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Water-Rocket-Powered Cars 144

Jim Gallant writes "Big cheap thrills for very little money are yours by making water rocket powered cars. They're fun! They're hilarious! Amaze your friends."
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Water-Rocket-Powered Cars

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  • Mirror (Score:5, Informative)

    by mskfisher ( 22425 ) * on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:40PM (#5878366) Homepage Journal
    The server seemed shaky, so I put my subscription to good use and set up a mirror.

    It is at: []

  • No ones ever heard of Air Hogs?? Screw cars.... Jets R0X0R!
    • Those Air Hogs are totally fuckin' amazing!

      My kid and I slicked up the air foil on the ducted fan version with a little packing tape. We took it down to the school grounds, pumped it up with a 12v air pump and launched the thing. It made a steep left bank, straighten out and flew off out of visual range. We looked for that puppy for a mile in the direction we saw it head and never found it.

      Could not believe that dinky little air powered engine could power a plane that well. Very cool!!

      best regards,

  • Uh-Oh! (Score:1, Funny)

    by d3kk ( 644538 )
    Looks like they could've used.. a uh.. water rocket powered server! Sorry.
  • for the water powered server.
  • Thanks, but (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gizzmonic ( 412910 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:45PM (#5878391) Homepage Journal
    I'd rather higher a hooker.
    • You freak (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      higher a hooker

      I'm imagining some sort of perverted sex act involving an estes rocket motor.
  • NK (Score:4, Funny)

    by telstar ( 236404 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:46PM (#5878395)
    Are these the top-secret photos of the nuclear arsenal North Korea claims to have?
    • No, this is the entire Weapons of Mass Distraction arsenal that Saddam once owned, or didn't own, or still owns, depending on who you ask.

      Too bad the server got shocked and awed by the militant clicking of Slashdot shock troopers.
  • Gas? (Score:5, Funny)

    by govatos ( 109160 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:46PM (#5878397) Homepage
    So, what would happen if you used gas instead of water, and had a dozen flints dragging behind the car on a distance/anti-wheelie bar? Now THAT would be fun.
    • Your quick-connect would burst into flames, sending a spark back up into your tank, which would then explode, soaking you in burning gasoline and making your run around screaming 'why god why, why am I such a moron?'.

      Then again it might not spark if it's soaking wet with gasoline. Wet things tend not to spark.
      • sending a spark back up into your tank, which would then explode

        Something like this happened one day in my college chem lab once. One of the students caught a paper of hers on fire, and in her panicked effort to extinguish the problem, knocked the hose to the bunsen burner off the valve. The gas coming out of the valve immediately found the single sheet of college ruled tinder and started burning. It all took about 2 seconds to happen at which point all of us watching turned pale white certain that the
        • This is pretty nice except the whole point of the water rocket is to mix air with the water. If you substituted gasoline for the water then you would have air mixed with gasoline.

          Now the pressure of the escaping gasoine/air mixture might well be enough to keep flames from "traveling up the pipe" for most of the trip down the driveway, but at the end your going to have a two liter bottle almost entirely filled with gasoline vapor and air which is exerting almost zero outward pressure. This is something th
      • "Your quick-connect would burst into flames, sending a spark back up into your tank, which would then explode, soaking you in burning gasoline and making your run around screaming 'why god why, why am I such a moron?'."

        F-ing hilarious!
    • Have you ever found yourself saying "Hey, y'all, watch this!"???

      Sorry, I couldn't resist :)
    • Yer gas would not power the car too well - it's lighter than water, Plus, burning gas isn't too healthy if it's under your balls.

  • err Slashdot Effect?

    Damn that one crumpled fast.

    Who posted that link, that was probably hoseted on some dudes DSL.

