How to Create a Water Bottle Rocket My Way: by Ethan Blum




This is my presentation on how to create a really good water bottle rocket for your entertainment pleasure.

Step 1: First Step: the Most Obvious Part

In order to create your water bottle rocket, you will obviously need a bottle. The bottle should be a two liter soda bottle (preferably Coke or Diet Coke. DO NOT USE A SPRITE OR 7-UP BOTTLE.) You will also need a second 2 liter bottle, but you can use any soda bottle.

Step 2: Step 2: Gathering the Materials

After getting the two bottles, you will need to gather a few materials in order to make sure your project takes off. You will need duct tape, corrugated plastic (if possible), a cone (athletic or your own creation), scissors, nylon string, matches, garbage bag,X-Acto knife, ruler, level, and glue. If you are associating this project with keeping a tennis ball in the air, don't forget the tennis ball. If not, then don't worry about it.

Step 3: Numero Tres: What to Do With the Second Bottle.

Please read all instructions before preceding with Step 3. DO NOT GO ON TO STEP FOUR YET!!

Now your probably asking yourself, what's with the other bottle? Well now I will explain. You will take the bottle (not the coke bottle) and cut it in half. The top half will be trimmed up to where the bottle begins to curve toward the neck and the opening. Then the Opening (the part that the cap screws on) should be cut off and discarded, along with the bottom part of the top half of the bottle.

After successfully trying to decipher my instructions, you will end up with what you see in the pictures. You, the will then take the other bottle, the one you are going to use as the fuselage of the rocket, and precede to tear off the label. After doing so, you will then attach the bottom half of the bottle you cut on to the bottom of the bottle. Use the level to make sure it is even before securing it with masking tape. Take the cut top and then attach it to the curved portion of the fuselage before securing with tape. Then continue by wrapping the bottle in duct tape. Doing these procedures will strengthen the integrity of the bottle so that the pressure will not cause the bottle to explode easily.

Now you may start doing Step 3. If you are done, please proceed to the next step.

Step 4: Step 4: Fins

Now welcome to step four. This step will discuss the fins. Now I used corrugated plastic for my fins for a specific reason. The holes in the plastic allowed air to pass straight through the fins, causing the amount of air resistance on the rocket itself to be drastically decreased. This causes the rocket to climb to particularly high altitudes. My design for my fins also helped with keeping my rocket aerodynamic, causing it to shoot pretty high.

Okay, now on to the instructions. In order to lessen the amount of resistance on your rocket, your fins should have a length of 22 cm and a width of 9 cm. This should give you a shape of a long right triangle. Measure and cut out four of these fins. Once you cut them out, take your trusty X-Acto knife (don't cut yourself accidentally) and with the long side of the fin, slice about two corrugations into the fin. This should allow you to open up the fin itself and create a base in which you can attach the fins to the bottle without much incident.

After performing this step with the X-Acto knife, attach the fins to the bottle through the use of the duct tape. Make sure the fins are straight and spread out evenly along the rocket. When you are content with the fin placement, your rocket should look like the rocket in the picture below. When done, move to step 5.

Step 5: Step 5: the Parachute

This step is mostly for if you want to attach a parachute to your rocket. After having the majority of the rocket done, you may need a parachute. First, take your standard black garbage bag, cut it in half, and cut out an octagon. When you have the shape you want, take duct tap and cut 5 little pieces. Place the five pieces evenly along the parachute.

After tape placement, take a roll of nylon string and cut five pieces of equal length. In order to prevent frayed ends, use a lighted match to melt the ends of the strings. Punch holes into the tape on the parachutes then proceed to tie the strings to the parachute. Attach your parachute to the rocket or your tennis ball, and voila! You have a working parachute.

Step 6: Step 6: the Cone (no Not for Ice Cream. What a Drag)

The cone is the last part you have to worry about. I used an athletic cone I got from Sports Authority. FIrst, take the cone and cut off the excess part at the bottom. Next, cut a crack along the length of the cone so that the cone can be easily changed. Place the parachute in the cone and put it on the rocket. That's pretty much it! There's your rocket!



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    10 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Schrader valve. Like on a tire.


    2 years ago

    I attached a schrader to a bottle cap so I could pressurize the liter bottle. When pressurized careful use of a heat gun on the nose end of the bottle makes a pretty good nose cone with the use of just one bottle. As for the parachute I made nose tips using a mold and hot glue so they just bounce when hitting the ground. Any launcher ideas? This being 5 years old at least I expect no answer from original builder but anyone can jump in here. Am having trouble devising simple release mechanism.



    8 years ago on Introduction

    dude, use whatever bottle you want to. i was forced to do this project for school so back off man. by the way, it worked.

    1 reply

    8 years ago on Introduction



    9 years ago on Introduction

    does it really fly or it just the looking if it just the looking it sucks