This article continues to share more interesting facts as well as trivia, about consumer drones – for recreational as well as commercial purposes.
First, here are some fun trivia for you.
Did you know that…?
- About 330,000 Americans registered their drones from December 2015 to February 2016.
- You do not have to contact an airport’s control tower in advance to notify them of your drone flying activity, unless you are flying within 5 miles or closer.
- The top speed of the MQ-1 Predator is 135 miles an hour.
- FAA’s maximum altitude limit for consumer drones, as of 2016, is 400 feet because higher than that, the risk of a drone colliding with low-flying aircraft – especially when they are landing or taking off – is great.
- Before 2016, the maximum altitude limit set by the FAA for consumer drones was 200 feet.
- In 2014, a brewery in Minnesota delivered beers using drones to thirsty fishermen, so the FAA grounded them.
- The U.S. was the first country to deploy an armed drone in 2001.
- RTF drones, or “ready-to-fly” drones are hobbyist drones that anyone can buy and operate.
- The minimum age set by the 2016 FAA’s regulation for consumer drone pilots is 16 years old.
- Consumer drones cannot fly after sunset and before sunrise even with appropriate lighting; consumer unmanned aircraft are only for daytime use.
- You cannot fly your hobbyist drone over a big sporting event, for drones must be at a minimum distance of 3 miles.
- If you fly a drone in any US national park, the maximum fine you can get is $5,000, apart from the risk of a ban from parks for a certain period.
Source: How Stuff Works
Quadcopters, as most aerial drones are called, are multirotor helicopters lifted and propelled by four (4) rotors. Now one article (a satire) claims it could be Leonardo da Vinci, one of 16th century’s brilliant minds. This is what the article says:
“Leonardo da Vinci not only invented the first refrigerator, self-propelled vehicle, and robot — he also invented the first drone. […] ‘…research fellows found the sketches by chance. The designs reveal a self-operating quadcopter made of pine, equipped with revolving platforms and a parachute-like form for flight.”
The article also points out that many of da Vinci’s inventions would be adopted for war. But it also notes what a BBC commentary in 2002 claimed that Leonardo purposefully introduced flaws into his war machines so that they couldn’t be used.
This brings us to the other side of drone usage today – the threat of being used by lawless elements and terrorists. There is also the ever-present risk from careless, clueless, or inconsiderate drone piloting that has resulted in numerous mishaps, near-collisions, and brushes with the law.
With this comes the growth of anti-drone technologies and systems. The rationale behind these may be valid. But one article sees some problems with using counter drone technology, especially the legal side.
Any good thing is bound to be abused and bring harm to mankind– as history has shown.
The Droneologist is a firm believer that drones and their varied applications bring more benefits than harm. It advocates and emphasize, as always, safe, responsible drone flying.