Cincinnati Fire Kite




Posted in OutsideKites

Introduction: Cincinnati Fire Kite

About: Hi! I'm Star Simpson! I'm a real me! See more at []. photo by [ Jeff Lieberman] ( stasterisk - my name is Star, and when I was 13 I ...

This simple kite will rise ~30 ft. in the air, until it consumes itself in a blaze of destruction. Great fun, very simple to construct.

Here's another instructable.

Step 1: Freeganism

For this to work, you will need one each of the following:

*Newspaper/Tissue Paper
*Lack of Wind

all of them more or less free or freely available

Step 2: Make the Paper Square

You can use an old trick borrowed from origami for this.

Fold the paper over in a diagonal. The edges of the paper define a square area.

If you make creases, you can see where to cut.

Cut that out and unfold it.

Keep in mind that the bigger your kite is, the longer it will fly.

Step 3: Kitemaking

Fold in all the corners, and stick them together with a piece of tape.

Step 4: Burn, Baby Burn

Find a windless spot, preferably over a nonflammable area like a parking lot, or concrete.

If this works, your kite should consume itself without touching anything else. I've seen it happen.

in the cold nevada desert, these kites rise hundreds of feet in the air.

Ours was kind of a total failure. We did a second version, and covered it with contact explosives in case it also didn't fly.
It didn't, but the bangs were worth the buck.



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    Ive got a few questions that are unrelated to the fire kite. The Nitrogen triiodide, where did you get the iodide crystals from? i can't find them anywhere except on chemical supply websites. And did you get the ammonia from ammonia cleaner? Thanks.

    my son and I have done this a bunch. It is really cool and so much fun! We use newspapers and the trick is to fold it evenly and tape it close to the middle. You want to make it like a bubble... When you light the corners, light all four corners as close to the same time as possible. The hot air fills the cavity and rises. At night, you can see the flame and then you can see the embers of the glowing paper. Also, the coler the temp, the better it works. After all, hot air rises!

     This will work.  it is actually the ash of the paper that fills with the hot air.   

    there can be NO WIND!!!!   No Humidity  or very little.  The colder the air 40F not 90F  the more height and faster it rises.

    Must get the Square of newspaper to light  and burn evenly.  light opposing corners.  Be paitent when it works its magic.

    1 reply

    No, some other fire kites do that but this one is like a miniature hot air balloon

    does any one know the history of the Cincinnati Fire Kite?

    1 reply

    here's what i got for the book, Backyard Ballistics.

    1946 A humid night on the Ohio- Kentucky border. A group of Forth of July picnickers enjoys the warmth of the long summer evening.

     Suddenly, someone in the group points to the south. there, behind a small grove of pine trees, a floating circle of fire rises like a phoshorescent Portuguese man-of-war in a dark lagoon. (good description huh!) "What's that?" they wonder. "A UFO? a shooting star?" the Cincinnati fire kite makes it's first recorded appearance.

    Like i said, i did not write this

    getto tea you live around cleveland

    you can do this in miniature size whit a tea bag, open the staple, get rid of the tea and find out that tea bags aren't bags at all. you should end up whit a tunnel. place the tunnel standing up, light the upper end of the tunnel.

    Hawaii ROCKS!! I live in California, but i've been to hawaii a few times. MAUI IS THE BEST!!!

    Yeah, needs to be cold. Where in Hawaii are you? I'm on Maui.

    this is really ard to get to work I tried it out of a book and all I got was a few floating ashes.

    we had a "cermony" and launched 3 in celebration of getting guitar hero III!

    i was about to post this from backyard ballistics! these are awesome. these nights lately hve been perfect! cold, still, and dark!

    Ha,ha. Looks like it was too windy. Was it cold outside? I think it works better in the cold.

    Very well written 'ible - just a shame it didn't work! I may have a solution, though! You seemed to light the kite at the bottom-centre. but, according to Backyard Ballistics, page 52:

    Turn the kite over so the paper seams are on the bottom. With one, two or three assistants, strike multiple matches and ignite the kite at each of the four corners. Try to ignite all four corners as close to the same instant as possible.

    Hope that's some help - if it works, you can add another video.

    Dang... I have to clean drool off my keyboard.