Not long ago we brought you an article about a tiny ‘nano air vehicle’ (NAV) that hovers by flapping its wings. Its creator, AeroVironment, has now released a video capturing details of the craft's impressive non-restricted flying capabilities.
As the video commentary describes, the military has high hopes for this possible hovering spy eye in the sky. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) commissioned the insect-like NAV in 2007.
Obviously, this tiny craft has many advantages over larger, bulkier, noisier reconnaissance craft and is hoped to be deployed inside buildings, outdoors in windy conditions, and numerous other scenarios.
The NAV weighs approximately 10g, has a wing span of 7.5cm (3 inches) and first took flight in December 2008 with a 20-second demonstration. It carries its own power supply, can hover for extended periods, fly forward at up to 10 meters a second, withstand 2.5 meter per second wind gusts, and has a command and control range pf up to a kilometer.