What are big rockets and how are they made?
What are big rockets?
So what are big rockets? They largest single shots available to the public. Commonly referred to as “Big Rockets”, their true name is “Skyrocket” they are pyrotechnic firework made of a paper tube packed with powder that propels itself into the air. Rockets have a shaft to provide stability during airborne flight.
How do big rockets work?
Big rockets as with any aerial fireworks (those designed to fire up into the sky) have five main parts.
From the bottom up:
- The Tail – The tail commonly made out of a large wooden but some time plastic stick, ensures the rocket fly in a straight line. This tail is significant for two reasons:
- Firstly: so that the skyrocket flys straight and true on its intended path and not in a random direction, as this could cause all sorts of harm and damage.
- Secondly: this helps any display organisers plan out the layout and organisation of a fireworks display with accuracy and precision. We have recently started seeing more big rockets that have hinged tails allowing for ease of transport in smaller packaging and containers.
- Fuse: The fuze is the part that starts the primary section of the firework (the charge) burning and ignites other, smaller fuses that in turn ignites the effects that explode sometime later. In a basic consumer firework, the main fuse consists of a piece of paper or fabric. In a more complex public firework display, fuses are lit by electrical contacts known as wire-bridge fuse-heads. When the firework technician pushes a button, an electric current flows along the wire into the fuse-head, making it briefly burn and ignites the main fuse. Unlike manual ignition, electrical ignition can be done at a considerable distance, so it’s much safer.
- Charge or Motor: The charge is a relatively crude explosive designed to shoot a firework up into the sky, sometimes up to a distance of several hundred meters (1000ft or so) at speeds of up to several hundred km/miles per hour! The Charge is usually made up of tightly packed, coarse explosive gunpowder (also known as black powder). Traditionally, gunpowder used in fireworks was made of 75 percent potassium nitrate (also called saltpetre) mixed with 10 percent sulfur and 15 percent charcoal; modern fireworks sometimes use other mixtures (such as sulfurless powder with extra potassium nitrate) or other chemicals instead. Note that the charge merely sends the firework high into the air and clear of any spectators; it doesn’t make the spectacular explosions that you can see.
- Effect: This is the section of the firework that creates the fantastic display once the firework has reached its safe/optimal height in the air. A single skyrocket will either have one effect or multiple effects that are packed into separate areas and fire off in sequence, ignited by a time-delayed, relatively slow-burning fuse working its way upward ignited by the primary main fuze. Though mainly just explosives, the effects, however, are entirely different from the main charge. Each is made up of more, finer, loosely packed explosive material fashioned into separate “stars,” that make up the individual, small, colourful explosions from a larger firework. Depending on how each effect is made and packed, it can either shoot off a large number of mini fireworks in different directions, causing a series of smaller explosions in a stunning, predetermined sequence, or create a single blast of stars very quickly.
- Head: The general name for the top section of the firework that houses and contains the effect or effects; together they are known as “the payload.” Just like that of a space rocket. Often the head is shaped to a point or “nose cone”, this helps the firework with aerodynamics that assists in makes the firework more stable and faster. However, you will find that many big rockets still have blunted heads.
What are the benefits of big rockets?
Big Rockets form the centrepiece of many firework displays. The whoosh of the rockets charge culminating in an explosion of stars is for many the most spectacular fireworks. There are size limitations as to how big a rocket can be, but rockets produce by far the most significant single burst of any firework available to the public.