Drones by MacGyver: Ukraine Converts Light Aircraft into Missiles

Ukrainian improvisation in the war against Russia reaches another level.


A Ukrainian made reduction light sport aircraft, the Aeroprakt A-22, appears to have been the platform for a drone attack on a Russian factory in Tataristan, only 800 miles behind the lines and deep inside Russia. While hardly a high-performance platform for drone conversion, these are light sport aircraft has several advantages. The aircraft is cheap and simple, and uses mechanical flight controls that are relatively easy to automate. It uses no special materials and a commercially available engine, and in flight, is indistinguishable to radar from aircraft and helicopters. The attack was highly successful, and it’s likely that more will be seen on the battlefield in the future.

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Written by

James Anderton

Jim Anderton is the Director of Content for ENGINEERING.com. Mr. Anderton was formerly editor of Canadian Metalworking Magazine and has contributed to a wide range of print and on-line publications, including Design Engineering, Canadian Plastics, Service Station and Garage Management, Autovision, and the National Post. He also brings prior industry experience in quality and part design for a Tier One automotive supplier.