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Last Updated: Wednesday January 31 2007 14:19 GMT

Bees inspire aircraft scientists


Scientists have been busy getting some flying lessons - from bees.

They're looking at what makes the tiny creatures - and other insects - fly so well as part of a plan to build a very small aircraft.

They've found that the wings of small insects are very flexible, which allows them to lift off the ground and move forward quickly.

The aircraft could be used to get things into dangerous places, as well as secret stuff like spying missions.

'Step closer'

One of the scientists said: "This is a very important step forward in understanding how we can create tiny aircraft that could be so useful for us.

"Our work will make the goal of tiny aircraft, perhaps eventually only the size of bees, a step closer."

Some small aircraft measuring only a few centimetres in size have already been built in America, but so far they've only be able to stay up for a few minutes.

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