Post from Declassified Documents.com
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“The Insectothopter was a miniature unmanned aerial vehicle developed by the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s research and development office in the 1970s. The Insectothopter was the size of a dragonfly, and was hand-painted to look like one (probably made in China). It was powered by a miniature fluidic oscillator to propel the wings up and down at the proper rate to provide both lift and thrust. A small amount of propellant produced gas to drive the oscillator, and extra thrust came from the excess gas vented out the rear. The project was abandoned when the Insectothopter was found to be too difficult to control in crosswinds.”
Project Insectothopter & Ornithopter
“Similar to the Aquiline project, this was another attempt by the CIA to mimic the animal kingdom in the development of remote controlled aircraft. Project Ornithopter involved a birdlike drone designed to blend in with nature by flapping its wings. Another even smaller drone was designed to look like a crow that would land on window ledges and photograph, through the window, what was going on inside the building. Project Insectothopter took the concept to an even smaller animal – a drone designed to look like a dragonfly. Insectothopter was a green drone that flapped wings powered by miniature gas engines.
Not satisfied with mimicking mother nature – the CIA also used actual animals to do surveillance, including pigeons with “pigeon-cams” attached to their necks. Unfortunately, the birds were tired out by the extra weight of the cameras and returned to the CIA base on foot – too tired to fly (the project was abandoned). Maybe the strangest project of all was Project Acoustic Kitty, which placed acoustic listening devices on household cats. That project was abandoned when the cats strayed too far off target searching for food, and one was run over by a car.”