Introduction: Fire Kite

Picture of Fire Kite
I will show you how to make a extremely dangerous fire kite.

My friend told me about this from another friend so I dont know how this originated. Anyway basically when you set the kite on fire it heats air trapped in pocket, and then rises like a hot air balloon and eventually incinerating its self about 30-40 feet in the air!!!

Honestly I have only been allowing the kites to get 10 feet into the air after that Ive been shooting them down with a fire extinguisher; a ball of fire rising above the tree line late at night might piss off the neighbors

Bellow is a video of a fire kite it is not my firekite I didnt make it film it or post it on youtube I take no credit in making this video, I will post my own after I have a chance to film it

i can not post a video of my own because my area has had 2/5th the amount of rain it normally receives thierfor i do not intend to set a of a device that will fly up into the air dropping ashes as it goes

Step 1: Get Materials

Picture of Get Materials

All you need for this is a hole sheet of newspaper, a stapler, and fire.

Step 2: Fold It Up

Picture of Fold It Up

Look at the pictures, this is really quick and easy.
Fold 1and 2 together and staple

Step 3: Keep Folding

Picture of Keep Folding

Ok you should get the idea by now just fold the last 2 corners to the center

Step 4: Fly the Kite

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To fly the kite flip it over so the side with staples is facing down then, just light all 4 corners at exactly the same time and within a few seconds you will have a large fire ball quickly rising into the air.

This leaves a trail of hot embers so only do this after heavy rain.
Im not responsible for any damage deaths or any thing bad caused by using this is really really really dangerous only use when nothing burnable is within a 100yard radius do not use in high wind

I am sorry for not having any pictures in flight but it has not rained here for a week and as I said this is dangerous the first few flight honestly I didnt think it would fly at all so I didnt really think about how dry the grass was

Some stuff to think about, I think the best time of year for this would be the winter after heavy snowstorm, less of a risk of fire and remember that this works because the air inside the balloon is lighter than the air around it so I think it would go really really high in the winter ; D


pyromaniacguy (author)2011-12-31

I made a few out of printer paper for new years:p

Manny B (author)2011-07-28

My brothers and I used to launch these out in the desert almost 40 years ago. Not a lot to burn in the way of forests out there. Great fun for kids (make sure one is responsible, though)
I'm not sure how this would work in humid climates but in places with calm thin air, you get some real height.
As far as tape or staples, staples worked pretty good, but truth be told we used small twigs to braid the corners of the paper. (We were poor but creative!) A stapler was a luxury.
Have fun and be safe!

gbarbu (author)2010-12-25

I successfully launched these many times as a kid - a failure was rare. However, when I tried recently with a grandson, I found the newspaper disintegrated rather than formed an ash "balloon." I think the paper used for newsprint has changed over the years and the ash doesn't hold together as it did 50 years ago.

wenpherd (author)2008-11-11

iv seen this before in a book called backyard ballistics it is a awsome

xProShotx (author)wenpherd2010-10-01

same dude i got it over in the uk
tried but it failed
i thinks this show a little bit more explanation

zachthebeast (author)2010-01-07

i tried it and it was beast i put a fire cracker on it and an exsplosive ending

joemonkey (author)2007-06-21

dude i love the hot wheels radar gun!

Yess i just revamped it all jet black. Didnt do a great job at tracking the lacrosse balls though.

zachary978 (author)2008-02-16

will it work if you use tape instead of staples? I need to know.

yeah it should just dont weigh it down to much.

The other guy with a similar Instructable made his out of tape, and in the video he posted the tape melted and it kinda fell apart.

genericanonymity (author)2009-05-23

I think I'd like to take this idea to the burning man festival. It gets pretty cold there at night, so it should work out. Is it possible to slow the burning by dampening the paper slightly? I'm wondering if I can use a light misting bottle filled with water to slow things down.

dont know but oldnews paper is free.

sterlingsilver (author)2008-01-30

Wouldn't it work better if you sealed the pocket completely so less hot air gets out?

yeah but that adds weight. and sense its one fire tape would burn and more staples would weight it down to much.

use a little duct tape

or maybe some of that aluminum tape now that i think about it. Just a small piece though, it would also add some structural support (i think)

Allyoes (author)2009-03-14

Sweet, but isn't that dangerous to launch a kite on fire into the air??


quploid (author)2009-03-12

These fire kites are harder to make work in warm weather. Doing one in Florida almost requires a winter night.

