Introduction: Fire Breathing Dragon (Drone)

About: Inventor of the Fizzbit.

Yes, this is a fully functional flying, fire breathing dragon!

When I posted the Flying R/C Dragon last year Raitis suggested making it breath fire. I've been keen to do it ever since.

As this involves combining two somewhat dangerous and unpredictable things (a firework and a drone) with significant opportunities for synergy (more danger than the sum of its parts) if you make this please take care. Only fly it outside, wear non-flammable clothing and eye protection.

Step 1: What You Need

To make your own fire breathing dragon you need:

A medium-sized toy drone (roughly 5 inches / 120mm in span). I have used a Micro Drone (without the camera) here but the pattern will also fit a Crazyflie 2.0.

The PDF template printed on a sheet of regular copier paper.

Some glue, I use UHU but PVA will also work though it takes longer to dry.

A small detail knife (or xacto, scalpel etc), ruler and cutting matt

A small saw of some kind (or bread knife if you don't have a saw)

Two or three light duty elastic bands

Some cake firework candles. I got mine at my local £1 shop (£1 for 6!) but they are available online here in the UK and here in the US.

Step 2: Cut Out All the Parts From the Template

Use the knife and the cutting mat ;)

Step 3: Make the Head

Begin to fold along the dotted lines on the dragon's head. Start at the back and work forward gluing tabs in place as you go, as shown in the images.

Step 4: Make the Body

Grab the body piece. Start with the tail pinching along the dotted line on either side to produce curved folds as shown. Make the folds at the front and glue the tabs to make a box shape. Next fold along the dotted lines on the wings and glue the tabs.

Step 5: Add the Ears

Fold the ear piece in half and glue together. Bend the ears up as shown then glue to the top of the dragon's head.

Step 6: Attach the Drone

Drape the body over the top of the drone making sure that it is facing the correct direction. The box part at the front of the body should sit comfortably on top of the drone's circuit board. Check that all the propellers can run freely without contacting the body. Next flip the drone over. Cut a strip of paper from the leftover of the template, pass it over the bottom of the drone and glue each end to a wing. This strip helps hold the dragon on the drone but also prevents the wings interfering with the propellers when the dragon is descending. Add a second paper strip from the front of the body to the tail as shown.

Step 7: Prepare the Firework Candle

Pull the plastic cap off the bottom of the firework candle and check how far down inside the tube the charge goes. Cut the empty end off the candle so as to leave at least 10mm (1/2 an inch) of empty space remaining. (On mine the charge was never more than 40mm from the top so I cut them at 50mm / 2 inches). Next cut a slit down into the open end of the tube by about 10mm (1/2 an inch). Then cut another slit from the side of the tube (as if you are cutting it again but this time only go as far as the first slit). This should allow you to remove half of the tube where the empty space is. This detail locates the firework candle on the front of the drone.

Step 8: Attach the Head and Firework

Glue the head onto the front of the dragon's body. Carefully pass one or more elastic bands over the front nacelles of the drone. Insert the firework so that the locating feature engages with the front of the drone at the bottom and the elastic band holds it in place as shown. If the firework won't stay in position add one or two more elastic bands.

Your dragon is now ready to fly. Practice flying it in its new state. You'll probably find that the additional weight at the front makes it want to move forward but you should be able to correct this with trim. Once you feel fully in control get a friend to carefully light the firework whilst you concentrate on the controls.

Enjoy flying, fire breathing awesomeness!

Go scare some vikings, capture a throne, menace a wizard, whatever you've got a fire breathing dragon!


If your dragon gets singed just print out another template and make another head ;)

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