Instructables

50 Foot+ Rubber Band Rocket - New & Improved!

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This rocket is based on a kid's toy I saw a couple of years ago that was pretty amazing for the materials involved. I decided to recreate it and see how well my version would work. It was a little heavier than the styrofoam toy that I had played with, but still seemed to work a lot better than you might expect. And, while you may have a rubber band big enough to reach low earth orbits, I haven't really done anything as far as heat shielding.  If you have kids that aren't quite old enough for model rockets, this is the perfect project for them.

I put the original version together in about a half an hour, and played with it for way too long to admit.  Eventually it got tore up, and now  I've decided to create a new and improved version.  This new version boasts some new features, almost all of which are designed to add distance.  Starting at the nose cone, it now allows for retractable rubber bands.  This will also allow multiple rubber bands to be used where it created too much instability in the original design.  The new body is a bit longer, and I figured out a way to help trim down it's circumference a bit and keep it rounder than before.  The tail fins are also much larger now to create more spin and ultimately more stability.  Finally, per a user comment I now also have a tool to launch the rocket with to avoid accidently thumping your finger on occasion.
 
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ilpug3 years ago
what did you do to your knuckle in step 5? nice instructable, by the way.
yokozuna (author)  ilpug3 years ago
It was collateral damage from cutting all the cardboard used to make this instructable. Good eye, and glad you enjoyed the instructable. :)
This has me pretty intrigued... I'll have to make one for myself and mess around with it. I have a few extra airsoft springs floating around my workshop somewhere, kinda thinking that if the weight isn't too much i could potentially make a mechanism on the inside of the rocket that allows it to get power from the spring once the rubber bands are at the tension point and won't stretch anymore. I'll let you know how it goes :D

Also, Great 'Ible! its things like this that keep me addicted to this site =p
yokozuna (author)  The Homemade Arsenal3 years ago
Thanks, I've just got a chance to repair my new model, and hope to start testing again... I'm pretty sure before I'm done playing with it that I'm going to hit 100+ feet. I've had a shot in the upper 80s now, and still don't think I've really reached the full potential of the rocket yet! :) If you make one, please post pics and flight results too, I'd love to see how someone else fares with this.
doomsdayltd3 years ago
eh can't argue im in florida there is nothing to do here other than orlando
nah u cant argue with me... I'm from Singapore... there really isn't much things to do, since you get arrested for holding a weapon, or meeting with three or more people if u look suspicious. There really isn't as much freedom here than america, cos the freedom is sacrificed to make way for security... which is why there ain't much crime around here in Singapore
wow
then5 years ago
best state ever:
awesomeness.jpg
Boppo3 then3 years ago
pardon my ignorance but what does the bear on the flag signify??
the origin is accually a typo, it was suppose to be a "Pear", instead of a "Bear", but then what would the pear signify, i dont know....
jello biafra !
bobby4505 then4 years ago
i now a kid in 8th now that got shot in cali in like 5th grade so it sucks too...
yokozuna (author) 3 years ago
In updating this instructable, I deleted the last step, which I didn't realize would also delete a bunch of the comments. So if you made a comment on this that is now missing, that is why, sorry.
paul19993 years ago
cool
excuse me but that isn't the louisiana flag...
no,loisiana is this, and it da best
LAFLAG.jpg
i know i was pointing out that he should have louisiana up there
ooooooooooooooooooooooooooo lol i stupid
Bartboy5 years ago
LoL. 50 ft? LOL
yokozuna (author)  Bartboy5 years ago
I knew this would likely meet some skepticism, thus bothering to take the time to add video. Check it out in step 7, see for yourself.
No, 50 ft is not that much. Plus, that does not look like it is 50 ft.
No,50 feet is not that much.In other words,you are saying that it is more than 50 feet.
No, I am saying something that only goes 50 ft doesn't go very far. And in the vide it doesn't look like it goes a full 50 ft.
its 1 rubberband.could u make a rubber band powered thingy go 50 ft using a 2 liter bottle(not using his design in any way) .
Well,build one and try it for yourself.I did and mine goes just as it should.
bylerfamily4 years ago
Congratulations on winning the contest.
yokozuna (author)  bylerfamily4 years ago
thank you. :)
it needs to be heaver for more wind resistance
yokozuna (author)  pineapplenewton5 years ago
I've tried both, less weight flies much (up to a third) better than with weight added to it. Neither will really fly into the wind, but they float very well with the wind.
bylerfamily5 years ago
Wow!I love this thing.Made it myself and was amazed at how far it went.
I think this one might have had a better chance of winning a contest if it was entered into the tap'dny contest :P just my 2 cents. Great idea!
yokozuna (author)  MadBricoleur5 years ago
I considered it, but just a matter of time really. My original goal for that contest was actually a pontoon boat of sorts, and someone ended up making a raft anyway. The problem was, I just didn't have time to do anything except design it on paper. It's a little cold here in February/March anyway for boating adventures. With that said, I think this has a decent chance in this contest... rubber band power is somewhat limiting without quite of bit of imagination, and this fits very nicely with what they say said they're looking for (cheap, quick and easy to make, re-usable materials, and even the special flight requirement). I made it for free, from common household items, in under an hour total (including documentation for ible). IMHO, 50 feet will also be a tough mark to match/beat in the flying department. Anyway, thanks reading through and taking the time to drop a couple of lines.
Actually, I think I'll have to really agree with you on those points. Good luck on winning the contest! haha :D
Yeah!Enter this in the epilog challenge and say its green because it reuses a plastic bottle.
yokozuna (author)  bylerfamily5 years ago
True, but I don't consider this to be "epic". :) However, I've been working on a project since January that I hope to get entered in the Epilog contest... details to come shortly!
My project I entered insn't epic either.
i might just vote for this
yokozuna (author)  imthatguy11255 years ago
*waves hand in Jedi motion* You were just about to vote for the rubber band rocket... You were just about to tell all your friends to vote for the rubber band rocket.
shrek1505 years ago
what state flag is that ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Seconded.
yokozuna (author)  Kryptonite5 years ago
you know what it is... step one said so!

