Time 1 year
The jet turbine inhales air through an inlet in the dragon’s chest and thrusts it out the rear at 500 mph. The air coming out of the turbine can exceed 1,400 degrees. To avoid cooking the other components, Hamel designed and custom-welded a double-walled stainless-steel exhaust for insulation.
Hamel opted for an off-the-shelf 2.4-gigahertz touchscreen radio controller. Four nickel-cadmium battery packs power the receiver, the servomotors that turn the head and tail, the red LED eyes and stun-gun circuit, and the microprocessor that controls the turbine.
After carving the head out of foam, Hamel molded two extra copies from which he could cut scales to apply to the dragon’s exterior. To create the creature’s devilish gaze, he cast the eyes out of clear urethane resin and set a bank of red LEDs behind them.
Hamel activates the fire breath by flipping a switch on his remote. He wired the receiver to the dragon’s eyes and a servomotor in its head. When he activates the LED eyes, they light up, telling him the fire system is ready. Then he flips another switch that turns on the servomotor to open the mouth. That sets off the stun-gun circuit and opens the propane valve. (His plumbing background came in handy—he built the valve himself.) The gas squirts out and, for a few seconds, the dragon spews flames.
See how Hamel's dragon looks when it's fired up.single page
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