N.S.W Water Rocket Rules and Regulations

Water Rockets NSW

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LftnDbt
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N.S.W Water Rocket Rules and Regulations

Postby LftnDbt » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:28 pm

Just starting out with rockets and would prefer to start with water/air first.
I have chosen this path as I have previous experience with high powered air cannons. As legalities are vauge to say the least in regards to air canons, I would like to spend my time in the pursuit of a hobby which is completley legal if following the correct guildlines/rules and regulations.

There in is my question. After "Googling" for several hours in regards to rules/regulations, I have only come across those involving combustion rockets.

Do I need a license? Do I need to belong to a club? Where can Water bottle rockets etc be launched legally?

My local park has no sign restricting it, yet I feel it a wise decision to check before even launching low powered water bottles into flight....



So what's the deal? Is there a weblink specifically for water powered or do we just have to follow "rocket" guildlines.


Thanks in advance.... I'm sure I have just missed a link or such... Sorry if it is obvious...


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Postby air.command » Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:59 pm

Hi LftnDbt,

Actually those are very sensible questions and the reason you are finding it difficult to find water rocket specific regulations is that there aren't any , at least that I have come across in the last 3 years.

However, in their absence it is best to assume that they fall under regular model rocket regulations. Really the main regulation to keep in mind is that you need to stay under 400 feet AGL. (Above Ground Level). Under 400 feet you do not need any special permission to fly and local parks are just fine. Please review the full model rocket regulations for other details.

You should probably also stay under the 1500gm weight limit.

Some of the regulations do not really make much sense such as the propellant weight limit. A 2L bottle half filled with water exceeds this limit yet clearly it does not pose the same dangers as a pyro rocket with an equivalent weight propellant.

While there are legal restrictions you also need to consider the common sense safety rules a lot of water rocketeers stick to. Such as safely pressurising your rockets, launching away from people and structures etc. I can point you in the direction of these if you are interested, unless you have already found them.

Water rocketry is a very satisfying hobby in itself, but be careful it is very addictive :D

Have you considered what kind of water rockets you would like to start off with?
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Postby LftnDbt » Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:30 pm

Points noted.

Local park/football oval was only in the back of my mind as an example.
But it is good to know that I could atleast experiment with some small rockets there...

In regards to what type of rocket. Since my previous experimenting has been through air canons I tend to shy away from bottles as there is a certain stigma attached to them in the "Spudding" world.
Though after many hours of searching through the "Rocket" world, I find many many accounts of bottles being more than adequate devices for storing pressures. Funny how two doifferent community can establish such different views.

I would most probably like to begin with some basic Pressure Pipe rated rockets, instead of the bottle type (though I will definatley knock one together for experiments).
Am I missing something there? Why do you guys not use Pressure pipe? To heavy, even with higher PSI? Nostalga of the bottles?

Although ultimatley if and when I decide to join in with the big boys, I will most probably be looking in the vicinity of some thin wall stainless steel rockets, hopfully with several stage systems and charges into the 1000's PSI range...


Well that was basically the elevation in the "spudding" world. I would hope to apply the same principals here. Though obviously I need to elaborate on my skills somewhat..



Just in case I do stick around the forums, I work at Bunnings and have done for 7 years. If anyone wants to know about what we have/what we can get, tell them to message me.

LoL I know, I know what a perfect modders place to work!!? Go figure I have been there for that long.

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Postby air.command » Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:05 am

Having an air cannon background will certainly help you a lot in getting started with water rockets and launchers.

I think the reason why bottles continue to be used by water rocketeers is that they are essentially free, have an integrated nozzle and have the thread and flange to easily make attachments to hold the rocket down on the launcher. They are easily combined to make larger pressure chambers and their strength to weight ratio is very good. Sections of bottles are useful for making transitions, nosecones etc. They are easy to cut and join.

The other popular building material is FTC. (Fluorescent Tube Cover) These are thin polycarbonate tubes used for protecting fluro lights. The small cross section gives them low drag.

People do make rockets with all sorts of pipes, but for the typical pressures used, most pipes are just too heavy.

High performance rockets typically use a polycarbonate tube wrapped in a carbon fiber sleeve. These are typically launched at 500-1000psi level.
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Postby PK » Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:18 pm

air.command wrote:High performance rockets typically use a polycarbonate tube wrapped in a carbon fiber sleeve. These are typically launched at 500-1000psi level.

I did a 29mm alminium water rocket once. About 900PSI. Used hydraulic couplings to launch it.
PK

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Postby air.command » Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:05 pm

PK wrote:
air.command wrote:High performance rockets typically use a polycarbonate tube wrapped in a carbon fiber sleeve. These are typically launched at 500-1000psi level.

