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Friday February 24, 2006 11:44 am
The Amazing, All-Purpose, Styrofoam Drone
This aint your momma’s RC Airplane, folks. This here is our US Army’s latest in high-tech surveillance, which is helping our troops lay the smackdown on those evil-doers. This Raven unmanned aerial vehicle is guided by GPS and is so wicked cool, that when you twitch from drinking too much Jolt cola on those late night missions and crash your bird, it pops apart on impact and makes fixing it a whole lot easier than grabbin some balsa wood, Elmer’s and an Xacto knife. Heck, these RC pilots dont even have to fetch the bird, they just call a local ground-pounder unit to fish that puppy out and bring it home.
“I get paid by the Army to fly remote-controlled planes,” says Sgt. Nathan Wyatt from 3-29 Field Artillery. From his post at LSA Anaconda, he operates the three foot-long Raven unmanned aerial vehicle. Almost every day, he hand-launches one of his three Kevlar and Styrofoam birds into the skies over north-central Iraq. Wyatt controls the Raven with a handheld console while, ideally, an assistant monitors flight parameters on a separate console. Each operator has a screen showing what the Raven sees. With a range of up to 15 miles and both day and night sensors, that amounts to quite a lot. The imagery is beamed straight to a display in the tactical operations center.
All things being what they are, this bird isn’t without it’s faults, but flying it sure is a cool way to earn a paycheck from Uncle Sam. Why the hell didn’t my recruiter tell me about this job? Rock on my RC Drone flying troops…Gear Live and America thank you and all of our troops for putting it on the line every day.
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