Introduction

building an air rocket that launches 2 liter bottles
Photo: Ask This Old House TV
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If you've ever dreamed about sending a rocket sky-high, you might be relieved to learn you don't have to mess with explosives to make one fly. If you put air under pressure, like in a tire, you can use it to propel an object upwards. Add water to the mix, and your rocket will go far above the trees. This rocket is made from simple PVC plumbing pipe and some plastic soda bottles. It's easy to put together in an afternoon. As long as you always have an adult around, launching your rocket is safe and fun.

The plans for this rocket were developed by middle school teacher Slater Harrison. To see his detailed assembly instructions, click here
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    Tools List

    • hacksaw
      hacksaw
    • drill
      drill/driver fitted with a ½-inch bit
    • adjustable pliers
      pliers
    • utility scissors
      scissors

    Shopping List

    1. 10-foot length of ½-inch PVC pipe
    2. ½-inch PVC tee
    3. two ½-inch PVC end caps
    4. 2-inch-long scrap of 1½-inch PVC pipe
    5. PVC pipe cleaner
    6. PVC pipe cement
    7. replacement valve for a tubeless tire
    8. plastic cable ties, aka zip ties
    9. birthday candle
    10. duct tape
    11. clamp for 1½-inch hose
    12. two 2-liter soda bottles
    13. string (regular twine or cotton string is fine)