Backyard Ballistics: Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match by William Gurstelle

By William Gurstelle

Usual fogeys can build thirteen outstanding ballistic units of their storage or basement workshops utilizing low-cost loved ones or ironmongery shop fabrics and this step by step consultant. transparent directions, diagrams, and images express how one can construct tasks starting from the simple-a match-powered rocket-to the extra complex-a scale-model, table-top catapult-to the offbeat-a tennis ball cannon. With a powerful emphasis on defense, the publication additionally supplies tips about troubleshooting, explains the physics at the back of the initiatives, and profiles scientists and remarkable experimenters similar to Alfred Nobel, Robert Goddard, and Isaac Newton. This publication can be crucial for the legions of yard toy-rocket launchers and fireworks fans who want each day was once the fourth of July.

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Additional info for Backyard Ballistics: Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More Dynamite Devices

Example text

Bang! Here is a question for science enthusiasts: If we make the cannon barrel longer, will the potato go farther? It seems logical that it would. If the barrel is longer, the ignited and expanding hairspray gas would push on the potato for a longer time. This should impart a greater force and make the potato go farther. Sounds reasonable, right? So, what's the perfect barrel length? Well, that's for you to find out. A few experiments with barrels of varying lengths should provide the answer. Check out "Ideas for Further Study" at the back of this book for information on how an engineer would answer this question using the Scientific Method.

With your foot, stamp quickly and firmly on the plastic bottle. The rush of air will send the missile flying skyward to a surprising altitude. TIPS AND T R O U B L E S H O O T I N G 1. First, make sure all connections are tight and there are no places for air to escape except to push the rocket up. 2. Weight is of critical importance. Make the nose cone as light as possible for best results. 3. The bigger the air reservoir, the better the performance will be. Look for the biggest HDPE (high-density polyethylene) bottle you can find that will attach to the flexible plastic tubing.

Making match rockets is an art as well as a science. It takes a keen eye and a steady hand to make a match rocket that flies well. 2. You may encounter the blowout problem. Blowout occurs when the igniting match blows a hole through the aluminum foil cover. If that happens, the gas inside the foil won't get channeled through the jet exhaust ports. A blown-out rocket will not fly. 3. You're also likely to encounter a jet port blockage problem. The narrow jet exhaust ports are delicate and easily crimped if you're not extremely careful when removing the pins from the foil head.

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