Artificial hummingbird developed
Published 18/02/2011 | 09:11
A California company says it has demonstrated controlled precision hovering and fast-forward flight by a camera-equipped micro aircraft that flies like a hummingbird.
Monrovia-based AeroVironment released a video of the remotely controlled Nano Hummingbird it developed for the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency.
The artificial hummingbird uses only its two flapping wings for propulsion and control. For the video, an operator flew it outdoors and then through a doorway into a building.
The prototype has a wingspan of 6.5 inches (16.5cms), weighs two-thirds of an ounce and has a body shaped like a real hummingbird.
AeroVironment was founded by the late Paul MacCready, designer of the pioneering human-powered flying machines Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross.
The company also makes unmanned military aircraft systems.