Home-made handgun drone attracts FAA investigation

Home-made handgun drone attracts FAA investigation
A handgun attached to a drone
A handgun attached to a drone
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A handgun attached to a drone
A handgun attached to a drone

If you've ever fumbled at the controls of a drone, then the following might make you a little uneasy. An 18-year-old mechanical engineering student has affixed a semi-automatic handgun to a custom-built drone and demonstrated its firepower in a video that has quickly attracted the attention of the authorities.

The video simply titled "Flying Gun" appeared on YouTube on July 10 and has since attracted more than two million views. It shows the home made multi-rotor floating at about chest height amongst the trees and firing off four shots, recoiling and repositioning itself after each discharge.

According to NBC, the flying weapon was created by Austin Haughwout, a student at Central Connecticut State University, and the video was shot on his family's property in Clinton, Connecticut. Haughwout and his father Brett are adamant that they haven't broken any laws, a position that has been backed up by local police. But that doesn't mean authorities are entirely happy with their little experiment, either.

"Our number one job in law enforcement is public safety, first and foremost, the protection of the citizens of the community we serve," Sgt. Jeremiah Dunn, of the Clinton Police Department is quoted as saying. "That’s alarming."

The flying gun has also drawn the attention of the FAA, which has announced it will launch an investigation into the event to ascertain whether or not any rules around air safety were broken.

"The FAA will investigate the operation of an unmanned aircraft system in a Connecticut park to determine if any Federal Aviation Regulations were violated. The FAA will also work with its law enforcement partners to determine if there were any violations of criminal statutes," said Jim Peters, a spokesperson for the FAA.

Source: Youtube, NBC

Flying Gun

No doubt it will be found (via lobbying by NRA sponsored politicians) that the drone is the dangerous component in this particular assembly.
Germano Pecoraro Designer
This is very problem: do you immanate a terrorist, common criminal or some idiot hooligan what would be able to do! The thing is really worrying (...) They must should take action; Pentagon, NATO, DARPA, CIA, etc etc.
Well I have been worried about being photographed from the air by one of these noisy little machines. Now Im wondering if I have any enemies..........
Anyone involved with drones and copters will tell you that this is quite easy to do with off the shelf equipment. It does not make a great difference if you mount a camera or a gun, except for the recoil, but that can be dealt with.
These guys only demonstrated the obvious. They blew a whistle. They are making us aware of how dangerous these 'toys' can get, and that we need to carefully control their use, and we actually don't want drones of unknown capabilities to be ubiquitous.
It is a shame that Police and FAA are now trying to punish them, they should focus on the bad guys instead.
No question that this young man is a gifted mechanical engineer, What is alarming is that the authorities haven't already thought of this possibility and taken it into account when pretending that the erosion of personal privacy will not have unintended consequences...
Tom Lee Mullins
I saw one video of a drone that had a machine attached and the operator was able to fire it remotely.
What would be next? small drones with lasers?
Gaëtan Mahon
Kind of disappointed for it to take so long for someone to actually do it. Not surprised though about it being done by some Kid from the US.
The bigger problem with drones and the upcoming robots aka mechwarriors is that they can and will be manned far from the battle zones and likely in deep protected bunkers, making nukes the answer to that problem. This is an even larger problem if they are manned in our cities, making our cities ground zero.
@Germano Pecoraro shhhhhh all those evil entities need no encouragement. The grammar police may get involved.
Agree with Mirmillion, they're completely missing the point
Jay Finke
@Tom Lee Mullins Small drones with lasers ? how about drones that deliver beer or weed. only were it legal of course.
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