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How not to play with fireworks PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 16 June 2007
Article Index
How not to play with fireworks
Burn time
Removing the Warhead
The popper thingies
Ground Zero

The rocket was pretty simple. It had a very large booster engine topped with a warhead that contained the red sparkly things that exploded. Removing the warhead was as simple as giving a quick twist, and I assumed the neutered rocket would fly higher without the payload. I was correct. Doug and I did a daylight 'stealth' test and were able to add about 50% to the altitude attained the previous night. We decided to modify four more rockets and put them aside in the closet for easy access. When this was done, Doug had a jar full of stuff that came out of the warheads including: 12 fuses about 3-inches long each, some paper, 4 plastic nosecones and a big handfull of these little black balls about the size of 12-gauge buckshot that turned out to be the 'red sparkly popper things'. It appeared that the outer layer was a simple gunpowder coating designed to quickly burn off as red shower of sparks. I surmised that the inner core had some kind of magnesium thermite that gave off an intense white light and a loud bang. Pretty cool if you ask me. Lots of energy packed into one teeny little ball.

I didn't want to see the popper thingies go to waste, so I told Doug we were gonna put them in a hole in the ground and set them off. He gave me another big smile.

It's amazing how kids think alike...even when separated by 30 years.

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