pudicobar (author)2008-12-07

Hey cool. I used to do a lot of this when I was under my teens. We called these "chicken balloons", cause they wont fly too high (about 5m was the highest I saw one go) then "pfff" turn into dead ashes.

i am hammy (author)2008-11-29

i didnt think this was dangerous

geeklord (author)2008-09-20


santy22 (author)2008-09-20

I will show you how to make a extremely dangerous fire kite. Best instructable intro evar! (+10 awesomity points because of "extremely dangerous")

Danfelix8 (author)2008-08-29

It didnt work .....

its hard to get right. try again, the more people you have lighting it the more likely it will fly

acattaca (author)2008-02-12

low humidity is a must to have this work. also, you need a large format newspaper, tabloids don't really work. nice and neat, like the pic, is swell. you can twist the four corners together instead of taping.

acattaca (author)acattaca2008-02-12

oh yeah, only do it when there is no wind, and on a non-flammable surface like concrete, and be smart and don't start a grass fire or forest fire.

blugyblug (author)2008-02-09

Lol that awesome. You can make a mini version of this with a teabag. Striaghten out the teabag by removing the little staple thing and then take off the label. Put your finger inside and push it into a long cyclinder. (The teabag is actually a flatten cyclinder folded in half). Stand it up vertically and set it on fire. NOTE: Some teabags arent flattened cyclinders, so they wont work.

Kinnishian (author)2008-02-02

Awesome! Will be making one on the frozen pond :-)!!!!!

Mintyhippo (author)2008-01-16

neat! +1

brainspater (author)2008-01-08

That would work good as a flare if you were lost.

i is ninja (author)2007-12-07

good job ben, btw this is john

hey good to talk to some i actually know in person if u got any Qs Pm (private message) me

WonderhowTo (author)2007-12-06

This became famous as the Cincinatti Fire Kite. The reason was that it burned down about 1/3 of the city about 80 years ago when someone made one there. I had to research it for The Cincinatti Fire Kite you made is awesome!

Hawaii00000 (author)2007-12-03

I tried it and it worked. It worked It worked!!!!!!!!!!!!!

plasmaspy (author)2007-11-19

awesum =)

jueston (author)2007-11-15

once i saw someone use a big trashbag and a very light suspended tray under it with something burning in it to make what basically amounts to a really small hot air balloon... its basically the same idea this is just small and disposable... and much faster...

ahh yes the Chinese sky lantern apx retail $10 per balloon flys 4.5 min reaches altitude of apx 1 mile high 100% biodegradable.

blaznmonkey (author)2007-11-06

i made one and the wind picked up and it went over my house my house didn't burned though

m005k (author)2007-06-22

What a great way to start a forest fire! ----or maybe just burn down your own house.

Clements360 (author)m005k2007-09-29

Don't be such a downer m005k! If you are stupid enough to do this in your back yard and set fire to your house, or a forest, please don't expect us to be

Weissensteinburg (author)2007-06-21

I'd love to see a video of this when possible. Could you attach a string/piece of wire (fire proof) so that it can't get too far over...and then let it go all the way up?

I will try to get a video on the next kite we got a half inch of rain over night but things are still pretty dry. The kite deteriourates realy fast and i think a string would only hold onto a little part of the kite, just in puting the kite out with a fire extinguisher reduces it to a pile of white ash in the blink of an eye

u know a better way to do this????? u shuld take string and some sort of non flamable desk with a hole in the middle and put a couple of drops of gasolene or something elce flamable all the way up the string and make it branch off to the four corners then light the string at the bottom "note dont put as much flamable at the bottom so u dont burn off your hand" the flame will travel up the string and light all four corners

andrew101 (author)andrew1012007-09-23

oh yeah i forgot to mention the string wont weigh it down cuz by the time it gets airborne the string has burnt off

Kiteman (author)Weissensteinburg2007-06-22

The kite doesn't have enough lift to lift anything except itself. Add too many staples and it stays grounded, so a piece of wire is a non-starter.

sorry for my limited english vocab
no you cant tie a string to it coz it'll shatter the kite...

The flying will only occur when most (if not the entire) kite burnt to ash(?), yet still retaining its shape.. then it'll be light enough to float with the trapped heated air in it..

It isreally fragile, a slight gush of wind, or being touched by an object will destroy it..

Kiteman (author)2007-06-22

You rat! This is the Cincinatti Fire Kire from Backyard Ballistics - I've just been and bought a copy just to find out about this "kite", just to write an instructable about it.

egadsman (author)Kiteman2007-09-07

where can i find this backyard ballistics book. it sounds like something the government would want banned. I WANT IT!

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