Air Rocket

Sorry I didn't have any pics of the assembly of this but I put it together in a hurry as the boys were ready to launch! This turned out Great and all initial launches were excellent from a simple launch at 20psi up to the hard to follow 70psi. As you can see below, the rocket took a beating - we have to make more. This launcher has an exchangeable air input so it can be connected to the compressor with a standard air hose quick connect. The first regulator did not work but the other one I have works great. You set the pressure and it quickly refills the launcher after each launch. The launcer also has interchangeable launch tubes. Currently we have 1/2" and 3/4" tubes. I have a 1 1/4" connector but have not hooked up the pipe yet. I also plan to have a launch tube with an oring for use with water bottle rockets. - we'll see what kind of rockets we end up with.

Click any of the below images for a 640x480 view.

And here are some pics of the completed launch trigger. It's made from 1 1/4" pvc with caps. It has the "super cool" military safety/ready switch. When the cover is open and the switch is on, the red light on the switch lights up to show you the switch is ready to fire. When the safty cover is open, no one is allowed near the launcher itself. All work is done with the safety cover on the switch closed. This trigger also has a ~10' cord so we can get well back for launches.

We've launched a few rockets now - the stronger construction paper rocket is still working well. A couple more that were made quickly out of regular paper enventually blew up after a few launches.

We also have a T launcher so we can launch two rockets at the same time - this works pretty well as long as both rockets have a similiar fit on the launcher. There is also a stand to mount the launch tubes to use to build the rockets on. Now it's time to just make rockets and launch!

Here are some rockets and the T-launcher. The batteries died today so only got ONE launch - think the trigger will also get moved to 1 1/2" pvc so the trigger can hold 8 9v batteries (2 in parallel for 18v).

Updating the trigger to use a 18v craftsman tool battery! This is the first draft of this. I'll be shortening the tube, putting on a proper 1.5" cap and adding the saftey switch. First launches with this trigger/battery were perfect success.

Launch Video - it ended up on the roof!

The trigger has been updated - here is the final product!
Another day of launches - had rockets on the workshop and the barn this time! So I had a charger that stopped working. I cut out the part where the battery fit in to charge. Then ground it down a bit so it fit inside the 1 1/2" pipe. The trigger just fits on the battery like a drill - it does not snap in like the drill but does hold well enough. Just don't shake the trigger.

Time to build and experiment with more rockets. Bigger rockets with some sort of parachute - which allows even bigger rockets! Made one out of pipe insulation - so it was like a nerf rocket. Worked really well and stood up to all the launches with just a little creasing of the tape on the tip. There will be a few more of these rockets built! The schedule 80 3/4 pipe fits really well over the 1/2" launch tube but we'll need some form of parachute before launching that type of rocket.

I bought a usb dvr camera on amazon ($13.00 bucks after shipping). A little tape and it was strapped to the rockets. Here are some initial videos. I have to try some different angles and/or weights to get more hang time at apogee. The high flight videos were a 1" dia rocket at about 80lbs air. The camera is only about 30fps but videos are still neat. The rocket comes down waay to fast though - I really need to work out a parachute - although that may add to the spin on the way down.