You can make a real, working rocket from a simple sheet of paper!

The heart of this is a traditional "water bomb" origami model.  There are already quite a few Instructables on making the water-bomb, so I simply present the steps as photos.

Turning it into a rocket, though...

The fuel I chose for this project was propane from my blowtorch.  It's a happy coincidence that a drinking straw fits down the central delivery tube of my blowtorch.  I cut a straw to a spike, and it became a perfect delivery system for injecting fuel into the water bomb through the inflation hole.

I blew in gas for a few seconds, laid the rocket on its side, then applied a match to the hole.


I normally fuel these with methane (natural gas) from my lab gas-taps, so a few rockets went up in flames while I got the fuel-air mix right...

An impressive feature of these rockets in lessons is their size - I can keep a handful in my pocket, inflating them as I need during the lesson, as we discuss the various factors that can influence the distance they scoot across the desk.
kenyer made it!1 year ago

On a "summer" camp we made loads of them. This was the first one that worked :)

Kiteman (author)  kenyer1 year ago


OK i just did this and for extra measure coated the inside of the paper with heat resistant paint. it didn't work and produced a lot of smoke. though next time i am going to use card stock.
i may try this project just for fun but i am wondering will i end up with some thing like this.
Kiteman (author)  smiley G.I JOE2 years ago
Er.... not quite...
iceng3 years ago
Very neat working rocket...

I would like to know of any interesting failed projects.
Kiteman (author)  iceng3 years ago
Somewhere in the depths of my shed is a failed "Kelvin's Thunderstorm".
You should remake it into a non-failure and post it. Kelvin Thunderstorms are pretty cool I think at least I think so know after I Googled it
Kiteman (author)  Pfarmkid2 years ago
It's on my list.

However, my list currently has over 200 projects on it...
Hmm... Well sounds like a busy day
yapoyo3 years ago
(removed by Robert Goddard)
Kiteman (author)  yapoyo3 years ago
Goddard invented the *liquid* fuelled rocket...

yapoyo3 years ago
(removed by Robert Goddard)
bajablue3 years ago
Who needs fireworks? Genius!!!
Kiteman (author)  bajablue3 years ago
Er, if there are actual flames, something has gone wrong...
lol... doncha know?  That's the Redneck Way. ;-D
fjordcarver3 years ago
Love it, gonna try this sometime soon.
Kiteman (author)  fjordcarver3 years ago
freeza363 years ago
This is awesome. And nice avatar, i like the new background.
Kiteman (author)  freeza363 years ago
I like to theme them sometimes.
Kiteman avatar SF 01.jpg
mikeasaurus3 years ago
This is great!
Kiteman (author)  mikeasaurus3 years ago
MainaMakes3 years ago
It is a traditional Origami in my country, Japan, and is named Fusen which means balloon.
It is quite shocking for me to see the name of water bomb.
Kiteman (author)  MainaMakes3 years ago
I'm sorry you're upset, but no offense was meant. In the UK, this has been folded by many generations of schoolboys, who then fill them with water and throw them at each other like a grenade.

Since that has been the primary use of this form for so long, the name has stuck, and English-language origami books refer to the triangular shape in the eighth photo as a "water bomb base".
canucksgirl3 years ago
That was just awesome! I loved the video with the tune you added... and the drumroll... Priceless... :D

Great job.
Kiteman (author)  canucksgirl3 years ago
Thank you!
l3aca3 years ago
Awesome :D, you know, you can also take a butane lighter put it to the hole and hold the button down for about 15 secs then light it, whoosh!
Kiteman (author)  l3aca3 years ago
When you have access to a school lab, the bench gas supply is a lot more convenient.
sneeks into schools science lab during lunch....