A flame projector is one of the most impressive pyrotechnics props in existence
What it looks like
The prop itself is a piece of cardboard pipe. The largest versions are
roughly the size of a Pringles box*, while the smallest are about the size
of a photo film cannister.
The effect? well.. Have you been to a Metallica or Rammstein concert
lately? In any case - a flame projector basically projects a huge flame upwards
for anywhere between five and 30 seconds. The smallest projectors have flames
about 6 feet tall. The largest ones can send flames up to 20 feet into the
The largest effects (often used by the mentioned bands) are not particularily
pretty - they are really just a giant pillar of fire - but they do have a
certain testosteronish quality to them. From 30 feet away from
these babies, you can clearly feel the heat. I was on stage once when one
was ignited, and even though I was about 6 feet away, my (cotton) shirt
caught fire. Impressive stuff, in other words
*) pringles box is a proper size measurement. It is defined as two
coke cans on top of each other, or about the same size of a two
liter bottle of Pepsi
How it works
Flame projecors are really laughably simple devices - they are cardboard
pipes filled with rocket propellant. That's it.
A word of warning
If you ever have to use flame projectors, take a good look at it before you
place it. See that large red arrow? That is supposed to point upwards. During
the rehearsals for a play (this was before I was the pyrokid),
the person responsible for the pyro managed to get it wrong. When it ignited,
it was spewing flames all over the place. Luckily nobody was close to it,
and the wire that ignited the projector snapped.
To imagine what would happen if it hadn't snapped the wires: Imagine taking
a fireworks rocket, tie it to a string and break of the direction stick.
Now ignite it. Multiply that by a hundred or so.
Back to the node on pyrotechnics
Please read the disclaimer
. Also, make sure you have read the Pyrotechnics
. SAFETY FIRST