Did you ever have the chance to make a bottle rocket in grade school? Daredevil athlete François Gissy applied those principles to a homemade water rocket trike, which he then zipped around the Circuit Paul Ricard at Le Castellet in France. Rainwater helped power the speedy trike, on which Gissy reached 261 kilometers per hour (kph), or around 162 miles per hour, and hit 100 kph from zero in just 0.55 seconds.
Gissy says on his YouTube channel he aims to build inventions to break records, and constructs vehicles with recycled materials in his garage. He put together a water rocket trike that speeds around much like soda bottles filled with compressed air and water can launch into the sky. To drive his homemade rocket trike, he filled it up 76 times with collected rainwater.
Related: Swiss Man Breaks Bicycle Speed Record with Insane 207-MPH Rocket Bike
The water trike was a smashing success; after initial tests where the trike hit 145, 219, and 245 kph – that’s around 90, 136, and 152 mph – Gissy reached 162 mph on the trike. He traveled 60 feet in 852 milliseconds, and said during that time the average acceleration was around 50.39 meters per second squared.
Gissy shattered a bicycle speed world record back in 2014. Riding a rocket-propelled bike, he hit 207 mph in 4.8 seconds. The bicycle, designed by friend Arnold Neracher, was stripped: essentially simply a rocket with a saddle.
Gissy thanked precision machining company Comera for help with the water rocket trike, as well as Dr Lorenzo Lauro of P&L Racing for operating PortaTree Drag Racing Timing Equipment. He said on YouTube that he is still looking for more sponsors “to build much more powerful, spectacular, and faster vehicles. Some amazing projects are waiting to become a reality.” We’ll be excited to see what he fabricates next; his motto, according to his YouTube page, is “Enough is never enough.”
Images via screenshot
The headline is eye catching, but misleading. The rocket is not powered by rainwater, but by compressed air which took energy to squeeze down and push out the water. The "rain" part is also a distraction- the rocket would work just as well with gray water or Evian. This is a stunt, not a lesson in energy, water or conservation.