    Really there is no reason why Slashdot doesn't mirror a site on this server for a few days. I mean on those obviously home grown sites especially,
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It seems as if the hampster on the wheel that was running the webserver needed water to live! Sadly, it was all used up to run the rocket car instead. Oh well, C'est la vie.
  • A rocket powered enema! From constipated to diareha in 5 seconds flat!
    • Hehehhh... the first thing I thougt was that somebody has entirely too much time on his hands. And then I saw the smiles on those kids' faces, and remembered some of the things my Dad did for us when we were kids and it all made sense. I tell folks that I was a kid before they had technology, and televisions all had tubes and most were B&W, and you had to peddle real fast to get 'em to run. That last part is, of course, bullshit, but not too far off the mark. All the best, - Alph
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:49PM (#5878411)
    Anyone ever made a dry-ice bomb ??

    Im sure you could somehow use a modified version to power a car/rocket.

    Any Ideas ?
    • CO2 cartridge (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ayanami Rei ( 621112 ) < minus punct> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @11:17PM (#5878520) Journal
      Forget dry ice, people race cars powered by compressed CO2 cartridges []. They can be had for $.50 or less each, if you shop around. Stores better than dry ice.

      • I prefer these [] little cartridges, personally ;)

        I tried those C02 ones but they just tasted like someones' bad breath :P
      • And if you use an old Co2 cylender and fill it with a molten mixture of sulpher and zinc dust , then you will have a solid fuel rocket with a respectable specific impulse
        • Co2

          I don't think cobalt exist in molecular form, but even if it did, it would be nothing like carbondioxide.
          • Sulpher and Zinc dust melt mix put in bored out co2 cyl (make the mouth bigger about 1/3 the dia. of the co2 cyl seems to work ) from my days of playing with model rockets BTW the Estes rocket makes a good ignitor
      • When I was a kid (late '50s) there were plastic model car kits that you could fasten either a CO2 cartridge or a Jetex solid fuel rocket motor to the back of. They went like a bat out of hell.

        Naturally, we experimented a bit. The best idea we came up with was to put a CO2 cartridge on a (then) 10 cent balsa wood glider with electrician's tape. It easily exceeded the speed of balsa, ripping off the wings at the fuselage and shredding the rudder/horizontal stabilizer about 5 feet after launch.

        BTW, we use
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Pft, dry ice is a pain. Its all about muriadic acid and aluminum foil bombs.
    • by Mt._Honkey ( 514673 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @11:49PM (#5878642)
      Hmmm... here's an idea: If you use the plastic soda bottle variety you could somehow modify the cap so that it breaks before the rest of the bottle (maybe cut a circle in it that goes half way through). Pressure will build up and when the cap blows out you get a (very) brief and powerful rocket blast.

      I perfer Liquid Nitrogen to dry ice. MUCH safer to handle, and there are many many many more cool things that you can do with it. At U of I, we use liquid nitrogen to make ice cream in seconds.
      • This video [] demonstrates what dry ice will do when bottled up. Pretty impressive...wouldn't want to mess with it personally.

        • Oh, that's nothing. You should see a 2-liter soda bottle filled with LN2 or dry ice. I think that the energy released is proportional to volume * pressure. I've learned from experience with this that soda bottles blow bigger than water bottles, because they're made to withstand internal pressure. Heck, even a 20 oz bottle is loud enough to make you think that you're being bombed.

          NOTE: These explosions send plastic shards flying out FAST. I suggest the safest and most reliable set-up of tying bricks
      • "At U of I, we use liquid nitrogen to make ice cream in seconds." Well I, for one, am glad that University education is paying off for you. I'll bet you could get a hot beer ice-cold just by pointing the nitrogen at it! Please keep us posted on experiments of that sort... my beer is hot. All the best, -Alph
    • An ex-coworker of mine used a dry ice bomb on his neighbor, who was being too loud.

      The cops came, a cop took another dry ice bomb out of this guys freezer, and it blew up in the cops hand.

      Arrested, jail until trial, half-way house for 6 months.

