It’s a Bird, It’s a Drone!

It’s a Bird, It’s a Drone! By James Dunnigan.

In some cases, like border patrol or safeguarding wild game from poachers, it is essential for UAVs [drones] to remain unobserved if they are to be successful. One novel solution to all this is UAVs in the form of large birds that glide most of the time rather that constantly flapping their wings. Responding to that need, the new Aves UAV is now available. The manufacturer will build a shell for each Aves UAV to look like a large bird commonly seen in the area where it will operate. …

Aves is battery powered and stays in the air up to 90 minutes per flight. It is launched by a slingshot type device and lands by simply coasting down to the ground. Propulsion is provided a small, silent propeller at the end of the tail, which is invisible to a casual viewer on the ground. Aves can fly as high as 3,100 meters (10,000 feet) and as low as 50 meters (160 feet). Max speed is 43 kilometers an hour and max range from the ground operator is 15 kilometers. Aves can fly a preprogrammed route and return for an automatic landing or its route can be controlled by the ground operator. Payload is only half a kilogram (1.1 pounds) but that is enough for a day/night camera.