Tag Archives: drone

Stunning video of machine guns shooting at target drones shows how difficult hitting a remotely piloted aircraft can be

MG vs Target Drone

This video shows how difficult shooting down a small UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) can be.

Along with larger UAVs, armed forces around the world also employ several types of smaller remotely piloted planes. Such drones are used for a wide variety of tactical missions, including battlefield surveillance and targeting.

When we posted the images of the bird-like drone believed to be used by the U.S. Army in Pakistan and Iraq someone argued that these small aircraft, more similar to a RC model than a standard UAV, could be an easy target for small arms fire.

This video shows that, given to skilled pilots, these tiny planes can be extremely difficult to hit, even for some trained shooters, thus explaining why they are used in combat quite often.

Filmed during a shooting event at Big Sandy range, in Arizona, the footage shows several MGs shooting at a small drone flying back and forth along a 1/4 mile firing line at day and night.

“I’m sure to those who have never shot a machine gun outside of Call of Duty, it looks like it would be easy to shoot these down,” says the uploader in the about section of the Youtube video. “The vital components of the plane like the engine, battery, receiver, fuel tank, etc. are very small. The main body of the plane is pretty tough and can take numerous hits without affecting it.”

Hence, unless you have plenty of ammo, skilled shooters and patience, such small drones flying over your position can be extremely difficult to shoot down.

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These are the first images of UK’s classified unmanned stealth “superdrone”


Although the footage was shot in August 2013, today BAE Systems released it for the first time.

Taranis“, the technological demonstrator of UK’s stealthy unmanned combat vehicle made its first flight on Aug. 10, 2013. Where the maiden sortie took place remains a secret.

The aircraft flew at the old British Nuclear test range at Woomera, Australia.

The only thing we know is that the “superdrone” flew under the command of BAE Systems’ test pilot Bob Fraser and “made a perfect take off, rotation, ‘climb out’ and landing.”

Since then, a number of other test flights have taken place in much secrecy.

“Taranis” is an Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV), described as “the most advanced aircraft ever built by British engineers”.

It’s a semi-autonomous pilotless system that will feature an intercontinental range and will be able to carry a wide variety of weapons, including PGMs (Precision Guided Munitions) and air-to-air missiles.

The Royal Air Force already operates a fleet of Reaper drones from RAF Waddington airbase.

Image credit: BAE Systems


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New video shows Iranian suicide combat UAV drone. Patched together with duct tape.


Towards the end of September, the Commander of the Iranian Army Ground Force Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan announced that Tehran managed to develop and produce a new type drone, dubbed Ra’ad 85 (Thunder 85).

But, unlike all the other Iranian UAVs, Ra’ad 85 is a suicide remotely piloted vehicle capable of destroying both fixed and mobile targets.

According to the commander, the “mobile bomb-like drone” has been produced in various sizes in order to be used against different types of targets, including enemy helicopters.

duct tape

Iran TV has recently aired a video about the brand new UAV/PGM killer drone. What is somehow surprising is that the Iranian drone (whose shape reminds the one of the Mohajer family of UAVs) seems to be patched with duct tape, that is particularly evident in the nose and gear area.

The patches may have been applied during the testing activity and considered the unmanned aircraft will be crashed into its intended target there’s no need to use state of the art technology and materials.

Still, the presence of the duct tape gives an idea of an amateurish project, even if the fact that footage includes scenes filmed inside a ground control station is a sign that Ra’ad is probably something more than a large RC model.

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And here’s the video of the quadcopter camera drone being shot down by the Turkish police in Taksim Square

As explained in the previous post that included footage recorded by the drone, on June 11. 2013, Turkish Police fired bullets and eventually downed a radiocontrolled flying camera quadcopter during the protests in Taksim square, Istanbul.

Quadcopter Taksim Square

Here’s the video, taken from the ground of the small, low flying drone being hit by the police plastic bullets.

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Kaman K-Max Drone – Supplier for Afghan Bases

Afghanistan is an extremely dangerous war theater.

Threats include IEDs, and the Afghan rebels have Stinger ground-to-air missiles, remains of the Soviet-Afghan war, at their disposal. It is not a surprise then, that the Americans have been looking for a way which would make the logistic support easier, faster and first and foremost – safer.

Risking a loss of a helicopter in the war means not only that the expensive aircraft would end up in a scrapyard, it also means that the pilot, whose training costs a lot of money, would probably also lose their lives.

Image Credit: US Marine Corps

The risk of losing a pilot / aircraft should be minimized. This was the main idea that led to the development of UAVs, unmanned aerial vehicles which allow the armed forces to carry out recon or even combat operations with minimum risk of losing human lives.

When it comes to supplying Forward Operating Bases in the Afghan theater, convoys used to be the main means of support. Nevertheless, extensive use of IEDs and assymetrical methods of fighting on the side of Taliban forces made this tactical approach unsafe. Here is where the K-Max drone provides a solution; a pretty clever one.

The main aim of the K-Max programme was to create an autonomous cargo system for the Afghan theatre. K-Max drone, developed on Yuma proving grounds, is a solution that lets the Marine Corps, that are the main user, receive the supplies in many remote areas without risking losses in personnel.


Image credit: Lockheed Martin

It must be remembered though, that K-Max was a manned aircraft, which was basically converted into a drone. It still features a cockpit and may be flown manually if needed.

The helicopter is a single purposed aircraft, whose main task is to lift and transport heavy cargo. The drone is able to carry up to 6000 lbs. of external load, what with the mass of 6000 lbs. is an outstanding achievement.

The design of the helicopter includes a counter-rotating rotor system, eliminating the need for a tail rotor, that simplifies the drivetrain complexity. Steering is achieved with the use of flaps mounted on the rotors. The peculiarity of these stems is that they are servo-mechanic, non-hydraulic system.

The drone was nominated for the 2012 Collier Trophy, considered to be the greatest benchmark in aviation. What is more, it won prestigous awards from Popular Science and Aviation Week magazines.

Here is a video which presents the K-Max’s practical application in the Afghan Theatre:

The concept has been proven so useful that the Marines extended the use of it in cooperation with Lockheed-Martin for an indefinite period of time on Mar. 18. 2013. Two aircraft of this type are currently stationed in Afghanistan.

Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist

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