hold of the older bottle caps with removable seals. The video covers an alternate source of caps that are suitable for making the nozzles:

The second video shows how to resolve an issue with some launchers as not all Gardena (and clones) quick connect fittings are created equal. The problem reported by quite a few people is that the nozzle does not lock all the way down into the launcher. The nozzle appears to be locked in position but releases itself as pressure builds. The solution is fairly simple:

We did not attend the launch at Doonside this week because the weather predictions indicated strong wind and rain. When I woke up in the morning I saw that it was pouring, and decided to skip the hour long drive to the launch site. A number of people attended the launch but said the weather was less than ideal.

The good news is that NSWRA now has permission to launch 2 times a month at Doonside. So the wait time for doing bigger test flights is reduced.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Acceleron Photos from 4th July

A big thanks goes to Andrew from NSWRA for shooting the following photos of the Acceleron V booster in flight. We didn't get any still photos of the launch on the day as we were busy shooting video. (click on the images for a higher res version)

In the first one you can see the turbulent flow from the red and blue nozzles, whereas the green nozzle has very nice laminar flow (seen further down the plume).

The second photo is my favorite one with the air pulse starting and the sun reflecting from the sustainer.

The last one shows the rocket shortly after staging occurred. The black fins of the sustainer are about to clear the nose of the booster.

I'll post some of the other photos of the flight in next main page update.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Development continues

It's been a while since the last update so I thought I'd post about what we've been up to. In the last few weeks I've been catching up mostly on non-rocket related matters, but development has been progressing.

Acceleron Vc
The rocket is now mostly repaired. The broken ring brace was easily repaired with a bit of epoxy glue, and a new coat of paint. New separator rings have also been made and are currently having the servo and camera fitted. The only thing that needs to be done is for the whole rocket to be pressure tested again and re-assembled.

We are also making up a whole bunch of new spliced pairs of 2L bottles (we are processing about 40 bottles) to have spare ones ready in case some of the original pairs fail during testing. These will also be used for the Polaron rockets and new bigger boosters.

New rocket
We have also been building a new smaller rocket (not named yet) to try to better understand how foam and foam generation behaves during flight. This rocket was built small so that we can fly it at our local park. I'll post full details in the next main website update.

I've also been working on an extension to our website that hopefully will go live in the next month or two because there is still lots of information to enter and format.