Nano Humming Bird Takes Flight

February 22, 2011 by  
Filed under News

Bird watching enthusiasts could soon be very confused and even think they have spotted a new species of hummingbird. Unfortunately for the bird lovers, there is a good chance that it might only be the Nano Hummingbird that has been developed, tested and announced to be in full working order. The Nano Hummingbird is a remarkable achievement in the aviation industry and could be a vital tool for the government to use. It is also quite astounding how so much technology can be fitted into a vehicle that is a mere 6.5 inches.

The Nano Hummingbird has been AeroVironment’s project since 2006, working on the new device for the Pentagon’s research department, DARPA. The release of the completed Nano Hummingbird was a landmark moment, as the craft, which looks exactly like a hummingbird and is a mere two thirds of an ounce (19 grams) in weight, maneuvered by remote control through doorways and executed perfect hovering and forward flight with its two flapping wings used for propulsion. A sixteen centimeter wingspan also allows the craft to look almost exactly like its living counterpart. The Nano Hummingbird is also able to reach speeds of eleven miles per hour, which is the average flight speed of a living hummingbird.

At the start of the project hundreds of different wing designs were considered for the drone after eventually settling on the current wing design. Vast improvements have also come in time, with its first test flight almost two years ago, only allowing the drone to remain in the air for twenty seconds, which has now increased to eleven minutes. And there is also one more specification to the Nano Hummingbird, which is that it has a built-in camera and can be used for surveillance or even spying missions.

Steven Gitlin, Vice President of AeroVironment, commented that the future of the Nano Hummingbird is uncertain. They have delivered the product that was commissioned, and if any further work or upgrades are to be done, it is the decision of the Defense Department. Defense expert, Peter Singer, commented on the new technology saying: “You can use these things anywhere, put them anyplace, and the target will never even know they’re being watched.” A statement that is very true when it comes to the Nano Hummingbird and its close resemblance to nature’s own hummingbird.

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