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USWaterRockets.com - World Record Flight Logs - September 2, 2004 - 1,421 Feet
   

U.S. Water Rockets announces new water rocket altitude record of 1,421 feet.

U.S. Water Rockets experimental rocket researchers are sailing into the skies with innovative new concepts, developing a true Water Rocket that reached the new record average altitude of 1,421 feet.

A team of Water Rocket enthusiasts known as "U.S. Water Rockets" established a new World Record for Altitude, surpassing the previous record with their hand crafted Water Rocket, named "X-10". What is truly outstanding about this achievement is that U.S. Water Rockets for the first time followed the strict set of qualification rules established by the Water Rocket Achievement World Record Association (WRA2), besting the previous record holders whose rockets fail to meet many of the strict rules. The WRA2 guidelines promote safety, reduce the chance of fraud, and eliminates the "If it has some water in it, it's a water rocket!" anarchy within the Water Rocket Community. Now a level playing field exists for all teams competing for the record.

When they started this project over a year ago, the team at U.S. Water Rockets had no idea how difficult it would turn out be to stay within the rules. The engineering challenges they faced in doing so made this project exciting and fun, according to the team.

Their X-10 Rocket is known as a "True Water Rocket", and is based on the Water Rocket toys made famous by Park Plastics in the 1950's. True Water Rockets use compressed air to force a volume of water from the nozzle, which thrusts it into the air.

X-10 is the tenth in a series of experimental concepts flight-tested by U.S. Water Rockets over the course of 13 months. It is hand-fabricated primarily from an 8 foot polycarbonate tube normally used as a protective cover for Fluorescent lamps and high-strength composite materials.

The team states that their design went through only 10 iterations before they had settled on the optimum combination of materials and features. Flight tests of each successive model gave them the data we necessary to refine the design for the next model. The biggest hurdles they encountered were finding a way to contain the amount of air pressure required to break the current record, and creating the most efficient nozzle design. Another difficult task was creating a reliable recovery system that could bring a test rocket back down undamaged. Without their proprietary electro-chemical deploy system, they would probably have had to build a lot more prototypes. Over the course of more than 150 test flights, they only destroyed one altimeter and two cameras. They do admit to losing a few others in dense foliage.

U.S. Water Rockets intends to best their current record in future flights of X-10. Their approach has been very methodical and conservative in the first several flights, building confidence in the design as they refined their computer models of the rocket flight characteristics. Their approach has been to first establish the new record before pushing the performance envelope of X-10, so they used conservative parameters on these first flights. The bad news for other water rocketeers is that the reached the new altitude record using approximately half the pressure of the previous record holding rocket. They were pleasantly surprised that their flights surpassed the computer models. The plan for the coming months is to incrementally increase the pressure and explore the limits of the new design and apply them to their future X-11 rocket.

If you are interested in the criteria used to set this record, please visit:
Water Rocket Single Stage World Altitude Record Rules



The Record Breaking X-10 lands feet away from the recovery vessel.


[Gallery] Never before had a water rocket flown this high...with a camera!


Flight one 1,392 feet.


Flight two 1,450 feet.


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