      In this post - 9/11 America, dry ice bombs are a bad idea.

      link []

  • Torrent Mirror (Score:5, Informative)

    by SeanTobin ( 138474 ) * <{byrdhuntr} {at} {}> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:50PM (#5878420)
    Yes, its the most incorrect use of bittorrent possible! A mirror of a site with some pictures. All tar'd for your enjoyment.
    rocketcar.tar.torrent []

    At least I selected a proper chunk size :)
    • You're right; that is perhaps the most incorrect use of BitTorrent possible. Mostly because the resulting archive is corrupted.

      bash-2.05b$ tar tvf rocketcar.tar
      -rw-rw-rw- user/group 96723 2003-05-04 22:32:36 rc1.jpg
      -rw-rw-rw- user/group 21249 2003-05-04 22:33:11 rc10.jpg
      -rw-rw-rw- user/group 42863 2003-05-04 22:33:14 rc11.jpg
      -rw-rw-rw- user/group 49653 2003-05-04 22:33:17 rc12.jpg
      -rw-rw-rw- user/group 36089 2003-05-04 22:33:20 rc13.jpg
      -rw-rw-rw- user/group 88759 2003-05-04 22:32:45 rc2.jpg

      • Hmm.. try your download again. I have replaced the file and rebuilt the torrent. Never trust winzip to create tar's I guess..

        $ tar tvf rocketcar.tar
        drwxr-xr-x sean/sean 0 2003-05-04 22:02:05 rocketcar/
        -rw-r--r-- sean/sean 768000 2003-05-04 22:02:21 rocketcar/rc1.jpg
        -rw-r--r-- sean/sean 88759 2003-05-04 22:01:21 rocketcar/rc2.jpg
        -rw-r--r-- sean/sean 31108 2003-05-04 22:01:23 rocketcar/rc2a.jpg
        -rw-r--r-- sean/sean 73544 2003-05-04 22:01:28 rocketcar/rc3.jpg
        -rw-r--r-- sean/sean 66498 2003-05-04 22:01:

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:51PM (#5878424)
    Isn't it amazing what you can accomplish by ommiting one single word, such as TOY!
  • by anagama ( 611277 ) <> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:52PM (#5878426) Homepage
    This reminds me of that old story about a guy attaching a jet to his Chevy and killing himself [], thus meriting a Darwin Award.

    Except the guy with the water rocket car seems far more clever. I want to make one of these myself!
    • If you're going to repeat his experiment, do yourself a favor and install the water bottle at an oblique angle (perhaps 45 degrees towards the front) so that the center of mass is (closer to being) directly across from the force application point. This will reduce torque around the body, and make for more enjoyable ramp jumping action!!!
    • by 1nsane0ne ( 607735 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @11:06PM (#5878471) Journal
      Ermm just to clarify for everyone before they click the link, right on the page this story is described to be an urban legend.

      "This Darwin Award is the most popular of all time. Considered true for years, it was later debunked as an Urban Legend by the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The story fooled the judges in 1995, so JATO has been grandfathered in as a Darwin Award Winner."

      Not that you were claiming it was true, just pasting for everyone who's too lazy to scroll below the darwin award's voting stuff.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 04, 2003 @11:07PM (#5878479)
      Whilst thefted from someone elses post a couple of days ago, this guy [] claims to be responsible for the origins of the rocket-car-into-cliff story. A really detailed and amusing read.
    • by MrP- ( 45616 ) *
      That story is an urban legend.

      But on a cool show on discovery channel i think, called Myth Busters, they wanted to see if it was possible.

      They found a 67 Chevy, attached a bunch of rockets to the roof, and installed an RC driving/steering system. They started driving it and followed in a helicopter, they turned on the rockets and it worked, it didnt lift off like the one in the story.

      They also did other urban legends, such as eating a poppy seed bagel will make you fail a drug test (it will), and the bis
  • Red-Bull powered rocket car. First generations always suck
  • by worst_name_ever ( 633374 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:54PM (#5878429)
    From the article: Let his be a lesson to you SUV owners out there, don't ever attach a giant water rocket to your Ford Expedition!

    Nuts to that. I'd love to see all the Ford Expedition drivers in my town strap big freaking rockets to their gas-guzzling monster trucks and launch themselves and their screaming brats straight to Mars.

    Plus, I bet the mist from the water rocket exhaust would make a purty rainbow. Everybody wins!

  • from a little girl at a goodwill store.

    Which he then mutilated and then proceeded to launch off a dangerous ramp. He probably got the attention of the whole trailer park.

