Paul Trist launches the Pointer surveillance plane.
the papparazzi's dream come true - a tiny plane capable of
taking pictures from a bird's eye view - portable, remote
controlled and able to be launched and flown by amateurs.
"Eyes in the Sky," Paul MacCready demonstrates two of these
remarkable innovations, the nine-pound, nine-foot collapsible
Pointer and the tiny two-ounce, six-inch Black Widow.
tiny Black Widow weighs no more than a slice of bread.
demonstrate just how little training one needs to operate
the Pointer, MacCready lets Alan take the controls of the
spy plane. Granted, it's the last flight of the day, but after
just a few words of instruction, Alan gets the hang of it.
such a stealthy pair of flying eyes sparked the interest of
the military, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
began funding the development of spy planes even smaller than
Keennon designed the Black Widow, which fits in one hand and
weighs just a few ounces.As Alan learns from Carlos
Miralles, battery powered and disposable, planes like
the Pointer and the Black Widow have more than just military
applications: versions of these eyes in the sky might one
day be used to photograph the deep canyons and valleys of
more on this topic, see the web feature: