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With our new launcher kit, you can easily make and launch all kinds of air powered rockets and planes, that fly hundreds of feet!
With our new launcher kit, you can easily make and launch all kinds of air powered rockets and planes, that fly hundreds of feet!
236 backers pledged $31,502 to help bring this project to life.

Finished! All ARG kits have been shipped!

Hello Backers!!

Last Monday, 3/23/15, the last ARG kits were shipped.  If for any reason you have not received your ARG kit, or launcher kit, please let us know.

We are working on an update for our website, which may take a couple months. We hope to introduce at least one new launchable product later this year (if we can make some of our new crazy ideas work), so keep an eye on our website.  We'll be sure to send an update to all of you to let you know about any new developments.  

Again, a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you for supporting us in this campaign.  Feel free to ask us any questions, (AirRocketWorks@gmail.com) and please remember to share your ideas on the website at: www.airrocketworks.com  If you have a cool tip or trick, or even an idea for a new launchable product, we would love to hear about it.

GO LAUNCH SOMETHING!

Rick & Keith

ARG Kits Shipping!

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Well, it's long overdue, but we have a reliable method for making the plastic ARG parts, thanks to our new Ulitimaker 2 3D printer.  We truly appreciate your patience.

16 ARG Kits ready to ship
16 ARG Kits ready to ship

The ARG's are being kitted and shipped at a rate of 40 kits per week, so all ARG kits should be received by the end of this month, starting with 40 kits that were shipped 3/9, and another 40 being shipped tomorrow 3/16.  If you have not already responded to the surveys that were sent out (only a small handful have not), we ask that you take the time to respond, as we will not have your shipping address.

The build instructions need to be tweaked slightly soon, as the design of the two fuselage halves has been improved to allow for 2 small plastic pins (provided) to properly align the two halves when they are glued together.

New Fuselage Design with Alignment Pins
New Fuselage Design with Alignment Pins

The detailed instructions are available here, on our website for easy reference.

This is what your ARG will look like when it is ready to launch:

Ready For Launch
Ready For Launch

Note it is loaded onto the smaller diameter launch tube, and that the wings are held back by the wire attached to the base of the launch tube.  

Get out and launch something!

Rick & Keith

Air Rocket Glider Starting to Ship - International Orders Shipping - Troubleshooting

We're Getting Close to Finishing Up!

This Kickstarter campaign has been a wild ride and we could not have done it without you. At times when things were getting frustrating, we received awesome messages like this...

From one of our Swedish backers:

"Got the kit earlier this week and managed to build it while the kids was out with their mom for a few hours. My son was so happy when he got home and we started building the paper rockets right away. Then we went out and had our first launch. It's one of the most amazing projects we have done so far.

I was a bit worried at first because I have issues with the membranes not resetting. But after reading the forum I quickly sorted that out. Possible something you might add as an faq in the build instructions.

Attached a short movie with a Swedish countdown, hope you like it.

Super thanks for a great kit, it was even better than I had imagined."

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

International Supporters 

All international orders have been shipped! From Portugal and France to Hong Kong and Australia, we're so thankful for our international customers. Thanks for your patience, especially.

Air Rocket Glider Update 

After hours of frustration and funds invested, the injection molding is just not working out. We've decided to buy a second 3D printer for our East Coast operations and 3D print all the Air Rocket Glider parts. Doing this, we can get 10-20 in he mail and out to you each week. Those who supported us at the $28 Air Rocket Glider level will be receiving you ARG's in the next week.

East Coast 3D Printing on our new Ultimaker 2
East Coast 3D Printing on our new Ultimaker 2
Replicator 2 Printing out in California
Replicator 2 Printing out in California

Building Stands 

If you're building rockets with large groups like we do several times a year at Maker Faire, build stands can be handy. I've put directions for how to make simple and cheap stands on our AirRocketWorks website at: http://www.airrocketworks.com/forum/rocket-building-stands

PVC and Wood Rocket Building Stand
PVC and Wood Rocket Building Stand

Feedback 

As early supporters, Kickstarter backers are all about feedback.  As always , we're constantly trying to improve and would love to hear from you.  You can reach us at: airrocketworks@gmail.com

Air Rocket Glider Update - International Orders Shipping - Troubleshooting

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Air Rocket Glider Update

Manufacturing of the Air Rocket Glider is moving along but quite complicated.  Keith is finishing up the fuselage mold and will hopefully begin shooting pieces soon.  The ARG has never been produced before, so everything is new.  Injection molded parts will hopefully start to roll off the assembly line (Keith's shop) and out to you in early 2015.  In the meantime, we've begun 3D printing the plastic pieces in PLA for our International Backers.  See below for more details.  

Whatever it takes to get your kits out!  The bike helps beat the parking problem out our downtown Post Office.
Whatever it takes to get your kits out! The bike helps beat the parking problem out our downtown Post Office.

International Orders Shipping!

Before the end of the year, international orders will begin shipping.  We've got customers from Australia and Hong Kong to Germany and the far north of Canada.  A heartfelt thanks for your patience as we experienced the sticker shock of international shipping and had to wait to ship everything at once.  We're 3D printing your plastic parts (it takes about 2 hours per set) and will be bagging and boxing them up for you.  We'll be shipping via United States Postal Service International Priority.  Most international orders should be shipped by January 5th.   

