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CIA’s dragonfly drone was created in the 1970s!




dragonfly drone

Dragonfly drone

The base design for the dragonfly drone was suggested by an amateur entomologist, or a scientist who studies insects. A watchmaker was the one who actually designed the UAV. He installed a mini fluidic oscillator, which is used to propel the wings up and down. The oscillator was fueled with a small amount of propellant to produce gas. A laser beam system was utilized as guidance and a data link for its audio sensor payload. Insectothopter was capable of flying up to 656 feet away, and it had a flight time rated at 60 seconds with a 1 gram payload. Just like the mechanical bumblebee, Insectothopter experienced problems with flight control whenever crosswinds were apparent, so it was unused on the field and is now stored at the CIA Museum.

dragonfly drone

This picture is from the CIA’s official website.

Insectothopter measured in at 6 cm in length, 9 cm in width and 1.5 cm in height. Being that it was created nearly half a century ago, imagine what kind of technology the CIA has now.

dragonfly drone

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