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Model, Fire Arrow Rocket, Sweden, 17th Century


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

This is a full sized model of a 17th century Fire Arrow Rocket of Sweden, the oldest known extant rocket specimen in the world. The original, dating to about 1600, is in the Royal Army Museum (Kungl. Armémuseum) in Stockholm. The specimen contains a bundle of three gunpowder rocket tubes wrapped in a fabric material. Around the fabric was contained an incendiary composition.

The three rockets propelled the arrow toward a target. The barbed arrowhead insured that it stuck to its wooden or other inflammable target. At the end of the rockets, fuses or powder ignited the incendiary composition so that the whole burst into flame and burned the target. The model was donated to the Smithsonian in 1976 by the George Marsden Design Company.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


George Marsden Design

Credit Line

George Marsden Design


  • Wood
  • Natural Fabric
  • Cardboard
  • Steel
  • Varnish
  • Paint
  • Adhesive


3-D: 215.3 × 17.1 × 15.6cm (84 3/4 × 6 3/4 × 6 1/8 in.)

See more items in

National Air and Space Museum Collection

Country of Origin

United States of America


MODELS-Missiles & Rockets

Inventory Number


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