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!
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