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The Pakistani Frontier Corps in Baluchistan province recovered the drone. And they confidently declare it to be an “American surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle.” But as WIRED editor-in-chief Chris Anderson points out, it doesn’t look like anything the U.S. flies — or at least acknowledges flying. What’s the deal?
WIRED editor-in-chief Chris Anderson flags pictures of an unusual, unfamiliar drone that reportedly crashed crashed over southwestern Pakistan late last week. It’s a surveillance drone, with a camera attached — recovered from the crash but not apparently visible in this photo — rather than the larger, deathly flying robots that shoot missiles. This one looks tiny, with a wingspan not much longer than a man’s outstretched arms, and clearly light enough for a grown man to carry.
Check out the SmartBird, a drone designed by the engineers at Festo and modeled explicitly on the herring gull:
It’s clearly not the same drone, as the wings are obviously different: the mystery drone’s wings are straighter and more sharply angled than the SmartBird’s sleeker, more rounded wings, which mimic those of the gull. Judging from the light of the second picture, the SmartBird’s wings — which flap to enable autonomous flight — are made of more than one type of material, which doesn’t appear to be the case with the downed drone. What’s more, the downed drone’s wings have ailerons and its nose kinda-sorta looks like it hosted a propeller, two features the SmartBird lacks.
Originally posted by Tiercel
They've developed a remote control bird. As shown in this video & the page from their site. I knew that someone was developing a remote control bird based on the peregrine falcon, for use in bird control. So I suppose it was inevitable that the technology eventually be developed for military use.
Originally posted by Frogs
There are all kinds of small, hand launched drones in use now..
Peter W. Singer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, who has studied the use of drones in war, estimates there are roughly 7,000 unmanned systems (PDF) currently in use by the military, "ranging from 48-foot-long Predators to micro-aerial vehicles that a single soldier can carry in their backpack.
Originally posted by centurion1211
reply to post by PhoenixOD
Is that a tiny little cockpit for a tiny little pilot in the photo?
What's up with that?