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'Spy aircraft' that weighs just three grams

world Updated: Jul 25, 2008 15:49 IST

IANS
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Dutch engineers have developed a miniature remote-controlled aircraft that flies by flapping its wings like a dragonfly, has an on-board camera and weighs just three grams.

Delfly Micro, made by engineers at Delft University of Technology, can fly for approximately three minutes and has a maximum speed of five meters per second, reports Eurekalert.

The 10-cm long aircraft has a miniature battery weighing about one gram and a tiny camera weighing about 0.5 grams on board. The camera transmits TV quality image signals to a ground station and therefore allows the DelFly to be operated remotely by an operator from a computer.

It can be manoeuvred using a joystick as if the operator was actually in the cockpit of the aircraft.

The Delfly Micro is a successor to the university's earlier DelFly I (weight 23 grams and length 50 cm) and DelFly II (weight 16 grams and length 30 cm) aircrafts.

Such ultra-small, remote-controlled, camera-equipped aircraft could be eventually used for observation flights in difficult-to-reach or dangerous areas.