Does a primitive rocket whose ignition barrel is mounted away from the center of mass cause the projectile's trajectory to differ from the standard textbook shape? Is it parabolic-concave-down (like a typical textbook) or a parabolic-counter-clockwise-loop? Can it possibly be the second? Any aerospace engineers here?
Context: I watched a student in the history and philosophy of science present about Ming Dynasty rockets. He discussed the chemistry of the ignition barrel, mixing ratio of the fuel, its design, and some other talking points. After the presentation some man approached him and claimed that because the Chinese mounted the ignition barrel at the front, away from the center of gravity, as the tank burned, losing mass, the trajectory the arrow would follow is not the typical parabola. In words -- it curved *up* and up and up and sometime back on itself during burn and in some cases whipped *back*, hitting the Chinese troops further up the ranks, due to torque induced by mass loss off gravity-center, and imperfect spin, which would have stabilized it by rotational inertia.
Can this possibly be right?