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Helis and Guns

Back Story: Person A guy owns an aerial photography and video company which uses R/C helicopters. He posts on a forum where other people such as person B also own companies or shoot photos/video post as well. $60,000 of person A's equipment was recently stolen, and in the investigation, a video made by person B showing an R/C helicopter shooting paintballs at a truck triggered a Secret Service and Homeland Security investigation.

Personal matters aside, many are up in arms because they fear that tight regulations may come down on R/C helicopter flyers due to the fact that it's now been shown that you can mount "guns" on a helicopter. Bollocks, I say.

Helicopter fans remember Airwolf. It was a helicopter with guns. We've seen movies like Black Hawk Down and so on. Lots of movies have helicopters with guns. Is it any surprise that you can mount a gun to a remote control helicopter? No. Why? Because you could mount a gun to anything!

I've seen James Bond movies. Does the fact that they show you can mount torpedoes to a Bentley mean that every automobile (or at least every Bentley) in the U.S. must come under the scrutiny of Homeland Security and frighten drivers into thinking they'll have stricter regulations? Silly!

We have regulations. They probably say something like "you're not allowed to modify a gun in order to mount it to something like a car or a helicopter." Some of these people seem to be acting as if the video of the paintball gun is going to give a bunch of people the idea. Guess what, folks: I had the idea when I was three years old. How? Legos.

Paintball guns strapped to R/C helicopters sounds like a great deal of fun to me! If someone wanted to strap a real gun to a helicopter, well, it ain't the helicopter at fault there.

I'm not sure what my point is here - mostly just ranting a bit. There's a lot more than a simple "I fear you may have hurt our industry's credibility" going on behind the scenes. Regardless of which side you're on, I think it's important to reject ridiculous assertions.

9 Responses to "Helis and Guns"

  1. Eric that is so un-American I am reporting you to the department of Homeland security. I mean it might have been like you said, but now days its all about the fear, uncertainty and doubt from ridiculous assertions. Bonus points if just one network has it on their nightly news and then the others pick up the 'scandal.' 😛

  2. I'm not saying that I agree with such restrictions, but surely you can see the difference between a Bentley and an RC Heli.

    Beside the *huge* cost difference and the need for a human sacrificial lamb, there is also the issue of access. I remote control helicopter could easily and quickly bypass established security measures.

    It's not like you're going to drive a Bentley into the middle of the Superbowl (or other such crowded event). A Heli on the other hand would be perfect for this.

    Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about guns. I would worry more about airborne chemicals.

    Like I said -- I'm not saying that I would put massive restrictions of them. However, it's not like the idea is without merit.

  3. A helicopter may be perfect for that sort of thing, but it's already illegal to kill people regardless of the method or mechanism - outlawing or restricting r/c helicopters wouldn't solve anything. It would rob thousands of people of an enjoyable hobby.

  4. I think the torpedos were on Bond's Lotus Turbo Esprit-based submarine. I don't think Bond ever had a modified Bentley...

  5. Its just like when I went to elementary school they let us dress up for a halloween activity in the afternoon. By the time I was in 6th grade, you could not paint your face, have a mask, have anything that resembled a weapon. By the time I was in high school the district was pretty anal about that not bringing weapons or anything that closely resembled weapons, or anything that could be used as a weapon. I understand a few kids had problems bringing props for plays in their drama class. My problems is where do you draw the line? I could stick my pencil, which is necessary to take my tests, in your ear and kick it, or I could use my text book as a good blunt object to hit someone in the head.

    The biggest problem is that these kinds of restrictions really limit people's freedom, something this country was founded on. I am a firm believer in the saying that I have the right to swing my fist, but my right ends at your nose. If you are going to use something to limit someone else's freedom, which is already covered by existing laws pretty well then you should be punished, but its impossible to tell peoples true motives or to prove them so why ruin the fun for everyone?

  6. The american gov't are asshats, I swear. If you told them that you could kill someone with a peice of paper (papercut? jam it down their throats? put anthrax in it and deliver it to someone?) they'd ban paper, or use some of the 80b they got to research how to defend against this new paper menance. Hell, lets not let them know that at one point or another someone killed another person with their BARE HANDS! Oh god, I hear homeland security knocking on my door already!

  7. Tiny helicopters:

    (a link on

    could really deliver a payload....

  8. Heck, there was a mission in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City where you take out a building using a RC helicopter. Of course, it's just a game.

  9. does anyone know of sites that have plans for helis w/ paintball guns