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Water Rocket  History 



1930 Prof Jean LeBot, Rennes, France       

       Whilst still at school and with a young inventive mind Jean LeBot experimented with a champagne bottle filled partially 

        with water and  powered by compressed air from a bicycle pump  fed through a cork with an inner tube valve at its center.

        The rocket was launch from an inclined plank forming a ramp .

        The glass champagne bottle rockets would invariably smashed on landing.

        Please do not try to repeat this experiment

        This is based on a conversation with Jean LeBot  and good friend a fellow pulse jet boat enthusiast in 1997.

        Jean LeBot was later to become Professor of Physics at Rennes University.




Spring 1992 Our first Badoit rocket. It was great fun.



       This was our first water rocket and we chose the Badoit bottle in preference, because of its nozzle shape and bottle 

       form. With brittle balsa wood fins the rocket was painted in the same red and white livery as Tin Tin's rocket in 'Objectif Lune'.

       It went well and kept everybody amused during the hot weather.

       We still have one of our original rockets that can be seen on the left in the image below.

       The initial plastic Badoit bottles had a different neck profile as can be seen in the photograph.

       The rocket was always launched form the surface of a garden table of 'Black and Decker workbench to avoid anybody passing 

       there head above the rocket. A digital timer from the kitchen in the shape of a tomato was used to time flights.




TitinObjectiveLune.jpeg (50961 octets)



The original bottle can be seen on the left of the photograph and had a less conical neck.




Alex and Gabriel with Ariane 4







The Rocket had a polystyrene nose cone attached with sellotape and  three fragile bonded  balsa fins.

There was no nose weight although a couple of 'Duplo' passengers made a few flights.

Trajectory parabolic distance 90m

 Direction dependent on the wind.

Subscript: The 'Duplo' astronaut lost an arm and a leg in the cause of science. Its at this point we began to develop a recovery system 



TitinObjectiveLune.jpeg (50961 octets) 220300116X.08.LZZZZZZZ.jpeg (57402 octets)


La Cite des Sciences et de I'Industrie,  Paris   21st September 1997

Water rocket demonstration given by Alex and Gabriel at a science open day at the Science Museum in Paris La Villette.


It went that way


Pictures courtesy Thierry Koscielniak






This site was created on the 15th April 2003

ŠJohn Gwynn and sons2003 

You're welcome to reproduce any material on this site for educational or other non commercial purposes

 as long as you give us proper credit (by referring to "The Water-Rocket Explorer" http://waterocket.explorer.free.fr".