Instructables

Soda Bottle Water Rocket

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In a couple of hours (or less) you could make this water rocket! Water rockets use water and pressurized air to launch a soda bottle(s) 100's of feet into the air. This instructable will NOT cover the launcher. I hope to later come back and write up an instructable for a launcher. There are many websites with water rocket plans (and launchers) part of the fun is to experiment and come up with your own designs. Feel free to modify, improve, experiment with this instructable and post your results in the comments. The original inspiration for this rocket was from the magazine called "MAKE Magazine" (makezine.com). Issue #5 has full instructions also.
 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
List O Materials...

> 2 Soda Bottles (empty)
- Note: There are slight differences in the openings of the bottle depending on the soda brand. Pepsi is just a tad smaller than Coke. -
This Instructable is set up for 2 liter sized bottles - feel free to adjust for any size though.

> 1 sharp knife (kids get your parents help here!) I prefer X-acto brand for cutting foam core.

> 1 Large sheet of Foam Core (I prefer Black, but any color will do). Foam Core can be found at almost any arts and crafts supply store. To learn more about foam core try wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foamcore

> 5 Min Epoxy (This stuff is nasty! Do not inhale, and use in a well ventilated area. Do NOT get it on your skin or eyes, or hair, etc... read all safety warnings before using.) Feel free to experiment with other glues. This can usually be found at any hardware store - kids, ask your parents for help with this glue.

> 2 (or more) Markers - I used Sharpies, one black and one Silver

> Clear Shipping Tape - It's thicker than regular scotch tape and about 2" wide.

> 2 (or more) cans of spray paint - Pick your own favorite colors!

is there any substitute for the foam borad? p.s luv ya

cyenobite (author)  kitty cat44514 days ago
Sure, you can always use regular old cardboard for the fins. Just keep in mind that you want something to be light. Cardboard/paper can be very heavy. But you could probably use a thin piece (like from a cereal box), and just use some sort of extra support where the board would attach to the bottle, so it wouldn't fold over or flap in the wind.
Good luck!

okay dokay thnx

super sam1 month ago
You rock
cyenobite (author)  super sam1 month ago

Ha - thanks Super Sam! :)

Richard Horse made it!2 months ago

This rocket design is amazing! It went very far and high. i decided i didn't need to paint it though.

IMG_20140220_221131.jpg
cyenobite (author)  Richard Horse1 month ago

Great Job Richard! I'm glad it worked out for you!

Is there a good substitute for the foam core? I'm just curious about it.
cyenobite (author)  PaperScissorsRocket4 months ago
Foam core is nice and light, but I'm sure that regular old cardboard would also work just as well. Good Luck!
Shadow boy5 months ago
Can we use the pump that inflates basket balls
jtcreates8 months ago
The EPIC ROCKET
reslami11 months ago
how would you use the foam core and the 5min epoxy is my question? And also what would you do to make a nose cone for the rocket.? please message me back I would really be thankful.
chocolatelover11 months ago
how much water (in cups or milliliters)? PLEASE ANSWER i have to launch my rocket tomorrow at school and we have to know and bring how much water we need and i cut the bottle that goes on top way shorter than yours i also used coca cola bottles just wondering if that affects the amount of water needed PLEASE ANSWER and THANK YOU!
cyenobite (author)  chocolatelover11 months ago
I answered this below - but because I'm nice I'll repeat it here... About a third of the bottle. (hint: if you bring one 2 liter bottle of water with you, you should be able to get about 3 launches). Hope that helps :)
I've found sprite bottles work very well with this project
I'm doing this for a science project :) I'll share my results soon! :D
Amazing absaloutley flabergasting
M40A3 Dsx1 year ago
very helpful thank you

-M40A3 Dsx
Schober3 years ago
There is a way to splice the two bottles together so that you get an increased pressure chamber instead of having the other bottle being just dead weight on your rocket. Be advised this does take much more time and is far more costly than simply attaching the other bottle, but it seems to me like it would be worth it. I did not make this video I'm simply sharing it with the people.
I think getting all the materials to do that would cost too much.This is just for kids,anyway.
Actually, if you look, most of that stuff can already be found in any average house hold. Under "What you will need" I see, a ruler, scissors, razor knife, stapler, duct tape a stick, and construction adhesive. While not uncommon, if a 'razor knife' is not available, just about any sharp knife will do.
I would think that abut the only thing most people would have to buy would be the construction adhesive (and we have that too).
Now I would say with the knife and using the stove and hot water, this would most definitely call for adult supervision to be on the safe side.
ever thing is cheap except for the foam core

but you can buy it at the $Rama for $2.00 but then its not as good as if you buy it at

