Israel Aerospace Industries has unveiled the prototype of its "Butterfly" unmanned air system, as part of an effort to develop covert miniature equipment for use by special forces personnel.

Shown for the first time on the opening day of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) conference in Tel Aviv on 20 March, the innovative design imitates the movements of a butterfly's wings.

Weighing only 12g and with an overall length of 20cm (8in), the mini UAS flies by flapping its four lightweight wings. An IAI source says the prototype vehicle has already been test flown carrying a camera weighing less than 1g.

 Butterfly UAS - IAI

Butterfly UAS close - IAI

Both images © Israel Aerospace Industries

IAI plans to offer a line of miniature UAS equipped with different payloads. It has also previously unveiled its development activity on vertical take-off and landing unmanned systems named the Ghost and Mini Panther.

Source: Flight International