Where It All Started

10 years ago I took this picture. At the time the drone was higher than I had ever flown…and it was scary!

December 2013

My first drone was a gift from my wife – I wonder if she thinks it was a good idea in hindsight…

The drone used was a DJI Phantom FC40 – it had no telemetry, a short range, and a 720P camera that was fixed to the body of the drone with no stabilization. And it was AMAZING!

I took this to a local hotel car park, put it up in the air and took this photo. At the time I estimate I was about 320ft up and I was very nervous but also excited to see what it could do.

In the decade since this photo was taken, drones have undergone significant changes, transforming from a niche technology used primarily for military and surveillance purposes to a widely accessible and versatile tool with a wide range of applications.

One of the most significant changes in drones over the past 10 years has been the development of more advanced and user-friendly control systems. Early drones were often difficult to operate and required specialized training, but modern drones often come with intuitive controls and even smartphone app integration, making them much more accessible to the average user.

Improvements in battery life and flight time allow modern drones to stay aloft for over an hour on a single charge. This has opened up new possibilities for commercial and recreational use, such as professional photography and videography, inspections, and long-range delivery.

They are now commonly used for tasks such as agriculture, search and rescue, and disaster response. The healthcare industry has also started using drones to transport medical supplies to remote areas and even deliver vaccines.

It’s amazing how far these things have come since then, but it was drones like this that made flying easily accessible to everyone, that kicked the whole thing off.

We have come a long way in the past decade…it will be very interesting to see what happens in the next 10 years.

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