We are not sure this use of a UAS is actually private, its part of a paid for event. Greg Hastings is clearly is angling to make a commercial gain with the platform. It shows how the rules will still be bent even after they are in place. So to be clear we don’t agree with the interpretation of UAS law below. But would be happy to be proved wrong.
Lets hope the aircraft commander on the day does not get too carried away.
The first balloon bombings happened a few years earlier than stated here, 1849 the Japanese repeated the process in a much more sophisticated way in 1944 to bomb America http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_balloon
Hats off to Datron for exploring all sales avenues, its not the first time this has been touted back in 2010 the Mad Bull Airsoft was test flown.
By: Patrick Horrigan http://paintballx3.com/interview/rise-of-the-machines-uavs-and-paintball.html
UAVs or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have been around in combat situations for over 100 years. The first reported use of UAVs was in 1894 when the Austrians used balloons loaded with fused explosives to attack the Italian city of Venice during the War of Italian Independence. These balloons were not very effective and many found their way floating back over Austrian lines.
UAVs have come a very long way since then. In just the past 10 years the successes by the US Military’s use of UAVs in the Middle East have turned the Predator into a household name. UAVs are now deployed by all branches of the US military for many different missions ranging from surveillance to engaging enemy targets.
In scenario paintball, it is only a matter of time before the toys that the military deploys in the field finds its way into a scenario paintball game. Tactical Vests, MOLLE gear, the newest camo patters such as Multi Cam and the latest accessories for your marker are just few examples that have made the transition. It was only a matter of time before UAVs made the jump to scenario paintball.
On Tuesday, March 27, 2012, President Obama signed into law the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. Part of the bill included special previsions for opening up U.S. Airspace to UAVs by the year 2015. The good news is that anyone looking to bring their own UAV to a paintball game will not have to wait that long. As part of the new bill, there are new specific rules for ‘Hobby’ Aircraft. Any pilot-less aircraft weighing less than 50 pounds, flown for sport or recreation qualifies as ‘Hobby’ aircraft. As long as the UAVs are flown under 400 feet AGL and no closer than 5 miles to an airport (without ATC permission) you will not have to worry about FAA laws. Of course you would need the permission of the field owner or game producer to deploy a UAV in a paintball game. Also, specific rules would have to be written into the game about the use of UAVs. You would not want you new toy shot at by a paintball marker.
On April 14th 2012, just outside of Los Angles, scenario producers Ultimate Paintball Wars will be deploying aDatron Communications’ Scout UAVduring their Hurt Locker scenario game. The scenario game is the second stop on the 2012 Greg Hastings’ Tour of Duty. Commanders will have use of a GPS guided, autonomously flown UAV that will be streaming live HD video back to them. The Scout is also capable of broadcasting video in infrared, so there will be no place to hide.
Greg Hastings has always been on the cutting edge when it comes to merging technology and paintball to make it more fun. Greg was one of the creators of Greg Hasting Paintball series of video games as well as his soon-to-be released R7 RePlay HD video camera designed just for paintball. When asked about the Scout’s deployment in the upcoming game and if it offers an unfair advantage, Greg Hastings said, “What is unfair in warfare? Take every advantage you can to succeed!” He also said that “(the) Datron will be in actual game play. You just have to come to the Hurt Locker Scenario to find out how.” When asked if the Datron Scout will be making other stops on the 2012 Tour of Duty he said, “They (Datron) are very excited about taking their product into paintball. They are only interested in showing SpecWar fighters THIS is easiest and most effective method to find the enemy and allow ALL monitoring to understand the battlefield in real time. Huge advantage! I’d love to have them at all my events! Watch for upcoming press about TOD 2012 and Datron”
The Datron Scout has already proven itself in the battle field. See a video of the Scout in action deployed by Libyan Rebels fighting to free their country here.
The new Datron Scout is so expensive the company will not release the cost of a system to just anyone asking. Even though the Scout may be cost inhibitive, there are some less expensive alternatives out there that will not break the bank.
Parrot makes a more affordable toy version of a UAV called the AR.Drone. The AR Drone is controlled by a Wi-Fi enabled mobile device such as an IPhone or an Android cell phone. The pilot is aided by the help of sensors that take some of the hard work of flying out of the equation. The AR Drone is also equipped with a fixed HD camera that transmits back to the controller so you can see streaming video of what is on the ground. Parrot is now accepting pre-orders for their new and improved AR.Drone 2.0 set to release on May 15 for only $299 only through Brookstone.com for customers in the U.S. Even though the AR.Drone was designed as a backyard toy, it has many expensive features found on commercial and military grade UAVs.
DIYers have even more options for making their own paintball UAVs. Hobby or R/C stores carry wireless camera systems made just for use on R/C aircraft such as helicopters, planes and blimps. A few dollars and sometime invested in building a model, you could be flying your own scale Predator model at your next paintball game.
So what do the players think of UAVs showing up at their next paintball game? “I think it’s an Awesome Idea, the point of scenario is realism and what’s more realistic then a UAV at a Milsim game?” Said Dre Wolf of the Wolf’s Den. Wolf said that he has never used a UAV in paintball yet but recalls “when I was General at Living Legends there was a paintball team who hired an airplane to get aerial shots the day before to get a proper layout of the field, and I thought that was Amazing.” Players now have the ability to pack a small UAV in their backpack and do the same thing without having to hire a plane and pilot. Imagine the fun and added realism having a UAV in play at your next Modern Warfare 3 scenario? Look out for a UAV at your next scenario game.