Q: What is an Air Rocket?
A: An air rocket is simply a rocket launched using air pressure.
The simplest type is when you blow the wrapper off a straw.
Q: How do Air Rockets work?
A: The pressure within the rocket (or wrapper) causes it to launch off the tube.
Our launchers work off this same principle, but at higher pressures up to 130 PSI, easily supplied by a bike pump or air compressor. To the left is a quick video of the first test launch of the 3D printable Lego Minifig adapter.
To launch, with the slide valve in the "Launch" position (no pressure in the launcher) load the rocket then slide the valve to the "Pressurize" position. Pressurize the launcher using the bike pump, then do a count down and slide the valve to the "Launch" position to launch your rocket!
Q: What can Air Rockets be made from?
A: All kinds of things!
Paper & Tape - printed on paper and assembled with tape
DIY instructions on how to make them from foam pipe insulation, Article by Rick Schertle
Plastic body tubes, foam noses, and sticker fins, found through the Shop tab above
3D printed parts added to our rocket parts
Turn your rocket launcher into a Glider Launcher! See Rick's article in Make: here.
Use your imagination!
Wine bottle corks, super balls, lump of clay or Play-Doh make great nosecones
Try tape or stickers for fins (angled fins don't tend to get caught in branches)
How many fins are needed? 2? 3? 4?
What happens when you move the fins forward?
What happens when you shift the CG (Center of Gravity)?
Experiment with different materials - BUT NEVER USE METAL OR ANY SHARP OBJECTS
Q: Who uses our Compressed Air Rocket launchers?
NASA contacted us to build a high end version of our compressed air rocket launchers in 2016/2017 for use with their Educational Outreach Program. We couldn't possibly say no, so we worked with one of the top engineers at NASA Kennedy Space Center to create a electrically controlled launch control panel made from an aluminum case from the Space Shuttle program.
Check out our Templates page for free to download and print paper rocket templates of the four rockets launched from KSC, three from ULA and the Falcon 9 from SpaceX.
ULA saw the system that NASA was using with their educational outreach program and ordered a few for their own use at their three main locations in Colorado, Alabama and Texas.
ULA was also kind enough to share the rocket templates their graphic artists created, which can be found on our Templates page.
Numerous teachers, STEM educators, summer camps all around the world are using our products to teach kids about rocketry and physics.
Pictured above is one of our launchers that was modified by our friends at Explo. We have also worked with Texas A&M summer camps, BetaBox Labs, STEAM & Co. in the UK, YMCA (Australia), MinuteMan Missile program (who used a grant to donate them to 40 teachers across the US), the Boston Museum of Science, etc.
We have sold thousands of our launchers to individuals over the years.
We have received wonderful stories about how they have been used for birthday parties (where the adults join in), they have been used with boy scout troops, girl scout troops, family gatherings, etc.