This picture doesn't make sense. Who would want to carve a head statue just for a rocket that will blow up?
How does it work?
The decorated part does not explode b/c it is a launcher, not a bomb. It does not break upon falling either, b/c it was used by the navy, so the used-up launcher falls into the water, and can be recovered later.
Decorations make sense. They scare the enemy (who will think they are facing a fire-breathing dragon). And they inspire pride into own soldiers. I am pretty sure early rocket weapons were focused on psychological effect, due to low accuracy.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huolongjing#Fire_arrows_and_rockets , last paragraph:
The Huolongjing also describes and illustrates the oldest known multistage rocket; this was the "fire-dragon issuing from the water" (huo long chu shui), which was known to be used by the Chinese navy. It was a two-stage rocket that had carrier or booster rockets that would automatically ignite a number of smaller rocket arrows that were shot out of the front end of the missile, which was shaped like a dragon's head with an open mouth, before eventually burning out.
Painting above is probably inspired by this illustration: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huolongjing#/media/File:Chinese_Multistage_Rocket.jpg">ShareImprove this answeranswered Mar 25 '19 at 19:32Bald BearBald Bear811 bronze badge