Beach Shoot #8 - Spinners

Date: 2003-11-03


I found an expended commercial helicopter/bee device a few days ago, out in the grass nearby my house. It was badly weathered, but I decided to take it home and study it. It was approximately 30 mm long, 5 mm ID, with red plastic wings. It had probably been a little longer, maybe 40 mm, before a flash report took the end off and cracked the wing tube.

I figured I'd have a go of making my own, so two were made, a 5 mm ID version, and a 8 mm ID one. Both were 40 mm long, made from PVA pasted sparkler box cardboard and A4 80 gsm paper overwraps.

End plugs of hot-melt glue and wadding, fused with thin blackmatch and meal-NC paste. 1.8 mm nozzle holes fire-proofed with waterglass, propellant of straight meal.

Some scrap heavy cardboard was fasioned into primitive wings. My device probably weighed twice the commercial one, purely because of my thicker casing and wings.


Both looked great, but didn't fly.

The 5 mm version was close to taking off, floating a foot or so off the ground at one point, and walking down the stairs quite gently.

The 8 mm version was consumed faster, as expected, but put on about the same performance. Its wings were larger, and it was much heavier, so it didn't have quite the same bouncing effect.

Lighter devices would probably fly just fine.


title type size
Test Video #1 (5 mm) video/x-msvideo 549.872 kbytes
Test Video #2 (8 mm) video/x-msvideo 446.662 kbytes
Pre-Test Picture #1 image/jpeg 60.423 kbytes
Pre-Test Picture #2 image/jpeg 41.935 kbytes
Post-Mortem Picture #1 image/jpeg 49.073 kbytes
Post-Mortem Picture #2 image/jpeg 44.147 kbytes