back to article You'll never guess what US mad lads Throwflame have strapped to a drone (clue: it does exactly what it says on the tin)

US firm Throwflame is selling – you guessed it – a flamethrower attachment for drones. The TF-19 WASP requires a reasonably hefty lifting platform – the company recommends a drone capable of carrying a 2.2kg or 5lb load. But the guys from Ohio are happy to help out and supply a suitable machine to strap your flamethrower to if …

  1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    "clear debris from power lines"

    Can't let PG&E have all the fun when it comes to burning cities to the ground.

    1. Jay Lenovo

      Re: "clear debris from power lines"

      Keep in mind, it was catching debris(trees) on fire that caused the great Northeast Power Outage of 2003 (US).

      I can't recall the utility companies ever choosing to "burn" things away from their wires.

      1. sbt

        Re: "clear debris from power lines"

        I can recall. From 2017:

  2. Sureo

    Love the part of the video where they use it to burn a wasp nest. I'll take one.

    1. Robert Moore

      "Love the part of the video where they use it to burn a wasp nest. I'll take one."

      I HATE wasps!!! I'll take two!

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      burn a wasp nest

      Why? Wasps have their place in the ecosystem too.. The fact that you don't kile them is no good reason to go all exterminator on them.

      (I do realise that there are some places that you do have a good reason to clear them out - like if they are in your loft or cavity wall. But you won't be using a flamethrower to clear them from there unless you are very, very stupid..)

  3. Christoph

    How long before the extreme right start using these on demonstrations, ghettoes, abortion clinics, etc.?

    Or someone uses them for attacks on schools.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      How long before the extreme right start using these

      Or the extreme left ? Or just any one of a number of nutters? This just doesn't seem like it will end well.

      1. MonkeyCee


        "Or the extreme left ? Or just any one of a number of nutters?"

        Considering that the majority of terrorist attacks in the US and UK are by right wingers, they are who I'd be worried about.

        Mind you, they don't seem to have much of a problem acquiring the guns, bombs and trucks needed, so a flamethrower would just be bonus points.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Nutters


          "Considering that the majority of terrorist attacks in the US and UK are by right wingers"

          How the hell did that happen? Imported terrorists are right wing? Or the hate filled protesters opposing their president? I am not excusing right wing terrorists but I am going to need some convincing of your comment.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Nutters

            "hate filled" - yet another use of an officially sanctioned Trump phrase.


            Anyway, "hate" isn't against the law. Neither is opposing their president. Christ, you sound like a North Korean official.

            Come back to me when the left start shooting up schools, and racially attacking minorities in protest for "more healthcare"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The minute someone uses it "in anger"

      Flamethrowers will be banned in the US, and drones carrying weapons of any type will be banned.

      I wonder if the NRA would protest a flamethrower ban as being a "slippery slope" to eroding the second amendment, or would ignore it since it doesn't fit the definition of "firearm".

      1. Mike 16 Silver badge

        Slippery Slope?

        That would be the Napalm, especially if you are wearing gum-shoes.

        Meanwhile, could someone experienced in deepfakes gin up a segment with one of these things taking out some usurpers while Mother of Dragons stands almost off-screen holding the controller?

      2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

        Re: The minute someone uses it "in anger"

        @DougS - "it doesn't fit the definition of "firearm""

        Well, it has an arm, that shoots fire, so it must be a fire-arm.

        Also, the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution refers to, "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms", no need for the arms to be flaming at all. But maybe the amendment was simply referring to heraldic insignia?

    3. Eddy Ito

      Hasn't ISIS already been using drones as flying IEDs? Since there's not much stopping anyone from attaching a pipe bomb to a drone, your concern over this seems a little late.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just one of the many possibilities (good or bad) a drone provides.

      Pray we never get the dream of flying cars.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Who needs flying cars when you can rig a Cessna and fly it into anything you want by remote control - your fears are o so WWII ago.

