If you had a playful childhood, most probably you have wished for a cool flying toy you can show off to your playmates or use to pull off pranks on your friends. If you are dreaming of being married someday, most likely you would want to have amazing aerial shots on your wedding video, just to have an experience of how a celebrity weddings feel like.
The media has made the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, a.k.a. drones, popular today. But before drones were used for fun and creative purposes, they were first developed for military applications.
In the past decades, drones were basically used for airstrikes and surveillance to lessen fatalities. During World War I, where aircraft were first introduced into military service, the US Army developed aerial torpedoes that worked as kamikaze drones. At the same time, the British Armed Forces used aerial mapping to capture sky view maps on the German trench as a tactical move during the Battle of Nueve Chapelle in France. This ushered the use of aerial imagery.
Fast forward to 1973, the Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) developed unmanned surveillance machines for battlefields known as the IAI Scout. These machines were used by the Israeli Air Force in a destructive attack to Syria during the Lebanon War, which gained the attention of the US.
An IAI engineer named Abraham Karem developed a similar prototype, the GNAT 750, in the US during 1986 and an American defense contractor bought his design. Later on, the Central Intelligence Agency bought two GNAT 750s to be deployed in Bosnia.
In 1994, the Pentagon asked to redesign the GNAT 750 under a deal with the contractor. Six months later, the first generation of Predator was born — a bigger, quieter and a sturdier version of its predecessor.
The CIA fled Predator in Afghanistan in 2000 to search for Osama Bin Laden. In December, the Pentagon granted the US Air Force permission to arm it with missiles.
In the aftermath of the 9/11 attack, the CIA immediately launched the Targeted Killing Campaign as a way to legally kill perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks, specifically those affiliated with the Al Qaeda. The CIA and the Pentagon do not disclose when and where they strike, so the exact numbers of casualties since then up to now are unknown.
Kinda scary, right? The good thing is, the use of the drone has transcended way, way past the war thing. In 2014, Amazon proposed the use of drones to deliver packages. DIY organizations have created small drones for recreational flights. Even Facebook is developing drones that aim to deliver Internet access around the world.
Nowadays, you don’t have to wonder where to buy drones. You don’t have to be a member of a military force or an intelligence agency to be able to fly one. Whether you want to play, film your wedding video, take a selfie, get a top view of your neighborhood or deliver a dossier, drones are your way to go. Just check out the drone reviews, or build your own with a DIY drone kit, to help you in getting the best drone deals for your money.