Drone history

Discussion in 'Aerial and Drone' started by JDMvW, Sep 26, 2019.

  1. Wow. $10k in 1980 means about $30k today, but for that you get 35 pounds in the air for 20 minutes - very impressive. Guess it must have had a gas motor?
  2. It did include the Rollei SLX (link) which was 5,998 DM when new. A dollar was worth 2.619 marks at the time.
  3. But I think the first use of the term "drone" was for the target aircraft used to for practice shooting them down.
  4. Probably so, in this context; but the technical and historical, if not terminological, links are pretty clear
  5. Wouldn't kite or baloon mounted cameras be the earliest ancestors?
    According to a 1980s book a camera carrying RC hot air baloon would have to be 30-40cubic meters.
  6. Just 20 mins? That sure wouldn't "fly" today: people are so spoiled by electric drones with lightweight digicams. Even in 1980, when that flight time limitation would have been considered amazing, there must still have been a lot of white knuckle moments when you lost track of the time and suddenly had to get the thing landed safely (or lose a very expensive setup).

    Including a Rollei SLX as standard was a bold (if expensive) choice. That gave me pause, until I remembered the photography gear landscape of 1980. There were several motorized auo-exposure 35mm systems that would have fit the bill for a LOT less money, but their small negative size would have hardly merited the trouble. Medium format 6x6 was still the professional aerial standard, but if you needed the combo of AE and integrated motor your only option was indeed the Rollei SLX. Technically speaking Hasselblad offered the 500ELM motor camera with custom-order crude electric-eye AE lenses, but this was a much clumsier, heavier, more expensive choice (just one AE-enabled lens would have cost more than an entire Rollei SLX outfit).
  7. Before there were unmanned aircraft there were drones which serviced queen bees. They have one purpose in life, then die (hopefully happy). Is there a connection?
  8. There's a marvelous, if a little rough, movie called Invasion of the Bee Girls (link), writer: Nicholas Meyers, in which the male victims are literally drained, but die with a smile on their face.
    Jes' sayin'
  9. Before drones ....... a 1200mm aerial camera - hand holding not recommended.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2020
  10. That guys a wimp compared with legendary aerial photographer and explorer Bradford Washburn.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2020
    mjferron and matt_t_butler like this.
  11. They were towed behind a manned aircraft, or "womaned" more often than not.
  12. The OP didn't agree with that as being the first drone then I would concur that the beginning of current drone was the quadcopter by DJI. Without the automatic flight system it would be extremely difficult to control the quadcopter. More difficult than the copter in his initial post.
  13. As one past government official said "it depends on how you define is". I didn't disagree....
  14. Model helicopters were common in the mid '70s onward, and notoriously difficult to fly (and easy to crash). One successful operator decided to fly a real helicopter. He soloed after 24 hours of instruction (normally 60 or more). It is safe to say that quad-copters were the first practicable rotary wing models, and by far the most popular.

    Technically, a drone is an unmanned aircraft, helicopter, fixed wing or quad-rotor. A towed target was called a drone, but probably wasn't in current nomenclature. Subject to FAA rules, you can fly a quad-copter without GPS or a functional compass. It's hard to maintain its position in even a slight breeze, however. Basic stability is still maintained automatically, unlike in a model (or real) helicopter. Today, "drone" is synonymous with "quad-copter" except in the military world, where drones are fixed-wing, capable of a heavy payload and many hours of flight time.
  15. There were Quad-copter in history but they were not popular. I don't know of any current model of Quad-Copter. The single or two rotor helicopter while much more difficult to fly than a fixed wing is much easier to fly than a quad if you don't have the assistance of the computer. The drone type quad-copters do all of the manuver by only controlling the speed of the 4 rotors. Which is simple but extremely difficult for a human to do.
  16. A quad-copter will be reasonably stable, but control is tricky because you aren't in the cockpit. For example, directional controls are reversed when the drone is facing you. There are a dozen or so exercises you do for practice until they become muscle memory.

    I just bought a Mavic Mini, and in the very low end of the learning curve. I thought it best to start cheap before investing time and money into something better. You need a commercial license for any paid work, or even something construed as business related (e.g., promoting a different venture).
  17. Currently, military UAVs perform both reconnaissance and attack missions. While many successful drone strikes have been reported, they are also liable to cause collateral damage and / or identify misguided targets, like other types of weapon.3 UAVs are also used in an increasing number of civilian applications, such as fire fighting or civil security, such as pipeline surveillance. Unmanned aerial vehicles are often preferred for missions that are too "boring (repetitive), dirty, dangerous, expensive (for human use).
    Source: https://www.compralobueno.com/

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