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 WATER ROCKET NEWS
The World Record High Pressure Release Mechanism
-------------------An AntiGravity Research Corporation Publication------------------

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For experts only:  don't try this at home.  Experiments like our world record altitude A37 pop bottle rocket help us to learn more about how we can make our safe, educational, fun, regular production water rockets fly even higher.  Below is an experimental fill/release mechanism similar to the one used by AntiGravity on the A37 rocket project.  The small diameter pvc tube at the top makes a sealed connection into the parabolic rocket nozzle.  The wide-open arms of thick piano wire, when pressed together, form a spring loaded collar to hold the rocket down during pressurizing.  The arms are held together by a hole in the wooden stick.  When the lower end of the foot-long stick is pulled by a 50-foot-long string, it lets the arms spring open and clear of the nozzle, and the stick falls away.  The rocket pushes itself up and off of the mechanism with about 19 lb. of force at 1300 psi.  The thinner wires keep the spring arms from bending at high pressures.  If the launch works properly, the thin pvc tube is sometimes destroyed by the expanding gases at the instant of release.  The entire assembly is destroyed if the rocket bottle explodes.  We had to make quite a few of these.
    The fill/release mechanism used for the world record flight was somewhat different from the one shown below.  It was longer and thinner, and its plastic body was shaped to connect to a long conical nozzle.  Also, the pvc tube was closed with a pinhole in it for foaming the water/soap mix.  Instead of the right-angle connection, it mounted on a straight pipe that so that it could support the rocket's weight before liftoff.
World Record water rocket high pressure release mechanism.
World Record water rocket high pressure release mechanism.
World Record water rocket high pressure release mechanism.
World Record water rocket high pressure release mechanism.
Fill / Release Mechanism,
front view
Fill / Release Mechanism,
rear view
Closing the spring arms
Ready for filling, with the foot-long stick in place