Man this would have been a really good science fair project last year in physical science!!!
And that was how we got to the moon!
I discovered these on my own when I was in grade school. Burned a hole in the kitchen linoleum firing them off, too! (Shh, don't tell my mom.) Wood matches are definitely better and if you whittle them down it reduces the weight.
I used to make these back with my Jr. High friends. We even got our science teacher to use the lab after school & the Bunsen burners to ignite the rockets. One key note they didn't make clear is that you need to use "Strike Anywhere" matches and not "Safety Matches" for best results. Safety matches lack the phosphorous tip for ignition. Plus wooden matches are much, much better. Take a knife & cut the tail at an angle to give your rocket some extra lift. We would spend hours designing a set of matches and then competing as to who got the greatest distance that day or the greatest height. What FUN!
Back in the late 70s we used to call these pocket rockets. (No derogatory comments please. :) )
So going to try this later.
I actually was shown a variant of this. Take two matches places them head to head and wrap in foil. Heat in between the heads and it'll launch whichever match is pointed up into the air.
From the page: Take one match and wrap a small piece of aluminum foil around the match-head. Wrap the foil tightly.
Make a small opening in the foil wrapped around the match head by inserting the point of a safety pin and bending upward slightly.
Bend the paper clip to form a launch pad as shown in the diagrams. Erect the match stick rocket on the pad. Make sure the pad is set up on a surface that will not be damaged by the rocket's exhaust such as a lab table. Several layers of foil on the lab table work well.
Ignite the match by holding a second lighted match under the foil until its combustion temperature is reached.
I have to try this.
A cool little experiment.
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