Evolution Eagle drone flips the bird at enemy forces
If you're conducting covert military reconnaissance, you probably don't want the enemy seeing what's obviously a drone flying overhead. That's where the Evolution Eagle is intended to come in, as it's a drone that just looks like a big ol' bird.
The remote-control fixed-wing aircraft is manufactured by Guard From Above, a Dutch company that was previously known for using actual live birds of prey to intercept hostile drones.
True to its name, the Evolution Eagle is about the same size, shape and color as a real eagle. It's driven by two propellers located on the front of each of its wings, and steered by flaps along the back of its wings and tail.
Unlike some other bird-drones we've seen, it does not fly by flapping its wings. That sort of functionality might have made it look more eagle-like, but would have also added complexity and reduced battery life.
That said, the Evolution Eagle can glide on thermal updrafts, just like an actual eagle. Doing so not only saves battery power, it also allows the operator to temporarily shut off the motors to eliminate operating noise. After all, real eagles don't typically make a high-pitched whining sound.
The drone is remotely piloted in real time with guidance from an onboard 4K FPV (first person view) camera, which can be panned left and right. A payload bay in its back is able to accommodate other hardware such as a thermal camera, mapping camera, or counter-drone system.
One charge of the Evolution Eagle's battery is claimed to be good for over an hour of flight time, cruising at a speed of 60 km/h (37 mph). When not in use, the drone gets disassembled and packed into an included TSA-approved case. It can reportedly be reassembled in just three minutes, then launched by hand. Upon returning to its base, it performs a belly landing.
You can see the Evolution Eagle in flight, in the video below.
Source: Guard From Above