"Most animals retreat from fire, yes?"
"Fire, yeah. Parker, can you rig three or four incinerator units?"
"Give me about twenty minutes, I'll do it."
Ash, Dallas and Parker, discussing the use of Flame Throwers against the Alien[src]

The Flame Thrower,[1] also known as the incinerator unit, was a flamethrower custom-built by Parker.[2] Like the M240 Incinerator Unit,[3] the Flame Thrower fired ultra-thickened napthal at an effective range of 30 meters.

In June 2122,[4] Flame Throwers were used by the crew of the USCSS Nostromo to combat the Alien. All Flame Throwers aboard the Nostromo were destroyed when the ship's self destruct system detonated.


Like the M240 Incinerator Unit used by the United States Colonial Marine Corps, the Flame Thrower fired pressurized, ultra-thickened napthal ignited by the Flame Thrower's nozzle burner at an effective range of 30 meters. The Flame Thrower had maximum burst of 20 seconds. The weapon was 88 centimeters long and weighed 2.7 kilograms, the same length and weight as the M240 with a full reservoir. "Rigging" (assembling or setting up) 3 or 4 Flame Throwers apparently took about 20 minutes.


"How are our weapons?"
"The weapons are fine. This one needs refueling."
Ripley and Parker, referring to their Flame Throwers

After a Chestburster emerged from Kane aboard the USCSS Nostromo, Brett was killed by the fully grown Drone when the crew went searching for the creature. Dallas concluded the creature was using the ship's ventilation ducts to move around and proposed a plan to flush it into the main airlock, at which point it could be jettisoned into space. Ash suggested that, since it worked on animals, fire might work to force the Xenomorph to retreat and Dallas ordered Parker to "rig three or four" Flame Throwers, who told him it would take "about twenty minutes". Once the Flame Throwers were ready, Dallas went into the ducts armed with one, firing the Flame Thrower occasionally, but was eventually caught by the Drone, dropping his Flame Thrower. Parker later retrieved his Flame Thrower and placed it down on the mess hall table, before picking it back up and carrying it and then leaving the rest of the crew to refuel it.

After Ash was discovered to be a synthetic by the crew, Parker used his Flame Thrower to incinerate his remains. Parker then took the Flame Thrower with him when he and Lambert went to sufficient coolant for the life support systems of the Narcissus, which the rest of the crew planned to flee the Nostromo with. Ellen Ripley stayed behind with another Flame Thrower. The Alien eventually encountered Lambert and Parker tried to fire his Flame Thrower at the Drone, but refrained from doing so for fear of catching Lambert in the crossfire. He instead dropped his Flame Thrower and grabbed a hook, attempting to charge the creature, but was quickly overpowered. The Xenomorph then killed Parker, before killing Lambert as well.

The only survivor, Ripley fled to the Narcissus, carrying a Flame Thrower and Jonesy in his cat box. Before reaching the Narcissus, Ripley dropped the Flame Thrower, leaving it to be destroyed along with the rest of the Flame Throwers on board the Nostromo when the ship's self destruct system detonated.

Behind the scenesEdit

According to Phil Rae, Martin Bower or Bill Pearson did the detailing on the Flame Thrower[5] (it is believed Bower did the detailing).[6]

The large raised section on the front of the Flame Thrower is the result of a large (compared to modern lighters) electronic gas lighter with a U2 battery (more commonly known as a D battery) being used to create the pilot light. A remote switch was used to turn on the lighter inside the Flame Thrower. Once the Flame Thrower was lit, director Ridley Scott "liked to keep it that way".[7]

Although much of the parts used to make the Flame Thrower remain unidentified, the two rectangular pieces with two rectangular holes in them (each) located near the front of the right side of the Flame Thrower are from Hornby Railways piers kits,[8] and can be found in at least R.654 and R.655 sets; it appears the piece in front of the two pieces is made with half of the Hornby part. Also, it is possible the the red tank and yoke attached to it are from a French Fenzy buoyancy compensator.[9] Additionally, the strap found on some Fenzys is very similar to the one used by the Flame Thrower. The pipe on the right side of the Flame Thrower appears to be the same kind used on the Nostromo model.

At least Sigourney Weaver (Ripley) test-fired the Flame Thrower (presumably before using it on set) on the lawn at Shepperton Studios' backlot.[10]


  • In Alien, the Flame Throwers are never actually used against the Alien; the only person who has a chance to do so is Parker, but he refrains from firing for fear of catching Lambert in the crossfire. However, it is fired by Ripley and Dallas in the Director's Cut and novelization, receptively.
  • As the weapons were custom-made by Parker, it is presumed the incinerator units were all destroyed along with the Nostromo itself.
  • The use of the Flame Thrower in Alien began something of a tradition in the Alien franchise of flamethrower weaponry featuring in the films — Aliens would prominently feature the M240 Incinerator Unit, Alien Resurrection would feature the Draco Double Burner and Prometheus would also feature a flamethrower. Despite not featuring flamethrowers, the prisoners in Alien3 also used fire as a weapon against the Dragon.
  • In the Aliens: Colonial Marines multiplayer map Nostromo, an M240 Incinerator Unit can be found next to 2 tracking devices on the same table where Parker lays down Dallas' Flame Thrower after recovering it from the vents in Alien. This was likely done as a reference to the film.

External linksEdit


  2. Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett (writers) and Ridley Scott (director). Alien [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  3. Lee Brimmicombe-Wood (1996). Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual. HarperPrism, 22.
  4. Lee Brimmicombe-Wood (1996). Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual. HarperPrism, 135.
  5. ALIEN HARDWARE - Page 16 - Space 1999 Eagle Transporter Forum
  6. a Blade Runner Prop Community Forum BladeRunnerProps.comView topic - ‘Give me about twenty minutes’ – ALIEN – Incinerator Unit
  7. Alien Makers IV
  8. a Blade Runner Prop Community Forum BladeRunnerProps.comView topic - ‘Give me about twenty minutes’ – ALIEN – Incinerator Unit
  9. Alien Flamethrower - Any scuba/diving experts for part ID
  10. Gavin Rothery - Directing - Concept - VFX - Gavin Rothery Blog - Sigourney Weaver looking good with a flamethrower