Balcony Shoot #16 - Catherine Wheel Driver Test

Date: 2003-10-17


This was actually part of a larger wheel that tore apart during the bending of its tube (which was a piece of match pipe). I decided to try the straight segment of unchoked case alone on a scrap of cardboard.

The composition was 90% meal, 10% Aluminium (-325 mesh, spherical). It was riced with straight metholated spirits to make it easier to ram, then the case was moistened with a wet rag rolled flat and bent (which is when it got torn).

I sealed the broken end with a little hot-melt and glued it to a scrap of cardboard box. A polymer wine cork was was glued to the other end of the cardboard scrap as a counterbalance.

Fused with a piece of Zn enhanced blackmatch bent over twice and shoved in the end of the tube to make contact with the composition grain.


Didn't spin.

The initial spurt of sparks was quite large and attractive, but it did not develop sufficient thrust to overcome static friction.

I believe the composition may have still been slightly moist, it was tried within 2 hours of its construction.

A brief (undocumented) test the previous day with 1 inch of of match pipe rammed with pure meal and tested as a ground serpent worked quite well, so it may have been residual water or alcohol in the composition that caused the failure.


title type size
Burn Video video/x-msvideo 2.804 Mbytes
Pre-Test Picture image/jpeg 71.913 kbytes
Post-Mortem Picture image/jpeg 59.267 kbytes