Month: August 2015

Head in the Clouds

When I was a kid, I remember thinking I might like to be a helicopter pilot when I grew up. Movies like Blue Thunder got way too much love from me as a kid (really, it was an awful movie). I looked forward to every new episode of Airwolf, and even watched the reruns. But then I grew up, and I learned how godawful expensive it was to fly helicopters recreationally, and how unlikely it was I could ever get paid to fly them because of medical reasons.

Radio controlled helicopters seemed fascinating, but they had a reputation for being very difficult to learn to fly, and for being very expensively crashy.

But something really neat started happening in recent years. Sites like DIY Drones started hitting my radar. Open Source hardware/software projects like APM:Copter took off. Technology was now making multirotor drones like quadcopters and hexacopters affordable and easier to fly. Videos started popping up on YouTube showing off how these hobbyist aircraft would loiter in one spot, stubbornly returning to where they were told to remain if somebody walked up to it and forcefully shoved it out of its chosen airspace.

My fire had over the years become a small, warm ember. But these new developments in the hobby had fanned the flame anew.

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