No, I haven’t lost my mind. Rather, that’s my artist’s impression of the sound a Dutch police eagle makes when it gets medieval on a quadcopter. (Off topic, that might be the best sentence I’ve written in my short career as a writer.)
Alongside hoverboards and vuvuzelas, commercial drones are one of those modern technologies that have made the hairpin turn from “sort of neat” to “astonishingly shitty” in a record amount of time. For every one tastefully-shot wedding video, you now have three assholes who endanger civil and commercial aircraft, sexually harass nude sunbathers, or permanently injure small children. This is why drones are now approximately more well-regulated than guns in the United States.
So, if you’re an earthbound policeman, how do you catch a small, speedy helicopter than can fly away? The Dutch National Police, who shall forever be known as The Most Metal Police Force On Earth, have decided to literally train birds of prey to take out these buzzing menaces.
This is amazing. First of all, falconry is the most badass sport in existence, involving leather, chainmail, and birds that will claw your eyes out as soon as lookatchu. The only drawback is that it tends to affect vermin (rabbits, foxes, deer) that people think are “cute.” Replacing their quarry with drones, which everybody hates regardless of whether they’re breaking the law, might just be enough to bring the sport back into vogue. Second of all, in practical terms, using an eagle or other large bird of prey to take out a drone is better than other options, such as using a large net or a radio frequency jammer. The latter methods might cause the drone to lose control, potentially endangering bystanders or emergency personnel, while an eagle can bring the drone down to earth in a relatively controlled fashion.
If anything, the Dutch Police are thinking too small here. With sufficient investment, anti-drone falconry could be a significant portion of any country’s national defense, given that an Andean Condor (with its 9-foot wingspan) is more than large enough to damage an MQ-1 Predator. Someone needs to make this happen.
[Post image via Shutterstock]