Water Rockets - Fins Index

Putting fins on a rocket is a fairly basic thing but can take time and therefore needs to be done carefully. Knowing what options are available is important as you may find that you need to have some fins in a hurry.

Apart from detailing fins described elsewhere on this site, there is an additional method that varous people have found useful

The Fins . . .

  1. Fins made from the top of a pop bottle. This is a 'quick and dirty' solution and is used in the 250ml starter rocket. They have the advantages of being quite robust, transferable from one rocket to another and even lower their drag at higher velocities but they are not particularly pretty, nor do they have a very good drag factor.
  2. Fins made from the side of a pop bottle. These take longer to make and are very resilient. They can be taped or glued and use a cable tie to secure them. They can be mounted on tapered or straight sections, pressure vessel or skirt. These are the fins shown in the 1 litre 'Egglofter rocket.
  3. Fins made from CD ROMS. Recycling at its best. They are rigid and provide a large surface area. With a soldering iron, they can be cut to match perfectly the side of a tapered skirt or stright skirt. These are used in the 4 litre rocket. Unfortunately, they do add to the overall weight more than the second option above.
  4. The fins from number 2 above, mounted on an aerodynamic skirt. These have all of the advantages of the number 2 fins but, when a pressure vessel is damaged more than you can trust it, these fins can be removed and put onto a new pressure vessel.

In addition to these materials, you can substitute cardboard, light wood or other plastics for the materials above.

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Real Water Rockets Bottle Modifications for Better Flights