Personal Projects: Compressed Air Rockets

Tom, Mindtribe’s project manager and resident Awesome Dad, is constantly building new toys to delight his kids. Consequently, one fringe benefit of working at Mindtribe is occasionally getting to play with said toys, which are no less delightful for big kids. Recently Tom brought in his compressed air rockets, which we eagerly fired into the skies above the local Trader Joe’s parking lot. For simple paper tubes, those rockets flew amazingly high. Sometimes it was difficult to track their flight until they were well on the way down (which made us appreciate that the rockets were 100% crumple zone). Tom noted that the launcher is essentially an air cannon and that he’s a bit apprehensive of his kids realizing the launch angle doesn’t always have to be 90°. From Tom:

The plans are from Make magazine, and you may have seen them at Maker Faire if you’ve been. The launcher is made primarily from some PVC pipe, a bicycle pump and a lawn sprinkler valve. It took me a ½ hour of shopping at OSH and another 3/4 hour to assemble. The rockets are made from paper and tape. Mostly tape actually. Plans can be downloaded here.

Thanks Tom! We’re always looking forward to your next project. Or you could always just bring in your hovercraft again.