Stomp Rocket and Missile Series

Discussion in 'Space & Aeronautics' started by Retired_for_now, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    Summer is a good time to revisit this one. You can make a rocket launcher from a few pieces of PVC pipe, fittings, and a 2-liter soda bottle.


    The simplest rockets are just a paper tube wrapped loosely around the launch tube. Tape the seam shut, crimp the top and tape it down to seal, cut fins into the bottom or glue/tape fins on, and stomp away. The simplest (i.e. lightest) stomp rockets will easily exceed 100 feet altitude.

    You can get as fancy as you want with graphics and additional detail parts


    or even models of actual spacecraft and missiles.

    ARES Stomp Rocket.jpg

    Bigger stomp rockets rapidly lose performance - 30-50 feet is a good launch for a big one.


    Things with wings can be a lot of fun (launch flat or straight up) but require careful tuning.


    I'll post a few of these as I clean them up and provide a few tips.

  2. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    The plans for the basic launcher and the ARES I rocket are already posted in the Toys & Automata download section.
    Plans for the basic launcher and simple rockets are posted in the Real Space downloads.


  3. RocketmanTan

    RocketmanTan Well-Known Member

    Wow, looks like this could be lots of fun at a barbecue! Unfortunately, I'm too lazy to make the pvc launcher :rolleyes: Or maybe I could make an improvised launcher :mrgreen:

    Bryan "Opposite over Adjacent" Tan
  4. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    All it takes for the launcher is:
    one two-liter soda bottle
    two 18" pieces of 1/2 or 3/4 PVC pipe
    two 12" pieces of the same pipe
    one short 6" piece of the same pipe
    one cross fitting for the pipe
    two end caps
    one elbow.
    1/2 pipe will fit right into the neck of a 2-liter bottle, you'll need a coupler for 3/4.
    You can see how to assemble them in the picture or plans are with the rocket download. Less than ten bucks and the (big?) kids at the BBQ will have endless fun. You can make a rocket from a half sheet of paper and some tape in a couple minutes so you don't even have to chase down errant rounds.
  5. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    A more complex missile

    Building on the basic stomp rocket core - a tube sized to loosely wrap the tubing you're using for the launcher - you can make more complex models.

    By adding an outer cylinder for the first stage booster, some fancier fins, and some conics to make a nose cone we have the Nike-Zeus:


    Of course, by adding weight we've reduced the performance a little bit. Not enough to really notice, though.

    Nike-Zeus B was an early anti-ballistic missile developed from the Nike series of surface-to-air missiles (SAM). Defense in the 1950s was still thinking in terms of the 1000-plane raids of World War II and turned to nuclear tipped SAMs. The idea was to lob a nuke (5-40 kiloton dial-a-bomb) into the middle of the enemy formation and blast them all at once (and seriously singe whatever was underneath). Eventually, someone realized you wouldn't use large formations to deliver nukes - one plane to a city (or maybe send two if you really cared). The only formations were cells of a few aircraft that closed up for mutual support to penetrate defense belts, then dispersed to individual targets.

    The Nike-Zeus was developed in the early 1960s specifically to intercept ballistic missile warheads. It was extensively tested and demonstrated the capability to close to within 200 feet of an incoming re-entry vehicle (a fact not stressed by critics of current anti-ballistic missile systems). With a 400 kiloton warhead (well over 20 times the yield of the nukes used on Japan to end WWII) 200 feet was a definite hit.

    I'll post the Nike in the download section - just as soon as they finish the interrogation and approve the basic stomp rocket files.

    You can also take the basic tube, add some fins and graphics and with just a few parts:


  6. peter taft

    peter taft Senior Member

    Yogi... I just love all the work and ideas you put into these Stomp Rockets, and when i get the time, i am going to have a go - I love the Bomarc you are currently working on, and will keep watching here, and over there. Top dollar and Top fun from you.... Thanks Yogi :thumb:
  7. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    Falcon Stomp

    Thanks, Peter. The stomp rockets are just basic tubes with a few conics to close the end if desired and some graphics. The fun is launching them (and watching others build and launch them).

    You can modify just about anything that flies if it has room for the thrust/pressure tube. 1/2 inch PVC pipe is .84 inches in (outside) diameter, so scaling any rocket model to just under an inch in diameter lets you do an easy stomp rocket conversion.

    The SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon (available at the Lower Hudson Valley Challenger Center ) is an easy conversion. Print the model at about 65% (downsizing from 1:100 to 1:150 scale), add a good solid internal disk as a former/plug at the top of the cylinder, and bend the lower engine fairings into fins and you have


    I probably should have put the disk a little lower so I could make multiple Dragon Capsule/service module sections for a replaceable nose - maybe the next one.

  8. umtutsut

    umtutsut Member


    From the pic, it looks as if you've updated the Falcon 9 to reflect the actual flight vehicle. Where can we download that version? The one on LHVCC is the original boilerplate version.

    Les (Friendly Airplane Asylum & ex-NASA flack)
  9. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    Les, I did a little repainting but need to spend some more time on the interstage to second stage joint and the boilerplate capsule. On the list but not sure when I'll get to it.
  10. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    A few variants

    With a longer launch tube, you can "stack" two tubes (about a half letter-sized sheet each), add a nose cone and some fins and get an "mbauer hot-rod." First test launch almost topped my 100+ foot pine trees with an easy stomp.

    Or, add graphics to the tube.

    And some larger fins on the Falcon 9 (which actually is closer to the configuration of the corner engine fairings) make it a really stable flier. Filling the nose cone (1/4 inch or so) with glue stiffens it up enough to survive several launches, too.

    Don't forget to seal the surfaces if launching when the grass is wet.


  11. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    Doing some prep for a class at the next teacher workshop - updated the stomp rockets (submitted for arbitration) with additional nosecone pages (landing damage, anyone?) and a selection of tailfins.
    BONUS new rocket added as well ...
  12. ronin175

    ronin175 New Member

    Nice rockets mate,
    Do you know where I can get paterns for missiles
  13. olantigh

    olantigh New Member

    Stomp rockets sound like fun? got to be better than bike pumps and plastic bottles half full of cold water under pressure and released vire a bike valve at the base- and yes messy too- though very funny, and a very wet day out? can be expensive needs alot of space to allow for drift if theres a slight touch of wind in the air- last thing you want is asking where did this come from? from an irrate neighbour?
    i might give this a try? sounds fairly harmless- i don't think paper rockets could do much harm to anything?
  14. Retired_for_now

    Retired_for_now New Guy

    Ronin - several stomp rocket sets over at ECardmodels, Lower Hudson Valley and in the downloads here. The key piece is a thrust tube - easily formed by wrapping (loosely!) a piece of card around your launch tube. Crimp the top or glue (securely!) in a plug and you have your "motor." Just about any rocket can be modelled - either by printing the graphics on the thrust tube itself and attaching nose cone/fins; or by gluing the thrust tube inside supported by several formers/braces.
    Olantigh - paper stomp rockets are about as safe as it gets. They don't come down that fast (or hard) since they are so light. The worst you'll be doing is littering if you can't retrieve your rocket.

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