February 10, 2014
Stomp Rockets are a ton of fun and also easy to make. This episode will show you how to make one out of PVC pipe and a 2 liter bottle. In about 15 minutes you’ll be launching rockets of your own!
Episode 6: Build a Stomp Rocket!
Stomp rockets also work because of pressure. You are creating a high pressure region in the bottle by smashing the air inside into a much smaller space. At the other end of the launcher the air in the pipe and paper rocket are at normal pressure. Air naturally wants to move from high pressure to low pressure. That moving air is what pushes on the rocket and launches it. This is similar to the earlier episode with the marshmallow cannon. In that case the air pushed a marshmallow as it went from high to low pressure. In this case the air is pushing a rocket as it goes from high to low (for those really interested in more advanced details about pressure, here’s a link to the explanation of pressure in fluids on hyperphysics).
- 2 liter bottle
- 1/2 inch PVC pipe (around 2 feet, a little more is better though)
- board for support base (around 1 foot long–a 2×4 or 2×2 works well)
- 2 hole conduit straps (from electrical area of hardware store–at least one, second one is optional for the holder)
- screws for the straps (nails could also work)
- duck tape (you don’t need much, just enough to tape the bottle to the pipe)
- card stock (it’s a good combination of light and strong)
- 90 degree PVC elbow
- 45 degree PVC elbow (optional)
- short length of 1/2 PVC pipe for the holder (optional)
- make sure your rocket body fits snugly around the launch pipe, but not so tight that it can’t slide freely.
- you may need to experiment with getting the fins on straight and how big to make them as well (you can do 3 or 4 fins)
- if your 2 liter bottle gets a hole in it (and it will eventually), just tape on a new one.
How far can you get your stomp rocket to go?! Measure the distance along the ground from where you launch to where the rocket hits the ground. Make sure you are firing it from level ground (no launching off a hill or a second story window).
There will be prizes for the top three distances, so send me a video or picture proof of your best launch.
Now, go get building the most EPIC stomp rocket you can!
PS: I’m serious about the prizes.