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Hair brained idea...water rocket Space Shuttle stack

Posted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:07 pm
by rstaff3
I recently ran across a Space Shuttle water rocket. That got me thinking about that spare Guillows foam Shuttle that I've had laying around...

{I couldn't figure out how to load a photo, but you can see some of the progress here:

The Shuttle had been converted to fly as an air rocket so I removed the guts and covered the gaping hole that runs the length of the bottom fuselage with white duct tape. As I did on the Mirror Image http://rocketdungeon.blogspot.com/2011/ ... image.html I epoxied a basswood plank into the front and then a dowel to that. The next step is to balance the Shuttle so it will glide.

The main body is a 2L bottle with about half of another glued to the top. The added section is for length and won't be pressurized. The Shuttle mount consists of a thin paper tube and a couple of pieces of coat hangar wire. These components were epoxied to the bottle and were covered with duct tape. I don't have suitable scale-like paint to I'm trying one coat of OD and then a coat of orange. I also need to thicken up the base of the coat hangar hooks so they don't eat into the foam wings. The Survival of the Shuttle is my number one concern with this rocket.

The 'SRB's (one shown in the photo) are made from a section of FTC with a nozzle made from a water bottle and a CA-treated paper cone. These also will not be pressurized. The FTC provides a convenient port to add fins extensions, such as the ones on the Estes and Dr. Zooch kits. The fin extensions will sit about 6" below the "main tank' and will greatly help stability.

The pictured nose cap is part of a plastic Easter egg. I might not use it.

The 'chute will reside under the NC and will be released via a mechanical timer. I think I can also rig a cord to help make sure the glider separates.

Re: Hair brained idea...water rocket Space Shuttle stack

Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:34 am
by rstaff3
AquaShuttle 2014-06-11 17.20.39.jpg
Found out where the 'upload' function is located...

Re: Hair brained idea...water rocket Space Shuttle stack

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:47 pm
by Blenderite
I had started working on something very similiar to this. However I ran out of time, and have yet to start back with it: http://www.wra2.org/forum/viewtopic.php ... 022#p15022

Re: Hair brained idea...water rocket Space Shuttle stack

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:46 pm
by rstaff3
I responded over on your thread, so I won't repeat it here. Please, make the time to restart your build!

Re: Hair brained idea...water rocket Space Shuttle stack

Posted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:53 am
by Blenderite
Don't worry I will as soon as I have some time.

Re: Hair brained idea...water rocket Space Shuttle stack

Posted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:47 pm
by U.S. Water Rockets1
In the past there have been a couple of people who wanted to make this same exact kind of rocket with water rocket propulsion. There are not many people who managed to complete the build and have a successful flight. What you have managed to put together so far looks very promising. Good luck with the project!

Re: Hair brained idea...water rocket Space Shuttle stack

Posted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:17 pm
by rstaff3
Here are main components attached to one another. I still need to: Make a nose cone, make the fin units that will slide into the SRB's, and attach all the recovery stuff.

For the first SRB's nozzle section, I used a Dasani (IIRC) 12oz water bottle. It turns out its throat was about 25mm vs. the standard 22mm. This was good because 24mm tubes fit nicely. It was bad because I couldn't find another to match (after a low-level search). Nobody seems to sell singles of that size bottle and my original source switched to another brand. Luckily, it was pressure fit and not glued. I removed it and made two new ones. I have to now decide how to make the fin units. I have a cute idea for these, but you'll have to wait to see them.

I wasn't happy with the shape of the nose cone(s) I'd been looking at so I'm going to make a cardboard cone. It will be formed with two conical sections and thus will look a bit chunky. I may punt and try yet something else or just use one of the earlier iterations.
2014-06-17 13.19.02.jpg

Re: Hair brained idea...water rocket Space Shuttle stack

Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:26 pm
by U.S. Water Rockets1
That's really very well done. It looks GREAT. You even matched the red "primer" looking color of the main fuel tank. The shuttle only had a few launches with a white tank, and it did look better, but the paint was supposed to have added weight they needed to get rid of.

Re: Hair brained idea...water rocket Space Shuttle stack

Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:09 pm
by rstaff3
Progress since the last update:

Nose Cone - I roughed out a truncated conical nose cone out of some poster board. It's not perfect, but I liked it well enough. I beefed up the inside with another layer of card stock and treated it with many coats of Future brand floor finish. A ring of plastic from a soda bottle ensured the card stock cone stayed round as the floor finish dried. I added a screw in the top as a place for the "ejection" rubber band to snag the cone.

