Ok, so I love my UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) which is the nicer name for what the media insists on labeling as “DRONES” lumping hobby grade flying things in with the flying Grimm Reapers that the developed military’s of the world like to fly around and bomb villages with. This is not fair and paints an ominous perception in the minds of the uninitiated among us.
The average hobbyist UAV out there is less than 3 pounds and about 14” square. The average payload that these UAV’s can handle is about that of a small camera or less than 2 pounds. Advanced models can be flown at distances of about a mile or so away however +80% of UAV’s can only be flown a few hundred feet away before the craft is too far away to see or the radio signal is too weak to control the craft. Military drones are satellite controlled from a base on the other side of the planet.
An average UAV only has a flight time of ~10 to 15 minutes for large, slow devices and 5 to 7 minutes for fast moving race quads. Military drones can fly for hours(Predator) or even days (Globalhawk)…
As in all things, exceptions to the above generalizations exist. The FAA says the all-up weight of UAV’s can be up to 50 pounds. Some devices have over 20” props and 16 motors or more (Legal). There are systems capable of controlling these craft at over 80 Kilometers away(NOT Legal). These are the exceptions, not the rule. And cost huge money (50K and way way up!)
Don’t fall for the media hype. The average quad is no more dangerous to passers by than a baseball. Sure sometimes a kids breaks a window with a home run hit, but more often than not it is just a day at the park having fun with friends.
190,000 kids go the the ER each year by baseballs but you don’t see calls from congress to “regulate baseballs” or to “force baseball owners to register their baseballs with the authorities!”
You can buy a trampoline which sends over 62,000 kids to the ER each year. Yet you don’t have to register your trampoline with the FBI.
Yet these are the calls from congress about drones which have injured so few people that there are not even reliable sources for statistics out there. If there are no statistics then it DOES NOT HAPPEN. because with a media salivating at the danger of drones you KNOW that if it were prevalent enough to track the research would be EVERYWHERE!
But doesn’t it sound exciting and worth your attention when a pathetic local news anchor says:
“Drones, are your children in danger? Full story at 11.”