Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), or drones, are any aircraft that can operate without any human pilots or crew on board. They are usually controlled remotely. Back then, UAVs were used for military purposes. The raid on Osama Bin Laden is a perfect example of a successful drone operation. But nowadays, you can see a lot of people who use drones. Some facts about drones make them so attractive to so many people. In fact, we can use drones for commercial and entertainment purposes like filming, journalism, photography, and others. Even football and basketball matches use drones to help the crew get a better angle in the games.
We know that drones are really cool. If you’re an avid fan of action movies featuring spies and espionage, you can’t miss the impressive display of highly advanced drones and their immense potential. However, as with many things in our world, there’s often a deeper layer of intrigue waiting to be uncovered.
So, if you’re eager to delve into the world of drones and discover more about these remarkable machines, you’re in for a treat! Stay right here as we’re about to unveil a collection of fascinating facts about drones, tailor-made just for you!
Table of Contents
- AMAZING Facts About Drones
- 1. Who Actually Invented Drones?
- 2. Drones Can Crash, and They Crash a Lot!
- 3. Drones Can Fly as Much as 10km High, But You Shouldn’t Do That!
- 4. The World’s Smallest Drone
- 5. Drones Really Help in Transporting Medicines to Remote Places
- 6. Too Many Drones in The World
- 7. Drones and Their Effect on the Environment
- 8. The First Ever Drone Casualty Recorded in 2002
- 9. Autonomous Killer Drones Exists: Here’s the Kargu-2
- 10. 3,281 Remember that Number!
- Final Thoughts
AMAZING Facts About Drones
1. Who Actually Invented Drones?
When we talk about the facts about drones, it would be best to know who invented them. However, the long history of drones can sometimes be confusing. In fact, the title of “drone inventor” falls across several names. Some people credited it to Nikola Tesla. Back in the 1890s, Tesla had already begun to envision a technology that could be controlled remotely. In 1898, he successfully made a 4-foot-long boat that humans could control remotely via airwaves.
Reginald Denny is a name that also comes to mind, and his nickname was the “Prince of Drones”. Denny was an actor who had an avid interest in developing unmanned aircraft. In 1935, he succeeded in creating the first-ever civilian drone. The most popular figure, however, is Abraham Karem. He was responsible for the making of the drone “Amber.” ‘Drone Daddy” is the nickname of this drone, as it became the blueprint for modern UAVs.
2. Drones Can Crash, and They Crash a Lot!
We’ve spoken about how drones look so cool in action movies. Perhaps, you see some drones that can fly and maneuver in such precision to achieve their goals. However, real-life drones aren’t that advanced yet. The high number of crashes can be down to several reasons, such as bad signals, inferior technology, or lack of pilot experience. There’s a lot of data and reports about the high numbers of drones crashing and failing. In fact, almost 60% of drone pilots have experienced a crash at least once.
Other data suggests that out of all the drone crashes reported in the United States, almost 70% of them came from the army. On average, at least two military drones crashed every month. This can be a little worrying, considering that they carry weapons and have the potential to hurt civilians. Well, what an interesting fact about drones, right?
3. Drones Can Fly as Much as 10km High, But You Shouldn’t Do That!
Different drones have their own abilities and limitations. However, an average drone can fly as much as 10km high, though you also need to consider some aspects like signal. Although they are capable of achieving such an astounding feat, you should never try to do that! As a matter of fact, most countries have their own regulations about the altitude limit of a drone.
In Europe, you can only fly them for 500 feet. In the US, however, drones cannot fly for more than 400 feet. These rules are applied to prevent any unwanted collisions with other aircraft. We don’t want a repeat of the Tallahassee incident, where an airplane nearly collided with a stealth drone.
4. The World’s Smallest Drone
In recent years, the evolution of drones has led to the production of remarkably compact models. Emphasizing their advantages, small drones are prized for their lightweight nature, allowing for agile and seamless navigation through tight spaces. Among these mini marvels, the Axis Vidius stands out as a true game-changer.
Claiming the title of the world’s smallest quadcopter equipped with a camera, this extraordinary drone measures less than 1.5 inches in size. What’s even more astounding is its weight, tipping the scales at less than 0.55 pounds, rendering it FAA registration-free, providing enthusiasts with hassle-free and unrestricted flying experiences.
5. Drones Really Help in Transporting Medicines to Remote Places
Shifting our focus to one of the intriguing facts about drones, it’s essential to highlight that these unmanned aerial marvels extend far beyond military applications. In reality, modern drones boast cutting-edge technology, enabling them to play a vital role in aiding health organizations by transporting medical supplies to remote and inaccessible regions. Their small and agile design empowers them to navigate through challenging terrains, where traditional vehicles and even humans might struggle to venture. A remarkable real-life illustration of this is how drones have been utilized to deliver life-saving HIV treatments to remote areas in Africa.
As we witness the ever-evolving capabilities of drones, it becomes evident that they have transcended their initial military origins, becoming indispensable tools for humanitarian missions and societal betterment. The example of using drones to carry HIV treatments not only exemplifies their versatility but also showcases the transformative role of technology in bridging gaps and saving lives in the most remote corners of our planet.
6. Too Many Drones in The World
Since their invention, drones have never looked back anymore. Just look at how many drones you see every day, just hovering around the sky. It’s surprising to know that there are millions of drones worldwide. Statista reports that in 2020, the total number of drone shipments worldwide amounts to 5 million units! That’s crazy and understandable at the same time, considering drones can make people’s daily activities become much easier.
In the United States alone, there are more than 850,000 drones registered with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). Three hundred twenty-one thousand of them are registered as commercial drones, while more than 529,000 units are recognized as recreational drones. These numbers show us that people enjoy and rely on drones for many activities, which is a fact since we live in the digital era.
