Unmanned drone gets up close and personal in NYC

While the TSA was busy patting down all of New York at the airport, an unmanned remote control plane circled lower Manhattan, including the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge. 

What one might think would cause panic throughout the streets of New York, received a rather benign response as the police watched calmly from the ground.

Their response? Absolutely nothing.

The remote controlled plane is a 54″ Ritewing Zephyr built by the RCR Group’s Team Black Sheep, that’s capable of climbing close to 15,000 feet.

When outfitted with a camera, the RCR Group was able to capture one of the most beautiful up close and personal glimpses into Lower Manhattan, ever, nevermind in the post 9/11 world.

The rogue video was shot between 7am and 8am, which was deemed the only time when the group could safely fly.

Outfitted with two cameras, one for navigation, and one for continuous video footage the plane made its way through buildings and bridges.

The plane’s first camera transmitted video footage to the operator on the ground, helping him control and navigate through New York City’s windy and complicated cityscape.

The second camera was used to capture the actual video that was released.

Although this video was shot with good intentions, it does bring up some scary and genuine security concerns.

What if a less savory person was to pilot an unmanned miniature plane throughout the skyscrapers of New York City while the police looked on peacefully. What if this plane had a weapon add-on?

A new note on The Black Sheep’s YouTube video notes that this very model of Zephyr will be available on their website in the coming months.

Talk about a way directly into a no-fly zone. Perhaps it’s time for TSA to stop frisking and start assessing real risks that technology like the Zephyr make possible.

[Via ArsTechnica]