Fins - The spine of the fins are a plastic angle that is intended to protect the corner of a wall. This fit well in the base of the SRB bottles and was then wedged in place with part of an Estes 18 mm motor case. I think these will stay in during boost yet are removable. I roughed out a pattern and cut four Corriflute fins. Inspired by Dr. Zooch's http://www.klydemart.com/index.html famous flame fins http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread ... #post92932, I printed a photo of an actual Shuttle launch so the colors of my flame fins are true to 'scale'.

I need to treat the fins to water proof them a bit. I think I'll spray a couple of coats of Krylon clear and then paint on more Future finish. I also need to finish rigging the ejection stuff. You can catch a glimpse of the timer in the side photo.

I think there's about a 50% chance this will hold together, a 50% chance it will be stable and a 50 percent chance that it will recover properly. That gives about a 12.5% probability of success.

Re: Hair brained idea...water rocket Space Shuttle stack

Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:28 am
by mazuzuri
That looks marvelous, this is the sort of thing i wan't to make to when i get around to it.
I hope it flies well, and can't wait to see a launch video.

Re: Hair brained idea...water rocket Space Shuttle stack

Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:51 pm
by U.S. Water Rockets1
rstaff3 wrote:Progress since the last update:

Nose Cone - I roughed out a truncated conical nose cone out of some poster board. It's not perfect, but I liked it well enough. I beefed up the inside with another layer of card stock and treated it with many coats of Future brand floor finish. A ring of plastic from a soda bottle ensured the card stock cone stayed round as the floor finish dried. I added a screw in the top as a place for the "ejection" rubber band to snag the cone.

Fins - The spine of the fins are a plastic angle that is intended to protect the corner of a wall. This fit well in the base of the SRB bottles and was then wedged in place with part of an Estes 18 mm motor case. I think these will stay in during boost yet are removable. I roughed out a pattern and cut four Corriflute fins. Inspired by Dr. Zooch's http://www.klydemart.com/index.html famous flame fins http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread ... #post92932, I printed a photo of an actual Shuttle launch so the colors of my flame fins are true to 'scale'.

I need to treat the fins to water proof them a bit. I think I'll spray a couple of coats of Krylon clear and then paint on more Future finish. I also need to finish rigging the ejection stuff. You can catch a glimpse of the timer in the side photo.

I think there's about a 50% chance this will hold together, a 50% chance it will be stable and a 50 percent chance that it will recover properly. That gives about a 12.5% probability of success.

Wow! That looks really great! The printed flames used as the fins/stand is really slick! That's a really sweet looking rocket! Well done!

Re: Hair brained idea...water rocket Space Shuttle stack

Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:22 pm
by rstaff3
Thanks for compliments. I finished rigging the ejection timer and found one gotcha that I'll have to fix. The rubber band that pulls the cone away is tending to slip down the side of the cone. When it does, the cone doesn't eject. I can rig it on the bench just fine, but I'm afraid the band will slide under boost. I'll have to add a guide to make sure it stays in place.

Then, I have to decide whether I'll fly it next week and likely get no action photos or video.... or should I wait until the next club launch where several people will have video cameras. I'm leaning towards the latter, although I have been known to catch 'launch fever'.

Re: Hair brained idea...water rocket Space Shuttle stack

Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:36 pm
by U.S. Water Rockets1
rstaff3 wrote:Thanks for compliments. I finished rigging the ejection timer and found one gotcha that I'll have to fix. The rubber band that pulls the cone away is tending to slip down the side of the cone. When it does, the cone doesn't eject. I can rig it on the bench just fine, but I'm afraid the band will slide under boost. I'll have to add a guide to make sure it stays in place.

Then, I have to decide whether I'll fly it next week and likely get no action photos or video.... or should I wait until the next club launch where several people will have video cameras. I'm leaning towards the latter, although I have been known to catch 'launch fever'.
Sounds like you have the deploy issue well sorted out. Looking forward to hear about the launch results!

Best of luck!

Re: Hair brained idea...water rocket Space Shuttle stack

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:44 pm
by rstaff3
The Space Shuttle flew a couple of weeks ago. While unimpressive, all phases of the flight were at least successful. When I launched the Shuttle, it went back over my head and, when I saw it again, the 'chute was out. I knew the flight was very low because of the short hang time. You can't clearly see the whole flight on the attached video and I can't tell if it was going unstable or was just badly underpowered. It is heavy for a 2L water rocket and is very draggy. It went up on a mere 300mL and at 80psi. The water volume was an error. On the next try I'll double the water and shoot for 100psi.

[youtube][/youtube]

Re: Hair brained idea...water rocket Space Shuttle stack

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:45 pm
by rstaff3
PS - I don't know how to edit my posts. Also, If someone can explain how to use the YouTube code, I'd appreciate it!