Outdoors

LED-packin' helicopter rocket is a greener alternative to fireworks

LED-packin' helicopter rocket ...
The emissions-free Rammaxx rocket's LED strip can be set to flash in different colors and patterns
The emissions-free Rammaxx rocket's LED strip can be set to flash in different colors and patterns
View 2 Images
The Rammaxx rocket on its remotely-activated launch pad
1/2
The Rammaxx rocket on its remotely-activated launch pad
The emissions-free Rammaxx rocket's LED strip can be set to flash in different colors and patterns
2/2
The emissions-free Rammaxx rocket's LED strip can be set to flash in different colors and patterns

As July 1st and 4th approach, people in Canada and the US (respectively) may be thinking about setting off some fireworks. They might want to consider a more eco-friendly and reusable alternative, though, in the form of the Rammaxx rocket.

Inspired by much smaller and simpler helicopter rocket toys, the 17-inch (178-mm) Rammaxx consists of a transparent tubular body with a nose cone at one end, and a set of rotor blades and fins at the other.

Inside the main body is a strip of high-intensity LEDs that can be programmed to flash in various colors and patterns. They put out a combined 5,000 lumens, with a single 1-hour charge of the rocket's battery reportedly being good for about 50 flights.

Making a banging noise, the Rammaxx is launched from an included spring-loaded platform that catapults it up to 300 ft (91 m) at speeds as high as 80 mph (129 km/h). Its lights flash as it flies, plus its nose cone produces a whistling sound – the pitch of that sound can be changed by swapping in different cones.

The Rammaxx rocket on its remotely-activated launch pad
The Rammaxx rocket on its remotely-activated launch pad

Although the unpowered rotor blades are kept folded back by the acceleration of the launch, they spring out and begin to auto-rotate once the rocket reaches its apex and begins its nose-down descent. This slows its fall considerably, so it isn't damaged (and doesn't do any damaging) upon landing. Additionally, thanks to its moveable fins, the rocket doesn't land just anywhere.

"The fins are controlled by a small flight computer which measures acceleration on the way up and on the way down," Rammaxx CEO Dan Lubrich tells us. "On the way up this allows it to calculate the deviation from the straight vertical at the apex point. On the way down it enables the rocket to guide itself to the landing zone."

Lubrich adds that because the rocket isn't self-powered and its launch height is limited, its use in populated areas shouldn't be legally restricted. In situations where keeping the noise down is a consideration, it can be fitted with a silent nose, plus its launch pad can be set not to bang.

If you're interested in getting a Rammaxx of your own, you can sign up for email updates via the Source link below. A full kit, consisting of a rocket and launch pad, should retail for around US$250.

The Rammaxx rocket can be seen in action, in the following video.

Source: Rammaxx

Rammaxx Electronic Fireworks

9 comments
Spud Murphy
Next step is to have the rocket eject a couple of dozen self-powered LED flares. Each flare would have a small supercap to power it for the few seconds needed, along with a boost circuit to cope with the cap's rapidly dropping voltage. The trick would be to also have those flares stay within a landing perimeter, but that should be doable.
Rusty Harris
250 bucks? You could buy a bunch of fireworks, for a third of that!
Spud Murphy
Rusty, that is one of the silliest comments I've seen in a long time. Fireworks are cheap, but one bang and they're gone, these can be reused hundreds of times, which makes them a lot cheaper. You can try using your brain cells you know, they won't wear out from overuse.
Mr Alex
Interesting idea, but shame about the video. In 2020 why are girls in shorts and heels still used to promote technology?
michael_dowling
Oh for god's sake! I am convinced that we are in a climate emergency,and have to slash CO2 emissions,but a few thousand fireworks displays are not going to make any difference. These things are a pale imitation of the real thing. Mr Alex: Did you not get the memo? Sex sells,lol!
nick101
Dumbest thing ever! Seriously, how much pollution do fireworks cause anyway? Hippies don't like them, but hippies don't like anything fun. Even with low-rent supermodels to launch them, I wouldn't buy any.
Username
The most impressive/exiting part of fireworks is the explosion at the apex, often made better with multiple simultaneous launches. Though these may be fun, they're no replacement.
Nelson Hyde Chick
Good for fire prone areas.
JeffK
It would look pretty cool if you had 50 to 100 that could launch sequentially about 1/2 second apart, but fireworks they are not. If you're going to get rid of real fireworks then do it. don't try to substitute some techy gadget. As famed broadcaster Paul Harvey said about decaf coffee, "It's like a kiss from your sister."