7. Drones and Their Effect on the Environment
This is a serious matter that has become a talking point for many people. Some might suggest that drones have played a huge part in saving the planet, while others disagree with the idea. Let’s take a look at both sides of the coin!
- Positive impact: Drones help scientists to gather more data about certain species’ populations, which really helps them to understand more about the challenges and steps necessary to save endangered species. Drones are sustainable, too, as people can use them as a cleaner alternative to delivering items.
- Negative impact: The same wildlife protection that they’re trying to achieve can sometimes backfire, because drones can disturb various habitats, too.
8. The First Ever Drone Casualty Recorded in 2002
Before the fast development of modern drones, they were primarily used for military purposes. Worldwide military forces have admitted to using UAVs as a way to spy and monitor certain situations. However, they were never meant to be used as deadly weapons, at least not until 2002. Back then, the USA launched the first ever targeted drone strike and killed six Al Qaeda members in Yemen.
The successful operation will lead to more drone strikes in the coming future. Unfortunately, civilians also get caught in the crossfire. Between 2004 to 2013, there was a reported number of 4,061 deaths in Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan. Some of them are also civilians. Here’s to hoping that the military learns from these mistakes and starts to develop a more precision drone.
9. Autonomous Killer Drones Exists: Here’s the Kargu-2
We have learned for quite some time that autonomous drones exist due to advanced AI (artificial intelligence). They will be able to carry out several missions without any control from pilots. But recently, there’s a Turkish drone, dubbed “Kargu-2”, that was able to attack humans without human supervision.
The Kargu-2 was made as a means of counter-insurgencies. Fortunately, the Kargu-2 has never made any attempt to directly injure or kill any human. However, the possibility of having autonomous weapons definitely raises a serious ethical question, which is still under discussion internationally: should we let autonomous weapon systems run loose?
10. 3,281 Remember that Number!
Fact number 10 unveils one of the most awe-inspiring aspects of drones. Amidst concerns about the potential threats posed by killer drones, it’s important to recognize the incredible wonders they can achieve as well. In 2021, the luxury automotive brand GENESIS achieved a remarkable feat, smashing the Guinness World Records title for “the most UAVs airborne simultaneously.”
An astonishing total of 3,281 drones took to the skies simultaneously, showcasing a dazzling array of performances. The culmination of this breathtaking display was nothing short of magical as the drones artfully gathered to form the iconic GENESIS emblem, leaving spectators in awe of the harmonious blend of technology and artistry. This extraordinary achievement demonstrates drones’ boundless creativity and potential beyond their conventional uses.
11. EHang 184, the Most Expensive Passenger-carrying Drone
Our minds often conjure images of compact flying devices when it comes to drones. However, there’s a remarkable advancement in drone technology that may surprise you. Researchers have been hard at work developing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) capable of carrying passengers, much like conventional airplanes. The pioneering EHang 184 stands as a shining example of this innovation.
Remarkably, it is the most expensive passenger-carrying drone, with an astounding price tag of around 300,000 USD. This achievement underscores the cutting-edge potential that drone technology is exploring, pushing the boundaries of aerial transportation. In the continuous pursuit of enhancing aerial mobility, the EHang 184 model has paved the way for even more sophisticated models.
As a result, the latest version, the EHang 116, has emerged, boasting even more advanced features and capabilities. With such progress, the realm of passenger-carrying drones holds tremendous potential for revolutionizing the way we experience air travel in the future.
12. Drones are So Popular That They Have a Racing League
Back in its early inception, few could have fathomed that drones would one day become a thrilling racing phenomenon. Originally designed for military surveillance and reconnaissance missions, drones took an unexpected turn with the introduction of commercial and recreational models. This paved the way for creative thinking and led to the emergence of events like the Drones Racing League, or DRL, which can now be witnessed in various locations across the globe.
Since its establishment in 2015, the DRL has taken the world by storm, captivating audiences with its exhilarating races and daring pilots. Participants in the league construct customized racing drones, which then navigate through mind-bogglingly insane tracks, vying for the ultimate title of champion.
The adrenaline-pumping races offer an unmatched level of excitement and entertainment, making it a must-see spectacle for enthusiasts and spectators alike. If you’re looking for an awe-inspiring experience, be sure to check out the DRL for yourself and witness the astounding world of drone racing.
13. Drones are Becoming Popular, but It Imposes Privacy Risks
Drones are getting more popular than ever. You can even buy cheap drones and use them for different kinds of purposes. However, it really raises an eyebrow because there can always be privacy violations when using drones. Most UAVs have cameras and microphones. That’s the reason why people are getting nervous. One day, you can talk about your neighbor with your friend and have that conversation recorded by a nearby drone. It’s scary when you think about it.
One of the latest cases of drones that violate privacy was found last year. In 2021, a couple in Michigan said that a drone breached their privacy when it was flying through their backyard and taking photos without the consent of the couples. Eventually, the court ruled 2-1 in favor of the couple.
There are some privacy laws that are still under discussion, but it doesn’t mean that all people will be responsible enough to obey them. In the meantime, all we can do is be a responsible user that respects other people’s privacy. Now that you know about 13 facts about drones, if you find someone trying to do bad things with drones, please try to report them to the authorities.
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The facts about drones are indeed mind-blowing! They have transcended their original military purposes to become a dynamic and multifaceted domain. From revolutionizing industries with innovative applications to captivating audiences with adrenaline-fueled drone racing, these unmanned aerial vehicles have truly left an indelible mark on modern society.
However, amidst their countless advantages, awareness of the potential drawbacks is crucial. Improper use of drones can pose significant safety risks, leading to accidents, privacy infringements, and even legal consequences. Therefore, it is essential to avoid restricted airspace, maintain a safe distance from people and property, and refrain from flying in hazardous weather conditions.