Droning on the Past

Staff Writer

During September 17, 1782, the Montgolfier brothers in France sent up the first ummanned aerostats as balloons. During the Civil War, balloons were launched by both the Confederate and Union forces for reconnaissances and bombing. The first aerial cameras were sent up by the United States military during the Spanish American war. The first drones took flight in the United States during World War I. They were sent because there was a need for high speed, radio controlled armored aircraft targets. From then on, these drones were recognized by the military as having high potential in combat.

They continued to be an important combat tool throughout the mid to late 1930s. While drones were definitely useful as high tech military arsenals, they obtained a new use during the Vietnam War which was stealth surveillance. The CIA had always had drones over Afghanistan since 2000. However, it was not until after 9/11 that armed drones surveyed over the country. During February 4, 2002, CIA used a predator drone in a targeted killing. Even today, drones remain a permanent and critical position as advanced military weapons as well as monitors for the Earth’s environment.

In the future, drones may continue to develop to become more advanced and more diverse in use. The U.S., Great Britain, Korea and Israel are working towards making micro aerial vehicles, which will be used for surveillance.