How to Make a Match Rocket





Introduction: How to Make a Match Rocket

I show how to make a simple match rocket. It is made from common materials and only takes a few minutes of preparation. This is an easy and fun project when you are bored. A match rocket is an extremely simple rocket to construct and launch. It demonstrates many principles of rocketry, basic jet propulsion and Newton’s Law of Motion. The combustion of the matches produces hot gases and smoke to propel the rocket forward. They produce a lot of smoke so I would suggest igniting them outside. If the rocket ignites but doesn't take off, try making the exhaust hole a little bigger and if it falls really fast use less foil when making it. I also show how to make a basic launcher from a paperclip. You can choose a different method of launching it if you find it works better. There are also many different designs that can be made, I found that this design worked best for the matches I was using but with some experimentation you may find a better design that works for you. Of course the match rocket has been done many times before but I thought I would put some new touches on a classic project.

Step 1: Materials


-Aluminum foil

-Small tube or cylindrical object




-Paper clip

-Side cutters

Step 2: Watch the Video

(The video may not show up for mobile viewers)

4 People Made This Project!


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38 Discussions

Hmm... I wonder if holding the flame lower to ignite the match heads at the bottom of the stack first would work better? 'Real' solid fuel rockets like Estes engines work that way. more energy goes out the back in the form of propellant gases and less into trying to push the unlit matcheads out.


1 year ago

good my friend

Imma make that l8er


it is a new idea of making a home made rocket out of match sticks

i will sent a photos after trying this

Awesome! I made mine out of this and some other dude's idea. So basically I made something better thanks to you. Well regardless of what law applies to what this project very nice for spending some time with your family and stop wasting time in social networks.

QUOTE: If the rocket ignites but doesn't take off, try making the exhaust hole a little bigger and if it falls really fast use less foil when making it.

Well, f=ma (Second Law), and decreasing foil will increase acceleration. Which means speed, basically. Since the trajectory is not flat, acceleration will cause it to to go higher/faster/farther when it is launched. Also, if the hole where the exhaust comes out of is bigger, that means more stuff comes out. Again, F=ma, and more mass=more force. According to the third law (Equal and opposite reaction), this would cause the rocket to fly up farther, even if it is heavier. Also, isn't gravity by someone else? I think like Galileo or something, not Newton. :P

The rocket can go faster up due to force but all it has when it falls is gravity bringing it back down. Weight has no influence on that! A light rocket may fall slower due to wind resistance or design to use air resistance to stay afloat.

No biggie, just want to keep it real.

Note, however, that even if the intent was not to say that it takes less time to fall because the maximum height is decreased when using more foil (as I believe may be the case, and as would actually happen because the thrust force would have a decreased acceleration for a constant time), but instead that it would actually fall at a higher rate of acceleration, it is still valid, because of the drag force opposing gravity. You see, provided that the size doesn't change significantly when adding extra foil, the drag force will still behave the same, but by removing foil you decrease the density of the object, meaning that the drag force could more effectively 'counter' the gravitational force.

Arighty, see... If it goes up faster, that means it is higher... which means it has farther to fall. Which means it takes more time to come down. Gravity isn't some magical force that makes everything touch the ground at the same time. :/

It set off, just didn't quite make it. It had too many matchheads in it.


I have a question what would happen if instead of using matches you would use a crushed up quick lite hookah coal?

when i get a chance i will tell you the result!

nice tut

Boy things have gotten fancy since I was a kid.We used to hold a paper book match to a pin or clip like yours,wrap it in foil,slide the pin out to leave a channel for the gasses,lay in on an incline in an ashtray and light the head.If you do this,use the whole match,chemical end at tip,good to go.Not as pretty,but way faster.Good Job though!