    If I was that little girl, I'd be kicking him in the nads.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      If I was that little girl, I'd be asking my parents why I have to get my toys from a fucking thrift shop.
      • And I liked them even if they weren't the same color as me, or they were limb/head-challenged. It taught me to be more tolerant of others.
        And those I can't tolerate I kick in the nads. Or shins, if they are nads-challenged. Sometimes both.

        I always wanted the barbie car. That fucker has to flaunt my childhood around violated with metal valve fittings.

        That's a nads, shin, and fist to the solar plexus. ::gwwwwarwl::
        • I always wanted the barbie car. That fucker has to flaunt my childhood around violated with metal valve fittings.

          Cancel my subscription, I don't want any more of your issues.

          • lol

            classic. but seriously, what is the deal? You say you want barbie, they won't give it to you. You grow out of it, and they push it on you. ::confused::

            Did your parents ever play that trick on you with Gi-Joe or legos or anything?
            • Did your parents ever play that trick on you with Gi-Joe or legos or anything?

              Yeah, well, but I can't remember specifics. My parents have a big collective heart, but have always failed in implementation. They'd promise all kinds of stuff, and then not be able to deliver.

              When my kids ask me for stuff, I give them a straight answer. I haven't failed yet to either provide when I said I would, or tell them I couldn't without raising their hopes. 4 years so far (my oldest is 4), so good. :)

              But right abou

  • by jrl87 ( 669651 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:59PM (#5878445)
    Does this guy's kid have a problem?
    1st I would have given almost anything to shoot, blow up, or melt (or anything else you can think of) a G.I. Joe
    and 2nd why does he have a Barby car
    • Re:Is it just me (Score:2, Informative)

      by pdbogen ( 596723 )
      RTFA. He bought the barbie car from Good Will. $0.99, same as 7 packages of Ramen.
    • I am always so relieved that so many ./ readers do the right thing and try to prevent ./'ed servers by _not reading the article_!

      From the article: "when I spied a little girl playing with the pink Barbie Thunderbird on the floor. I looked at the wheels, the size, the fact it was a convertible and thought, yesssss. I waited, pretending to look at other toys all the while glancing back at the little girl. Predictably she was distracted by something else, that's when I moved in. 99 cents later it was mine Min
      • No I'm Sure that he was tramatized by the fact that his GI Joe was going to ride in a pink car. real american hero crusin in a pink t-bird? I would be upset too.
  • by madmarcel ( 610409 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @11:00PM (#5878452)
    Thank god that site got /.ed so quickly!

    <concerned voice>
    As a concerned parent(-to-be-someday ;) I must
    warn the slashdot editors that they should take more care when posting such recklessly dangerous articles on their website! Tsk tsk tsk!

    Geez, imagine if some naive slashdotter were to try that at doubt he'll get carried away...start using larger bottles...larger barbie car...moving on to a decent size drum...then mounting the whole thing on an old car frame...then the ramp is deployed...the pressure rises...neighbours houses are perforated...and <*bang*> suddenly Slashdot will be the first website ever to be responsible for launching soggy geeks into orbit!! :P

    Yes, it could happen...
  • Another Mirror (Score:5, Informative)

    by Devil's BSD ( 562630 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @11:04PM (#5878467) Homepage
    I set up another mirror, just in case. []

  • by MonkeyBoyo ( 630427 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @11:06PM (#5878475)
    As someone who has been on the Water Rocket mailing list [] for years, this site was discussed several years ago. Still, it is fun and cute.
  • I notice a few design flaws, namely the bottle is pointing straight up! Talk about bad aerodynamics(no wonder it sucked at jumping), would it hurt to somehow put it at an angle?
  • Compressed Air (Score:5, Informative)

    by heli0 ( 659560 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @11:23PM (#5878542)
    The are several compressed air powered toys on the market as well. The brand "air hogs" seems to be the most common. They have planes, rockets, cars, etc. Here is a pic of some of their products AirHog Products [].