3D Printing the Air Rocket Glider parts for our international customers.
3D Printing the Air Rocket Glider parts for our international customers.
Basement 3D printing factory.
Basement 3D printing factory.

Troubleshooting

As we mentioned before, the welds on some of the launcher bases have failed.  Just shoot us an email and we'll get a new one right out to you.  

Also, depending on your pump set-up (not included in the kit), you may be having some issue with the QEV resetting after each launch.  This could especially be a problem in colder weather when the lubricant inside the QEV is thicker.  With a compressor, there have been no issues reported, but with certain bicycle pumps the flap in the QEV sometimes does not reset right away.  While expensive, we love and recommend the Lezyne Alloy Floor Drive Pump.  We've used this for years and it's bombproof.  

Some users report the easiest way to reset is to: move the slide valve to launch position and give it one pump to reset the QEV.  This seems to work pretty consistently.  Jason P. reported on our forum that the air hose going into the bottom of the QEV should be aligned with the vertical pressure chamber.  See his post at the bottom here: http://www.airrocketworks.com/forum/troubleshooting-the-air-rocket-launcher  Thanks, Jason!

Another possible solution is adding in a check valve between the Schrader valve and slide valve.  One such as this: http://www.mcmaster.com/#7768k25/=uq0g77 should do the trick.  Keith has posted more troubleshooting tips at: http://www.airrocketworks.com/forum/troubleshooting-the-air-rocket-launcher

Hearing stories of delighted students and post Thanksgiving family rocket launches has brought us a lot of joy.  We'll bring you some awesome stories in upcoming updates!

We wish joy and peace to you and yours during this holiday season.

The Schertle (left from California) and Violette (right from New Hampshire) families after a long weekend at Maker Faire New York.  Sean (the little guy) is being propped up after falling asleep at dinner!
The Schertle (left from California) and Violette (right from New Hampshire) families after a long weekend at Maker Faire New York. Sean (the little guy) is being propped up after falling asleep at dinner!

 The Schertle and Violette Family

All Domestic Orders Shipped - Troubleshooting Tips - Other Things to Launch/Prototyping Ideas

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All Domestic Orders Shipped!

If you responded to the survey a while back, you should have received your order if you live in the US.  As we've mentioned before, the Air Rocket Glider will ship at a later date.  Keith has been working hard in his now cold, New Hampshire shop to get the parts injection molded.

We're still deciding what to do with the International orders.  Shipping is close to $50 a kit so we want to ship everything together.  We'll communicate with International backers directly.  

Troubleshooting Tips

The biggest issue so far has been the diaphragm on the Quick Exhaust Valve (QEV) not sealing between launches.  The first thing to check, is to make sure you don't have any leaks in the system.  The QEV is triggered by the removal of pressure between the slide valve and the QEV, so any leaks here means that between each pump stroke the QEV will open.  If you find a leak between the red Ø1/4" tubing and the push-to-connect fittings, you will want to push inward on the blue ring, remove the tubing, cut the end of the red tube cleanly straight across with a sharp knife, and firmly reinsert the tubing into the fitting.

We've learned a few tricks about seating the diaphragm and Keith has shot a video that explains it a bit.  It seems that some manual pumps work better than others.  Pumps that have leaky check valves (sometimes called outlet valves or one way valves) can allow air to flow backwards back into the pump, and can partially or fully trigger the QEV.  For a very detailed video of how the internals of a bike pump work, here is a good video.  We've had great luck with this Lezyne pump.  The hose screws directly on to the Schrader connection on the slide valve.

 It also works really well to connect the launcher directly to an air compressor.  When connected to an air compressor, the constant air pressure going into the slide valve causes the diaphragm on the QEV to quickly reset after each launch.  I use this compressor from Harbor Freight Tools.  We've had very few issues with the QEV when connected directly to a compressor.

We've also had some issues with the welds breaking on the bases of the launcher.  If this happens, we'll rush a newly welded base out to you right away.  If this happens, send us an email at: airrocketworks@gmail.com

Other Things to Launch and Prototyping Ideas

On our forums page (http://www.airrocketworks.com/forum/recovery-ideas), I've got some early prototype ideas on helicopter recover and parachutes.  Also, there are prototype supplies listed.  Once we finish up entirely with our rewards, I'm hoping to add a lot of information to this section.  

Try a high pressure nerf rocket using the 1/2" launch tube, duct tape and foam pipe insulation.  Directions at: http://www.airrocketworks.com/build-instructions/foam-rocket-building-instructions2

Now that it's getting dark early, modify an LED Stomp Rocket for some night time fun!  Carefully pull off the foam "clown's nose" nosecone - criss cross packing tape over the end of the tube (all the air pressure will go against this) - then add the foam nose back on.  The Stomp Rocket fits perfectly on the 3/8" (thinner) launch tube without any modifications.  You'll get some excellent 150' glow launches!  Try filming it with your smartphone for a cool looking "light paint" video.  You can also do the some thing with standard Stomp Rockets for daytime flights.