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2019: Britain's new air disaster

BBC report on shooting down drones

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JohnP2524/09/2019 03:07:35
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I watched the BBC-2 Horizon programme on Britain's new air disaster on Sunday.

It was about shooting down small drones with a sniper rifle then different sophisticated devices.

These small drones were claimed to be a terrorist's dream weapon capable of delivering a whatever up to 10km - while using a normal RC transmitter.

Rubbish or interesting I'm not sure. I watched it thinking what garbage but I watch to the end. Maybe it's just me.

J

cymaz24/09/2019 03:34:23
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Was that the same program broadcast some months ago? The previous one showed a dubious experiment of shooting an object into a full size wing leading edge.

J D 824/09/2019 08:19:06
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The program was rubbish but the attack on the Saudi oil plant shows what armed drones can do. The most sophisticated anti missile systems cannot stop them all. Its a bit like disturbing a wasp's nest, you may swat some but the rest will get you.

Chris Berry24/09/2019 08:26:43
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Same program as a few months ago repeated by the BBC despite thousands of complaints including the BMFA and DJI.

Peter Miller24/09/2019 08:41:55
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Posted by Chris Berry on 24/09/2019 08:26:43:

Same program as a few months ago repeated by the BBC despite thousands of complaints including the BMFA and DJI.

Since when has the BBC ever worried about complaints? Their attitude is "I have made upmy mind. Don't confuse me with the facts!"

Steve J24/09/2019 08:58:55
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Posted by J D 8 on 24/09/2019 08:19:06:

The program was rubbish but the attack on the Saudi oil plant shows what armed drones can do.

Do you know what the Iranian 'drone' looked like?

saudi.jpeg

It's a flying wing.

Edited By Steve J on 24/09/2019 09:00:04

David Hall 924/09/2019 09:00:37
163 forum posts
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Posted by J D 8 on 24/09/2019 08:19:06:

The program was rubbish but the attack on the Saudi oil plant shows what armed drones can do. The most sophisticated anti missile systems cannot stop them all. Its a bit like disturbing a wasp's nest, you may swat some but the rest will get you.

Has that attack been identified as being carried out by hobby-level drones? I rather assumed that the report meant that military drone strikes were responsible.

Cuban824/09/2019 09:43:24
2772 forum posts
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Just what the devil this has got to do with aeromodelling or hobby drones is unfathomable. I'm truly sick of the BBC's stance on many aspects of modern life and they keep it up nicely with their 'Air disaster in waiting' documentary....so called.

Let's not get bogged down again with the semantics of the word 'drone'. Used in an appropriate context, we know exactly what's meant.

Josip Vrandecic -Mes24/09/2019 09:59:10
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Posted by Cuban8 on 24/09/2019 09:43:24:

Just what the devil this has got to do with aeromodelling or hobby drones is unfathomable. I'm truly sick of the BBC's stance on many aspects of modern life and they keep it up nicely with their 'Air disaster in waiting' documentary....so called.

Let's not get bogged down again with the semantics of the word 'drone'. Used in an appropriate context, we know exactly what's meant.

It is pleasant to read clever comments, thank you Cuban8

Martin_K24/09/2019 10:07:05
79 forum posts

For a better look at the vast difference between a military (gasoline / kerosene fuel) and a hobby drone (electric) see this 1 minute video clip of the drone / missile debris from the recent attack on Saudi oil processing facilities.

Not as sophisticated as US kit as they are probably limited in operational range by being controlled from ground stations.

John Bisset24/09/2019 10:32:59
193 forum posts

Quite so, Martin_K.

The snag with this is that neither the folk at the top of the BBC nor the program makers, in general, are likely to be in any significant sense technically minded or technically competent. They are probably rather more 'arts' oriented, so opt for sensationalism and scare tactics since that 'sells'. Their concern is to maximise viewer numbers; they need have no concern about accuracy or the impact on others.

Sadly, in Britain today such technical stupidity & ignorance is not viewed as a negative. Many seem to view a lack of expertise as a good thing.

For the folk taking decisions at the BBC, the huge differences between the two types of 'drone' is likely beyond their comprehension and very probably is of no interest to them, sadly.

Edited By John Bisset on 24/09/2019 10:33:29

Peter Miller24/09/2019 10:50:22
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Yes, but they expect the older people who do have a bit of inteligence to pay a licence fee for the garbage they show

Steve J24/09/2019 11:50:45
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Posted by Cuban8 on 24/09/2019 09:43:24:

Let's not get bogged down again with the semantics of the word 'drone'. Used in an appropriate context, we know exactly what's meant.

You may know "exactly what's meant", but lots of people don't. Some people think that 'drone' is a synonym for unmanned aircraft, some other people think that it means a UA capable of autonomous flight and yet another group think that it means multirotor. I wish that people would stop using the word.

Steve

Engine Doctor24/09/2019 12:17:45
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I wish the media would stop "Droning " on about it at the slightest excuse !

John Bisset24/09/2019 12:33:37
193 forum posts

"I wish that people would stop using the word." - Steve J.

I agree Steve; the words used matter, especially because the non-involved will pick up the wrong impression. More precision needed.

