Military Drone or Hummingbird in Disguise?

By: | August 13th, 2014

The Black Hornet is the world’s smallest spycam and tiny military drone. But instead of being named after an insect, it may be more appropriate to name it after a bird.

Researchers at Stanford University have studied the Black Hornet, the high-end military drone that fits in the palm of your hand. They compared the mini helicopter to hummingbirds and found eerily similar aerodynamic performance between the two.

The Black Hornet has a GPS and camera that relays images and videos to troops in the midst of chaotic situations. The tiny choppers run for about $65,000 and weigh 16 grams, about 4 times the weight of the average hummingbird.

Since hummingbirds are the only birds capable of hovering and are similar in size to the hornet drones, the similarities are natural.

Researchers discovered the rotor on the drones to be about as aerodynamically efficient as hummingbird wings. However, the drones cannot compete with the fluidity of how hummingbirds navigate through forests and trees/obstacles.

Michael Cooney

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