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USWaterRockets.com - Research & Development Report - November 13, 2004 - Twist Lock Launcher
   

U.S. Water Rockets Unveils Plans for Aerodynamic Rocket Release Mechanism

One of the major enemies of anyone attempting to set a new Water Rocket World Altitude Record is drag. For most Water Rockets, this drag comes from the irregular surfaces at the rear of the rocket created by the bottle threads and handle lip used for picking up the bottle in it's former life as a beverage container. U.S. Water Rockets has just created a new design for a launcher mechanism which improves the aerodynamic characteristics of any Water Rocket by allowing the threads and lip on the bottle to be sanded completely smooth, creating a slippery shape which cuts through the air.

The new design, known as a "Twist Lock" Mechanism, secures the Water Rocket to the launch pad using a catch pin soldered to the base of the launch tube. Lobes cut into a PVC twist release positioned below the nozzle allow the rocket to be twisted free of the catch pin by means of a remote operation such as pulling a lever.

We plan on adding an aerodynamic fairing to the nozzle of our World Record Setting Water Rockets, in addition to the new release mechanism to further improve their altitude records.

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Drawing of the twist lock launcher. [Click to enlarge]


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