An airburst can also be a far less military device, namely a pyrotechnics prop often used in connection with rock concerts.

These are small props, usually packaged inside a photographic film cannister (you know, those little black things), and are hanging from the ceiling from the leads leading to the electronic fuse inside the prop. When ignited, the lid is blasted off the film cannister, and a short gerb-type effect happens. Imagine fire and sparks raining down over the actors / musicians, and you've got it.

Inside the airbursts, you will find a mixture of magnesium and flashpowder.

Because of safety distances, airburst effects are usually only used in large indoor arenas. Outdoors, they are used more sparingly, because of the chance of burning sparks being pushed out to the audience by the wind.

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Please read the disclaimer. Also, make sure you have read the Pyrotechnics safety tips. SAFETY FIRST