Rain fire from the sky with this mockery of a Chinese balloon!
This instructable requires:
- A couple of meters of incredibly thin wire.
- Cheapest trash bag/bin bag liner you can find (these are the sort of bags bin men hate as they split if you look at them funny)
- A couple of balls of cotton wool
- Methylated Spirits (Denatured alcohol)
- A match
- Cotton for a tether/anchor
"The story goes that in the 2nd century BC someone made an experimental hot-air balloon out of an empty eggshell. He emptied the egg white and yolk from a hole in the shell, and put a piece of burning wormwood inside the shell. As the air inside the shell was warmed, the eggshell was lifted by the wind and rose in the air."
"According to historical records the inventor of the hot-air balloon was Zhuge Liang (181-234) a noted politician and strategist of the Three Kingdoms Period"
Quote source: http://tinyurl.com/ykezu7n
I'm not a man who likes fussing around with tissue paper making beautiful flying masterpieces perhaps adorned with calligraphy. I'm a man who looks under the kitchen sink to find something to set fire to. Most of this stuff you'll find either under your sink or in your tool box.
The balloons will rise gently in the air and if you don't hold on, they'll go a long, long way. We do these at our local scout troop grounds which is incidentally next to an airport and I suspect they could probably do a fair bit of damage if they come into contact with planes. The last set we did were visible for about three miles away before they plunged into the sea. A friend of mine whom happened to be on the beach at the time put two and two together and rang me shortly after saying "Have you been setting fire to bin bags and releasing them into the skies?"
Similarly if you're in a rural location apparently if these land in a field they can be ingested by livestock and the copper wire can damage their stomachs and throats - so be responsible and keep hold of them if you can.
Some people have said that they might even catch on buildings/trees/dried grass etc if released. Use your common sense, if you're in a very built up area don't release them.
Keep a bucket of water handy to put out the burner if you're not releasing them or it accidentally catches fire (always a risk)
You need thin wire for this instructable because it's all about weight! For this instructable I used a galvanised steel wire about 1mm thick - but thinner is better. But you can also find thin wire in a multitude of places - speakers, transformers, eBay etc. You may need to experiment but you're looking for .3mm or less thick. You can use wire strippers for this, but I'd steer clear of anything other than plastic coated wire because it's a real pain to remove the coatings.