A bottle rocket
is a very small skyrocket
A skyrocket is a type of firework that uses a solid rocket motor to rise quickly into the sky. At the apex of its ascent, it is usual for a variety of effects to be emitted...
. A typical bottle rocket consists of a rocket engine attached to a stabilizing stick. The user can place the stick in an empty bottle (hence the name), and ignite the rocket engine; the mouth of the bottle guides the stick, stabilizing the rocket in its first moments of flight. In India, bottle rockets are set off during the Hindu festival of Diwali
Diwali or DeepavaliThe name of the festival in various regional languages include:, , , , , , , , , , , , , popularly known as the "festival of lights," is a festival celebrated between mid-October and mid-December for different reasons...
, and are sold in the millions.
These rockets have been made at least since the early decades of the 20th century, and in many countries, including Japan, China, and Macao. The older type of bottle rocket was typically a black powder skyrocket with a motor about 2 inches (5 cm) long and up to 0.375 inch (9 mm) diameter, mounted on a thin bamboo splint and often having a small report charge.
Modern bottle rockets are small and very cheap. They are often sold by the box for less than $US 0.20 each. In Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...
Isan is the northeastern region of Thailand. It is located on the Khorat Plateau, bordered by the Mekong River to the north and east, by Cambodia to the southeast and the Prachinburi mountains south of Nakhon Ratchasima...
region, many are made by hand and sold in conjunction with Rocket Festival
A Rocket Festival is a merit-making ceremony traditionally practiced by Ethnic Lao people throughout much of northeast Thailand and Laos, by numerous villages and municipalities near the beginning of the rainy season...
s, which feature similar appearing rockets that may pack as much as 250 kg of black powder.
Bottle rockets are specifically illegal in many jurisdictions, even those where most other consumer fireworks are legal. They are sometimes considered to present a unique hazard, due to their ability to fly in many directions other than vertically.
Bottle rockets are authorized under the Explosives Act
, thus making importation, possession, transportation, storage or manufacturing illegal in Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...
Bottle rockets are illegal in several states in the USA, but they are cheap and easy to obtain.
A bottle rocket consists of three major parts including:
- The rocket engine
A rocket engine, or simply "rocket", is a jet engineRocket Propulsion Elements; 7th edition- chapter 1 that uses only propellant mass for forming its high speed propulsive jet. Rocket engines are reaction engines and obtain thrust in accordance with Newton's third law...
. This will typically use a black powder-type fuel, possibly with additives to produce a decorative spark trail as the rocket ascends, but they have also used other chemical reactions (eg. vinegar and baking soda) for thrust. The fuel is pressed to form a solid grain inside a cardboard Lub tube; this tube is sealed at the top, but open at the bottom. When the fuel is ignited from the bottom, hot gases are expelled downwards, propelling the rocket upwards. Other fuels are possible. A common alternative choice is whistle mix
Whistle mix is a general term to refer to any pyrotechnic composition that emits a whistling sound when pressed into a tube and ignited. It is used as a rocket propellant, particularly in small bottle rockets...
, to produce a whistling rocket.
- The nose cone. In addition to serving its aerodynamic role, the nose cone typically contains the rocket's payload. This may include exploding fireworks, colored star
Pyrotechnic stars are pellets or simply pieces of pyrotechnic composition which may contain metal powders, salts or other compounds that, when ignited, burn a certain colour or exude a spark effect. They are a part of all projectile-type fireworks. The most common is the aerial shell. When...
s, a parachute, confetti, or other decorative items.
- The guide stick. A typical bottle rocket, with no fins or other stabilizers, relies entirely on its stick for stability in flight. The stick's length and weight are chosen to achieve this.