Ever wanted to launch a model rocket, but couldn't find a nice park to do it in, or were not allowed to due to fire hazards? If you have ever had this problem, this project is recommended for you. These Co2 powered model rockets are an amazing alternative to the traditional model rocket engines because not only are they much more affordable, they are safer, easier to use and don't require as much space as the traditional rockets.
Step 1: Materials
Before you get started on building one of these Co2 rockets, you should at least have an idea of what you will need. Here's the list:
12g Co2 cartridges (can be found at airsoft stores)
Model rocket launch pad
Various sizes of heat shrink tubing (smaller sizes ranging from 5mm to over a centimeter)
Sandpaper (only needed if Co2 cartridge is too big to fit in your rocket)
Step 2: Prepare Your Blast Cap
This is the hardest step of all, and MUST be done with precision otherwise it will not work.
Take your heat shrink tubing, and find the size that fits snugly on the small end of your Co2 cartridge as shown in the first picture. Now cut a length that is just long enough to fit the needle on the thumbtack. Heat this piece up with a flame or heat gun, then fit another piece over the first and heat this one as well. After you have completed this, find a small piece of heat shrink tubing that fits on the needle of the thumbtack. Cut a length of tubing that will cover the majority of the needle, but will still leave the point uncovered. Again, shrink the tubing using an open flame or heat gun. Now, fit your thumbtack with the tubing in to the hole in your Co2 cartridge cap, as shown in the last picture. You may need to add a few more pieces of heat shrink on your thumbtack to ensure that it fits snugly.
Step 3: Model Rocket Prep
Now that your blast cap is done, it's time to move on to the actual rocket.
First, you should see if the Co2 cartridge fits in the rocket. If it does, make sure it can be kept in a position where the head of the pin extends beyond the end of the fins. If your Co2 cartridge doesn't fit, you can either glue the cartridge to the bottom of the rocket, or just push it in the hole till it is snug. Another way you can fid this problem is with sandpaper. Simply sand the inside of the rocket until the Co2 cartridge fits. The only downside to this is that your normal rocket engines may not fit as nicely as they used to.
Step 4: Launching
Now for the fun part.
Launching these rockets does not require anything other than a model rocket launchpad, and eye protection. Fit your Co2 cartridge with the blast cap snugly on the end into the bottom end of your rocket, and give it a shake to make sure its firmly in place.
To launch, simply set up the launchpad that came with your model rocket, minus the rocket engine igniter, and line up the vertical guide on the launchpad with your rocket. As you can see in the picture, i added two bricks to provide a firm spot for the pin to hit. To launch, pull the rocket up to the top of the guide, and drop it. The pin in your blast cap will puncture the seal on the Co2 cartridge, propelling the rocket upwards.
Be safe and HAVE FUN!