Monday, September 24, 2012

A (short) tale of air and water

Here are the two flying things that I have on deck. I assembled the Quest water rocket and converted a Guillows Space Shuttle to launch off of my 1/2" PVC launcher.

I chose a 2-L pop bottle for the water rocket. There is barely any assembly. To prepare the bottle, you remove the ring that was once attached to the cap from the bottle's neck. I chose to leave the bottle label on since I have no plans to install the skins that Quest provides via their web site. The fins and support plate are die cut.  The plate slips over the bottle neck and is clamped down with the screw-on nozzle. The nozzle resembles the quick release hose adapters that I have but is slightly smaller in diameter. It also has a ring that is big enough to catch the launcher's release lever  You are instructed to trim the fins to follow the bottle's contour but this is not possible on the 2-L bottle I used. I made them fit as best I could. The fin/plate joints are filleted with hot glue. Oddly, you have to manually notch the fins so a rubber band (provided) can hold them tightly to the bottle. I say it's odd because it should have been die cut. Methinks this was an oversight. Anyway, the only other thing you need to do is attach a foam bumper to the top of the bottle with hot glue.

On the Shuttle, I marked the bottom up to the installed rubber band hook that comes installed under it's nose. I carved and sanded a channel so a paper pressure tube would fit inside. I uses the tube from a fin-less air rocket that I previously built and trimmed it to fit. It is about 85% embedded in the Shuttle. I got tired of sanding and thought this was close enough. The tube is held in place with a couple of strips of tape. If it works well, I may sand some more.