As well as producing Roprey models for falconry use, WIngbeat has been developing Ropredators for bird deterrence. We are able to produce models that mimic any medium to large sized raptor, with Peregrines and Goshawks proving to be the most popular.
Raptors have been used in bird deterrence since 1967, and have proved to be effective in many circumstances. Wingbeat models aim to emulate the natural hunting behaviour of raptors, including the high speed stoop of the falcon. However, we also want to improve upon some of the characteristics of the raptor. Ropredators can be focused on one area, can never be fed too much, don’t run out of energy, and don’t fly off into the distance only to kill a gull and leave you with a long walk.
A flight time of 10 minutes gives the pilot plenty of time to clear large sites of pest birds. The battery can be changed within 30 seconds and the predator can be airborne again. Small models can be seen at 200m altitude, the large model twice as high, allowing the pilot to take a commanding position in the sky. The smaller model is particularly versatile. It can be flown low and slow, or can tear up the sky with repeated slashing stoops. The highest speed recorded so far is 92mph using a GPS transmitter inside the model!
Wingbeat Ropredators can be operated by anyone with some practice. It is easy for beginners to fly and does not require you to employ specialist staff. They can be flown in weathers that are unsuitable for live falcons, up to wind force 6. They can also be flown from a moving vehicle allowing you to cover a huge amount of ground. Light rain is no problem.
These models have been tested in literally thousands of flights. It is not unusual for us to carry out over 50 flights a day with a single Rocrow when in the peak of the falconry season. The model is both the cheapest and safest on the market. Designed to be hit at high speed by a precious falcon, it takes minimal damage when flown into an obstacle – it can bounce rather than break. Designed to be smooth with no protruding or moving parts, the model can safely be caught by hand. The model is also hand launched and so can be deployed immediately anywhere without the need for a runway.
We have deigned the aircraft to be modular. Any parts that are broken can often be fixed on site with minimal down time. Parts can be quickly replaced without having to send the model in for servicing. A flight box is provided ensuring that all your parts, spares and batteries are kept secure. Our models have been flown in a temperature range of -10 to +40 degrees Celsius giving them an operational range much greater than that of a live falcon.
Wingbeat can mass produce these models within the UK at our factory in Camarthen, Wales. They are consistent and reliable. We export models all over the world. For those experienced in RC models, we can supply the empty shell of the model for you to fit your own electronics. When flying, we recommend fitting a small falconry transmitter to the mount provided inside the model. This will aid in recovery if you land in tall grass or similar.
A number of extras can be added to Ropredator models to make them better suited to a particular application. For example, a Rofalcon being used at an air base can have an autopilot fitted which allows you to pre-programme a number of routes. The model can be instructed not to fly over a sensitive area, such as a run way. A Rogoshawk flown at a land fill can be fitted with a First Person View (FPV) camera that streams live to the pilot. Pest birds can then be pursued at a distance, and roofs can be checked for nesting birds. Full pilot and technical training is available, please contact us.
The use of live falcons hunting Roprey at a site is also beneficial. Prey can identify whether a predator is actively hunting or just cruising around. A falcon chasing a Rocrow is certainly hunting!