The 13 inch spy plane ....

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The 13 inch spy plane ....

Now this would be fun to have ....
The new robotic plane is designed for troops who need a peek at the enemy before going in.

The diminutive drone, about the size of a magazine, was tested recently during Navy exercises off Southern California, according to Monday's edition of the C4ISR Journal, part of the Army Times publishing group. The journal covers military intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Though made with off-the-shelf products, the Wasp is nothing like remote-control planes sold at hobby shops. Its wings, which span 13 inches (33 centimeters), carry 4.25 ounces (120 grams) of lithium-ion batteries. The whole rest of the plane including video cameras front and back adds just 1.75 ounces (50 grams) to the total takeoff weight.

It is launched by hand.

In 2002, a rudimentary Wasp set an endurance record for micro air vehicles of 1 hour and 47 minutes. It has since been outfitted with an autopilot feature that uses the Global Positioning System.

The drone was built by AeroVironment in Simi Valley, Calif. with funding from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

One application might be to check out enemy ships when no helicopters are available for the task.
By netchicken: posted on 10-4-2005

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