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Air vortex cannons are more fun when you add propane and fire

first_imgHow do you make a kid’s toy that’s been around since the 1960s even more fun? By scaling it up and cranking up the danger factor, obviously.Way back in 1965, Wham-O introduced the Air Blaster. It could blow out a candle from about 20 feet away. Numerous other companies have released air vortex cannons since the 60s, but they haven’t changed a heck of a lot since then.That’s because they’re so elegantly simply to construct. You can make a vortex cannon at home with just a few inexpensive parts, like a cup, some popsicle sticks, a rubber band, and a trash bag. Or you can go big and grab a trash can to build your airzooka.The fun doesn’t have to end once you’re done seeing how many cardboard things you can knock over from a distance or who can blow the most epic smoke ring using your creation. You can bring fire into the mix like the Backyard Scientist did.He recently whipped up a vortex cannon using a galvanized metal trash can, complete with its own stand for easier aiming and firing. After he put away the fog machine, he and his partner pulled out a propane tank and lit things up.To ignite their invisible floating propane donuts, they mounted a lit sparkler a few feet away from the vortex cannon. The result is pretty spectacular — you’ll see it at about the 1:50 mark in their video:Vortex cannons can put on an impressive show even when there’s no visible flames. You can, for example, pretend that you’re the Big Bad Wolf and use one to blow down a few houses:last_img

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