Sugar motors and alternative fuels

Water Rockets NSW

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air.command
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Sugar motors and alternative fuels

Postby air.command » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:44 pm

Okay perhaps these kind of sugar motors aren't quite the same as the ones you may be thinking of, but hey, they were fun to fly with the kids. :D

This weekend we tried a number of alternative fuels in our "water" rockets. We replaced the water with:
- Bread Crumbs (dry)
- 100's and 1000's (dry)
- Sugar (dry)
- cooked 2 minute noodles (in broth)

We ended up doing two flights with each and it was interesting to see how the different fuels behaved. I was surprised that the 100's and 1000's performed the worst when I was expecting them to do quite well. Though they looked good on the slow-mo.

The full flight report with more pictures is here:
http://www.aircommandrockets.com/day113.htm

Image
"Hey John, mum normally uses bread crumbs on schnitzel" .... "I know, keep pouring ... dad's cooking today"

Here is a highlights video from the day:

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Re: Sugar motors and alternative fuels

Postby october sky » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:38 am

Hey George, the things you come up with ! That is just so cool and fun to all concerned. :mrgreen:
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Re: Sugar motors and alternative fuels

Postby ogivemeahome » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:52 pm

I wonder how custard would perform? If not custard, some cooked up cornflour solution - very high viscosity.
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air.command
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Re: Sugar motors and alternative fuels

Postby air.command » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:07 pm

ogivemeahome wrote:I wonder how custard would perform? If not custard, some cooked up cornflour solution - very high viscosity.


It would be interesting I think. Just not sure about having to clean up afterwards. Honey could work as well. Someone had suggested Jelly but I can't get the rocket in the fridge to get it to set. :D
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Re: Sugar motors and alternative fuels

Postby Lunar_Rendezvous » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:09 pm

Love the camera work, looks like you had a fun day!

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Re: Sugar motors and alternative fuels

Postby kopius » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:21 pm

So the big question is, what flavour of noodles works the best :-P

That is great work as always George! Would be an interesting one to demonstrate to a school group and see who can pick the best performer and why.
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air.command
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Re: Sugar motors and alternative fuels

Postby air.command » Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:27 am

kopius wrote:So the big question is, what flavour of noodles works the best :-P

That is great work as always George! Would be an interesting one to demonstrate to a school group and see who can pick the best performer and why.


Thanks Blake. That's a good suggestion, I think it would also be interesting for the kids to try to come up with their own 'fuels' and compare their results to others. I can just see little Johnny waiting to launch his pitch powered rocket .... waiting and waiting... :D (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitch_drop_experiment)
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Re: Sugar motors and alternative fuels

Postby kopius » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:54 am

hahaha, YEAH RIGHT!! Imagine Nic trying to do that one :-P
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Re: Sugar motors and alternative fuels

Postby cryoscum » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:17 pm

Trying to say I'm impatient!?! :?

George, have you tried something like AAA lead shot for a fuel? I suppose you'd have to take some precautions and your fuel residue would poison the environment (!!!) lying there scattered over many square meters, but they are nice uniformly round balls of maybe 2mm dia... May give you very high impulse due to the high mass, but of course also more mass to carry along after take-off...
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air.command
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Re: Sugar motors and alternative fuels

Postby air.command » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:39 pm

I don't think the lead shot would work as well for exactly the reason you mention about being so heavy. Yes you get higher impulse, but you are also accelerating a much heavier mass still in the rocket. Simulations actually predict that liquids with density lower than water give better performance. Also the bigger the particles, the bigger gaps in between and the easier it is for the air to escape past them. That's what we saw with the relatively big 100's and 1000's.

However, if you were to launch the rocket from the middle of a pheasant enclosure, you may put the shot to good use. :D
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