Miniature aircraft flaps its wings and takes flight

The company Aeronvironment has released a video of their Nano Air Vehicle flying around without crutches, carrying its own battery and being remote controlled. The NAV is the smallest aircraft in the world that is able to do this.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The New Scientist writes:

The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency commissioned the flying bug in 2007 and has rewarded the firm’s success with a further development grant. It wants a version rugged enough to cope with wind and the other challenges of flying outdoors.

[…]

Aeronvironment’s flapper appears to achieve propulsion, stabilisation and control all at once using its paired wings. Details of the technology are confidential, however, under the US ITAR arms control export restrictions.

If the flying bug is going to be able to fly in the windy outside it will need better manoeuvrability, it’s not exactly whizzing around like a hummingbird at the moment. It will also need a bit better stamina, perhaps, as it can only stay aloft for about 20 seconds.

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