Hollywood drone tech to target Russian tanks FPV loitering ammo kamikaze drone

Kamikaze quadcopter, racing drones with explosive payloads, have become an integral part of the war in Ukraine. Often known as FPV (First-person perspective) drones and piloted with video goggles, they are more difficult to fly than a regular quadcopter but submersible in trenchesgo through doors or hatches or Meet moving vehicles. Most FPVs seen so far have been handcrafted and made in small workshops by Groups like Escadrone from Ukraine, or by the soldiers themselves. For both sides, factory-made FPV drones are on the way. The most unusual type uses technology developed for the film industry.

Earlier this month, US company Red Cat Holdings announced an order of 200 FPV drones for Ukraine. The company is already known for golden eagle Reconnaissance quadrocopters developed by subsidiary Teal for the US Army Blue sUAS initiative as an alternative to Chinese-made consumer drones. Some golden eagles already are working in Ukrainebut the military FPV drone is a new development.

A Red Cat spokesman told Forbes that the name of the new drone could not be revealed. While the Red Cat FPV isn’t described as some sort of combat drone turned kamikaze, it’s likely that it will also be armed with a warhead.

“The FPV drones have a carrying capacity of up to two pounds, depending on range,” the spokesperson told Forbes.

The spokesman said the drone’s maximum range is ten kilometers and a key feature is its ability to operate in an environment with GPS interference. This is important because GPS interference and spoofing have occurred crash more and more quadrocopters in the last few months.

Russia is also trying to step up its FPV game. While their current FPV kamikazes are kitchen table type. At the drone manufacturers Svyaz Spetszaschita introduced a new one FPV kamikaze known as Fighter 40 In the Annual aviation exhibition HeliRussia this week in Moscow. Manufacturers claim that this drone is already being used in Ukraine.

Svyaz Spetszaschita makes drones for industrial, agricultural and security purposes, but no military projects are mentioned on their website. The Fighter-40 carries a 5 pound payload with a range of 12 km. According to the manufacturers, it is easier and more reliable to act “with one foot in the mud” than modified consumer drones.

There is no indication of how many Fighter-40s have been ordered or when they might be delivered.

But perhaps the most advanced new FPV drone heading to Ukraine is the K8 from Cyberluxwhich was announced as part of a package of Security assistance already in February. The K8 drone was completely unknown and does not appear on the company’s website List of their drones. What we do know is that Cyberlux CEO Michael Schmidt demoed the K8 Ukrainian military and they liked it.

We also know that Cyberlux is the leading manufacturer of a class of commercial drones known as cinewhoops. These are agile FPV drones that typically feature ducted or ducted rotors, allowing them to safely fly indoors and through the tightest of gaps. The software allows them to fly exceptionally smoothly and capture video that would otherwise be impossible.

The 90 second short film Just right for us by jaybyrdfilms gives a glimpse of what they can do. Hollywood loves cinewhoops for their ability to get close to fast-paced action; The Drone Featurette shows how an FPV drone captured spectacular footage for the Michael Bay action film Ambulance.

The DJI Avatar has spearheaded a wave of new low-cost cinewhoop drones.

“However, it has incredible maneuverability and allows you to go places you would never take any other drone. We’ve carried it around handball players during practice, between our legs, through the small gap in a shield, around the roof of a castle and inside where people and breakable things were nearby,” Steve Dent wrote in one Review of the Avata for Engadget. “It’s tough too. We have had a number of crashes that would have killed an open propeller drone.”

We do not know the specifications of the K8. However, given Cyberlux’s area of ​​expertise, it’s likely to be a highly maneuverable, cinewhoop-style drone that can navigate crowded environments with ease. It might be able to fly through dense forests, which would be a challenge for other drones, and fly into buildings and explore them in detail. This would clearly be of great use in both urban combat and clearing Russian trenches and dugouts, and would save lives by going ahead of soldiers. It can be basic or a scout at first, but like other FPV drones it can end up carrying a bomb load like the Israeli Lanius City quadrocopter for search and destroy.

The advantage of existing FPV quadcopters is low cost – Escadrones are made from parts that cost less than $500 – and easy access. If mass production in factories can produce drones that are even cheaper and more effective, then the 50,000 FPVs allegedly stored by Ukraine could be the tip of the iceberg.

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