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Ask Slashdot: Can You Identify This UAV? 232

garymortimer writes "It's not as sexy as the Beast of Kandahar RQ 170 Sentinel, or as well known as a Predator. But we think the bird-shaped drone that crashed in Pakistan last week might be a U.S. special forces tool. At first it was thought to be a homemade job, but packs with FMC (which means 'Fully Mission Capable') written on them, and an American date style as well, really points to something else. sUAS News is not AvWeek or Flight International so getting scoops is tricky whilst holding down a day job. Our exclusive pictures of the damaged C130 that struck an RQ170 was pretty good for us. We would love to identify this drone. Maybe it is just a homebrew job, maybe it's not. It's not a Festo Smartbird, though, the most popular choice of pundits."


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Ask Slashdot: Can You Identify This UAV?

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  • by dougmc ( 70836 ) <> on Thursday September 01, 2011 @06:39PM (#37280844) Homepage

    To my (somewhat) trained eye, this looks like any other R/C airplane run by amateurs who fly them strictly within line of sight (though many have been putting FPV equipment so they can fly them with a first person view, often a few miles away.)

    From time to time our R/C planes do malfunction and will fly off out of our control, or something will go wrong and they'll crash and we won't be able to find and recover them. Perhaps it's just some hobbyist's plane that got away from him? It certainly looks like something a hobbyist made rather than an expensive commercial/military model.

    Though I guess this does bode poorly for the hobby -- ham radio operators don't bring their radios with them when they go to many countries because people often equate radios with spies ... I guess the next step is to equate people flying R/C planes with spies?

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle