The US military is conducting flight tests of cheap disposable drones made of plywood that can fly at altitudes up to 5.2 km at a speed of 280 km / h.
The vehicles under test, in fact, are universal gliders that can independently reach their destination. The LK-1K has a length of 3.2 meters, a wingspan of 7.1 meters, and a payload of 320 kg. Despite all the outward simplicity, the device consists of 400 individual parts, including electronics, several servos for the autopilot and springs that deploy the wings, as well as screws and body parts made of durable plywood.
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The drone can operate in any weather conditions, does not require a lot of landing space, and its cost is only a few hundred dollars. If necessary, the pilot can also remotely direct the flight using radio control and first-person video.
Despite the presence of sophisticated control systems, the landing is a controlled accident. Landing can be horizontal, sliding on the bottom, or vertical, using a parachute. To launch, the glider is dropped from a cargo plane or helicopter, after which, already in the air, it releases its wings.
According to the military, the main task of the tested wooden box is to supply individual units in dangerous areas where the delivery of supplies using other flying means is too dangerous..
The devices are developed and manufactured by Dixon and Logistic Gliders, commissioned by the Agency Defense Advanced Research Projects (DARPA) and Marine Corps Research Unit.
Previously the U.S. Army also decided to equip almost all of its ground units with tiny spy drones Black Hornet.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Logistic Gliders