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, April 28, 2010

Fiberglass rocket launch report

I've updated our main website with the latest launch report on the flights of one of the fiberglass rockets. The update is available here:

It includes photos and a highlights video from the day. The small rocket that was launched at 245psi managed to get up to 744' (226m). We thought that was pretty reasonable considering it was slightly bent, used a small 9mm nozzle, and no launch tube. .... right... can't sit around here typing .... must get back to the workshop :) ....


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Great Photos from Acceleron V flights

Andrew Eltobaji from NSWRA took some great photos of our 2 stage rocket from a month ago. He definitely has great skill in catching fast moving rockets in action.

See some of his other pyro rocket photos here: and click on the NSWRA folders on the left side.

Here are some of his photos from the day. I have included them here in their almost full resolution. (Blogger will not let me upload the full resolution.)  Be sure to click on the photos so you can zoom in and get a good look at the detail. I wish I could take good photos like that!

Flight #2

I'm actually not that close to the rocket ... telephoto lenses are great!

It looks like the red booster is a little late in starting its air pulse.

Blue food colouring in the water is a great way to contrast against the white clouds

Secondary (backup) parachute is being deployed.

Coming in for a gentle landing

Flight #1

Good laminar flow from all of the nozzles during the booster's water phase.

Without the blue colouring, things are less messy on the ground.

Rocket is suspended sideways to cause extra drag and land more gently.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fiberglass rocket flights

This week has been a very busy week in trying to get a couple of fiberglass rockets ready for today's Doonside launch. We ended up flying the smaller one four times, with some failures as well as some very good and promising results. There was a very strong wind at the launch site and so we decided not to launch the bigger rocket. We ended up launching the last rocket at 245psi - our highest launch pressure to date.

I'm in the process of putting together a launch day report again, which should hopefully be available in the next couple of days.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fiberglass pressure test results

We have now tested a number of glass reinforced spliced-pairs of bottles. The results so far look quite promising in improving the performance of our rockets. The extra weight of the reinforcing requires an extra 30psi to compensate, but the much higher launch pressure should raise the altitude considerably.

Next we need to assemble these into a proper rocket and pressure test it for leaks.

The full update including performance simulations is available here:

The update also includes a progress build on our first MPR pyro rocket.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Fiberglassing pressure vessels

Yesterday we had our first go at fiber-glassing some bottles in order to be able to safely increase the launch pressure. We wrapped one spliced pair with a single layer of glass and the other with a double wrap.

The bottle on the left has a single layer and the one on the right is double layer. The bottles are only spliced with Sikaflex 11FC glue for an air tight seal. We are going to give the splices a week to fully cure before hydro testing them to destruction. I'll post the results of these tests when they are available.