In Marvel’s Thor, the titular character is a powerful Norse god portrayed by the equally-powerful Chris Hemsworth. Thor has many magical, super-human abilities, but it’s his hammer Mjölnir that is particularly iconic. In-universe, the hammer can only be lifted by Thor, returns to him when summoned, and can be used to conjure storms and lightning. In short, it’s a nerd fantasy weapon on par with a light saber, and on the FliteTest YouTube channel they’ve turned it into a working drone.
This project was broken down into two major steps: constructing a replica of Thor’s hammer, and making it fly. The body of the hammer is hollow, and was made mostly from foam board that was cut by hand and then hot-glued together. However, the initial version wasn’t optimal for flight, and had to be completely redesigned and rebuilt. A coat of paint really sells the appearance, and they even made some armor to look like Thor’s garb.
It was then time to make the hammer fly. It has a fairly standard drone setup that was made with common off-the-shelf components. The main challenge was to get enough air moving through the props to provide the thrust to fly. To do that, they integrated air ducts to channel the air through the hammer. With that work done, the hammer flies remarkably well for something so big and bulky, and the FliteTest team can now role-play as Thor whenever they want.