The Drone Revolution
The 21th century has seen the emerging of unmanned aircrafts that have taken over the air space. Slowly but steadily, it has now become a common phenomenon for the military, meteorologists, companies and hobbyists to fly them; and we can always spot them at times from a distance. These crafts are now being used to launch attacks on enemies’ territories, deliver products to customers’ doorsteps while also used as toys for hobbyists. However, there has been public outcries in some countries where drones have been used to spy on various different activities done in public, thus, undermining their citizens’ privacy. Despite all this, there is the question of when did drones become popular?
History of Drones
Many military forces in different parts of the world have been in the forefront in using drone attacks on enemies’ territories. The drone pilots, dubbed “cubicle warriors” are being recruited at a faster rate than the traditional jet pilots; who always risk their lives in combat. Early use of drones can be traced back to World War II, where unmanned jets were used in the Vietnam War. The Israeli Air Force has been accredited with winning many battles with enemies just by using electronic decoys, jammers and real time video reconnaissance.
In 1998, the US came up with Endurance Unmanned Crafts, which could stay up in the air for long. A notable achievement of these EUC, came when a craft named Laima, crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 26 hours. Civilian drones have also captured the attention of many aviation authorities in different countries. For example, the US estimates that by 2020, their will have more than 15,000 drones manning its airspace.
So Why Are Drones Popular?
1. Appealing Size and Portability
Unmanned craft technology has proven to be capable of capturing vital information from diverse angles; for example in filming movies or capturing live events. It is said that they may change the future of journalism in the near future.
2. Fall in Cost of Technology
Amazon and Dixons have attributed the growth of drone sales to their fairly low prices. Drones range from as low as £30 to £30000GBP depending on their intended use, battery power and accessories attached to them, for example a camera.
3. Safe and Quick in Capturing Live Events
Most news broadcasting stations are using drones to capture the latest live events as they happen. It is way cheaper to use a drone in capturing a forest fire, than risking the life of a photo journalist, while also cut on costs that come with hiring a helicopter that charges on hourly basis.
Regulations by the Aviation Authority
The popularity of these crafts have brought an outcry from the public since hobbyists and terrorist tend to use them for ill purposes, thus, forcing aviation authorities to impose regulations on the use of drones. There have been successful prosecutions over the misuse of drones in different countries. However, for developed economies like the UK, aviation regulators and civil stakeholders have been brought together in order to create an understanding on how the drones can be used to benefit everybody, hence reducing incidences of terrorism and misuse of drones.