The Predator drone looks pretty janky. Like a B+ science project. Like Air Force Chief of Staff Mark Welsh’s kid came up to him with one and said “daddy I made this.” And Welsh said “Good job, buddy! This one’s going up on the global war on terror!”
Top speed? An embarrassing 135 mph. In an air race between a Predator drone and the Weasley family flying sedan, I’m taking the enchanted Ford Anglia. But I can’t knock the Predator’s endurance. 24 hours is kind of impressive when you consider that it probably lasts longer when it’s equipped with protection.
The real breathtaking technology went into the cockpit, located thousands of miles away in a majestic rectangular prism employing stealth technology, AKA painted camouflage. Temperature regulation is provided by two FANS (Filtration and Air Neutralization Systems), and to combat dehydration, pilots are equipped with specially-designed SODAS (Solvents Offered to Dehydrated Air Soldiers).
Stealthy drones, such as the Predator’s grandson, the Avenger, are the next technological step, allowing U.S. intelligence to enter restricted airspace and take valuable images revealing…oh…oh shucks…the camera was set to selfie mode…shit…should we just tell them we saw nukes?
Drone piloting is a great choice for the patriot who wants all the fun of shooting missiles but doesn’t have an international data plan. Some drones, like the Navy’s X-47B, are so autonomous as to require human input only via a point-and-click system. Congressional pressure to cut costs has the Air Force looking to omit pilots entirely, building drones that congressmen themselves could operate by going to AskJeeves, inputting “Google please,” typing out an entire URL, getting flustered, calling for Sarah the assistant, telling Sarah that the Internet is broken again and you hate her generation, instructing Sarah to just fax the damn coordinates, berating Sarah for not knowing how to operate a fax, and, finally, giving up, accidentally bringing peace to the Middle East. Easy as that.
In case that doesn’t work, the Air Force has begun recruiting video gamers as drone operators. This explains the uptick in sick-nasty 360 no-scope kills and the change of the Air Force mantra from “aim high…fly-fight-win” to “i fukd ur mom #thuglife.”
The implementation of satellite-monitored and -controlled aircraft has created an unforeseen psychological strain on “Chair Force” pilots. Despite how cool it sounds to kill terrorists in the line of duty by day and kill terrorists in the Call of Duty by night, pilots struggle with the anonymity and invulnerability inherent to firing missiles in Waziristan from the comfort of Nevada (note: by comfort, I mean relative to a fighter jet cockpit, not any other place in America).
Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos is even developing the service “Prime Air,” through which customers will be able to have items delivered via drone within an hour of purchase. The service is in an extremely successful trial phase in Pakistan, where an alarming amount of Prime customers seem to be in immediate need of Hellfire missiles. Gotta love capitalism.