Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Weird, Birdlike Mystery Drone Crashes in Pakistan
#1
Weird, Birdlike Mystery Drone Crashes in Pakistan
By Spencer Ackerman August 29, 2011 | 10:30 am | Categories: Drones

It looks a bit like silver bird. It probably was used to spy on insurgents. And now it's in the hands of the Pakistanis.
[Image: birdiepakdrone1-e1314618756553.jpg]
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.

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 Anderson points out, it doesn't look like anything the U.S. flies or at least acknowledges flying. What's the deal?
[Image: Screen-shot-2011-08-29-at-8.15.04-AM-300x167.png]

Danger Room asked some of our favorite drone and aviation enthusiasts for their perspective on the small mystery drone. And we weren't the only ones who thought it looked decidedly avian.

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. One of our eagle-eyed experts points out to us that since the SmartBird is designed to weigh less than a pound (!), it probably couldn't have carried a camera in its belly.

But the two drones look fairly similar, especially with their fantail design in the rear, and their dimensions appear to roughly align. (.PDF). TechCrunch has a cool video from last month of the SmartBird flying above a TED talk given by Festo's Markus Fischer.

And there's a recent push to design small drones to look more like birds that extends beyond Festo. Back in the spring, AeroVironment launched a pint-sized drone that looks like a hummingbird. That drone didn't look anything like the one that crashed over Pakistan. But masquerading a spy robot as a bird has obvious benefits to the stealthy drone program that hunts al-Qaida in Pakistan's tribal areas.

Of course, all this speculation overlooks the simplest explanation: Forge is back in his mutant workshop.
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/08/...-pakistan/
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Reply
#2
"B'wana, great white bird come!"

"No, Mugambi, I've told you a thousand times, it is airplane."

"B'wana, were it an airplane, I would have so noted. It is in point of fact a great white bird."
Reply


Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  China unveils anti-drone laser weapon David Guyatt 0 3,671 07-11-2014, 09:51 AM
Last Post: David Guyatt
  Drone Wars David Guyatt 0 3,502 12-10-2014, 08:33 AM
Last Post: David Guyatt
  Pentagon experiments with with electric shocks to keep drone pilots awake Magda Hassan 3 4,395 22-02-2014, 11:47 AM
Last Post: Peter Lemkin
  The new super-duper secret pilotless drone David Guyatt 7 4,293 16-06-2013, 08:04 AM
Last Post: David Guyatt
  Putting Our Bodies on the Line to Stop Drone Warfare Adele Edisen 1 2,847 25-01-2013, 09:10 AM
Last Post: Adele Edisen
  The Coming Drone Attack On America - ("1984" is Coming - AE) Adele Edisen 3 3,991 03-01-2013, 07:10 PM
Last Post: Jan Klimkowski
  Mystery virus kills thousands of lambs Magda Hassan 2 3,771 28-02-2012, 06:01 AM
Last Post: Ed Jewett
  Drone Swarms are Here: 1 Minute to Midnight? Lauren Johnson 0 2,280 02-02-2012, 07:34 PM
Last Post: Lauren Johnson
  U.S. Army Unveils 1.8 Gigapixel Camera Helicopter Drone Ed Jewett 0 2,347 17-01-2012, 11:27 PM
Last Post: Ed Jewett
  Mystery illness at NY school Magda Hassan 1 3,871 14-01-2012, 08:05 PM
Last Post: Ed Jewett

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)