I did a 29mm alminium water rocket once. About 900PSI. Used hydraulic couplings to launch it.
PK


Hi PK,

How did it perform? Must have been quite a sight. :)
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Postby PK » Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:38 pm

air.command wrote:
PK wrote:
air.command wrote:
How did it perform? Must have been quite a sight. :)


I seem to remember 1000'. That would have been ground tracked though. We didn't have altimeters at that stage..
PK

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Postby Kryten » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:04 am

I've just seen, in another forum, that water rockets may be considered as "high power" by CASA:
"if your water rocket exceeds 1500grams it may only be launched at a HPR site
and this is the weight of the rocket before launch fully loaded not after"
It does seem unrealistic to me
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Postby air.command » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:29 am

Hi Kryten, do you have a reference to that thread?

This would mean all boy scouts launching a 2L bottle with 1.5L water would need to do that at an HPR site? ... What about a mentos and coke, would you also only need to do that at an HPR site... :?
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Postby Kryten » Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:36 am

http://www.wolfsrocketrylair.com/cgi-bi ... /s-2/#num2
This may just be an interpretation of the CASA regs - it's probably something that needs further clarification. If water rockets aren't ckassified as "model rockets", this would make things simpler
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Postby Wingnut » Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:18 pm


I guess a strictly literal interpretation of CASR 101 would mean that a water rocket exceeding 1.5Kg lift-off mass should be classified as a "High Power Rocket". I wouldn't think the authors had water rockets in mind when they wrote CASR 101 because how many people are flying them over 400 feet AGL? So, I made a quick search for the definition of "propellant" to see if that provides an "out" for water rockets. Nope! I can't find a definition in any CASA doc's.

The only guidance I can find anywhere is from the Tripoli Rocketry Association (TRA), which unfortunately doesn't have any direct bearing on your situation, but they provide this definition:
Propellant. The material(s) utilized in a rocket motor that produce thrust by the discharge of a working fluid generated by combustion, decomposition, change of state, or other operation of such material contained, carried, or stored within said rocket motor.

So, I guess water is classified as a propellant, and TRA do classify some water rockets as "high power". Clause 1-1.6 of the Tripoli Code for High Power Rocketry says:
This code shall not apply to model or toy rockets propelled by pressurized liquid rocket motors less than 250 ml (8.45 fl. oz.) of water.

Where does that leave water rockets? Buggered if I know!!!


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Postby Kryten » Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:28 pm

Man, this issue gets muddier the more you look into it.
The definition of rocket, according to CASR 101:
"5 LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
5.1 Definitions of rockets
5.1.1 A rocket is defined as a pilotless vehicle powered by reaction that carries all the components necessary to provide its jet."


This being the case, water rockets are probably not "rockets" according to the above definition

Also from CASR 101:
"High power means a rocket whose construction technique is similar to a model rocket but exceeds the limits for a model rocket. A high power rocket weighs more than 1500g and is propelled by one or more motors having a total impulse greater than 320Ns"

The assumption being that heavy rockets need more powerful motors. Even though a water rocket on the pad is heavy because of the load of water, it doesn't need anywhere near 320Ns to launch it
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Postby air.command » Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:39 pm

I had a look around for definitions of propellant too, and while some definitions use terms like combustion, others do not. If it came to court, you could probably argue that water is a propellant.

In water rockets the propellant to rocket weight ratio is usually between 10:1 and 5:1 while for pyro rockets its the other way round.
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Postby Wingnut » Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:25 pm


Hey Kryten,

Do you think "reaction" there in clause 5.1.1 is referring to a chemical reaction or newton's third law (i.e. for every action, there is an equal and opposite re-action)?

Aaaahh! This is doing my head in.

I guess at the end of the day, the aim of the CASA reg's is to keep people and aircraft safe. Is an approved High Power area needed to achieve that for water rockets? It seems like overkill to me. I wonder if anyone from CASA would be prepared to give you an offical ruling/interpretation.


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Postby Kryten » Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:25 am

Mike wrote:
Do you think "reaction" there in clause 5.1.1 is referring to a chemical reaction or newton's third law (i.e. for every action, there is an equal and opposite re-action)?

Hi Mike,
I did consider this. I'm sure they mean "chemical reaction" - but it it would be possible to interpret it otherwise

Mike wrote:I guess at the end of the day, the aim of the CASA reg's is to keep people and aircraft safe. Is an approved High Power area needed to achieve that for water rockets? It seems like overkill to me. I wonder if anyone from CASA would be prepared to give you an offical ruling/interpretation.




I agree - I think we really need CASA to clarify this. NSWRA are probably due for another CASA visit, which would be an ideal opportunity to discuss
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