    5. Grikath

      Extreme right for US, extreme left for Europe/South America, extreme sense of propriety for Asia, and extreme whatever-the-hell-I-want for most of Afrika nowadays.

      Simple fact is that extreme nutters have abused the potential lethal side effects of misapplication of technology for their own ends since before written history. Shouting "Think of the Children" and making an implied call for a ban will not change this and stop said nutters from doing whatever they want.

      Especially with the devastating wildfires of the past year in mind, its intended purpose makes sense. For your imagined purposes......not so much.... For that there are other tried and tested methods that are less traceable. Using a lfying flamethrower would be, well, silly....

  4. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

    The numbers don't add up...

    They're saying that the drone needs to be able to handle a 5lb. payload, while the flamethrower has a 1 gal. tank. Um...guys...1 gal. of gasoline or diesel fuel weighs *7*lb. And that doesn't count the wight of the tank or the rest of the assembly.

    1. Duncan Macdonald

      Re: The numbers don't add up...

      Americans have fine maths skills due to their superb education system (/sarc)

      1. Velv

        Re: The numbers don't add up...

        Don't the Merkins call it math not maths?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The numbers don't add up...

          Yes, and as the title says, it doesn't add up!

          I remember someone wrote mockingly about "maths" that "mathematics" doesn't have an "s" after the "th".

          So, why don't Americans shorten other words similarly? :

          Adverts / ads-> Ad

          Applications / apps -> App


    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: The numbers don't add up...

      If the drone is on fire all that hot air will make it two pounds lighter!

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: The numbers don't add up...

      Maybe they are using "special" gallons?

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    4. Wandering Reader

      Re: The numbers don't add up...

      American pints are smaller, therefore American gallons are smaller. Compare:

      them - "a pint's a pound the world around"

      us - "a pint of water is a pound and a quarter"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The numbers don't add up...

        Maybe you can standardise imperial vs american after Brexit since you don't seem to have got the hang of metric after 50 years?

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: The numbers don't add up...

        a pint of water is a pound and a quarter

        At sea level. At higher elevations[1] it might weigh less (even though it has the same mass).

        [1] Especially in micro-gravity.

  5. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Yeah gods, we're only milliseconds away from somebody gaffa-taping a gun to a drone.

    1. Eddy Ito

      Nah, surviving recoil would be a real problem. They might do BB guns though.

      1. Mike 16 Silver badge


        Well, if you fitted it with rockets left over from the 4th of July (or 5th of November) at the post-holiday, erm, "fire-sale" of unsold goods...

        1. Eddy Ito

          Re: Recoil

          That would work but accuracy would - let's say "suffer".

      2. BebopWeBop

        Sarc I assume - it’s been done

        1. Eddy Ito

          Please tell me you didn't fall for the fake video.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            That article just says it's fake, but doesn't point out why.

            Someone in the comments says there's no shadow, but watching the video there clearly is.

            1. Eddy Ito

              Ok, let's just look at the "gun" part of it at the 1:02 mark. There's a bit of barrel, a rail / hand guard attached to the copter and a magic tube coming out the back. There is no place for cases to feed or eject, no bolt, no firing mechanism just the magic corrugated sleeve. In short, his gun is missing most of the bits that would make it a gun.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                You may be right. That being said, the ejection port could be on the other side, away from the camera.

                Similarly, the ammo count be fed from the top, which would be in line with other machine guns being bottom fed (eg it's upside down).

                No idea what the magic tube out the back is for though.

      3. Duncan Macdonald

        Rocket launcher

        In WW2 a Piper Cub was fitted with 6 bazookas and used for anti armor attacks. Using a disposable launcher it should be possible to use the OG-7V or the PG-7VL warheads (normally used with the RPG-7) while only needing a 10lb payload capability.

        Icon for the effect on the target ===============>

        1. Eddy Ito

          Re: Rocket launcher

          Bazookas are rocket launchers and very similar to recoilless rifles. Not something you'll find ammo for at the local gun shop. Also not something light enough to be picked up by most cheap drones.

