Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back into the Sky! (no, this is not a Colonial Viper).

Back into the Sky!

Here's a new paper air rocket.

I discovered there were plans for making paper model rockets - easily adapted to making an air rocket.  (   I adapted "Bob Harrington’s Satellite Interceptor" into a paper air rocket.

The main trick for my rockets is knowing the width of paper around the pipe launcher is 3 inches in width.  So I captured the main body image from the PDF, and printed it out with the dimensions 3x11 (stretching it a bit) - then I added an extender to the top - for future rockets, I'll overlap instead of taping together the extender for a better seal - I'll also add artwork to the that portion.  I printed the fins to card stock and attached them, crimping a bit so the rocket will spin in flight for stability.

 This is a quick first attempt, and it worked well.  A bit heavier than the magazine paper versions, it probably won't fly as high.... I only got one flight in because my air supply (a two liter pop bottle) broke after the first flight.  Not too surprising since it was a couple years old and a veteran of many, many air rocket flights.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Interesting, but I can't say I approve exactly....

From MAKEzine:

Compressed Air Rocket by Rick Schertle. Page 104. Blow your friends away as you send this 25-cent rocket hundreds of feet in the air. You can build this easy launcher and rocket with common hardware store items in an afternoon. Read Compressed Air Rocket in the MAKE digital edition.

Well, yes - this is very impressive. I watched the free "making" video and the "in-action" video. Lots of cool stuff. But compare that to this -something you can make for pocket change:

And - watching the video, I can't say the results are significantly different from the low cost version.

Reminder: Excellent information and instructions for these are here:

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Monday, October 15, 2007

So - has a place to create your own video mashups, mixing in SW content. Here's the SW version of my recent air-rocket film:

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Flight of the (paper) X-Wing

I was inspired by the recent flights at PlasterBlaster of an X-Wing and Y-Wing. ( ) So here's my attempt to create a flying X-Wing:

I hope this video has a little more sophistication than my first attempts.

(I'll confess - the real X-Wing did not fly very well. The stunt doubles for the main flights are conventional three-finned rockets.)

(copy of video at here:

Monday, September 24, 2007

Way up there!

Here's my first attempt at creating a film using Air Rockets. I used a snippet from NASA's Columbia Anthem Gets Grammy Nod, and two flights put together.

You can also find the video at

Play / Download (help)

64Kb MPEG4 (1.2 MB)
256Kb MPEG4 (2.9 MB)
Windows Media (6.7 MB)


I recently showed off model rockets for some neighbor kids this week, and I built one of these to show off some almost free rockets that you can blast off.

I tested it indoors (big mistake) then had to work to clean the smudge off the ceiling. These are more powerful and fast than you'd expect. Out doors it disappeared (almost) higher than the trees. After two launches it was lost in the trees. No matter - a little paper and tape and I've got two more ready for flight.

More Rocket Fun!

Googling around and I found a terrific rocket simulator/design tool at NASA!

This amazing thing does simple ballistic, water, and solid engine rockets. Even better - it does AIR ROCKETS! (pictured). Clicking on the links, it turns out there is some pretty sophisticated information and math for rocket scientists.

Swedes Into Space!

Here's a family gathering launching Air Rockets! Fun!

Click here to see the video
or the full version here.