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Non Explosive Pyro / Flaming Rope


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I am working at a childrens camp where the older group (in their teens) makes a large bonfire on the last night and would like to add in something for effect. With that in mind, I don't really want to and am probably not allowed to get into rockets and explosions.


One of the ideas I had was to use a rope to draw something on a large mesh. The problem comes when I try to figure out what fuel to use. One additional complicator is that ideally the rope can be fueled and assembled hours before the event. I did a bit of testing and the best results I got was with a fairly thick sisal rope soaked in Kerosene and slathered in Vaseline, I get roughly a 2min burn time.
(Kerosene works almost as well by itself right after soaking but not after a few hours. Just petroleum jelly is hard to light). I would love any recommendations you might have.


I also really like the idea of a Cremora but again hit the problem of the lift charge... Does anyone know of a similar effect without explosives? perhaps more along the lines of a small flame thrower? Is there a way to safely use pressure to propel fuel into mist and then light? Perhaps in bursts?


I welcome any other crazy ideas as well ;)

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I've seen the flaming rope idea work very well especially if the rope is pulled into a polythene tube. Now you have to find a poly bag factory that makes small thick bags and will sell you a (few) hundred foot lengths. Putting the rope into the tube first then pouring fuel into one end and out of the other til the rope is saturated is a good way it works. Using the plastic tube is the only way of getting a liquid fuel stay in the rope for long enough. Anything viscous enough and of low enough volatility will be very hard to light. Without prior tests you have no idea how long it will burn for. Electric ignition with a quick match could be a good way to start it.


For a cremora, put the dust in an inflated latex balloon and put that in a fire on a stick or rope. The inflation pressure should be enough to spread the powder out and the fire should light everything.


Sadly every special effect is usually the result of much trial and many errors. You NEED time space and materials to test all ideas and work out what a safe distance to the crowd should be. -That's safe in the eyes of every child's mother not an assembled crowd of pyros wearing nomex!

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