If a kid would watch the above video, he might believe that Superman was really flying with a GoPro camera. But superman was not really flying there, was he? It was a drone!
Amazing isn’t it? Before, you would need a genius, a million-dollar worth of equipments, and a hundred people to make Christopher Reeves fly.
Effects of days past: making Superman fly
Non chasing Superman down the street at night was one of those shots that required Vista-Vision to Vista-Vision compositing and then Vista-Vision to 35mm anamorphic. Because helicopters were not allowed, the background plates were shot from the back of a camera car. As Superman and Non were flying just above the street lights it was difficult to keep them in the clear area between the light flares in order to maintain the illusion that they were above and behind the lights.
I got an artist to rotoscope the lights in the original background plate and produce a hi-contrast plate which had only clear circles on a black background. A sync mark was made in the camera gate before each take and at the end of the take the film was rewound in the camera; the hi-contrast plate was loaded in the projector and projected on a clear area of the f.p. screen as a superimposition. A diffusion filter in front of the camera lens made the white blobs of the hi-contrast plate flare out to match the flares of the street lights. This of course could have been done later on an optical printer but that would have involved going through another generation.
To read the complete article: https://www.fxphd.com/blog/effects-of-days-past-making-superman-fly/
Now, tell me honestly, did you understand anything from that excerpt? Well, I didn’t. It’s too complicated!!! That was before the drone was invented.
“Why Are There So Many Drones All of a Sudden?” – Tom Hartsfield
The Oxford English Dictionary describes drones as ‘a remote-less controlled piloted aircraft or missile’. Understood in such sense, drones came into first use after World War II when unmanned jets, such as the Ryan Firebee (a documentary about the Firebee and the use of early drones in the Vietnam War), started field operation.
Since then, the number of drones in military use increased substantially enough that the New York Time decided to refer to it as a new paradigm for warfare.
But the story of military drones or unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV) is probably as long as the history of aircrafts. Military leaders always dreamed of reaching their enemies from distance, especially when there was a real opportunity (e.g. from a drone airport in Wales or a comfy control centers) of avoiding human casualties. As might been expected, the US military sector led in these types of engagements and was the first to apply the idea of aerial military surveillance (as far as in during the Civil War), but other countries are also following.
Interestingly, even before the Wright brothers taught the fledgling aviation world the secrets of controlled flight, also other attempts of unmanned combat vehicles existed – an interesting example are balloons, which were used with various results by the Austrian army in an attack on Venice in 1849 and the Japanese forces in the Fu-go bombings in 1945.
So it was the military who was responsible. You know what they say, “necessity is the mother of inventions,”. And the military seems to need a lot of things. Below is a UAV that was used in the Vietnam War:
Look how big is that! It’s really a plane that can’t take in passengers.
Different Kinds of Drones
Of course there are different makes and models drones. There are spider drones, parrot drones, quadcopters, quadcopter with camera. Specifications differ depending on the purpose of their use.
So, unmanned aircraft might be fixed-wing airplanes, helicopters, lighter-than-air blimps, or some very creative hybrids.
Since they don’t have to be built to carry the weight of a person, they can be built smaller and less expensively, with more of what they can do in terms of speed or lifting power devoted to carrying out a task of some type. They also can be built very large, capable of covering long distances or carrying very heavy payloads. The only limits are imagination and a plan for what you want to do with one.
A “quadcopter” is a generic term for a rotary-wing aircraft with four main rotor systems and no tail rotor. There’s nothing that says it has to be unmanned, but common usage of the term these days has given it that implied qualifier. Also, “quadcopters” flown for hobby or recreational use (but certainly not for business, because that’s not provided for in aviation rules yet) pretty much all come down at the small end of the size spectrum.
1. It isn’t wrong to call almost any kind of remotely or self-directed vehicle a “drone.”
2. All unmanned aircraft may be considered “drones.”
3. It’s basically impossible to come up with a currently flying example of a quadcopter that isn’t an unmanned aircraft (part of an “unmanned aircraft system”) and therefore, at the end of the day… a drone.
For further reading: http://www.quora.com/Whats-the-difference-between-a-drone-UAV-and-a-quadcopter
Apparently, the advancement of technology is measured by how people can make things smaller. Before, a television is as big and heavy as an oven. Now it’s as flat at a whiteboard. In the past, a drone can be mistaken as a small passenger jet. Now, it’s more like a toy (well, it is still used as toys by rich kids).
Photo credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/234890936790331973/
There’s more than just physics keeping these small wonders aloft
When things look easy, they’re typically anything but. From Ted Williams’ swing to Raymond Carver’s prose to Jennifer Lawrence’s acting, this has been demonstrated time and time again. You might think it’s a leap to include drones with these effortless artists, but hold your judgement until after you watch an unmanned aircraft dance gracefully across the sky. Because while these machines may look like little more than propellers and plastic, these aerial acrobats actually pack a lot of tech into their lightweight frames.
