Posted April 23, 2012

Engineering students have a blast with water bottle rockets

It wasn’t their final ‘eggs-am,’ but 40 mechanical and civil engineering juniors had a blast turning the recreational field at 11th and Montgomery Avenue into Cape Canaveral. Working in 10 teams of four, the students launched uncooked eggs aboard water and compressed air-powered rockets they designed and built from two-liter plastic soda bottles as part of the mechanics of fluids course taught by Mechanical Engineering Professor Jim Chen.

The students put their engineering skills to the test, constructing rockets intended to safely carry an egg while attaining maximum distance. The rockets accelerated at approximately 20-40 Gs for about one-tenth of a second as they began their flight trajectory across the field. If the egg survived the flight, a 20 percent bonus was added to the team’s distance.

One rocket achieved a flight distance of 279 feet, but the overall winning team launched their rocket 239 feet without breaking the egg. And to the victors went the ‘eggs-altation’ of their fellow students.