The Alps stretch 750 miles across Europe with numerous peaks topping 13,000 feet. The stiff winds blowing through their passes makes an Alpine UAV crossing nearly as impossible as it was during the Second Punic War. But one plucky micro-drone has just achieved that feat, flying through the Alps in just 23 minutes. But here's what it looks like in five seconds.

The MD4-1000, built by MicroDrones Gmbh, is no stranger to navigating extreme conditions. It's routinely used in Kenyan wildlife reserves and has even been employed by Fox News in its coverage of the 2011 Missisippi River Floods.


At just over 3 feet wide and weighing about 11 pounds, the MD4-1000 easily qualifies as a AUMAV (Autonomous Unmanned Micro Aerial Vehicle). It's designed primarily to perform remote aerial surveillance using a modular equipped camera payload but with its 18.3Ah LiPo battery and 70-minute flight time the MD4-1000 can range out to 40 km.

In all, the MD4-1000 took just 22 minutes, 26 seconds to navigate the 7.5 mile long course, with a total elevation rise of more than 5,200 feet. Take a look at the full-length journey:

[MicroDrones Gmbh - R&D Mag - gif: Michael Hession]