When I first heard the concept of ‘drone’ it was some good years back. For me ‘drone’ already had a very good meaning as in almost shooting games the concept was overused and exhausted but what all these uses had in common was the overall definition. A ‘drone’ is a remote-controlled unit used for gathering resources, be they intelligence, actual resources or photos.
What many don’t know is that this term is not new at all as drones have their first apparitions in the Second World War.
Lately, the concept has suffered some changes and nowadays, a drone is typically an unmanned aerial vehicle, with vertical take off and landing for most people but in the definition provided by the dictionary, ‘drone’ is a generic name for any vehicle that is guided remotely or self – guided and it can be aerial, ground, on or underwater.
But the real question is how did the civil market got in touch with such military technology?
This aspect I will try to clear a bit in this article. History of drones began during the Second World War, as stated previously. The first drone was a target aircraft and artillery used it to practice aiming. However, these were far from the ‘drone’ definition that we are accustomed to as they were simple gliders dragged by flying piloted airplanes and the fact that the pilots were in real jeopardy made the engineers come up with the first drones piloted remotely by radio. Obviously, someone asked: ‘what would happen if we put a camera on board to see where the drone is going?’
That question was answered in 1955 by the Falconer SD – 1, a device derived from a target plane used for research missions and has cameras equipped. This was a huge leap in the development of drones as we known them and in the following years several countries have developed RPVs ( Remotely piloted vehicles ). The best examples of these implementations were the US BQM 34 “Firebee” and the French R 20.
Since these leaps in the development of drones, the technology has reached immense peaks and at some point in history civilians tried to create home based drones for fun. In any case, at the DARPA annual competition the entire ‘drone’ concept has its limits pushed more and more every year with whole new designs and concepts that cease to amaze everyone. What remains to be seen is how the drones will evolve in the near future.