Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Delta pressure test 1

Yesterday saw the Delta rocket have its first pressure test the rocket performed well up to 50 psi when booster 2  had a slight leak the problem was as the nozzle had moved upwards in the gardena connector as with this design it only takes 5-8mm of movement and the o ring comes out of its seat so i will bend the booster wire connectors to ensure less movement on the next test as i released the rocket from the launcher it seemed to all move together correctly so im hoping we should have a successful launch soon.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Tomi timer trigger

Ever since i started water rocketry i have always used tomi timers due to there reliability, size, and cost but there has always been a problem how to delay the timer while the rocket is being pressurized then finding a way of triggering the timer when the rocket is launched. I have tried using air flaps but they were never reliable and i have lost many rockets due to it not triggering the timer at launch so i came up with a new way of holding the timer i think these pictures will explain better then words.
Items i used:
1x fiberglass tube (old fishing rod)
1x small square of bottle pet
1x coat hanger or similar wire
small amount of sikaflex glue
electrical tape

Hydron 2 rocket

Over the weekend saw the completion of another rocket that i have been wanting to finish for a while its a 4.2L rocket with 2 splice pairs also with this rocket it has a jet foaming tube inspired by aircommand this tube has been epoxyed to the lower bottle it also has a side deployment recovery system this has a tomi timer delay also i have made a trigger for the timer this is the first rocket with the new design more info on my next blog update, the rocket is very light so i will try using a 7mm and 9mm nozzle with a water foam mix.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Cross splice

While i had all the tools out from making Delta 2's splices i experimented with 2 different shape and size bottles and spliced them to create a cross splice i have not measured the capacity yet but im hoping it will be larger then 1.8L this will eventually go on the N1 rocket for tests .

Delta 2 quad splices

Work has started on the next Delta rocket in the series this rocket is made from 2L bottles and i have decided on making a quad splice and a normal splice more splices will be made over the next few weeks.

Delta 1 update

After a 2 week break from all things rockets and a busy house move this weekend saw some progress on the latest BWR boostered rocket Delta 1 theres still a few small bits to finish but we are hoping for an august launch date.
Things that have changed:
The couplers have gone back to robinson couplers due to unreliable BWR couplers
Bits to finish:
Side deployment door
booster winglets
tomi timer
launcher guide rail
final pressure test for launcher and rocket

Monday, 4 July 2011

New rocket new launcher

As family and work time has been manic recently i have not been doing much on my rockets, as i have started building a new rocket with boosters i have had to build a new launcher its still work in progress so it has had no pressure tests yet hopefully by the end of July we should have the new rocket in the sky.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Another busy day at the office

Over the last 2 months the BWR team have been collecting as many 2L bottles as we could for our newest project the Delta series of rockets these are boostered rockets we made a mock up of an old rocket but tests were not a success due to the old rocket there was a leak and a bottle failure so we have started work on Delta II i have downsized the diameter of the bottles to 1L to test how smaller bottles behave with boosters.
Work has started on Delta III but at this stage its only splices of 2L bottles i will post up pics when i get a bit more time, for the Delta series of rockets i have had to make a new launcher to accompany the extra bottles (boosters) it is nearly finished just a guide rail and launch string to be attached then tests can be started.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

BWR coupler construction video

I have uploaded a construction tutorial on the making of the coupler here is the link:

Successful Tornado tube tests

Today saw the 1st tests of the BWR coupling in my last blog i descibed my new design on heat welding two bottle caps together, I tested four couplings on a 7L rocket i filled the rocket with 1800mls of water and pressurized the rocket to 120 psi and left it there for two minutes no signs of cracks or leaks only problem we had was a nozzle cap washer had not sealed properley and had a small leak occured i will have to give the couplings a flight test to really know how they will work but results look promising i will post a how to video on making the couplings soon.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

New Tornado couplings and nosecones

As the UK today was covered by a blanket of wind and rain it gave us some time in the workshop first up i have been trying to come up with a tornado coupling that does not involve using bits like lamp rods or Tornado Tubes as your limited to 7mm-8mm opening with a lamp rod and the problems of leaks and cracking with Tornado ,so i read up how to heat weld different plastics and found how you can connect bottle caps by melting the top surface of the caps and sticking them together shortly after sticking them dunk them in cold water to cool them. When i get a bit more time i will post up a how to.

The pictures above are just after they have been stuck due to no testing i have no clue if they will withstand a 100psi or 120 psi pressure test so i took 2 of the couplings and sanded the sides and glued 1 with sikaflex with a PET wrap then used Gorilla Glue on the 2nd so once i have tested these i will update if they work.

Next up i wanted to try and find a way of making a lighter, cheaper nosecone so i tried using paper mache over a bottle i use for my nosecones the results were quite good i used a standard paper mache mix water and flour plus PVA for added strengh once they are dry they will be lightly sanded and filled to get a smooth finish then painted, for the inside i will coat the walls with apoxy adhesive to make it super strong when i get them finished i will update with some more pictures.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

V3 b update and booster rocket mock up

As the weather across the UK has been very un settled over the last week it gave me time to progress with the V3 b a little more i attached the fins and realised they were a bit on the large size so i trimmed 50mm off the width and now they have a more sleek look also it took 40grams off the overall weight so thats a bonus. After a very tricky V2 and V3 flights i have done a bit of research on the German V2 and its original flight problems and i have found that they had weight problems with fins and also not enough thrust on take off which made the gyro guidance system fail. So i have now made a new nozzle and have bored it out to 12mm this should give it masssive acceleration but a short burn time maybe with foam it could be extended, another idea i have started on are having 4 small fins near the nose after seeing pics of a Hermes A1. The nosecone will be a replica of the last V3 just now with 2 small parachutes and hopefully il find some room for a on board camera.
Also i have started on a mock up of a booster rocket i have re used an older rocket as the sustainer an 8L mist jet motor and used some spare 4L rockets as boosters as nobody yet as made a rocket with just 2 boosters so i thought i would have a go im basing the design on NASA's Delta rocket im trying 2 different launcher ideas ( many thanks for sharing some ideas George) on my next update i will show the launchers and nozzles. For the nose cone and parachute deployment ive made a double side deployment system which can carry 2 parachutes im still using tomi timers for the release mechanism.

