Is It a Bird, Is It a Plane? No, It's a Super Drone! 54-propeller Swarm Flying Machine Launches Man

Love them of loathe them, drones are invading our skies.

Now a British inventor has created a 'super drone' with 54 propellers, which is enough to keep a human airborne.

The machine, dubbed 'The Swarm', can only remain in the air for 10 minutes on a single battery charge and seems to climb to a height of around 15 feet (seven metres) but it is impressive nonetheless.

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The Swarm comprises a metal frame and polycarbonate drone to keep the seated passenger safe.

'A total of 54 counter-rotation propellers and six grouped control channels with Hobbyking stabilisation,' are attached to provide lift, according to the inventor, gasturbine101's YouTube page.

The Swarm, named because its propellers make a noise resembling a swarm of bees, is described as a 'super drone' and also a 'manned aerial vehicle,' in contrast to may drones which are known as UAVs, or unmanned aerial vehicles.

It can carry a weight of up to 326lbs (148kg) and can remain airborne for 10 minutes.

The video shows the incredible flying machine taking off from a grassy field with the intrepid 'pilot' on board and flying relatively close to the ground.

While The Swarm may sound intimidating, it is no-where near as intimidating as the US military's 'Gremlin' drones.

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) is developing swarms of re-usable drones that can work together to perform a mission.

The idea is to replace the expensive and increasingly vulnerable multi-function combat aircraft which currently perform a range of different missions.

Instead they propose deploying from the air smaller unmanned aircraft, each with different capabilities, to perform a mission before retrieving them mid-air so they can be used again.

Not only would the concept remove the risk to pilots by keeping them out of the front line but it would also drastically reduce the cost of each aircraft.

Dan Patt, program manager at Darpa, said: 'Our goal is to conduct a compelling proof-of-concept flight demonstration that could employ intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and other modular, non-kinetic payloads in a robust, responsive and affordable manner.'

Darpa says the Gremlin drones would have a lifetime of around 20 uses, fitting somewhere between missiles and conventional aircraft.

The Gremlins would be launched in mid-air from larger aircraft and then retrieved in the same way.

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