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International Water Rocket Challenge
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Results of The International Water Rocket Challenge: 1 L


The winners are:
In the open class:
Lonnie Engbrecht with his One liter T8 Skirt Fin


Water Rocket Specs:

Volume: One liter
PSI: 160
Water Volume: 250 mL.
Weight: 120 grams
Nozzle: 16 mm
Launch tube: 200 mm long 16 mm dia.
Water Rocket dia.: 33 mm
Average Flight: 20 sec.




And in the stock class:
Phil Marcischak



Pressure vessel is a 1 liter French Perrier bottle (very sleek) Nose cone is made of rolled up banner paper rolled to a cone shape and taped together with lightweight packing tape. It has some foam rings glued inside for rigidity using Elmer's glue. It is taped onto the pressure vessel with the lightweight packing tape. 4 fins approximately 3" X 3" made from 3/16" balsa and sanded to a fine edge all around. Attached to bottle using Goop. Rocket weight is only 84 grams (when dry) overall length is 44 3/8" long Center of Gravity was at 30 3/8" from the tip, thus the CG was 68.5% back from the front of the rocket. That is it. It backslid nicely each time I launched it. We had one day last week to try and launch it. I have a Pitsco launcher that our local Science Olympiad team uses. It has a rubber plug that goes inside the mouth of the bottle and 3 "arms" that hold the bottle during pressurization. I only have a hand pump, and it does not give me a super reliable reading as to the exact pressure at launch. I started out trying to pump it to about 100 psi. First launch I got 25 seconds. My timers were pretty reliable and generally were within a few tenths of a second of each other. The other launch results, rounded to the nearest full second were: 27 seconds, 26 seconds, 32 seconds, and 29 seconds. During the last 2 shots I tried pumping as hard as I could and I am guessing that I was around 120 psi. I was filling it to approximately 35% full (guesstimate).

Results of the First International Water Rocket Challenge: 500 mL and Under

And the winner IS: Me!

What a birthday present--I saved $20! After fixing my leaking launcher and a lawn-darting rocket that was only able to provide a flight time of 12 seconds, I managed to get a few launches at 125 psi or so and a flight time of 14 seconds (high-flying and side-gliding was my MO). Before I show my setup, let me give a honorable mention to Lonnie Engbrecht who had a 12 second flight using a brand new launcher design (it was my hope to stimulate this kind of thinking)! You can view his entry by Clicking Here. GREAT JOB LONNIE!

Below, are the details about my entry. The pressure vessel is a beautifully shaped 500 mL Arrowhead water bottle (thanks to David Leatham). Atop that is another 500 mL bottle glued to the end of the first (claw to claw) with PL Premium. On top of that, I added a short length of foam "fun noodle" and half an Easter egg. The fun noodle gave me a side-glider instead of a lawn dart.

For the fins, I chose a modified version of my "credit card" fins--I clipped off the leading corners and used cable ties instead of rubber bands to secure them.

My launcher is a copper contraption (similar to this) adapted to fit into an old camera tripod. It makes use of my "Bristol Sport Cap" release--which at 45 degrees F is rather stiff and holds on until about 125 psi! I used a 2 gallon pancake type air compressor with a full tank at 140 psi. I use standard quick-release air hoses and fittings and a ball valve to pressure/launch the rocket.

Contest Rocket Information

 

Rocket:

Weight: 80 grams

Diameter: 65 mm

Length: 520 mm

Pressure vessel volume: 510 ml (500 ml nominal)

Water volume: 160 ml

Nozzle Dia: 12 mm

 

Launcher:

Launch Pressure: 125 psi (approx)

Launch tube length: 190 mm

Launch tube diameter: 10 mm

Launcher volume: 22.7 liters

Launcher height: 680 mm

Release method: Bristol Sport Cap/self-release

 

Flight times (launch - landing):

13.41 seconds (my slow reaction on launch?)

14 seconds

14 seconds

Average (rounded): 14 seconds

 


A high-flying side-glider


The copper/Bristol launcher


The whole setup

PROPOSAL: International Water Rocket Challenge: 2 L

Please join me for a friendly competition that pits ingenuity and skill against the laws of physics and bad luck. Be "king of the world" (for a day, at least). The objectives of this competition are: 1) to encourage experimentation and innovation 2) to push the limits of altitude, while at the same time allowing relatively low-tech participation (i.e. no altimeter or deployment necessary). If you have ANY questions about the competition or its rules, please, just ask: jmehlferber@gmail.com

PRIZE: Certificate of Achievement (customized printable PDF file)

