A young YouTuber engineer who goes by the name of 'The Dodgy Engineer' has created a plastic bottle rocket ship that is anything but dodgy.
Alongside the rocket, which was able to reach over 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) after launch, the engineer built a custom launchpad for his DIY creation as well as a water rocket simulation program, all of which are detailed in his fun home-project video.
As The Dodgy Engineer explains in his video description, "water rockets are just for kids right? Wrong!" This is, indeed, no ordinary bottle rocket. We've rarely seen such dedication to the well-worn craft of the bottle rocket.
Take, for example, the YouTuber's pressure testing of his rocket prototypes, as pictured below.
In his video, the engineer tests three miniature burgeoning spacecraft: one single-bottle rocket, one that restricts the flow of water (to see if this might gain more altitude), and one made of 6 large plastic bottles attached together using superglue and tape.
For the 6-bottle rocket, which was 48 inches high (approx 120 cm), the YouTuber attached fins to the sides for increased stability.
In order to make the launches possible, the young engineer built a custom launchpad that has two rods hold the neck of the bottle in place while he pumps the rocket up, allowing him to pull them back and launch the rocket when it's ready.
Ready for liftoff
Before setting out to a park for the big launch, The Dodgy Engineer wrote a custom simulation code that "finds the optimal amount of water to put in a bottle rocket to achieve maximum speed and altitude for a given set of initial conditions," as per the engineer's video description.
After running his simulation, he found that the optimal amount of water to add in for the launch was about 30-40 percent of the empty volume of the rocket.
The results are well worth a watch and can be viewed in The Dodgy Engineer's video below. While the 6-bottle rocket easily reached the highest altitude, it's a shame that the onboard video feed failed. Oh well, if it can happen to SpaceX, it can happen to anyone.
As the YouTuber explains in his video, "the speed of the rocket can be determined by analyzing the frames. The camera is operating at 240 frames per second and it takes 6 frames for the rocket to cover its own height. This gives an estimated max speed of 108 mph (173 km/h)."
For another awesome project by a young engineer, check out this student's mechanical DIY dinosaur costume.