Water Rocket Car MKVIII – How to Make a Rear Wing

Its always good to learn from what other people are doing with water rocket cars … thunderrockets from Belgium .. have been testing a water rocket car with a Top Fuel Dragster style wing on the rear. From the videos it looks like its providing good rear stabilization, so we thought we would give Wild Bill a last lease on life and replace the fins with a rear wing, hoping this will provide more rear stability ….Here is how we did it.

Design Stage

Firstly it was out with the pen and paper to get some ideas of how it should look, then adding some dimensions based on measurements of the existing water rocket car. Here are the initial drafts. YOu will probably need to click on the images for a bigger view of the pictures.

Initial Wing Design

Initial Wing Design

Initial Measurements

Initial Measurements

We are not sure how much down force is required, so we designed in an adjustable wing attachment that allows the angle of the rear wing to be altered.

Build Stage

First the wing mounts were cut out, (all are made from 7mm plywood). Then the adjustable pieces were cut and a hole drilled for the pivot and 5 holes for the variable angle bolt.

Wing Mount + variableangle attachment

Wing Mount + variable angle attachment

Two bolts and nuts are used to secure the wing mount to each variable wing attachment.

Then the wing end plates were measured and cut-out. These wing end plates make the wing more efficient by not letting air spill over the edge of the wing. All air is forced over the entire length of the wing to produce the maximum downforce possible

Wing End plates measured ready to be cut out

Wing End plates measured ready to be cut out

and here they are cut out and sanded

Endplates

Endplates

The main part of the wing was measured and cut out. Practically its a square 200mm x 266mm. The end plates are then glued and bolted to the wing. I used one attachment up and one down to secure it.

Wing with end plates - rear view

Wing with end plates - rear view

Wing with end plates - front view

Wing with end plates - front view

Four small L brackets were bolted to the variable wing attachment. These provide the locations where the variable attachment bolts to the wing itself. Here are the wing mounts + variable attachment and the wing ready for mounting to the water rocket car.

Pieces ready to mount to water rocket car

Pieces ready to mount to water rocket car

The wing mounts were then attached with L Brackets and screws and nuts to the chassis of the water rocket car. These were practically in similar locations the the previous fins. The mounts had slots cut in them to fit around the wheel mounts

Wing Mounts attached - side view

Wing Mounts attached - side view

Wing Mounts Attached - rear view

Wing Mounts Attached - rear view

The wing was placed ontop of the wing mounts and variable attachments, centered, then locating holes marked to be drilled. These holes were then drilled and the variable attachments removed from the wing mounts and bolted to the wing itself.

Wing with variable attachments - side view

Wing with variable attachments - side view

Wing with variable attachments - rear view

Wing with variable attachments - rear view

The variable attachments were then bolted to the wing mounts. The variable attachments are in the middle location (3rd of the 5 holes)

Current wing angle

Current wing angle

Here are some pics of the wing in place

Attached Wing - Front view (no wheels)

Attached Wing - Front view (no wheels)

Attached Wing - Rear view (no wheels)

Attached Wing - Rear view (no wheels)

And with the rear wheels attached

Rear Wheels attached

Rear Wheels attached

Front Bumper

Also to try to minimize the wheels being ripped off during testing, we have added a front bumper, which can take all the punishment of the gutters instead of the wheel mounts .. well thats the idea anyway …

Front Bumper

Front Bumper

Not exactly aerodynamic but we can work on that.

Finally here is a pic of the MkVIII Car ….. Wild Bill + a Rear Wing .. hopefully tamed a little bit …..

MkVIII Ready to test

MkVIII Ready to test

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 at 10:22 pm and is filed under Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

 
 

One Response to “Water Rocket Car MKVIII – How to Make a Rear Wing”

  1. Jason Says:

    Great Project! Now I’m trying to think of a way to safely incorporate it at the middle school level… Thanks for sharing!