Mythbusters “Firework Man” episode set out to prove or disprove that you can strap on fireworks to a man and blast off into the sky. Of course, they used “Buster” the crash test dummy and not a real human – thank goodness! In the Discovery Channel show’s “we’ll try anything approach,” the cast built a wooden flight vehicle and loaded it up with as much high-powered consumer fireworks they could get their hands on. In the after-show it was even mentioned that Internet fireworks sites were scoured and an expert was called in to pick out the most explosive fireworks legally allowable in the country.
So was the myth busted? Watch the video and decide for yourself, because the cast still can’t decide if they actually failed. Or, they just don’t want to admit that it was a bust. When you look at the video, you’ll notice that Bruce, the crash test dummy is strapped onto a wooden flight vehicle with the fireworks loaded up en masse underneath. When the fireworks were detonated by remote control, the vehicle travelled up the sloped ramp with a promising liftoff but then went out of control into a spinning, flipping mess obstructed by a huge cloud of smoke. Even through the thick smoke, you can still see some of the hundred of fireworks exploding with various effects — so cool!
The goal of this experiment was to have the firework man liftoff at least 150 feet in the air – and he probably made it ½ way before crashing. Blaming the design of the bottom-heavy vehicle, the Mythbusters on the team seemed like they might be up to call in an aeronautic engineer and try again. It should go without saying, but we need to say it anyway – don’t try this at home!