Drones taking to skies


MCT Photo

Shown above are two different types of drones, side by side, the warring and ‘suburban’ kind. One is used to kill, the other used for entertainment or just taking photographs and video.

Benjamin Brynjulfson Reardon, Staff Writer

UAVs, more commonly known as drones, have been around longer then you think. The first ‘prototype’ was crafted in 1916 by Professor Archibald Low, who had never created anything aeronautical in his life before.

The craft was initialed with “AT” when it was presented; it crashed almost immediately after taking off. UAVs have made a giant leap since then, though crashes are numerous, with both civilian and military drones.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the national authority in the U.S. It regulates and oversees all aspects of American civil aviation.

Congress and civil liberties have pushed and wished for the FAA to start legalizing civil drones and to create privacy guidelines for government drones.

“It’s too early to really use them (drones). It is worth putting in the time and money, but shouldn’t be released to the public until there’s less problems,” junior Jack Good said.

Drones have become popular with many groups within the U.S. Though there are guidelines of the airspace drones that are allowed, rouge UAVs often violate them.

Collisions with passenger aircrafts are feared as drones of all sizes ignore the law and fly in close proximity to other aircrafts. There is also fear of civilian drones being hacked and used as a way of terror.

“I understand there are risks, but I don’t have a problem with it, people should be allowed to fly their drones. As long as they aren’t too big,” junior Wessel Belesing said.

Military drones have an encrypted satellite system. Civil drones do not and are open to all forms of hacking. There has also been a demand for drones to be used economically, for exporting and delivering goods within the U.S.

Several companies view this as a new field that must be claimed, and want the FAA to give leeway for private and civilian UAV’s, even though risks of buying and maintaining drones are high.

“It’s like moving factories to China, better for the company. More goods sent out, but it would lay off tons of jobs,” freshman Nicholas Walker said.