Unique weapon of the Ming Dynasty — Huo Long Chu Shui (火龍出水)

Ming Dynasty Two-Stage Rocket
Drawing of a Huo Long Chu Shui, from 'Wu Bei Zhi (《武備志》)'.
The Huo Long Chu Shui (火龍出水, lit. 'Fire Dragon Out of the Water') is one of the most well-known ancient Chinese weapon. It is, however, also one of the most impractical.

Huo Long Chu Shui consists of several different parts: A bamboo tube, carved wooden dragon head and tail, four rockets attached to the bamboo tube to provide lift and propulsion, and several "second stage" incendiary rockets inside the bamboo tube. This weapon can supposedly "hover" three to four chi above water during flight, and has a range of two to three li, making it the equivalent of an anti-ship cruise missile.


Nevertheless, Huo Long Chu Shui is an impractical weapon as evidenced by this test done by MythBusters. It is impossible to ignite four rockets at the exact same moment to achieve stable flight with the technology available to Ming Chinese, not to mention the rockets are too small to propel something of that size.

No comments:

Post a Comment

StatCounter