but it might be Missouri
D4NG3RNL5 years ago
I can see peoples breaking their fingers from this :S, made one myself but i also made a little wooden rod to fire it from :D
yokozuna (author)  D4NG3RNL5 years ago
I don't know about broken fingers, but I have smacked my own fingernail a couple of times, and it does hurt like the dickens when you do so. :) A launching device of sorts is a most excellent suggestion.
im thinking a wooden plank with dowl rails to keep it from swerving to the side and a spring loaded hook at the end that sinks into the wood so it doesnt hit the tube... or use a ruler
bylerfamily5 years ago
How do you launch it?
There is a video at the end...
Yeah I know but the stupid computer blocks YouTube...
yokozuna (author)  bylerfamily5 years ago
thumb and forefinger on the hollow back end of the tube, and index finger of other hand to stretch the rubber band, then let go of the tube. You may also consider replacing index finger with wooden dowel as suggested below by D4NG3RNL in order to avoid smacking your own hand with the rocket.
akinich5 years ago
hey you can curve the wings a bit to make it spin so it gets gyro
yokozuna (author)  akinich5 years ago
actually, when I cut the wings, I used the curved portion of the bottle. You can see this in the videos I posted if you look closely. It doesn't rotate a lot, but with the tail cap gone, it's just enough to make it fly straight now.
Kryptonite5 years ago
I hate it when the hot glue shrinks your plastic, you have to glue it when the glue is at it's coldest possible, but still a liquid.
macrumpton5 years ago
The main thing stopping it from going further is the amount of air it needs to push out of the way, and the turbulence it creates moving through the air. I suggest a narrower tube (think arrow) and shrink the fins to about 1/3rd the size (keep the part at the end of the tube). You could also bend the back of the fins to make it spin while flying, which should make for a straighter and smoother flight. Another approach would be to lose the tube entirely and make a sort of paper airplane, dart-like in shape out of the plastic. You could use paper clips or blobs of hot glue for balance.
finfan75 years ago
If you want to drop drag you should remove the rubber bands and bring the hook to one side which becomes the top or bottom. Then use the rubber band like a slingshot band. It would also probably be good if you wanted to aim it more exactly.
Congrats on being the first one in the contest!
yokozuna (author)  fungus amungus5 years ago
Thanks... I really didn't expect to win this fantastic honor, else I would have had my acceptance speech ready! Next time, perhaps.
Aar000n3y5 years ago
Add weight in the front.... it looks like it's flipping around in the air in the videos
yokozuna (author)  Aar000n3y5 years ago
You are correct, but instead of adding weight, i removed weight from the rear. Without the second bottle cap, it flies almost perfectly straight as you can see in the second video.
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