We turn dead birds into flying drones that can even flap their wings – it looks creepy but it’s in the name of science | The Sun

CREEPILY realistic drones made from dead birds are being developed by scientists.

With their flapping wings, they look uncannily like the real thing and they could help us understand bird behaviour or have a military use.

Using taxidermy birds as aircraft is a great tool to study flight, according to researcher Dr Mostafa Hassanlian.

He said: "We came up with this idea that we can use .dead birds and make them into a drone. Everything is there – we do reverse engineering."

The current taxidermy bird drone can fly for upwards of 20 minutes, but scientists hope to make it fly longer and even test it among living birds.

The team, based at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, is being done in hopes to gain more understanding about birds.

Dr Hassanlian said:" If we learn how these birds manage energy between themselves, we can apply that into the future aviation industry to save more energy and save more fuel."

By using the creepy drones, scientists can better understand the formation and flight patterns of certain flocks.

One member of the research team, Brenden Herkenhoff, is focusing his Ph.D. research on how colour may effect the efficiency of bird's flights.

He said: "We've done experiments and determined that for our fixed- wing aircraft, applying certain colour can change the flight efficiency. And the same is true for birds, we believe."

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It's not the first time birds have been studied for potential use not only in understanding their behaviour, but also as weapons.

The research team noted future models could be used as weapons, similar to how messenger birds were used to carry secrets in wartime.

During the cold war, the United States went as far as to build a bird sized drone to spy on communists.

Project Aquiline featured 12 bird-shaped drones, but the project was declassified and the birds were never completed.

The US isn't the first country to venture into "bird drones", even for military activities.

In 2019, Russia unveiled a combat drone which looks and sounds just like an owl.

The bizarre spy 'plane' was unveiled at the Kremlin’s annual military expo on the outskirts of Moscow.

Its aim is to fool the enemy allowing the unmanned craft to sneak closer to key targets in war zones.

A second drone  – yet to be unveiled – is a mock falcon which even makes bird noises, it was reported.

The owl drone is designed for reconnaissance in cold climates and uses lasers to target artillery and aircraft.

After its sights have locked onto a target it can then be "taken out" by missiles, tanks and fighter jets.

The aim is to develop and fast track ingenious innovative technology for use by the Russian military.

The Russian premier is known to keep a very close on its day-to-day work – and amazing innovations.

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The drone weights five kilos, has a flying time of 40 minutes and can be operated by one person.

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