Drones are rising in popularity. With more people using them, their functions have increased.
You may think that you know everything about these Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. While this may be true, there are surprising facts about them that will leave your mouth hanging open. There are also some myths about them that need debunking.
What are drones?
UAVs are a recent phenomenon. These devices may be new to you, and you may require some insights. These facts about drones will explain more about them.
Drones are aerial vehicles that do not need piloting. Industry players term them Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems. They have preprogrammed flight plans, and will fly in straight lines or circles. Many of them can hover in place as well.
Military or governmental organizations use them in less accessible areas, such as war zones. Some of them are light enough to launch by hand. Others, such as spy planes are bigger and take off with the guidance of transmitters.
Anyone can pilot a drone these days. Most people use them for aerial photography, but they have other purposes as well.
Things you need to know about drones
UAVs, first developed by the military in the 1990s, are a mind-blowing innovation. They spark curiosity and wonder. Quadcopter Arena presents a few myths and debunks them with a few drone facts.
Interesting drone myths
There are many things about UAVs that you may believe, but they are myths. It can be quite difficult for you to separate fiction from reality. These interesting facts about drones will help you debunk long-standing myths, and put things in perspective.
1. A Model Airplane is a Drone
One of them is that a model airplane is a drone. Drones are machines that fly without a pilot controlling them. In contrast, pilots fly model airplanes within their line of sight. A model airplane cannot move out of a pilot’s periphery of vision, which disqualifies it as a drone.
2. Drones are like surveillance cameras
Drones may seem like street cameras because they have the same functions. Both survey and record images.
Contrary to this belief, they are not like surveillance cameras because they take to the air. They fly, and can follow a person’s movements wherever they go.
You may have to merge the feeds taken by surveillance cameras. Drones have a continuous live feed, and can capture images without interruption.
3. Only the police and the military use drones
Drone uses have expanded. Many civilians fly them these days. Modern ones like the DJI Phantom 3 or the Nano QX bring joy to many avid hobbyists.
4. Police need a warrant if they are flying a drone below 400 ft
The police often use aerial vehicles to survey backyards for marijuana. You may think that they need a warrant if they fly a drone below 400 feet.
The US Supreme Court has found that it is not a violation of constitutional rights to fly a drone at a low altitude. The ruling enables the police to use such devices to fight crime.
5. The police cannot use the footage delivered by drones
Using drone footage is not a violation of constitutional rights either. As long as an officer has the right to be at a crime scene, he can use the evidence he collects. The same applies to drones. The police can use the footage drones record, as long as it this is not done in a restricted area.
6. Flying drones does not take skill
Contrary to what you may believe, achieving control of a drone’s pitch and yaw takes practice. Experienced pilots can make a drone dance in the air.
7. All drones have weapons
Not all drones do. Drones help people in many ways. While some drones have military uses, others are used for photography and other purposes.
8. Drones cannot stay in the air for long
Lightweight drones like the Blade Nano QX or the Hubsan X4 cannot remain in the air for more than 10 minutes.
Not all drones are mini-drones. The DJi Phantom drones can stay in the air for about half an hour. US military drones can hover for many hours at a time.
9. There are more downsides than upsides to using drones
You may have heard horror stories of low durability, crashes and short flight time. But the advantages of using drones outweigh their disadvantages.
Manufacturers are blending robotics, airframe design and sensors in many ways. These innovations have created jobs and increased the competitiveness of companies.
15 Surprising facts about drones
There are many fun facts about drones waiting for you to discover. Many of them are historical in nature. Others are simply frightening. In all, they will definitely floor you.
1. The first drones targeted terrorists
The first military drone, the Predator, targeted Osama Bin Laden.
The United States built the first drone before the 9/11
attacks, but it was not ready for deployment.
The first drone killing was in 2001 when UAVs shot Muhammed Atel, an Al Qaeda commander.
2. Military uses for drones are increasing
Drones do not just track and survey the enemy. They bear powerful weapons and are lethal devices.
3. Attack drones need people to man them
That all drones are autonomous is a misconception. The higher the attack capability of a drone, the more people need to man it.
4. Israel was the first country to build drones
The first country to manufacture drones was Israel. Israel Aerospace Industries has production facilities about 24 countries around the world.
5. Drones have taken many lives
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, attack drones have killed about 4756 people. Many were children.
6. Drones help humanity
There are many things a drone can do. Besides having military uses, they enable communication in inaccessible areas. They also survey land for real estate purposes.
7. Drones fight crime
The police use them for tracking purposes. The aerial footage they capture serves as evidence to convict criminals.
8. Drones deliver food and medicine
You may not realize how helpful drones are. Many bring food and medicine to people in war-torn areas.
9. They are excellent farming tools
Drones are great farming assistants. They survey crops, and their footage will show farmers the damaged ones.
10. Drones cover important events from the air
Drones can help you to record important sports games or celebrations from the air. With a drone, you will never miss a fireworks display.
11. Theater companies use drones to decorate stages
A drone is a stage manager’s best friend. It dangles decorations as it hovers in place.
12. The Aerial Target was the first attempt at building an aerial vehicle
The Aerial Target made my A.M. Low, was one of the first attempts at putting a UAV together.
13. Americans are the highest users of drones
Over 181000 Americans have registered their drones with the Federal Aviation Administration of America. Stores report selling over 400000 drones.
There are many unregistered American drones. Failing to register an American drone can lead to a fine of $27500.
14. Drones spark creativity
Drones attract creative minds. They have sparked creativity in the areas of robotics and military defense.
15. Industry players disagree about what to call drones
Some industry players call these vehicles UAVs, and others, RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems). They feel that RPAS are different because a pilot controls them from a distant location.