how does a piston launcher work?

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kzimmerman

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So I was thinking about trying some competition style rocketry, and I see that people use piston launchers. I'm a little bit confused as to how they work. Does the internal piston slide down the tube, does the tube go up the piston, how are the motors lit, etc. Hopefully someone can shed some light on this........
 

K'Tesh

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Here you go...

[video=youtube;LZBj8CSUalQ]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZBj8CSUalQ[/video]
 

Pat_B

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Good video, but I wouldn't recommend using a launch rod with a piston system. It's too easy to get binding between the rod and the piston tube, and the addition of a launch lug really adds a lot of drag for a competition rocket. It's also not necessary to have a fancy gantry to hold the launch wires. Just allowing them to hang down like they normally would with a non-piston system just works fine.
 

Micromeister

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So I was thinking about trying some competition style rocketry, and I see that people use piston launchers. I'm a little bit confused as to how they work. Does the internal piston slide down the tube, does the tube go up the piston, how are the motors lit, etc. Hopefully someone can shed some light on this........
In 2003 I did an in-depth Tech-Tip-008a & 008b covering Piston launchers from the Cheap and Dirty, ZVMetal Head pistons and latest Floating Head pistons. Each type done with a 1-page Plan and photos of the various combinations. If you interested both Tech Tip-008a & b are available as a free downloads from www.narhams.org If you'll log into the website looking at the left hand menu click on Library tab, then click on Tech Tips you'll find 008a & b.
I've been very happy with all the piston launchers I've built over the years and I'm particularly happy with the Micro-Maxx Floating head piston invented in 2003.
Hope this information helps a little.
 
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