A True Atrocity

Man charged in plot to bomb Pentagon with model airplane

It looks to me that the sad day we all knew would eventually come has arrived. The first person that I have heard of plotting to use R/C planes to bomb the Pentagon and the Capital building. It appears he was planning to use some kind of autopilot given that they stated the plane was to be "GPS guided". Below is a link to the CNN page that has the details. I only hope this doesn't lead to a complete lock down of the R/C and sUAS industry. It is so young and ripe for growth and innovation. 



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  • well said G nunez people that want to hurt others are everywhere as are those that would use our UAV's to peep at people if only they could build and fly one, when i fly my multicopters i get the usual questions, what is it, are you looking through the camera, how high will it go etc. but i always get two other questions and they come from the same two groups or maybe demographics is a better word, the first is, "can you spy on people with one of those",( eg; girls) this question will allways come from teens age 13-20. i will tell them no that most people would notice a large quad copter hovering outside there bedroom window. the next group is more disturbing, they are almost allways men in the age group of 35-60 and allways without fail are the homeless that live in parks, and the question is remarkably uniform among them " can you strap a gun on that and blow stuff up" i never get this question from any other group maybe once or twice from teens that play video games but the last 5 times i have been asked it it has been this group of disaffected homeless that want to hurt anyone they can i find this disturbing that these people think this way so consistently. here in seattle we seem to have a lot of homeless and i get approached by them when flying, every time i go to a local park, i try to only fly when the parks are empty and these are often the only people there at the time. hanging around the edges of the park they watch and one will amble over to talk, oddly i have never been asked for money only "how hard would it be to put a gun on that"

    i am not making a statement about the homeless only an observation that there are a lot of them and i think that given the means to do so would hurt a lot of people without a second thought.

    just food for thought

  • I think we all should not lose sight of the bigger picture...and that is that there are people out there that seek to harm us and that there are also people trying desperately to prevent that.  We have to be honest with ourselves and accept the fact that this rechnology that we have come to love, can be missued as others have noted in this forum.  I agree with S.G. Sutter: "We should be as open and transparent as possible, showing people all the good things this technology can do."  We should use thi sincident as an opportunity to come together as a community to preserve not just  our freedom to do the things we love and enjoy, but also shoulder the responsibility that comes with that freedom.  How can the community come together and figure out ways to mitigate the legitimate fears and concerns about the accessiblity and uses of UAV technology?  We should help ourselves and those charged with keeping us safe by "self regulation" which could reduce the potential  for further misuse of this technolgy and prohibit knee-jerk reactions from policy makers.  Oveerall, we can be part of the problem or part of the solution...I like having the choice and therefore choose the latter.  Any suggestions/comments? 

  • I think most of us know that a day will come when owning an RC vehicle that flys will not be as simple as we are used to. I can see it being much like owning a car or truck, licenses, vehicle reigistrations yadda yadda and not only that but laws, fines, and government infastructure to enforce all of this. But I think that will be the extent of it. The great part is government is slow, and not likely to spend money until people get hurt, so we do have some time before that day comes. I also think the more we embed ourselves in society the harder it will be to uproot us entirely. IE commercial applications like crop dusters, surveilance, photography etc.

  • Moderator

    Seriously, you better have knife and fork control, I'm sure someone's be stabbed to death with steak knife or fork.  Could build a catapult and launch IEDs at the pentagon.  How about load a Cessna with C4 and fly it into the pentagon.  Easier than using a model aircraft.

  • Nice clip, Gary!  Thanks.  I didn't know you could get badges!  :-(
    At the time this show aired I was flying U-control.  I thought a radio controlled plane was just the coolest thing (still do).  I remember I couldn't wait for the rerun, but doubt I ever saw it.

  • wow i remember that now i feel old

    dose any one remember the episode of, i think it was mission impossable, where thy flew a small silver saucer through the ventalator ducts? it had six fans around the edges for lift ( although it was obvously hanging by a wire)

    it may have been the mod squad but i think it was mission imposable i don't remember if it blew up or was just spying on them  still i thought is was totally cool

  • Moderator

    The Man from UNCLE I had a badge and everything!


  • "generally a second peice of wire so close to a radiator would be merely parasitic - no?."

    Correct, and it will make the signal directional, depending on the length and spacing of the second antenna/wire.

    A bGatti points out, two antennas are normally only used on the receive side, where you have two receivers, and some circuitry that selects data from the stronger signal.



  • I suspect it's neatly hacked; there is no call for the dual antennae except hyperbole.

    (We do have dual antennae today, but this requires spatial diversity circuitry - unlikely in production at that point - )

    generally a second peice of wire so close to a radiator would be merely parasitic - no?.


  • Note the Motorola logo on the back of the transmitter... I wonder if that was a commercially made RC TX, or just something neatly hacked together from a TV remote =)

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