back to article Swiss drone-busting eagle squadron grounded permanently

Yet another squadron of anti-drone eagles is being grounded after officials in Geneva, Switzerland decided advances in the technology made success rates uncertain and even dangerous for the birds to manage. The so-called “eagle brigade” project took flight in 2017, and the eagles were trained to catch drones in mid-air to …

  1. b0llchit Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Expenses must flow differently

    ...it was an expensive project that generated some interested lines of coverage but wasn’t commercially viable or effective.

    The problem is, as always, to hide the expenses in the right departments, groups and boxes. One might even say that such expenses must fly silently.

    Therefore, it is suggested to create a new project to deal with the drones. You instruct the military establishment to create an artificial eagle to capture drones. The eagle-drone-capture-drone project will be well funded when it is brought under military supervision. Expenses will never be a problem any more as they may be shuffled, exchanged, moved, increased, flattened and politically accepted because the eagle drone project will be too big to fail.

    Project is a go and the problem completely solved when the proper project acronym is attached.

    icon: replace rotating wings to flap and it fits

    1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

      Re: Expenses must flow differently

      Am I wrong or has the b0llchit account been highjacked by amanfrommars?!? Cos they seem to be spouting the same sort of irrelevant BS today.

      1. b0llchit Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Expenses must flow differently

        How is it not relevant to suggest an alternative to the actual problem of drone capture? The suggestion even outlines a probably successful project path.

        And, honestly, aManFromMars in the drone-capture business might actually work miracles. Thank you very much for your suggestion. It will be incorporated into the next RFP.

        1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

          Re: Expenses must flow differently

          I reckon your humo(u)r is just 'whooshing' me today. I was recognising all of the words, but as I reached the end of each sentence my brain was just flashing the 'confused' icon at me.

          I've now figured that the posts further down that confused me are referencing The Eagles, so they now make sense.

  2. WolfFan Silver badge

    El Reg goes full Yankee

    That pic… it’s a bald eagle. There aren’t any bald eagles in Switzerland, ‘cause there aren’t any bald eagles, in the wild, anyway, on that side of the Atlantic. It’s a North America kind of bird, not found south of northern Mexico, east of Labrador/Newfoundland, or west of Alaska.

    Bald eagles are fish eagles, they specialize in air-to-ground and -water attacks, and are of limited use air-to-air.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: fish eagles

      Are "fish eagles" eagles that have evolved to fill the ecological niche of fish, or fish that have evolved to fill the ecological niche of eagles?

      Perhaps "fisher-eagles" might be better, since we say "fishermen" and not "fish men".

      Hmm.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: fish eagles

        That sort of pedantry won't fly.

        :)

        1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

          Re: fish eagles

          Oh yes it will...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: fish eagles

          Wont fly? Well, by analogy to werewolves (man-wolves), a fish eagle is then a fish that (only) becomes an eagle at a full moon (or some sort of tide? ... who knows); thus there will be flying, but not every day of the month.

          Unless it's a flying-fish eagle, I suppose.

      2. Sherrie Ludwig
        Headmaster

        Re: fish eagles

        Perhaps "fisher-eagles" might be better, since we say "fishermen" and not "fish men".

        But we do say fishwives, not fish-selling wives, so it goes both ways, I guess.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: El Reg goes full Yankee

      Maybe not in Switzerland, but close. Haute-Savoie next to Lake Geneva is the home of Les Aigles du Leman and they do indeed have Haliaeetus leucocephalus Bald Eagles in their care.

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: El Reg goes full Yankee

        Those aren’t in the wild.

    3. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: There aren’t any bald eagles in Switzerland

      There will be if the eagle's head gets too close to the rotors of the drone.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: El Reg goes full Yankee

      "Bald eagles will also feed on waterfowl, turtles, rabbits, snakes, and other small animals and carrion."

    5. TRT Silver badge

      Re: El Reg goes full Yankee

      Will there be a similar program against unmanned aquatic vehicles then?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Headline creativity

    Headline creativity seems to be in decline

    My I suggest "The eagle has landed - permanently"

    1. b0llchit Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Headline creativity

      Well, yeah,...

      Most have not seen that rocket and landing. Remember, those words are True Old Fart's(TM) words and do not have any impact on the young generation. Just admit it, you are old too.

      They should have gone with Eagles refuse work without pay, live drone capture suspended indefinitely.

      1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Headline creativity

        You're assuming that they identify as Eagles.

        1. b0llchit Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Headline creativity

          They did check out. Can they never leave?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Headline creativity

            Only the ones staying in hotels.

