Publications Raving About Us June 10, 2006
“In various shapes and sizes, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) have been around for more than a century. During the Civil War, both sides sent hot air balloons rigged with explosives (set to drop by timer) floating over each other’s lines. A few decades later, U.S. soldiers photographed Spanish defenses with camera lashed to box kites. In the 1930′s, the British RAF and Navy used radio-controlled biplanes as targets for antiaircraft gunners. Today, the top dog among unmanned crafts in the U.S. Military’s MQ-1 Predator, a key player in the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Controlled by a crew of three, the Predator completes a variety of missions that are either too dangerous or too dull for human pilots. Its cameras shoot video day or night, through smoke and through clouds. It can even pack a pair of remotely launchable Hellfire missiles.
Even if you can afford the Predator’s $40-million price tag, you still can’t have one – the Second Amendment doesn’t guarantee the right to a stealth-bombing spy plane. The Draganfly Tango, however, falls just within the bounds of legality. And it can do most of what the Predator can -at least in miniature (minus the Hellfire missiles). Its wingspan is 60 inches and its payload three and a half pounds, enough to carry a 10-megapixel Canon digital camera for high-resolution stills and video. A powerful 2.4 gigahertz transmitter in the plane’s belly beams the imagery back to the operator “live” from up to 1500 feet away, where it can be viewed on a media player or through a pair of futuristic spectacles called “Eye Cameras” with a screen embedded in the right-hand lens. And like the Predator, the Tango can cruise at low speeds without stalling, ensuring a good, long look at the situation on the ground. As for range, one can fly the Tango about as far as one can see it, for up to fiver hours of reconnaissance. A souped-up, GPS-equipped version, capable of long-range preprogrammed flights, it is also available, but only to government and law-enforcement agencies.
The question remains, of course, why anyone would need such a craft. To count cattle? To survey real estate? To snoop on the neighbors? But that’s a private matter best kept between a man and his spy plane.” – Thomas Jackson – ForbesLife