Drone or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) refers to an unpiloted aircraft. Although drones were initially created for military purposes, today’s demand for flying robots has heightened for commercial and recreational purposes.
Nowadays, drones are used for various purposes, including delivering goods, photography, and cinematography, assisting in agricultural work, even rescue and search operations.
Drone pilots are one of the major facts about drones that have saved the lives of thousands of victims and are effective in extreme conditions.
“These devices can be remotely controlled or fly autonomously through software-controlled flight plans in their embedded systems, working in conjunction with onboard sensors and GPS”- Internetofthingsagenda.com.
Drones can be remotely controlled from a smartphone or tablet, possible through the wirelessly enabled feature. This feature allows pilots to have a clear view of the surrounding through their connected devices too.
For flight, the drone uses rotors and a propeller that is attached to a motor. These devices are powered by fuel or battery, depending on the manufacturer. The frame of the drone, usually made up of light-weighted materials, holds the device together. Without it, vertical motion is impossible.
The first unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) were developed during World War I by the USA and the U.K. While the trial of these pilotless vehicles was successful, they weren’t brought to use until the 1930s.
One of the earliest drones was the radio-controlled drone named the “DH.82 Queen Bee”, which was invented by the British. It’s said the term drone was used since then. In 1937, one of the first radio-controlled aircraft, the Curtiss N2C-2 drone, was developed by the U.S. Navy.
Before World War II, the technology world saw the first mass production of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), the Radioplane OQ-2, a remote-controlled model airplane.
Almost 15,000 of these were produced for the U.S. military. During WWII, the first cruise missiles named V-1 “doodlebugs” were used by the German Army.
The Vietnam War (1955-1975) introduced the use of reconnaissance UAVs. It expanded the drone’s range of fields. Drones were used to launch missiles against targets, entice enemies in combat, and send leaflets for psychological operations.
During the 1990s, mini and micro version of UAVs was introduced. The Predator drone, which is still manufactured, was even used to search Osama Bin Laden.
In 2006, FAA permitted the first commercial drone permit, sparking many people’s interest. Since then, people’s interest in drones has continued unabated.
Over the last decade, drone technology has made astounding growth and continues to do so. As of January 2021, 1,782,479 drones were registered by the FAA. Out of which, 27% were registered for commercial operation.
Facts About drones
We all know drones are used for cinematography and visual recording for films and ads. But let’s dig deeper into how and where they can be, and they have been used, and their useful aspects. Here are some interesting drone facts.
1. 30,000 drones in the US Sky by 2030
According to Washington.com, there could be about 30,000 drones hovering overhead in the sky in the U.S. by 2030. The FAA Reauthorization Act, signed by President Obama in 2012, made it easier for the government to fly unmanned spy planes in U.S. airspace. Since then, the use of drones has spiked.
2. 60 billion dollars market by 2025
According to bussinessinsider.com, the sales of U.S. consumer drones to dealers surpassed $1.25 billion in 2020. The drone market size is estimated to be worth $100 billion.
By 2021, the consumer drone shipments are predicted to be 29 million. One of the amazing facts about drones also includes billion dollars market.
3. Drone pilots
One of the beneficial facts about drones is “Search and rescue (SAR)” drones are used to aid people in danger, lost, and in and difficult locations, such as mountainous or hilly regions and the wilderness.
It takes a good amount of time for the helicopters and manned planes to conduct search and rescue missions. SAR drones are relatively fast. Thus, with the help of drone pilots, the operation can run quickly.
Even if paramedics are hours away from the victim, they can send a first-aid box by a drone and communicate with the victim.
The paramedics can instruct simple procedures, and this can prevent serious injury and even save lives. Plus, the rescue team can have a proper search view, making them aware of potential dangers.
4. Drone is used for agriculture
COVID-19 has led to severe to acute food insecurity. As of 2021, the World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that 296 million people from 35 countries are without sufficient food.
With the population expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, the pressure on the food industry is significant. And so is the growth of drones in agriculture.
For example, Raptor Maps is a software company that developed agricultural analytics that uses a drone to predict the potential harvest. The process of agriculture is time-consuming and repetitive. Tasks, which might sound simple, such as picking produces, can take a long time.
So, companies like Abundant Robot is developing a machine that can autonomously pick produce. And DroneSeed is developing drones for airborne seed dispersal. These facts about drones show how vast the technology can be.
5. There’s disagreement on the name “drone”
There are many disagreements regarding the term “term.” It’s widely known as Unmanned Aerial Machines (UAV). However, the Air Force calls it Remote Piloted Aircraft (RPA) because they argue that it doesn’t make these robots unmanned since a pilot is involved.
6. Deliver medical supplies in Africa
In rural areas, such as Africa, drones are used to supply essential medical supplements. One of such companies is Zipline International.
7. Racing league
Even a Drone Racing League (DRL), founded in 2015, allows people to race in venues such as sports stadiums. Pilots race first-person view (FPV), and they have custom-built racing drones that travel 90 MPH. It’s dubbed as the new era of sports. These facts about drones take us to the platform where many people follow racing sports.
8. Forecast weather
Scientists are coming up with new technology that has helped monitor and forecast weather which can be considered as one of the interesting facts about drones.
A project, named Saildrones, is being run by the Atmospheric Scientists of the University of Washington. As a part of the research, six drones are being used to collect data off the West Coast near the Bay Area.
9. Drone Registration
To fly drones that weigh more than 250g (8.8 ounces), you will need an FAA identification number. To obtain this identification number, you’ll need to register. It’ll only cost you 5 dollars for three whole years!
10. Rules for flying drones
There are certain rules and regulations you must follow while flying drones. Some of the basic rules include:
- You should fly drones at or below 400 feet
- You cannot fly drones over stadiums or any sport event locations
- You cannot fly drones near airports or aircraft
- You need to keep the drone within your sight
- You cannot pass over National parks and wildlife reserves
These are some unknown facts about drones and their history of evolution. This concept of drones has been revolutionizing and adapting according to the needs and development of technology.
As it is mentioned above, drones are being used for rescue operations as well as agricultural purposes. Rest assured, many more functions and advanced technology will certainly take their leap as the years passes by on how to utilize the drones.(Last Updated On: June 1, 2022)