As a kid, I built a series of model planes, mostly WW11 fighters, flown with 2.5 – 5 cc motors, on the end of a set of wires. Loved it.
I experimented with primitive radio controlled, built a Spitfire, and put some radio gear in it, some I had scrounged from older enthusiasts, a bit I had bought, at relatively huge expense, as the only money I had was earned refilling shelves in the local supermarket , 2 afternoons a week after school. The Spit’s first flight was a disaster, literally, and it ended as many real Spits did, as a burnt patch in the grass, ending the passion, although by that time I had started to see girls through different eyes, and the supermarket flying money suddenly had competition.
Well, a lot has changed from then, in the 60’s.
Chris Anderson, one of the great writers (Editor of Wired, writer of “The Long Tail“) and innovators, has commercialised what are now being called drones, but are really only modern versions of my Spit, with cameras onboard, and in the case of military versions, I suspect a bit of a bite. The stuff on his site, DIYdrones , is reviving the itch of a boy, but the 61 year old marketer is seeing enormous commercial and nefarious potential.
It seems to me that many familiar things from years ago are making a comeback in modern form, from the VW bug, to Malibu surfboards, and my “spit”. Only difference is the new ones outperform the old by a geometric factor.