Flamethrowers are a weapon so cruel that nations have joined together to prohibit their use. Laws like the third Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons prohibits the use of many incendiary devices by the military against civilians, acknowledging them as a weapon too horrific even for war. Nothing in international law prevents a civilian from strapping a flamethrower to a drone, however, even if it’s an absolutely terrible idea. So of course someone did it.
Austin Haughwout, a teenager from Connecticut who caught news headlines (and police attention) this summer by strapping a handgun to a drone, yesterday released a new video showing a drone with a flamethrower roasting a turkey instead. The drone parts come from remote control online retailer Hobby King, which also sponsored the video and whose giant logo appears prominently in the video.
Over the course of the four-minute video, the drone mostly hovers in place while launching jets of flame onto a dead and spitted turkey. In the United States, some local laws prohibit flamethrowers. California requires special licensing, and Maryland has an outright ban. After a crowdfunded flamethrower made the rounds online, Detroit banned the production, storage, and use of flamethrowers. It’s likely also that local laws, not federal ones, would regulate the use of flamethrowers attached to unmanned vehicles, though if the roasting took place on private property and without complaint, it could be entirely legal.
Watch the drone flamethrower below: