drone catcher in afghanistan – Bundeswehr Luna Drone

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I worked next to a land-based Scan Eagle outfit when I was deployed and it was always fun to watch them during recovery ops. The crane extends and hangs a rope that the aircraft can catch with a kind of claw on the end of either wing that snaps shut on the rope. It is then lowered down and it’s small enough for one person to pluck off the line. It’s built for it, but it’s still sort of sad and funny to watch – it comes in straight and level, and then bounces and shudders after colliding with the rope, like an animal in distress.

Here’s a video of the Scan Eagle doing launch and recovery ops on a ship: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NY1Y9LBATHo

It’s a very efficient way to recover an aircraft on a boat. The operators told me they have also launched and recovered that bird off the bed of a moving truck.

Another option, if your UAV is small enough, is to simply crash on the ground, as the Raven does. Here’s a video of an operator putting it into “land” mode and catching it before it hits the ground:

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