Nowadays, drones are widely spread; however, many people still don’t know their origin, even when all the users are now researching for the best drones in the market.
The first-ever recorded use of an unmanned aerial system was in 1849, when hot air balloons loaded with explosives started to be used in war. The prevailing winds carried balloons to the target area, where they fell and released the payload.
Years later, during WWI and WWII, many unmanned vehicles were built by engineers and companies. Archibald Low developed a radio guidance system for pilotless military drones; nevertheless, they were not autonomous because they had to be launched mechanically. Later, the U.A. Army built a drone, an aerial torpedo, with a circuit to shut off the engine, but they plunged to Earth during the flight. British produced lots of radio-controlled aircraft to be used for training purposes. At that moment, the term ‘’drone’’ came into use.
During the Vietnam War, the next big step in the evolution of drone technology took place because of the first widespread deployment and use of drones as dedicated reconnaissance UAVs. Drones were also used as decoys in combat, launching missiles against fixed targets, dropping leaflets for psychological operations, and gathering information in combat areas.
During those years, drones were expensive and extensive; however, during the decade of the 60s, radio-controlled components could be miniaturized enough to be sold to civilian customers at a reasonable cost. This led to a boom in RC airplanes for recreational purposes.
Although the development of drones is seen as a long-distance race with no transparent creator, Abe (Abraham) Karem is considered the father of nowadays drones. He was born in Baghdad in 1937 and has grown up in Israel since 1951. From a young age, he started to show interest in aeronautics, and at the age of 14, he began to build his first aircraft model. Years later, he graduated as an aeronautical engineer from The Technion and constructed his first drone during the Yom Kippur War to the Israeli Air Force. He founded Leading systems Inc. and is considered the founder of UAV (drone technology) because he created the robotic plane that transformed the way drones were being made and its use in modern warfare. One of his most important creations is the Predator, whose first use was military, but after, it was allowed to fly in civilian airspace for search and rescue.
Later, other companies started creating different kinds of drones that were allowed for recreational purposes, among other uses.