It looks a bit like a flying insect, and sounds like one, too. That is, if you can hear it at all.
Prox Dynamics’ PD-100 Black Hornet 2 is a tiny, high-tech camera drone used by British Army and currently being tested by US Army Special Forces.
“This is what they use when they check out enemy compounds,” said Arne Skjaerpe, CEO and president of Proxdynamics USA.
This tiny machine is not for you average buyer. Unlike consumer-grade drones, the PD-100 was designed with stealth in mind. For starters, it’s exceptionally small – with a rotor span of just 12 cm it can easily fit in an adult’s hand, and weighing just 18 grammes you wouldn’t notice it much if you were holding it.
The Black Hornet is equipped with both ordinary and thermal cameras, and can fly for more than 25 minutes, with a range of 1.6 kilometres.
Prox Dynamics, who are from Norway, says that “the Black Hornet’s small size and electric motors makes it virtually inaudible and invisible beyond short distances.”
Each unit is controlled through a small, handheld remote control with a live view screen. Alternatively, it can fly autonomously using a GPS guided autopilot. Two of the drones can be stored in a small case worn on a soldier’s body.
Their military designation isn’t the only thing that will keep the Black Hornet out of the hands of hobbyists. With a price tag of $40,000 per system, most of us wouldn’t be able to afford it. But as far as military drones go, it’s a bargain.
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Reprinted from iHS , Jan 2016 with permission of iHLS website, Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.