Before mini drones, there was the Insectothopter, or a miniature unmanned aerial vehicle developed by the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s research and development office in the 1970s. It was the size of a dragonfly, and hand-painted to even look like one. Power came from a miniature fluidic oscillator to propel the wings up and down at the proper rate to provide both lift and thrust. Continue reading for another video, more pictures and information.
A small amount of propellant produced gas to drive the oscillator, and extra thrust came from the excess gas vented out the rear. The project was abandoned when the Insectothopter was found to be too difficult to control in crosswinds.