Instructables

How to Make a PVC Rocket Cannon

Featured
video How to Make a PVC Rocket Cannon
The above video demonstrates how to fire a rocket under the power of a flammable aerosol. Hairspray or a flammable spray deodorant are the fuels of choice. The total cost of this project assuming the tools needed are already available is about $25. For that price you can make 4 rockets for the launcher, as the foam sleeping pad that they are made of is large enough to make multiples.

Parts & Tools:
1. 18" x 3" Pressure Rated PVC Pipe
2. 3" Pressure Rated PVC End Cap
3. Piezoelectric BBQ Igniter or Flint & Steel Lantern Striker (Available at hardware or sporting goods stores)
4. 2 Self Tapping Screws if using a BBQ Ignitor
5. Foam Sleeping Pad
6. 2 Liter Soda Bottle
7. Duct or Packaging Tape
8. Hot Glue
9. Drill & Bits
10. PVC Primer & Cement
dariostar7 months ago
Thanks!!!
http://youtu.be/hnldGEFoaCs

NightHawkInLight (author)  dariostar7 months ago
Nice job! That was a great video
roballoba6 months ago

So cool!!! your instructables are getting my brain gears turning!!! OH MAN. OH MAN! This is gonna be fun!!!! you make nerf look like childs play!

girdap371 year ago
First of all, a very nice project. I would like to do this project. But it is used IN 18 "inch into the pipe having been in the same tube. Auxiliary I'd appreciate it if you
dude, you are the spawn of macgyver and jesus him self! if it ever becomes WW III and an apocalyptic setting, you (hands down) are set. im just wondering if you could make the landmine more "interesting". say cooking oil that giike3 said, or if you could use a sort of explosive that the ignitor would set off.
giike32 years ago
hey what happens if you shot it with flammable cooking oil would it ignite?
Here in my country (I live in Brazil) I cannot find the foam you used, only in smaller shapes, like 8mm of thickness. There are any alternative material for the rocket?
I already build the launcher and I'm now firing coke bottles (2,5l) and it's awesome, I really want to build the rocket now.
I would love to do this, but unfortunately putting flames near hairspray scares me... perhaps I shall try some other type of fuel? If and when I do, I shall let you know how it works
jliang12 years ago
Hello,
I think this is an amazing implementation of basic physics.

I have a question about the fuel, however. What is it that oxidizes inside the hairspray? Is there a specific chemical that I should look for? I currently have Petroleum-infused Silicon Oil, but I'm not sure if that will produce the gas pressure needed for liftoff. I also don't want to buy the 'wrong' hairspray, persae, and waste $15 on a product nobody in our family uses.

Thanks in advance!
NightHawkInLight (author)  jliang12 years ago
Look for any spray that says flammable on the can, with one of the ingredients being a flammable gas such as butane or propane. The gas that is used to pressurize the can is what you are looking for as fuel, not the spray itself.
thebrimac2 years ago
Really fun Idea. I built one but I am having a problem. I am using the charcoal igniter with wires I have extended. When it is all connected I can look down the tube and see a spark. However, I have tried several times with several fuels and can't get it to ignite. If I throw a match down the tube I do get an ignition. Any suggestions?
NightHawkInLight (author)  thebrimac2 years ago
It could be that your spark gap is too close or too far apart for a hot spark. Most likely you are just using too much or too little fuel. If the mixture of air to fuel isn't right it will not burn.

Great 'ible - built one with my son on the weekend and had a blast! (excuse the pun).  Have a look at my video below.  I had some trouble initially as the hair spray wouldn't ignite.  I found that if I blew down the pipe after I sprayed that helped. 
Keep up the great work.
 

That looks great! Glad you could get some fun out of the project!
joen2 years ago
Could it be done with alcohol like HEAT for example or is it too explosive?
Mattrox2 years ago
My volume was too loud almost fell off my chair! Great Instructable as always!
urbanaut2 years ago
Doing this project with my two boys (4&7), they're so excited they can't see straight, lol. I'll post more when it's ready...
NightHawkInLight (author)  urbanaut2 years ago
That's cool to hear! Have fun! Also, stay safe. I'm sure the bottle could give a mean black eye if you were staring down at it as it fired. It might be a good idea to have the launcher up above them on a table so that they can't reach their faces high enough to get above it.
skiedra2 years ago
well done ignition. Cheers!
cleage0012 years ago
FIRING MORTARS!
Epic idea.
tutdude982 years ago
but this can make max 120 psi
ynneb2 years ago
Great job, you have turned the popular SpudGun into a much safer project that will probably not attract so much attention from the authorities.
Aron3132 years ago
Im gonna do this when i have kids so that they can have some good physics fun!
pyromanic2 years ago
you rock
pyromanic2 years ago
cool need to build
Kiteman2 years ago
Awesome!
NightHawkInLight (author)  Kiteman2 years ago
Thank you very much
It's on my Summer to-do list.
mikeasaurus2 years ago
Whoa, awesome!
Looks like you get some great height!
NightHawkInLight (author)  mikeasaurus2 years ago
Yep, you sure do. It's very entertaining.