Watch British researchers launch a 3D-printed drone off of a battleship


HMS Mersey 3d printed drone

Ministry of Defence

Earlier this month, researchers at the University of Southampton in England successfully collaborated with the British Royal Navy to launch a 3D-printed drone from the deck of a warship.


The nylon drone flew about 500 meters after being catapulted off the ship before landing safely on a nearby beach.

"The key to increased use of UAVs is the simple production of low cost and rugged airframes," said Southampton professor Andy Keane in a press release.

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"We believe our pioneering use of 3D printed nylon has advanced design thinking in the UAV community worldwide."

The aircraft has a wingspan of almost five feet, and can reach a top speed of 58mph while flying almost silently.


"Radical advances in capability often start with small steps," said First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas.

"And, because it's new technology, with young people behind it, we're having fun doing it."


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