Sadly the authorities caused confusion from the outset by not adequately distinguishing model aircraft & their flying from the use & operation of autonomous or semi-autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

I was going to say we need new wording , but really we don't., We need to encourage people to use the correct language - which of course will get us viewed as pedantic.

Fine, I am an engineer and I am required to be pedantic ! (You don't want an engineer glibly saying your aeroplane or structure is safe without him or her being obsessively careful checking the whole thing fully, now do you?)

Martin_K24/09/2019 14:41:57
79 forum posts
Posted by John Bisset on 24/09/2019 12:33:37:

Sadly the authorities caused confusion from the outset by not adequately distinguishing model aircraft & their flying from the use & operation of autonomous or semi-autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

John,

The technologies employed in the operation of model aircraft and semi-autonomous UAV's have merged. The same radios, RX's, and FPV kit can be used for all manner of fixed wing and multi-rotor applications, with only subtle differences in flight control.

I understand that many model aircraft fliers do not employ on-board flight control - up to now I am one of them. I am currently thinking about buying a new radio with mixing and telemetry capabilities. My existing radio is very basic. As a newbie I was initially amazed by some of the flying I saw, until I realised it was down to how the computer radio was programmed, to give 'launch mode', spoilerons plus elevator mix, etc. I fancy some of that too. It seems only a small step from there to placing some of the processing power on-board the 'plane.

In short, model aircraft are so diverse in form that I don't see how a simple, legally water-tight, definition can be written that improves on 'UAV'.

John Bisset24/09/2019 20:33:50
193 forum posts

OK. That has been said before, Martin_K – understood & thanks.

I’m an engineer not a lawyer, so I think differently, approach it differently. Let’s see, let’s give it a first shot.

Not bothered about the similarity of frequencies & radios used etc. for now – those are red herrings.

Yes, there can be crossover and that can go to a very high level, however for 99% of OUR purposes differentiation is relatively straightforward.

Start with this –

Radio control model aircraft are generally inherently stable, hence they do not require computer control or intervention to make them operable. (Yes there are some that have computer augmentation systems, to allow easy learning, recovery from errors and advanced flight options. But they atre typically augmentations , not the primary means of control or of in flight stability)

Radio control model aircraft do require direct intervention by the operator/pilot to maintain their flight path. That intervention interval may vary depending on the level of inherent stability in the craft.

Multi rotor aerial unmanned vehicles – are the main objects of concern for midair collisions, for privacy invasion, for illegal drug drops , for random damage to property when they fail in mid flight (as recent trials in Switzerland have highlighted). They also operate beyond visual range, which is not done with normal radio control aircraft.

These multi rotor machines require computer control for stability – they cannot fly without it. The level of control varies from machine to machine.

Any unmanned aerial vehicle which is used for operation outwith visual range requires some means of onboard navigation. This may be an inertial navigation system (rare nowadays and unpopular because of inherent drift effects) or a GPS based navigation system.

Let’s call them MRUAVs and LMCPUAVs - ‘multi rotor UAVs’ and ‘large military or commercial purpose UAVS’.

(end of part one)

John Bisset24/09/2019 20:34:34
193 forum posts

(start of part two)

Normal radio control model aircraft do not require a means of onboard navigation.

So, right there we have some clear ways to differentiate adequately between - most - radio control model aircraft (RCMAs) and the sorts of UAVs which are the main concern.

A radio control aircraft is an inherently stable machine which requires routine direct intervention by its operator, hence is flown only within visual range of its operator and has no (autonomously operable) onboard navigation system. That is an RCMA.

A ‘drone’ or MRUAV/LMCPUAV, requires an onboard autonomous or semi-autonomous computer operated stabilisation system in order to operate; it also requires an onboard navigation system to allow operation beyond visual range. That is what the public call ‘drones’.

Logically, since the main concern is to ensure the remote operated self navigating machines don’t enter restricted areas, it may be necessary for a legal requirement to be laid down that any onboard navigation system is GPD based with geo fencing installed and updated according to some prescribed schedule.

Right – I suggest that is a start which shows some clear definable differences. Sure we can blur the boundaries if we want to make things difficult, be excessively ‘legalistic’ (for want of a better word) and aim to cover EVERY eventuality and possibility. That is not how engineering works though, and nor – I’d suggest – despite their claims is it how lawyers and the law works.

I await the inevitable flak !

i12fly24/09/2019 21:42:15
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565 forum posts
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John Bisset, I like it! yes

Ron Gray24/09/2019 22:26:27
1495 forum posts
363 photos
Posted by John Bisset on 24/09/2019 20:33:50:

Start with this –

Radio control model aircraft are generally inherently stable, hence they do not require computer control or intervention to make them operable. (Yes there are some that have computer augmentation systems, to allow easy learning, recovery from errors and advanced flight options. But they atre typically augmentations , not the primary means of control or of in flight stability)

Radio control model aircraft do require direct intervention by the operator/pilot to maintain their flight path. That intervention interval may vary depending on the level of inherent stability in the craft.

Trouble is, this is now changing as on board flight controllers (e.g Matek Fixed Wing) together with suitable software (e.g iNav) enable autonomous control of 'planes with no input from the operator other than maybe a hand launch!. So the boundaries are even more blurred!

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