TWO CLASSES: STOCK AND OPEN

OFFICIAL RULES: STOCK CLASS

  1. The pressure vessel must be constructed ONLY from a single unmodified 2 liter (nominal) PETE bottle--there can be no add-ons or splices that change the volume of the pressure vessel.
  2. Any material may be used as reaction mass; or none at all, if you prefer.
  3. Compressed gas of any type may be used to pressurize the rocket.
  4. The rocket MAY NOT DEPLOY a parachute, parafoil, wings, or any other means or extensions from the body of the rocket that slow its descent. Side-gliding, back sliding, and the like are permitted.
  5. The flight MUST begin and end on substantially level ground (less than one meter of variation)--for example, you cannot launch your rocket from the top of a hill or any platform other than the launcher itself and have it land in a ravine.
  6. The "winner" is the rocket that has the longest flight duration in whole seconds (round up for .5 seconds or more, round down for less than .5 seconds) from launch to touchdown. The flight duration will be established by averaging the flight time determined for a single (i.e. one and the same) launch by two separate observers using two separate timing devices (stop watches, etc.).

OFFICIAL RULES: OPEN CLASS

  1. The pressure vessel(s) can be constructed from any materials (spliced PET, FTC, etc.; multi-stage rockets are allowed) but MUST NOT EXCEED 2 liters in TOTAL volume (determined by filling with water and measuring its volume).
  2. Any material may be used as reaction mass; or none at all, if you prefer.
  3. Compressed gas of any type may be used to pressurize the rocket.
  4. The rocket MAY NOT DEPLOY a parachute, parafoil, wings, or any other means or extensions from the body of the rocket that slow its descent. Side-gliding, back sliding, and the like are permitted.
  5. The flight MUST begin and end on substantially level ground (less than one meter of variation)--for example, you cannot launch your rocket from the top of a hill or any platform other than the launcher itself and have it land in a ravine.
  6. The "winner" is the rocket that has the longest flight duration in whole seconds (round up for .5 seconds or more, round down for less than .5 seconds) from launch to touchdown. The flight duration will be established by averaging the flight time determined for a single (i.e. one and the same) launch by two separate observers using two separate timing devices (stop watches, etc.).

ENTRY DEADLINE: TBD The following must be submitted via e-mail by 12:00 midnight (US EST) on or before that date:

  1. Drawings or (preferably) digital photographs of the rocket and its launcher, including relevant detail images of both.
  2. Specifications of the rocket and launch parameters, including: rocket length, diameter, and weight; volume of water used, nozzle diameter, length and diameter of launch tube (if used) and approximate launch pressure (actual, if known).
  3. Longest recorded flight duration (two) for a single (i.e. one and the same) launch by two separate observers using two separate timing devices (stop watches, etc.).

E-MAIL ENTRIES TO: jmehlferber@gmail.com

The winner (or winners in case of a tie) will be notified via e-mail as soon as possible after the competition ends.

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS COMPETITION. The International Water Rocket Challenge (the "Competition") is sponsored by Jon Mehlferber, USA ("Sponsor").

BY ENTERING AND PARTICIPATING IN THIS COMPETITON, ENTRANT (1) FULLY AND UNCONDITIONALLY AGREES TO ACCEPT AND BE BOUND BY THE OFFICIAL RULES AND BY ALL DECISIONS OF SPONSOR, WHICH DECISIONS, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION DECISIONS REGARDING ELIGIBILITY, WINNERS AND THE INTERPRETATION OF THE TERMS USED IN THESE OFFICIAL RULES, SHALL BE FINAL AND BINDING IN ALL RESPECTS; AND (2) REPRESENTS AND WARRANTS THAT ALL INFORMATION PROVIDED BY ENTRANT IN CONNECTION WITH THE COMPETITION IS TRUE, ACCURATE AND COMPLETE AS OF THE DATE OF ENTRY.

RELEASE AND INDEMNIFICATION: BY ENTERING THE COMPETITION, ENTRANT (OR IF ENTRANT IS A MINOR, ENTRANT'S PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN) RELEASES AND HOLDS THE COMPETITION SPONSOR HARMLESS FROM AND AGAINST ANY AND ALL LOSSES, DAMAGES, RIGHTS, CLAIMS, AND ACTIONS OF ANY KIND ARISING IN WHOLE OR IN PART, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, FROM THE COMPETITION OR PARTICIPATION IN ANY COMPETITION-RELATED ACTIVITY, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION PERSONAL INJURY, DEATH AND/OR PROPERTY DAMAGE, AS WELL AS CLAIMS BASED ON PUBLICITY RIGHTS, DEFAMATION AND/OR INVASION OF PRIVACY.


 
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