The brand new v2.2 launcher is here!

Here are the updated instructions:

Step 1:

Cut open sleeve around box.  This latest batch had some VERY tight fitting sleeves, so you need to cut them off.  Carefully cut along the side of the sleeve.  Cutting along the same side where the box opens is easiest, as the knife will follow the edge.

Step 2:

Open the box.  One of the long sides of the box opens like this:

Step 3:

Open and read welcome letter, and check out the paper templates.

Step 4:

Remove all kit contents and arrange neatly (technically known as knolling):

Step 5:

Start assembling!  Start by applying pipe tape from the blue roll around the large end of the brass schrader valve.  If you wrap it in the direction shown, it is much less likely to push out of the way when you thread it into the mating part.

Step 6:

Thread the Schrader Valve into the Slide Valve.

Step 7:

Tighten the Schrader Valve into the Slide Valve using two adjustable wrenches, or an adjustable wrench and a 9/16″ wrench.

Step 8:

Wrap pipe tape around male threads on end of the tank.  3 or 4 wraps should be adequate.

Step 9:

Thread the tank into the QEV (Quick Exhaust Valve).  Note laser marked ports.

Step 10:

Tighten the tank.  Hold the QEV down while you use an adjustable wrench on the flats at the far end of the tank to tighten it. Get the adjustable jaws tight on the flats. No need to make this too tight, the wrench flats are not that large.

Step 11:

Wrap pipe tape on Inlet Fitting.  While this fitting already has sealant applied, it is OK to wrap pipe tape over it.

Step 12:

If a spring is provided in the kit, (in the latest kits) nest it within the fitting, and compress it as you start the threads.

Install and tighten inlet fitting.  Again, no need to make this super tight.  The plastic section can rotate on the metal part, allowing you to align the tube outlet.

Step 13:

Wrap pipe tape on the threads of the over pressure valve.

Step 14:

Tighten the over pressure valve into the end of the aluminum tank

Step 15:

Install launch tube hand-tight.  No need for pipe tape here.  If there is a leak, it won’t matter.

Step 16:

Assemble the wooden base by aligning and interlocking the wooden base parts as shown.  Note the oblong hole aligns with the side with the shallow grooves.

Step 17:

This is a tight fit, so flip the base over and use your body weight to fully seat the parts together.

Step 18:

Slide the tank into place.

Step 19:

Install the tank until the side of the QEV touches the wood base.

Step 20:

Install the U-Bolt.

Step 21:

Install the two washers and the two wing nuts.

Step 22:

Push one end of the tubing into the inlet fitting.  It should engage by about 1/4″ (6mm).

Step 23:

Push the other end of the tube into the slide valve.  It should engage by about 1/4″ (6mm).


Step 24:

Your Compressed Air Rocket Launcher is Complete!

Storage and Transport:

Step 1:

To make the launcher more compact for transport and storage, the launch tube can be unscrewed and stowed in the base.  Slide the launch tube into the lower slot and secure with the provided velcro strap.  The upper storage location can hold a 3/8″ NPT launch tube (not supplied) if you want to launch smaller diameter rockets (such as stomp rocket brand) or our original version of the Air Rocket Glider (ARG).

Step 2:

Coil the tube around the notches in the base.

Launcher is complete!

To build the included CARB rocket, jump to these instructions:

New Paper Rocket Template – 5 included with kit, download and print more for free: arwtemplater5PV


Operation and Launching:

Launcher Operation:
First, connect your pump to the Schrader adapter attached to the slide valve.  Start with a test firing of the launcher without a rocket.  With the blue part of the slide valve in the launch position, there is no pressure within the launcher.  Now move the blue part of the slide valve to the Pressurize position (shown in the photo below), and pressurize the chamber by pumping.  If you hear a slight hiss or a quick pop, that is the overpressure valve doing its job as you have exceeded 130 PSI.  This is normal.  When you are ready to launch, stand back, give a countdown, and slide the blue part of the slide valve away from the launcher to the LAUNCH! Position quickly.  You should hear a loud “Pop” of air as the pressure in the tank is quickly released.

Once you have ensured the launcher is working properly, it’s time to launch the first rocket.  With the slide valve still in the “Launch” position from the test firing, there is no pressure in the launcher.  Load the paper rocket onto the launch tube.  It should be a slight friction fit for the best performance – too tight will turn your rocket to confetti, too loose hurts performance.  Now move the blue part of the slide valve to the “Pressurize” position and pump to pressurize the tank.  When you have reached your desired launch pressure (usually between 30-120 PSI), stand back, do a countdown, and launch your rocket by quickly sliding the blue part of the slide valve to the “Launch” position.

To see cut-away views of how the launcher operates, or if it will not pressurize using the above steps, check out our  FAQ section listed under the EDUCATION pull down.  To try launching other stuff, check the INSTRUCTIONS tab for more rocket templates (free), rocket kits & glider kits.  If you would like to connect the launcher to an air compressor, refer to the FAQ section.