          Edited to add that if one wants to do serious damage there are far cheaper options that are just as anonymous. Tim McVeigh was an idiot and could have done far better at concealing his identity.

    2. Edward Clarke

      Been done...

      Kid did it with a small semiautomatic pistol. Here's the URL -

      Feds were not impressed at all with his clever hack.

    3. JJKing

      Some very quick milliseconds later.

      Armed Drones

  6. Claverhouse Silver badge

    Flames of the Apocalypse [ we can find a new code-name later, Mr. Ex-President ]

    Oh God, somewhere in a dark room Obama is crouched sobbing uncontrollably. He personally directed so many deaths on Terror Tuesdays; now this wonderful new Michael Bay super-drone has appeared, he is no longer The Decider...

  7. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge


    Remember this...

    Take, for example, the XM-42M flamethrower, legal in 48 US states and yours for a touch over double Elon's asking price. This handheld puppy shoots fuel up to 30 feet and makes the Boring Company kit look like what it is, a puny tool for puny tools.

  8. Frumious Bandersnatch

    How I detest the blatant X, Y Z in the world

    As an antidote, I've found myself attracted to stories like this:

    Alanis sues, claiming cosmic violation of her masterwork ``What the "it" in "it" "is"''

    (with reportage from News at 19)

    Yesterday, in Antipode, Alanis Morisette filed a civil suit against a high-ranking NZ civil servant, claiming that her trademark method of definitional assault on the apposite nomenclature of non-reality versus actuality (with special reference to potential humorous aspects thereof) had been infringed upon by the defendant in a live stream to "News at 19" recently.

    When questioned by reporters about her motivation in bringing about the proceedings, Ms. Morisette reportedly replied, "Doncha think?"

  9. Blackjack Silver badge

    So is this a real flamethrower?

    Or is more like a fancy lighter like the thing Elon Musk is selling?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So is this a real flamethrower?

      We actually have the tank-on-back version from this same manufacturer. We use it for brush, old decaying hay, etc on our ranch. And yes, they’re “real” flamethrowers.

  10. devTrail

    Arson business

    I don't know in the US, but in Southern Europe arson is a big business. Sometimes it happens to clear the land for property speculators (pardon, developers), but more often it happens to provide business to the companies that restore the forests (and most of the time replant higly flammable pine trees). They will definitely appreciate this new tool, but I would like to see it tested against those who put it on sale.

    1. devTrail

      Re: Arson business

      I forgot to add that arson is also widely used to extract protection money in rural areas.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Arson business

      Southern Europe arson is a big business

      It is here too - especially in the conservation business with unscrupulous people buying crumbling listed buildings that then have mysterious fires when listed building consent is denied for whatever mad scheme they have..

      It's remarkable how flammable some old stone-built listed buildings can suddenly become.

  11. Franklin

    What a wonderful time to be alive!

    That is all.

  12. chivo243 Silver badge

    One for Beavis please!

    Fire, fire, fire! hehehehehhehhhheeee Burn it! That's cool!

  13. GrapeBunch

    Have your cake and eat it too

    is becoming: Have your drone and blow up the target too.

    How about a solar-powered flamethrower using wood-dust as fuel? If the world wants destruction, at least make it eco-friendly. Peeps.

  14. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Where will it end?

    We're guessing it would also be an excellent way of getting rid of other annoying drones.

    The subsequent step in the drone-on-drone arms race will be a drone draped with a fire blanket. The step after that will be a drone armed with a hook capable of lifting the blanket so that the flamethrower can get a clear shot.

  15. trevorde Silver badge

    Drone cage fighting!

    with flamethrowers!!

  16. Winkypop Silver badge

    Just like a traditional Christmas again

    All the young kids playing outside with their new flying flame throwing drones...

  17. Maryland, USA

    That's one small step for man giant leap for marshmallows.

  18. William Higinbotham

    Lighting it up

    Maybe they will have a device for lighting bovine flatulence in the fields till they get new strain of grass developed.

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