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Air Rocket Glider and Compressed Air Rocket v2.0

Air Rocket Glider and Air Rocket Launcher v2.0

Ever since the Compressed Air Rocket project debuted on the pages of Make: magazine in 2008, it’s been wildly popular, and the kit has been a bestseller in the Maker Shed. Now, the next generation of launcher and the first-of-its-kind Air Rocket Glider have been released. Kits for both are available for a very limited time on Kickstarter (Launch Something! – Air Rocket Toys from Air Rocket Works!), shipping in mid to late summer.  With flights well over 200′, this is a fun, easy, low-cost, and educational way to learn about rocketry and other things that fly.

Air Rocket Launcher v2.0 - Made of all pressure rated steel and wood

Air Rocket Launcher v2.0 made of all pressure-rated steel and wood, with no batteries needed.

Both the Air Rocket Launcher v2.0 (now made of industrial steel and wood, which builds with just a wrench in 30 minutes) and Air Rocket Glider were well received at Maker Faire this year, with over 2000 rockets made and launched in the South Lot “Fly Zone.”  It’s been an award winner the past six years at Maker Faires in New York, Detroit, and the Bay Area, and this year was no exception, winning the Best in Class Award!

Air Rocket Glider in MAKE: 39 (photo by Jeffrey Braverman)

Air Rocket Glider in Make: magazine Volume 39 (photo by Jeffrey Braverman).

The Air Rocket Glider project is featured in the latest issue of Make: magazine. Last weekend, I spoke at Maker Faire Bay Area on the Make: Live Stage about the history of both projects and my collaboration with maker Keith Violette.

Keith and Rick presenting at Maker Faire New York where the met in person for the first time

Keith and Rick presenting at Maker Faire New York 2013, where they met in person for the first time.

Keith is a mechanical engineer from the East Coast and I’m a middle school teacher and writer for Make: in California. We’re both maker dads and we’ve formed an online partnership based on our love of tinkering and things that fly. Together, we’re actively building a collaborative air rocket community at our new website, Air Rocket Works, and we hope you’ll join us!

Keith and his kids sharing some rocket fun with the crowds at Maker Faire New York

Keith and his kids sharing some rocket fun with the crowds at Maker Faire New York.

Rick in New York testing a functional KickSat prototype attached to a paper rocket

Rick in New York testing a functional KickSat prototype attached to a paper rocket.

Rick Schertle

Rick Schertle

Rick teaches middle school in San Jose, CA. He’s a contributing writer for MAKE and leads after school making clubs with kids. He designed the compressed air rocket for MAKE 15 and the folding-wing glider in MAKE 31. With his wife and kids, Rick loves all things that fly. Rick is the co-founder of AirRocketWorks.com.


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