staples

thanks for your time
I was referring to the video Schober posted.
Would a nose cone work. Im doing a thing for school that it has to get 20% further than a stock-standard 2L coke bottle. Will this work without a nose cone or with?
Heating the Water will increase pressure but This is Dangerous you must make sure you or any small children do not get burned . Also there is a Rocket you can make useing Sodium Bicarbonate ( Baking Soda) and Vinegar .There is a video on YouTube. www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtUBFc9Gz_U
Try adding Soap or Joy(Dishwashing Liquid ) to the water .I Saw another website online that sais adding soap to the water would increase Thrust duration. Try shaking it up so it Foams a Little. Another goood site is:
www.microgravity.grc..nasa.gov/education/rocket/BottleRocket/journey101test.htm
cyenobite (author)  scottington1 year ago
Hello scottington,
As you can see from my instructable and the video at the end, I did not use a nose cone. It worked ok for me. But you can certainly try it... it should help the rocket go further as long as it is not too heavy. A word of caution - a nose cone will make this rocket dangerous with a sharp point on the front - be careful and be sure to use with proper supervision. Also, my rocket/instrucatable does not use a parachute... if you want your nose cone to last for more than one launch you might consider a parachute, otherwise it will probably get damaged on the first launch. Good Luck!
THEFORREAL1 year ago
Why do You need Water to make it work ? Shouldn't it work with Only the Pressurized Air ? Compressed Air cylinders have been known to go through Cinder Block walls. I am really interested and hope to build one of these Waer rockets. Thank You all for Contributing/Sharing Tips and Ideas.
cyenobite (author)  THEFORREAL1 year ago
That's a good question. I'm not a physics person, but I can venture a guess... Yes, air can propel a bottle, but it takes a LOT of pressure. The ones you saw going through cinder block walls have a ton of pressure. All that pressure is able to propel the metal canister. The same thing with a balloon... you blow up a baloon and let go and it will fly all over the place, but that's because the rubber of the baloon is very light. A PET (plastic) soda bottle is very heavy compared to the balloon. By adding the water, it gives the air something to "push" off of rather than the outside air around it. Because of that push from the water, it's able to propel the heavier plastic bottle.
Don't take my word for it, I might be wrong. Try to find a science teacher and see if they can explain it better than me. :)

warning: the plastic soda bottles are only built to hold a certain amount of pressure before they will explode (or break). Do NOT attempt to put a lot of air pressure into the plastic bottles.
nuts9001 year ago
how do you luanch it
allensu01 year ago
Hey! I like your rocket and i think it's pretty sick. Do you have any tips for distance. cuz i have to make a water rocket for engineering, and we're only getting marked on how far our rockets go.
cyenobite (author)  allensu01 year ago
Hey Thanks @allensu0
No real tips for distance other than you should experiment with how much water to put in. Too much, and the rocket is too heavy, too little and it runs out of propellant. If you can get some test runs in for your rocket that'd be best. I found that about a third of the bottle works well. Another option is to get rid of extra weight - maybe experiment with lighter or smaller fins? Good Luck!
i've built 100's of these with my students... its a great project. what i have found is that weight is actually a GOOD thing! i encourage students to use ballast.... nothing hard which can be lethal.... stuff like water balloons, bags of sand or heavy cardboard tubing or the "eggstranaut" which is an egg in the nose section. if it survives the students get extra marks. :-) i've had kids rockets speck out in the sky with 100psi at the compressor output. if you crank the psi they can explode but man if they fly it is really impressive!
acdc12261 year ago
Yesterday Me, my brother and my dad made an awesome water rocket from a 2L soda bottle and a bike pump. We used plans from a Popular Mechanics online article. It cost us about $15. It easily flys 100ft.
nuparu1061 year ago
For this step, would it still work if i use duct tape? My teacher suggested that we use duct tape instead of shipping tape.
cyenobite (author)  nuparu1061 year ago
Duct tape would certainly work, but in my opinion the clear plastic shipping tape is: 1) much lighter than duct tape and 2) much smoother and easier to paint over. If applied carefully you won't get any seems or bumps. If you don't care how the rocket looks then duct tape will be fine. Good Luck.
Thank you. the rocket was successful, thanks to your advice and design!
cyenobite (author)  nuparu1061 year ago
Awesome - glad to hear it worked out well for you.
bballer231 year ago
hey that design was awesome an the instructions were clear and understandable. for school i have to make a rocket that has to stay in the air for 15 secs and launch an egg and make sure it doesn't break. what would you recommend for this?
cyenobite (author)  bballer231 year ago
This may not be the best design for the egg challenge. First off, 15 sec is a long time! If you watch the video at the end of this instructable you can time the rockets and their air time. I'm pretty sure these water rockets are not in the air that long. Also the weight of an egg along with any padding are going to weigh this design down a LOT. I'd suggest you check with your teacher and see if the water rockets are what he or she had in mind. Good Luck!
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