Drones are also known as unmanned aerial vehicles. Drones can be used for various purposes including aerial photography, aerial filmography, surveillance, and mili-tary combat. Most drones are used for combat. The drones used for combat are usually fitted with missiles. They are then remotely controlled from a certain point.
Even though many countries manufacture and have drones, it’s only the U.S, China, Israel, and China who are known to have manufactured armed drones which are op-erational as at late 2015. Countries in possession of drones which are capable of missiles delivery include France, U.S, UK, India, Pakistan, and China.
The earliest ever recorded use of an unmanned aerial vehicle is in 1849 when Austria invaded Italy with unmanned air balloons loaded with bombs. The balloons bombed the Rupublic in Venice. In the course of and soon after World War I, the first un-manned aircrafts were built. Radio control techniques by A. M Low were utilised in the process of making these aircrafts. Ruston Proctor Aerial Target was built in 1916. Soon after that, an automatic airplane known as Hewitt-Sperry. This plane was controlled by
The automatic airplane made its debut flight on September 12, 1916. It was later on in 1917 used by representatives of the United States army and its efficience made the U.S. army start a project to construct a sort of aerial torpedo known as the Ket-tering Bug. Kettering Bug was first flown in 1918.
The initial success of pilotless aircraft prompted the development of pilotless air-crafts controlled by radio in the United States and Britain in 1930s. In Britain, a pi-lotless aircraft named Fairey Queen was made from a floatplane. There were in total, three batches of this plane. In 1935, a second pilotless airplane was also made in Britain. This was referred to as Queen Bee. This name “Queen Bee” is believed to have been the origin of the term “drone”.
The first large scale production of drones was done by Reginald Denny Industries in Hollywood Boulevard. The owner of the company, Reginald Denny demonstrated a series of prototype target drones to the U.S. army and in 1940, his company won a contract to supply the U.S. army with one of their target drones known as RP-4. The Reginald Denny Industries supplied the U.S. army with almost 15,000 drones during the Second World War.
Edward M. Sorensen invented the first pilotless aircraft which was capable of flying out of sight. This airplane’s activities, direction, and position could be monitored from a ground terminal. Sorensen obtained U.S. patent for his invention.
The U.S. navy also tried its hand in radio-controlled drones and came up with N2C-2 drone in 1937. N2C-2 became operational in 1938 and were controlled from an-other aircraft known as TG-2. N2C-2 were anti-aircraft targets. The U.S. air forces also started using the N2C -2 concept in 1939. It built drones with letter A marked on each of them as a code name. However, this code was later changed to PQ to dis-tinguish the target drones from attack planes which also had the letter A mark on them.
In 1941, the United States naval factory manufactured a drone fitted with a televi-sion camera and monitored through a screen in the control aircraft. This drone de-livered a successful torpedo attack on a destroyer in 1942. The U.S navy later also used pulsejet-powered drones. Drones were also used as decoys in 1950 to help the United States military penetrate heavily-defended air space.
The use of military drones has continued since then.