    The plane in particular is a lot of fun and will travel ~100m.
  • I did that once... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by paul248 ( 536459 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @11:29PM (#5878569) Homepage
    When I was 10 or so, I made something like this. I took a 2-liter pop bottle, turned it sideways, and duct taped it to a set of wheels from an old plastic train. Then I hot-glued part of a pen cap into a hole in the bottom of the bottle, and connected a hose from the pen cap to the side (now the bottom) of the bottle. In order to make it work, I opened the lid and filled it about halfway with water. Then I attached a bike pump to the pen cap, and pushed in some air. When the pump was removed, the air pressure pushed the water up through the hose and out the back, shooting the car forward 3 meters or so. The only problem I had was that I could never get the hot glue to seal well around the pen cap, so it would break loose after a few runs. All in all, it was pretty cool.
  • Here's the google cache []
  • by ThrudTheBarbarian ( 670936 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @11:50PM (#5878650)
    Along much the same lines, here's one a friend showed me once (and I've done myself).

    Take an old 2-Liter, make sure it's dry. Create a small hole in the center of the lid, about big enough to insert the head of a Bic pen (3/16" ish). Take a capful of rubbing alcohol, dunp it in the bottle, screw the cap back on and swirl it around until it all evaporates. Then, take it OUTSIDE (preferably at night) and hold it in one hand, cap down. Take a lighter with the other hand and touch it to the hole in the cap. Instant rocket. The cool thing about this is that at night you can watch a blue flame wave travel up the bottle as it goes up.

    Some important notes:

    1) Make sure the hole in the cap is big enough or it blows up as the pressure can't escape fast enough
    2) If it blows up, you didn't hear this from me :)
    3) I'm told not to try this with 5-Gal plastic water bottles (the hole isn't big enough)
    4) Rubbing alcohol with higher percentage alcohol is better (there are at least two types commonly available here)
    5) Cycle fresh air into the bottle before re-launching

    Have Fun

    Usual disclaimer - this is for entertainment purposes only - so if you blow yourself up, it's not my fault (but make sure to do it spectacularly in front of friends because this is for entertainment :^))
  • Show off your new water-rocket powered cars, zero to slashdot in under 10 seconds.
  • I thought they were going to use a real car

    .............. kris
  • by Scrameustache ( 459504 ) on Monday May 05, 2003 @12:05AM (#5878735) Homepage Journal

    There's this car...that runs on water! It runs on water man!
  • We actually did pretty much the same thing for a 'Design and Technology' project in high school. The team who got their car to go the furthest won a small cash prize. Of course on our side of the planet there's this thing called aerodynamics so the bottles were mounted horizontally. Beyond that the only secret to getting maximum velocity out of these things is to experiment and find the optimum volume of water, so that you run out of proppellant at the same time as the pressure runs out.
  • When I was seven years old, we glued water rockets (the old kind from the 70's) on to our tonka Trucks. We had a water rocket powered dump truck that was kinda cool, but the fastest one was the Corgicar porche that had a water rocket tied to the roof with hose clamps. I wish I had pictures of these, we did this back in the early 70's.

  • One of the fascinating articles that John Young linked to in his invaluable Cryptome [] a few years ago was a PDF of some new portable missles -- sadly, I've lost the original file.

    In this there was a tube-launched missle that worked much like a water rocket. The front half of the missle was the warhead, and the back half was filled with a relatively (compared to water) high-density gel. At the front of the gel section, in about the middle of the missle, was a small explosive.

    On launch, the explosive wou
  • The Barbie RV! That thing should hold a couple of bottles.
  • Water-powered rocket-cars, now THAT would have been something!
  • Why have one of those when you can have a super karate monkey death car?
  • by listen ( 20464 )
    I read it as cats...

    Now water-rocket powered cats would be something to see.... ;-)
  • .. except it's Oil powered and I drive it to work.

  • Super Soakers (invented by Lonnie Johnson) had both a super soaker car, and styrofoam airplane
    (I owned both) the car was filled with water, and then pumped with the included bicycle pump looking thing.

    I don't think it got anywhere near this kind of speed tho

  • Is anyone else disappointed that it was a toy car? I was hoping for a real water-rocket-powered car.

In English, every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.