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World Record Largest Firework Shell Attempt

World Record Largest Firework Shell Attempt

Have you ever wanted to be a part of a World Record attempt?

A group of firework enthusiasts have come up with a cunning plan to create, build and successfully fire the worlds largest fireworks display shell. For those of you that don't know what a shell is, please see an example picture below of a 16-inch firework shell.

With the assistance of the Kickstarter Campaign. The team have from now until the 3rd April 2014 to raise enough funding to make this attempt a reality and with a target of $55000.00.

For those of you wondering why they need $55k, here is the breakdown by Fred Hopper:

The $55,000 is based on the estimate of having the shell supplied with Chemicals,

1500 pounds at $6.00 per pound average from Aaron. that is $9000.

We will also need to have the Stars made at a cost of about $5000 on top of the chemicals, and I am pretty sure I am underestimating because we may very well need to make some moulds and tooling for the press. So, make it $6000

We also need to create the Machine to tape it. I don't think I want to do it by hand. Last year Jim Widman (wasp machine) told me approx $20,000, and I thought that would be more like $25,000.

With the Tube, using the External Concrete method, We are looking at another $5000 for the forms (3 ten foot lengths, 60" n Diameter) and the concrete to fill in around. Could be cheaper if we fill it with sand, and of course, we could not feel good leaving a 60" hole thirty feet deep hanging around, so backfill with sand.

We are up to $45,000 estimated right now and have not yet fulfilled the incentive awards for the Kickstarter backers. That will be mainly Wallet Cards, CD's and Photograph's, T-shirts and Hats.

If we pay for an adjudicator from Guinness, they want $8000. I told them we will probably have to do that part ourselves, and as we know, there are hoops to dive through.

If there is anything left (it wont be much unless I am underestimating the power of "crowdfunding" (I Hope!), split between the team for a Launch Party. I have tried to keep it as close to the bone as possible, but It will take some funding, as you know.


A shell (short for bombshell) is a spherically shaped firework mainly used in professional firework displays for huge events like the Olympic Games or New Year’s Eve. Shells are fired from a mortar tube and will reach high into the sky and will burst at anything from around 117 feet for a 2-inch shell to 481 feet for a 36-inch shell. Below is a video of a typical firework shell.

In this case, the proposed shell is going to be 60 inches in diameter and will weigh in the region of 1700lb. The burst on a shell is dictated by its size and works on the principle of 45 feet diameter burst per 1 inch of shell diameter (this will depend on how tightly packed the shell is too).

Using the equation a two-inch shell will give a resultant burst of 90 feet. So the supersized shell, in this case, will give you a burst which is a staggering 2700 feet across.

The current World Record is held by Japan. They fired a 1534lb shell of 543 ¼ inches into the skies over Hokkaido on 15th July 1988 and the burst was a staggering ¾ of a MILE across.

The team planning this have some challenges ahead within particular getting a shell of this weight and size into the air with enough force to lift it but without affecting the integrity of the actual shell.

Furthermore, the stars to be used will have to be extra long burning as they need to burn as long as possible, and at the same time, ensure that they will not hit the ground still burning. Stars, as outlined in one of my previous blog posts, are little cubes of an explosive mixture containing a mixture of salts and metals to create colours, sparks and effects.

The proposed launch dates and site are still at the planning stage but they anticipate that it will be ready for launch late 2015 and they are looking for a ‘space’ big enough to enable safety distances of 8400 feet (over a mile and a half wide).

If you do wish to make history and of course gain yourself a Guinness World Record certificate of participation, why not help the team out. You can pledge anything from $1 to $7500 or more and each different level of funding will entitle you to a bigger slice of the cake.

If (and we hope with all our hearts this is a when) this attempt is made, we will bring you all the news.

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