Thursday, 20 October 2011

biological flapping wing aerial vehicle put to use in early days

The 9/11 masterminds needed air support-- total situational awareness --eyes in the sky with more mobility and more ability than satellites, people, or conventional UAVs and helicopters could provide. These UAVs had to be designed such that they could be captured on video, because they would appear frequently. (Later in the day, however, at least one obvious UAV was used.) This is where the biologically inspired design of the bird comes in. Spy pigeons have been used since World War 1. Remote control ornithopters have been around since at least the 60s. They have evolved into machines with telecommunication electronics, weapons and sophisticated sensors for all types of vision.

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This vision was needed more than anything. First, there's the obvious purpose of reconnaissance and real-time mission status awareness. The area of Manhattan had to be under tight surveillance, if only to ensure the stage was properly set for the main events. What if one of somebody who had learned of the plot decided to end it by taking a few shots at the plane before it struck its main target? The World Trade Center "collapses" were the most important events of the day... that and the planes hitting on target. 

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