A reader of David Cenciotti’s The Aviationist has submitted new images of a craft similar to the one captured, August 2011 in Pakistan they come from the video below created by Iraqi Hezbollah near al-Bashra, in Iraq, on May 23, 2009. Two years before the incident in Pakistan. They are good enough for us to consider building one of our own!
During the last round of stories several people wrote and told us that it had LM hallmark build qualities but that cannot be confirmed. The video description claims it’s a shoot down but judging by it’s good condition, more likely to be a battery failure and or nicked from stores.
Looks like, rudder elevator and flaps for a slower landing speed. Why do I say flaps, well both of those surfaces are deflected in the same direction and look, just like flaps. They do move up as well, but not as much as down. In fact you might say they are deployed in a landing position in the images. A tiny propeller is fitted to the craft, making me think yet again that it spends lots of time soaring. It’s not a folding prop so that could be wrong. Chap making the video should realise he is damaging those servos moving them like that ;-)
An sUAS News reader must be able to identify the sensor package. Its quite chunky and seems not to retract. Interestingly it’s on the top of the craft. An over the shoulder outlook on life below. Is it optical? Is it a laser designator? It certainly is fully articulated.
In The Aviationist post David speculates that the wings flap. I think that is unlikely the complexity would shot through the roof and the first truly functional ornithopter, the SmartBird from Festo flew for the first time only last year. This machine does not look light. Things with wings that flap are light.