Fire-Breathing RC Flying Dragon

Apr 14, 2012 16 Comments by

Inspired by an animated movie, Rick Hamel’s fire-breathing, turbine powered dragon was the standout in the static display contest at the Toledo Weak Signals show. Yes, it actually breathes fire and it flies while powered by a turbine engine. It features composite construction, with over 62 individually molded parts, and an amazing “scale” paint job. No wonder it won the Best in Show award!

Model Airplane News contributor Jim Ryan, who interviewed Rick for an upcoming article, writes: “This is a big model. The beast has a wing span of 9 feet and is over 7 feet long.  It may look fanciful, but under it all Rick paid careful attention to sound aerodynamic design.  The airfoil is a deeply cambered Eppler 385 for optimum lift at low speeds.  The all-up weight is under 30 pounds, and with a wing loading in the high 30s the calculated stall speed is a reasonable 25mph. Power is provided by a JetCat P80 turbine producing 22 pounds of thrust.  The primary flight controls are ailerons and V-tail, but the dragon’s head is slaved to rudder to augment yaw control.  All this is controlled by a Futaba 14MZ radio.”

Stay tuned for a complete article in Model Airplane News!

 

 



Featured News, Gerry Yarrish

About the author

Senior Technical Editor About Me: I have a lifelong passion for all things scale, and I love to design, build and fly scale RC airplanes. With 20 plus years as part of the Air Age family of magazines, I love producing Model Airplane News and Electric Flight.

16 Responses to “Fire-Breathing RC Flying Dragon”

  1. Rich says:

    Now that is cool!

  2. Nik says:

    I saw this yesterday @ Toledo. It was…AWESOME. Talk about creativity and ingenuity!

  3. iflyrc says:

    i need a video of it in flight

  4. Gordon Niessen says:

    There is a Youtube video, but it is short and obviously taken with a cell phone.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENebG492V98

    And Dragon fire:

  5. Art says:

    It sounds like it’s powered by an EDF, not by a turbine like you described…

    • Gerry Yarrish says:

      The flight video is of the proof of concept model he build before committing to the turbine version on display. It might have been electric but I do not know for sure… But really aren’t you impressed it does indeed fly? Rick mentioned he changed the airfoil a bit too as well as other structural improvements. The dragon at toledo does have a turbine in the belly!

  6. J.R. Walker says:

    Hello! I have had a few friends ask if there are any plans available to build this beast? I bet alot of plans would be sold if they are out there, so please let me know, OK? Thank you.

    • Gerry Yarrish says:

      IN speaking with Rick the desginer/builder, we learn there are no plans to be offered. he did say he would consider custom building a dragon for interested parties, but we are not sure what the bill would be.

  7. TRob ARob says:

    I’d like to have one in EDF, which would either make it lighter or would this one be in the neighborhood of 10S?

  8. Juan Penagos O says:

    ¡¡¡ Increible!!! cuando podemos tenerlo en Colombia ???

  9. rick hamel says:

    The prototype was a 12s with a 5 inch fan–The new version can be constructed with electric or turbine-this is an all composite structure requiring 62 molds to produce-thats why it is so large and still light-30 lbs at 9ft span–plans of what!!!???

  10. J.R. Walker says:

    Do you plan to produce parts so someone else could build one? Your lucky, you probably have all the molds, so a kit is possible. How about it Rick, many would love to have one!! Thats what I’m talking about!!

  11. rick hamel says:

    unfortunately- the body is formed around internal parts (formers and gas tank) while using the molds to do so. also this structure is layed up with a nomex core under vacuum and then cooked in an oven for 15 hours after the inital cure–it is a complex build–just thinking about the drive assembly for the head gives me a headache–possibly in the future I might offer a completed version—who knows—last thought–aint this a great hobby–the best Jerry –the best!!!!

  12. @IGOTPANCAKES says:

    HOPE IT’S NOT LOOOOONG BEFORE YOU MAKE ANOTHER FIRE BREATHING B4 TAKE OFF FLIGHT WITH A FEW BALLS OF INTEREST N FLIGHT CAN YOU ROLL OR LOOP THIS DRAGON, CAMERA CHECK FLAME CHECK CHECKS IN THE MAIL…….. VERY COOL/HOT/MYTHICAL BUILD KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK/PLAY-N’S YES MAKE THEM SO WE CAN SEE DRAGONS FLY ONCE AGAIN!

  13. Anonymous says:

    AWSOME

  14. reilly mcvey says:

    where can i get one i would love to get one where are you located and how much is it

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