Several years ago, I had a very peculiar argument with a noob here on FR. There was a blurry photo posted to the thread, people were speculating what sort of aircraft it was, it was a photo shot during the 2008 inauguration if I’m not mistaken.
The profile of it when enlarged clearly had the distinctive, bulbous leading edge on the fuselage of a well-known military drone, the appearance of which has been published numerous times, it was obvious despite the blurring. I said so and was immediately attacked, wild accusations, denials, personal atttacks. Not possible, illegal, can’t be, not flown over CONUS said the caustic noob.
He was lying, it seemed then and it particularly seems now.
DHS is spending way more money operating drones to do a mission than they would with a manned aircraft and you are stuck at altitudes and on designated tracks allowed by the FAA. The same sensors could be flown for a fraction of the cost on manned aircraft. The only thing a drone gives you is time on station, but one could argue with the number of people required for a drone you could man three Caravans for the same amount of time and fly them anywhere you wanted to. With current fixed wing safety records at DHS they wouldn't have lost or damaged the platforms compared to the loss of several Predators.
The problem with small drones is the hazard of dumping one into a neighborhood. A local department that buys a small drone will always be one mishap away from being shut down and sued.
Yet another Disruptor, it’s becoming an art-form now to spot those people. At least here on Free-Republic you can see a poster’s history and determine if they have an agenda. It’s also very interesting how many of them have sign-on dates going back for years but have a limited their posts to election years.