16 November 2016

Fei Yun Pi Li Pao (飛雲霹靂砲)

Ming Chinese Eruptor Proto-Cannon
A Fei Yun Pi Li Pao, from 'Wu Bei Zhi (《武備志》)'.
Fei Yun Pi Li Pao (飛雲霹靂砲, lit. 'Flying cloud thunder cannon/bomb') is a type of cannon that fires explosive shell. It is superficially similar to Ba Mian Xuan Feng Tu Wu Hong Lei Pao (八面旋風吐霧轟雷砲), however unlike the aforementioned cannon, explosive shells launched from this cannon are filled with only one type of gunpowder (usually incendiary, although poison smoke, ceramic fragmentation and blinding dust can be used as well).

Fei Yun Pi Li Pao is also called Eruptor proto-cannon (a problematic translation at best) and it is often erroneously believed to be invented during Song or early Ming period.


  1. It's interesting that a similar weapon, the pyŏngnyŏkp'o (霹靂砲), is recorded in the 火砲式諺解 written in 1635. The only record of any weapon like that in any Korean sources as far as I'm aware. Probably was left over from the Imjin War.

  2. It used eight taels of powder to fire a single iron ball though, not a shell.

    1. "霹靂砲" is a very common name that was applied to a variety of Song and Ming weapons, so it may or may not be related to pyŏngnyŏkp'o. I also haven't read 《火砲式諺解》in details to draw any conclusion.

    2. It doesn't give much information. Just "霹靂砲中藥半線火藥八兩土隔三寸鐵丸一箇" without any illustration.


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