A Hermes A1 missile .

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Another bad day at the office!!!!!!

After a week of bad rocket weather today saw perfect conditions light cloud cover slight breeze and sunshine we set up the new launcher and got on with the first launch the V3 was first up we filled the rocket with1500 mls of water and began filling the rocket to 130 psi the launch was successful left the pad fast and straight it reached around 60 ft then arced over and flew on its side the parachute was deployed but due to the downward speed it ripped the parachute cord and hit the ground hard most of the damage was done to the nosecone parachute bay and crumpled the top of bottle 3, V3 will have to be totally rebuilt!!!.
There wasnt much luck with launch number 2 with the rocket N there was a leak  which occured due to a cracked tornado tube on later inspection i had made the mistake of missing to put a washer on this side of the tornado tube so that was the end of our flight day.

Ideas for next time:
Make sure all tornado tubes have washers and are inspected for cracks before launching.
Make the V3 lighter and try to figure out what causes it to arc over constantly
Invest in some stronger parachute cord for the heavier rockets.
Try the V3 with 3 fins instead of the four to save some weight.
Heres some pics from the day:

Monday, 9 May 2011

V3 b developement and new rocket

Over the weekend more progress was made on the V3b the splices were pressure tested and connected together with Tornado tubes i added an extra splice to the rocket this was a 2L bottle so total capacity now is 10.8L i cant decide between a inline parachute deployment system or side deployment. I decided to keep the V2 fin design and kept with 4 fins i made a cardboard template and cut the fins out of corriflute these will be glued on over the next couple of nights.
 Also this weekend saw another rocket completed i had made a series of splices out of 1L bottles these had cured and were tested they are coupled together with Tornado tubes, total capacity of this rocket is 5L there is another 1.7L splice to be added i will use this after a successful flight we will hopefully be flying this rocket at the weekend depending on weather conditions.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Gorilla Glue

I was in my local DIY store over the Easter break and saw a new polyurethane glue its been around in the US for a while and has been introduced over here in the UK so i was itching to try it on the spliced pairs initial tests look promising, glue seems to be stiffer then Titebond you have to still use polyfilla as a thickening agent as it is very runny, i have found once you have mixed with polyfilla let it sit for 8 to 10 mins before applying to the splices this stops the glue from expanding as much and is easier to handle i have not pressure tested any of the splices using this glue so we will have to see what the glue can handle.

Splices Splices and more splices!!!!!!!!

Over the Easter break saw the BWR team making the next lot of spliced bottles ready for new rocket projects 1st we started with a spliced pair of 3L bottles for the V3 mk3 total capacity of the 2 pairs combined is 8.8L,
 Next up was 5 spliced pairs of 1L bottles 20 bottles in total was used!!!!! 2 pairs with a total capacity 1.7L each, medium 1pair capacity1.4L, small 1 pair capacity 900mls these bottles will be used for a updated older rocket called N i decided to use 3 different sizes as a test to see how the rocket will behave i can swap these bottles around in any configuration, Last of all is a new bottle size which is hard to come by in the UK 1.5L so i stocked up on this size for future rockets and spliced 2 pairs each have a capacity of 2.2L.

V3 spliced pair
N splices
sustainer splices

Monday, 25 April 2011

New rocket new challenges

Earlier this week saw construction of a new rocket H1 this is a booster of a multi stage rocket it has a spliced pair of 2 litre bottles total capacity 6.4L a larger fin set, a Katz mk3 stager (many thanks air command) 9mm nozzzle , and a60cm main parachute. The sustainer is my daughters rocket K1 this will be used until the new sustainer is built intial tests were promising with no leaks but only one problem we had was the sustainer did not lock into the stager and at 80 psi it jump the gun so next launch we will use a locking tab. I have sanded 1mm off of the gardena connector to make sure the nozzle locks in properly i will update on the next launch day.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

V3 MKII AND K1 Test flight

Finally got round to editing a short video of yesterdays launches we launched V3 MKII 1st after a rebuild from last years explosion we had no such this time as we had two crash landings post video analysis suggested that there was not enough weight in the nose which caused it to arc over  and possibly the fins acted as a wing also the launch speed didnt look great maybe larger nozzle or a spliced pair might help ideas for future mods. K1 got its maiden flights 4 launches 4 successes it showed promising signs that our splices can handle 120psi we played with nozzles to and found 9mm worked very well heres a short video of the days highlights enjoy

Glad to be back!!!!!

After a long break from all things rockets due to work and family commitments yesterday saw the BWR team out launching some rockets the whole purpose of the day was to test the V3 mk2 rocket which last year exploded on the launcher on its maiden flight, and also we flew my daughters newest rocket K1 which is a 3.2L spliced rocket all photos and a short video will be posted up soon.