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Bottle Rockets

Bottle rockets are well-known aerial-style fireworks that fly up into the sky and impress bystanders with colors, flashes of light, impressive noise and other features. Always a top-seller, these fireworks are quite economical and allow the whole gang to have a real blast lighting up several rather than stepping back and watching just one bigger fire work get launched. You can try just a single bottle rocket, but you’ll be back for the jumbo pack.  Please review the local regulations of your state and city because bottle rockets are outlawed in some jurisdictions.

Bottle rockets work in a fairly straightforward way. As soon as the fuse is lit, the flames move rapidly down into the rocket’s core and ignite the pyrotechnic chemicals within – usually gunpowder made of potassium nitrate, charcoal and sulfur. As the core begins to fill up with fire, the gunpowder is exposed, burned away and creates heated gases that expand and escape through the rocket’s nozzle.  An approximate 1 foot long wooden stick is attached to the small explosive to lend a low center of balance and stability to the rocket during flight.

A bottle rocket should never be lit in the hands; as the name suggests, the long skewer on the end should be set into a glass bottle or specially designed tube before lighting the fuse. After the rocket reaches its highest point in the sky and starts to fall downward, it will ultimately land back on earth. Occasionally you will see a firework that looks like a bottle rocket or sky rocket, but with fins added for stability and guidance through the air; these are usually referred to as missiles.

Bottle rockets can be purchased in a range of colors, reports (bangs), flashes and other effects created with special pyrotechnic ingredients added to the gunpowder at the time of manufacture.  These special effects come into play after the bottle rocket has burned through all its fuel (gunpowder) and reaching an apex. You can purchase packs of rockets that are all the same or test out a sampling of these fireworks to see which you like best.

Bottle rockets in flight are a real delight!

Bottle rockets are based on ancient sky rockets, the oldest version of fireworks developed by the Chinese in the second century B.C. First made for religious purposes, these fire rockets were later modified in the medieval times and used as flaming arrows in times of war. The invention and addition of gunpowder to rockets during this time period made them weapons that could impressively be launched further than a long bow or cannon. In the late 1700s, a Colonel Congreve of the American army created rockets which could project themselves as far as four miles away. This is why we sing “the rocket’s red glare” in our national anthem. Today bottle rockets are strictly recreational diversions and not battlefield weapons.