The US Marines are testing a pocket-sized helicopter drone

The Black Hornet is almost invisible when flying

The U.S. Marine Corps is testing a pocket-sized drone that can deliver live video feeds from three cameras and is small enough that it's almost invisible from the ground.

The Black Hornet PD-100 can stay aloft for 25 minutes and has a range of 1.6 km (1 mile). That means Marines can use it for surveillance far beyond their current position.

It can fly missions guided by GPS yet fits in a pocket. The cable hanging out the back in this image is an antenna, not a cord for power or data.

160729 m ms007 249 Thor Larson/USMC

Black Hornet, a small drone, flies during the Marine Air-Ground Task Force Integrated Experiment (MIX-16), at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California, on July 29, 2016.

The three cameras can be used to send live video or take pictures. One camera points ahead, one directly down and one at 45 degrees to the ground.

The tests took place in California recently during an exercise called MIX-16, held to evaluate new technologies and how they might be used by the Marines.

160729 m ms007 250 Thor Larson/USMC

Black Hornet, a small drone, flies during the Marine Air-Ground Task Force Integrated Experiment (MIX-16), at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California, on July 29, 2016.

The Black Hornet has already been used in Afghanistan by the British military, and the U.K. Ministry of Defence was sufficiently impressed to make it an ongoing part of the country's military kit.

It's made by Norway's Prox Dynamics, and the Norwegian Special Forces have ordered a version with night-flying capability. The drone is also used by a handful of other countries.

160709 m ob268 118 Rhita Daniel/USMC

U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Cesar Salinas, an infantry Marine with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment, catches the PD-100 Black Hornet after an exercise on Camp Pendleton, California, on July 9, 2016.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?