Here’s one way to find a new use for an old drone — stick it underneath another drone which serves as a flying mothership.
Insitu, a Boeing-owned company which manufactures the tiny ScanEagle surveillance drone, recently showed off a video of a quadcopter carrying the ScanEagle into the air and launching it … like a flying aircraft carrier. The ScanEagle then heads back to its quadcopter and snags a retrieval line.
The whole system, known as the Flying Launch and Recovery System or FLARES, is a drone-carrier drone.
“It might sound complicated having to use two UAVs instead of just building a single more powerful drone, but it works because drones that have been built to take-off and land vertically are not really designed to travel over long distances at speed,” Mary-Ann Russon of the International Business Times noted.