Northrop Grumman has entered a new vehicle in the red-hot field of military reconnaissance with its Firebird UAV, built by Scaled Composites. And this one can fly with or without a pilot.
According to the company's press release, the Firebird is a versatile spy plane: it can return high-definition video or infrared images, use radar, and listen in on communications. It took just 12 months to develop, from concept to first flight. And, like the Predator drone sold by UAV pioneer General Atomics, it was developed with private money in the hopes of attracting government customers.
Here's video of the Firebird in flight: