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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.