            1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

              Re: Headline creativity

              ... but not European hotels.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Headline creativity

        I would have thought "young people" would have liked any of:

        a. Grinning bearded idiot superimposed next to eagle with line "Internet reacts to decommissioned Eagles"

        b. "How you should feel about the decommissioning of anti drone Eagle squad" (optionally "and why it's a women's issue")

        c. "Anti-drone Eagle squad decommissioned, how worried should you be?"

        d. Wokeism sees demise of anti-drone Eagle squadron.

        e. Climate change sounds death knell for anti-drone Eagle squadron.

        Just my tuppence worth :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Headline creativity

      Probably no rocket fuel left in moonbase alpha....

      1. stiine Silver badge

        Re: Headline creativity

        That would be a shame.

      2. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Headline creativity

        Aw! You beat me to it!

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Headline creativity

      My I suggest "The eagle has landed - permanently"

      Where Eagle Daren't?

      At least that cable cars in it and many people associate cable cars with Switzerland :-)

    4. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Headline creativity

      Koenig to Alpha... cancel Operation Exodus... all Eagles are grounded!

  4. ChoHag Silver badge

    Grounded?

    The eagles would be shelved, surely?

    1. b0llchit Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Grounded?

      Sure, at the end of the groove.

  5. Al fazed
    IT Angle

    sod it....

    all of the eagles, fish eating or otherwise have either been released into the wild where they are free to prey on unsuspecting drones without all the red tape......, or they were rather tasty and are now the latest exotic item on the menus of upper crust restaurants in Geneva, London, New York..........

    ALF............

  6. Twanky
    Coat

    Falcon?

    Bloody hell! They're using Falcons to down illegal drones?

    SpaceX must need the revenue.

    I wonder where they land them?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Falcon?

      On a barge in lake Geneva?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    drone-busting eagles

    They'll be the ones without talons... or legs even

  8. martinusher Silver badge

    They're not robots

    I once came across a falconry enthusiast on a slope where we fly gliders. Unlike the R/C models he had to produce something for the bird to eat -- a rabbit from his pocket. Falconry is a bit of a niche hobby, especially away from the steppes of Central Asia, because it needs a fair amount of space. The birds themselves are a bit temperamental, they have a narrow weight range where they can be used to hunt -- too heavy and the bird's not interested, too light and its off looking for proper food. The only reason why they'll attack model aircraft is if its nesting season and they think we're getting too close. Here they're a bit of a dud because they might be absolute experts at finding thermals, but they don't have anything like the glide ratio of a decent thermal plane and they're nowhere near as maneuverable as a fast slope plane (they're fast in a dive but they don't have the maneuverability to catch something unless they can surprise it -- if their prey sees them coming then its likely to be a miss).

    They've got nasty talons that can put a rather deep gash in your model if they hit it. Gliders don't have powerful buzzsaws taking up most of their top surface, though -- if a raptor does catch a quadcopter, especially a larger one, then its likely to lose a leg. Persuading the bird that the risk is worth the reward might be difficult -- they're a bit single minded but they're definitely not stupid.

  9. DS999 Silver badge
    Coat

    Anti drone drone

    They just need automated eagles.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Anti drone drone

      I'll see your automated eagles and raise you B.F. Skinner

  10. Doctor Evil
    Black Helicopters

    Different approach?

    I wonder (he mused aloud) if eagles could be trained to carry a net to and drop it on said drone ...

    1. Sherrie Ludwig

      Re: Different approach?

      I wonder (he mused aloud) if eagles could be trained to carry a net to and drop it on said drone ...

      Maybe, but a corvid (crow, raven) could certainly be trained to do something like that, just for the lulz, in some cases. Their intelligence has been compared to about a seven-year-old child.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corvus

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Re: Different approach?

        Why not just send up another drone with a net to drop on the drone below? Seems easier to make a net deploying cargo pod slung under a drone than to train a bird - no matter how smart they are. More sustainable too. Not environmental sustainability. As in: we can make more, rapily, once we have a working prototype rather than repeating a lengthy training process for each new bird in the squad.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Different approach?

          "Why not just send up another drone with a net to drop on the drone below?"

          Well, sure, but then the other guy's just going to send up yet another drone to drop a net on your net-dropping drone. Which means you then need a drone to drop a net on the net-dropping net-dropper drone, so your original net-dropper can drop a net on the intended drone. And that assumes the other guy doesn't have yet another drone to drop a net on your net-dropping net-dropper net-dropping drone. That's all too ugly to think about on a Friday.

          But the other guy most likely doesn't have an anti-eagle eagle that could harass your eagle (aka - a falcon). I mean, he might, but it's not likely.

  11. Sceptic Tank Silver badge

    Why not use drones to take out drones? Or a model Spitfire?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like