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Black Hornet

THE MILITARY’S NEW EYE IN THE SKY

Jeff Chaves

Although this tiny helicopter has a rotor diameter of 4.8 inches and weighs in at just under 1.6 ounces, it’s no toy: both the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps are fielding Flir’s “Black Hornet,” also known by its military designation as “PD-100.” The unit has swappable batteries and can handle light rain and winds gusting over 20mph. With 640x480 video and 1600x1200 stills, the camera resolution does not rival anything cinematic, but it does have thermal-imaging capabilities, and it can fly for 25 minutes with a range of 1.24 miles.

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August 2019

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