We might have had primitive technology not much better than fire-hardened spears to hunt wooly mammoth back in my youth, but there were model airplanes available for the enthusiast even back then.
Some of them were even controlled by radio. Hence the name “RC model airplane“.
All that is old is constantly new again. Repackaged for the Internet age, we are now supposed to refer to RC model aircraft as “drones“. The most popular appear to be multi-rotor helicopter designs.
The development of digital cameras that are cheap, durable, and lightweight have meant that these drones are now usually equipped with what would have been seen as sophisticated surveillance technology even a decade ago.
Sophisticated spy equipment or not, most people who buy this sort of thing are mostly interested in buzzing the neighboring backyards in order to get shots of their teenage daughters as they sunbathe.
But not all uses of these toys are purposed to stoke some prurient interests. Another trend is to take video of your hometown, edit the footage for dramatic effect while setting it to inspiring music, and uploading the end result to YouTube.
Long time reader Greg was kind enough to send me a link to this website. It features a map of the world, with links to the aforementioned YouTube videos. Judging by the number of videos posted, it would appear that Europe has a great many more drone enthusiasts than The United States. Or perhaps we just don’t like to share.
I checked out the video for Detroit and found it to be interesting. Lots of crumbling buildings and empty streets. Reminded me of those cheap movies that came out in the 1980’s which depicted a world smashed by nuclear war, with cannibalistic mutants lurking in the rubble.
Anyway, check out the website. Maybe someone has made a video of your own hometown.
Of course the idea of using an RC model aircraft as a homemade precision guided weapon will also be occurring to some people.
Mind you I seem to recall Tarzan being menaced by something like that in the old Ron Ely TV series, and Clint Eastwood by a RC model car-bomb in the , IMHO, not very good ‘The Dead Pool.’ Ah well.
The Detroit make’s interesting, if depressing, viewing though.
Back in my prehistoric past (the 1970’s) I had a RC aircraft. Not the radio controlled type, mine had strings that moved the flaps that you manipulated by hand. You had to spin around in circles to keep it flying. After a few minutes of that you usually ended up crashing the plane or becoming so dizzy you fell down, or both.
Those be called U-Control models, and I had a number of them, with wires, not strings, for the more-powerful engines. I didn’t get dizzy, either.
“After a few minutes of that you usually ended up crashing the plane or becoming so dizzy you fell down, or both.”
Sounds better than medical marijuana!
“Sounds better than medical marijuana!”
But WAAAAAAAY more expensive. My father(born circa 1920’s) had a few cherished relics of his early model airplane days and assured me as a child that it would be cheaper for him to replace me than those planes.
I still have one of his early model motors and I can’t really disagree with his appraisal.