Matchstick Rocket

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Introduction: Matchstick Rocket

About: I'm a mechanical engineer, and I like computer programming, mechanics, electronics and specially the robotics.

A "Matchstick Rocket" is a simple matchstick that its head is covered with light, thin paper.
When the matchstick gets hot the gunpowder will explode and flow of hot gas from the bottom of the paper makes the matchstick flying.


Step 1: Things You Need

To build this rocket you need:
  • Some matchsticks.
  • A piece of thin paper covered with a thin layer of metal. (You can find appropriate paper in the box of cigarettes.)
  • An object to use as the rocket base.

Step 2: Cutting Paper

Cut a rectangle from the paper.
The size of the rectangle must be about 3 times more than matchstick head perimeter and height.

Step 3: Making the Rocket

Roll the paper on the matchstick head firmly with your fingers and make its tip sharp.

Step 4: Ready to Launch

Find a safe place outdoors far from flammable things. Place the base somewhere and lean the rocket to the base.

Step 5: LAUNCH!!!

Put on safety goggles, stand on the back of the rocket and fire the matchstick wood with another matchstick and watch your rocket launching.

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    14 Discussions

    I did not tried little or flat matchsticks, but if there were enough power to overcome the weight it will be possible.

    sweet i just tried it and it almost flew but i suggest putting some thing in the rap and making a little gap.

    1 reply

    Yes, You're right. If there were a narrow long opening it makes it work better, by this way you can control the direction of fly. But note that in order to produce sufficient power to fly, the opening must be very narrow.

    It is very important how to roll the paper on the matchstick, the gases must be able to come out from the bottom easily, if they could't come out of the bottom the paper will be explode, so roll the bottom not too firm, but If the bottom is too loose the head of the rocket will jump instead of all of the machstick.
    Try making diffrent rockets to find the how firm roll the paper.

    I'm trying this with aluminum foil and a fuse - I'll post my results in, say, half a day.
    Win Guy

    I saw a project like this in a book called Backyard Ballistics. you wrap tin foil around a match and two pins that create ports for the gases to expand. cheap and easy fun