A Short History of Drones – By Didier Soulier

What exactly is a drone? Some might say it is a tool to carry out surveillance and watch over a nation, others might say it’s an innovative gizmo for delivering products like amazon proposals. The United States military currently have more than 100, both armed and unarmed drones flying over a dozen countries. By 2018 […]

Radio Plane
Radio Plane

What exactly is a drone? Some might say it is a tool to carry out surveillance and watch over a nation, others might say it’s an innovative gizmo for delivering products like amazon proposals.

The United States military currently have more than 100, both armed and unarmed drones flying over a dozen countries. By 2018 the federal aviation predicts some 1700 unmanned aircraft will be present in the sky in the United state alone.

In the past, drones have been synonymous with airstrikes to eliminate terror groups overseas, guided largely by agencies such as the CIA.

But where have these machines come from? To find out, we need to look back almost 100 years from now.

Drones, or Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAVs) works via a network of sensors, which are remotely control from the ground, similar to a radio controlled toy only with a much longer range.

The origin of the drone occurred towards the end of world war one, The US army were designing aerial torpedos, which were small planes that were used like the Kamikaze and slammed into their target. The war ended before they could be used.

In 1939, in the very early stage of world war two, The United States produced the first remote controlled aircraft called the Radioplane OQ-2.

Norma Jeane, before she became better known as Marilyn Monroe, worked at the California plant, where she worked on the assembly of the Radioplane OQ-2 during the war. Unmanned surveillance operations continued to play a more prominent role in the Cold War and global conflict in general.

Drone Filming
Drone Filming

In 1973, Israel developed the AI scout, which were unmanned surveillance machines in the sky.

In 1986, the US and Israel came together to produce the RQ2 Pioneer; a medium seize reconnaissance drone.

IN 1990, American defence contractor General Atomics, bought an Israel engineer to design and create the Gnat 7050 drone concept, which would later become the Predator Drone we know today.

In 2014, Amazon announced proposals to use drones much smaller and simpler than those used in the military to deliver packages to customers. Real estate agencies have begun using drones for promotional videos and taken pictures from the sky of high end properties in their marketing. Small and medium size companies have started creating their own small-scale machines for recreational purposes, which have proved very popular in sports such as surfing and skiing, where the small device simply follows the subject with the help of a GPS tracker on their wrist. Others uses of drones are for for anti-poaching rescue missions in Africa. Medical delivery by drones in remote places temporally cut off from the outside world is still in testing phase at the moment.

Even Facebook is building solar power drones which will fly at 50,000 feet and beam down Internet feeds in remote areas of the world.

We are truly entering the drone age, and with right legislation and our understanding, the future and possibilities to utilise this new technology looks promising.