Everyone knows what a drone is. They’ve become so popular over the last few years, that they’ve actually been causing problems for aviation authorities. But, where did they come from? They became popular so very quickly; it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what led to their creation. This post will go through a brief history of flying drones, to find their origins.
The First Drones
Generally speaking, a drone isn’t necessarily a flying device. Originally, the word drone was used to describe any semi-autonomous and mobile device. The very first examples of crafts like these being used can be found as early as World War One. The Germans created a device called the Goliath Tracking Mine in WW2. This device was a small tank-like craft with the ability to carry and detonate a live payload. These devices weren’t radio controlled, but they could be controlled over a long distance if cabling was used. Other than examples like the Goliath, most of the drones around this time were used for target practice more than anything.
That was until Cold War, where drones started to be utilized for surveillance purposes. These drones were much more similar to the drone you have at home. But, they were much larger. The original flying drones were more like full-sized remote-controlled aircraft. The technology at the time prevented anything smaller, unfortunately.
The Killer Drones
Of course, most things military will eventually see heavy weaponization. Since 9/11, the US has been using drones as a weapon all across the Middle East. These drones are similar to the drones used in the Cold War. They’re almost the same size as a single-seater plane, but they require much less fuel to fly. They’re incredibly efficient, which means that they can stay in the air for entire days, without having to refuel. Some of the more modern examples of these drones can even refuel, and takeoff completely autonomously.
The Police Drones
Around the same time as the first truly weaponized drones, the US police force started using smaller drones for their work. These drones are much closer to the drones you can buy in your local hobby shop than any of the ones that came before. Also known as RotorCopters, these drones are used for surveillance and the possibility of rioting.
This is where we get to the drones that we see people using today. Modern drones that can be obtained as a civilian are much more stripped back than police or military examples. They’re often designed to be small and easy to fly, instead of durable and versatile. Of course, most of our technological advances come from military work, and the drone is no exception.
Of course, there’s much more to the history of drones than has been covered here. If you want to find out more about drones, you’ll have to do some snooping for yourself. It’s worth it, though. These devices are incredibly interesting and stupidly fun to fly. You can find a drone for yourself at an easily affordable price, with just a little bit of Googling!
Actually, here’s some more. Enjoy!