The Steampunk Surveillance Drone
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This is the Steampunk Surveillance Drone, and how a drone aircraft would look if built in the Victorian times. Technology wouldn't have been around to build drones as we have today, so they would have engineered them using the technology that existed at the time.
It's manned by a crew of three; a pilot, navigator and a gunner. And the parrot plays a role too.
Twin steam engines drive the five propellers, all of which rotate when you spin the wheel on the front deck. It has side thrusters to help it steer, and two grappling hooks for anchoring when landing. The boilers have gas cylinders built into their bases, and primitive condensers next to them recycle the steam. The chimney also doubles as a handle that can be used when the model is being played with, and is anchored through the base using a 16M shaft for strength.
The pilot steers from a pod on the right which he can access via the step ladder, where his gauges show the steam pressure and a cylinder shows the water level in the system.
The navigator is next to him with a map, sextant and telescope. And the gunner mans the machine gun, which has rotating barrels, with both of crew capable of rotating on their bases.
There are 3 cameras, and being older technology, the film needs to be sent back to base for processing using the 'messenger parrot'. Film is tied to his leg and off he goes. With film in its early stages of development, it was large and heavy, and beyond the ability of a pigeon to carry and so parrots are used.
I designed this model by looking at current technology and working back to an alternative history to where it could have originated if invented in the Victorian times. Manned surveillance would have been heavy, difficult and dangerous work for the crew and the parrot, encouraging the development of remote control, digital photography and live video streaming.
Check out the hi-res photos here
The model has 1090 bricks.