In order to describe how drones work, you have to first distinguish them from their predecessors: remote control helicopters. According to Michael Perry, public relations manager at drone maker DJI, the key differentiator between the two airborne devices is that drones have some level of autonomy — meaning they can fly, hover, or navigate without input from a pilot.
“When you’re fully engaged with every single part of the flight process, that’s technically not a drone.” says Perry. “The ability to self-stabilize, to be able to hold a GPS-based position, that’s the level of autonomy that actually makes it an intelligent machine.”
For the rest of the article, it’s here: http://time.com/3769831/this-is-how-drones-work/
The applications of this evolving technology can be limitless. People have understood that the military cannot monopolize the benefits of drones. The business sector is already making different kinds of drones for different purposes.
The job of a reporter can sometimes become dangerous. Often, it can lead them to places that they are not familiar with. The terrain, the height of location and even people (like terrorists) can pose as a threat to a photographer’s or a journalist’s life. But these limitations have been removed by drones.
Youtube source link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyKGA5Xx18k
That video from an overseas TV station has realized the value of drones. There are many news agencies around the world that now buy drones to give us quality reporting.
No private pilot license, no aircraft certification, no medical exam. That’s the bottom line from the proposed rules for small unmanned aircraft systems, released today by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Notice for Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for small UAS represents a significant departure from how drone flights have been authorized in the past. Currently, the easiest path towards authorized commercial flight in the United States is the “333 exemption” process, in which the FAA can grant drone operations on a case-by-case basis.
But that process is onerous for many drone fliers, journalists especially. The 333 exemptions granted thus far typically only allow flights within “sterilized sets,” which is antithetical to journalism. The exemptions also require the drone operators to hold private pilot licenses, which take months of training and thousands of dollars to achieve.
All that could be a thing of the past, if the small UAS NPRM becomes regulation. The proposed rules do not require a pilot license to operate small UAS. Instead, UAS operators will need an unmanned aircraft operator’s certificate, which can be granted after the completion of an aeronautical knowledge test.
The rules to not go on to describe the content of the knowledge test, but in a telephone conference today, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said the exam would acknowledge that flying a small UAS is “fundamentally different” than manned aircraft. The test would need to be re-taken every 24 months.
So the best benefit of drones is that lives can not be threatened anymore. Imagine a reporter going near an active volcano just to get a picture for his front page. Now, he doesn’t have to do that anymore. How cool is that?
So drones were used by the military, news agencies and by Hollywood. What else can drones be useful for? What else can you think of that can be an application for a drone?
Toys for the Big Boys
Apparently, there is such a thing a drone racing! Nope, it’s not a scene from Star Wars. It the real deal. It’s really exciting, if you think about it. Your drone flies and you are able to control it. It’s really better than just sitting in front of an arcade console.
There were only about 60 people in the stands on a second straight day of 100-degree weather, including, at one point, the California State Fair’s mascot. The first two fans—sitting alone on Bonney Field’s baking steel bleachers at 9am—were Don Fuller and Larry Alver. They’d traveled about 35 miles to attend the event. Fuller owned a drone, and brought his friend along to watch the nationals. Fuller said he was enjoying the event, and although the two were alone in the stands, believed there are “too many people interested” in the sport for it to not take off. Roughly 1,000 people were watching the event’s livestream at any given point on Friday, competition organizer Scot Refsland said.
One Reddit user, chatting about the event on the /r/FPV page, summed up the event’s issues as the sport attempts to grow: “My first thought: ‘wow we live in amazing times.’ My second: ‘man that’s kind of a crappy feed.’”
Refsland said that despite hitches, he was happy with how the inaugural event transpired. “Safety was perfect,” he said. Refsland said the nationals will be back next year, although not necessarily at the California State Fair, which has right of first refusal on next year’s event. Nowak said if he could find a way to get back—and the organizers let a non-American back in next year—he would return to defend his title.
Although Nowak said it would be great if someone could pay him to be a full-time drone racer, he admitted that FPV racing isn’t yet about winning titles. “If it’s not fun, what’re you doing it for?”
To read the complete story: http://qz.com/457748/fpv-national-drone-racing-championship/
“If it’s not fun, what’re you doing it for?”
Drone tech is the next best thing. And yes, some of us want to use it for fun (I want to buy drones now). But can you believe it, there is another, higher purpose for drones. Nope, I’m not referring to espionage, information gathering by the military. This reason is far more important than national security. Drones can be used for…