last updated: 6th July 2018 - Day 199 - Phoenix 3D d78 Nosecone

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Construction - Basic


Ring Fins

Flat Fins



Construction - Advanced

Robinson Coupling

Splicing Bottles #1

Splicing Bottles AS#5

Reinforcing Bottles

Side Deploy #1

Side Deploy #2

Mk3 Staging Mechanism

Multi-stage Parachutes


Construction - Launchers

Gardena Launcher

Clark Cable-tie

Medium Launcher

Cluster Launcher

Launch Abort Valve

Quick Launcher

How It Works

Drop Away Boosters

Katz Stager Mk2.

Katz Stager Mk3.


Dark Shadow Deployment


Recovery Guide


How Much Water?

Flying Higher

Flying Straight

Building a Launcher

Using Scuba Tanks


Video Taping Tips

MD-80 clone

Making Panoramas


Burst Testing





Servo Timer II




V1.3, V1.3.1, V1.3.2


Deploy Timer 1.1

Project Builds

The Shadow

Shadow II


Polaron G2

Dark Shadow

L1ght Shadow

Flight Log Updates

#197 - Dark Shadow II

#196 - Coming Soon

#195 - 3D Printed Rocket

#194 - TP Roll Drop

#193 - Coming Soon

#192 - Stager Tests

#191 - Horizon

#190 - Polaron G3

#189 - Casual Flights

#188 - Skittles Part #2

#187 - Skittles Part #1

#186 - Level 1 HPR

#185 - Liquids in Zero-G

#184 - More Axion G6

#183 - Axion G6

#182 - Casual Flights

#181 - Acoustic Apogee 2

#180 - Light Shadow

#179 - Stratologger

#178 - Acoustic Apogee 1

#177 - Reefing Chutes

#176 - 10 Years

#175 - NSWRA Events

#174 - Mullaley Launch

#173 - Oobleck Rocket

#172 - Coming Soon

#171 - Measuring Altitude

#170 - How Much Water?

#169 - Windy

#168 - Casual Flights 2

#167 - Casual Flights

#166 - Dark Shadow II

#165 - Liquid Density 2

#164 - Liquid Density 1

#163 - Channel 7 News

#162 - Axion and Polaron

#161 - Fog and Boom

#1 to #160 (Updates)


Here is great and very versatile water rocket launcher and parachute deployment mechanism designed and built by James Gibbs & team. They are currently starting up a Kickstarter program to raise funds to mass produce the launchers. If you are interested in contributing please visit the project on Facebook for latest updates. The main websites are here: and which will be updated soon. Please refer to the Facebook page for the most recent updates.

The HidroMAX Water Rocket Launching System

The HidroMAX Launch and Recovery System represents a new generation of water rocket launching with remote firing, a reliable tilt operated parachute system, an advanced nozzle mounted guide fin and safety systems. This product is intended to be for both family fun and worthwhile science.

Features of the launcher include:
  • Folding base
  • Pneumatically controlled “Air­Remote” firing system
  • Variable nozzle diameter system from 5­12mm
  • Variable launch guide system suits bottle diameter 50­100mm
  • Easy fin attachment system (low down near center of pressure for increased stability.
  • Adjustable launch trajectory
  • Tilts to 90° for rocket loading
  • Safety purge valve enables controlled launch aborts.
  • Variable guide rod for launch accuracy
  • Pressurized system lock prevents accidental launch while system is pressurized (requires system purge to reset)
  • Check valve prevents rocket fuel entering the pneumatic system.
  • Removable splash deflector
  • Uses high quality pneumatic and stainless steel fittings

The Launcher Body

The launch pad permits the launch head assembly to be rotated up to an angle of 90 degrees. This rotation makes it possible to:

  • Vary the launch trajectory to be adjusted to compensate for different wind conditions
  • To permit the launcher to be used to fire rockets at a low trajectory in situations where accuracy over distance is accuracy, perhaps in rocket competitions.
  • To prevent water loss whilst loading the rocket onto the launcher the entire launcher assembly is rotated 90 degrees.

Also included in the launcher body is the variable launch guide rod that accommodates different rocket diameters.


Variable Nozzle and Fin Attachment system

Until now, most water rockets have been limited to fixed nozzle 
diameters or even just use the open end of the bottle as the nozzle. 
This significantly limits the potential for experimentation with rocket performance. 
The HidroMAX Launcher has a system of interchangeable nozzle 
diameters  from 5 ­12mm that permits awesome science as well as providing impressive flights. 

Here rocketeers can adjust fuel (water) loads, air pressure, bottle size 
and nozzle diameter and then observe the changes in performance and flight characteristics. As a unique feature of the HidroMAX system, the fins are attached directly to the nozzle.

This has several benefits:

● Low attachment point for flight stability

● Different fin shapes can be experimented with that can be attached quickly and reliably

● No glue or tape is required for fin attachment

● Safety release in case of impact with person, building or dog. 


The TiltMAX Parachute Rescue System

The TiltMAX recovery system is based on the trajectory angle of the rocket. As the angle of flight moves beyond 60° to vertical, a (non-mercury) tilt
sensor activates the release trigger for the parachute. A lightweight, secure mounting system makes the whole assembly easy to mount in a rocket irrespective of bottle diameter.



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