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Experimenting with Drone like Scientist Ben Franklin

Most people are familiar with two facts about Ben Franklin, an 18th-century scientist, and politician: He’s on the $100 bill in the United States, and he wasn’t killed while flying a kite in a rainstorm. Would history have been different if Ben had flown a drone instead of a horse? Jay Bowles, an amateur scientist and drone pilot discovers the truth. There is substantial debate as to whether carried out his famous experiment.

Franklin was interested in gathering electricity from the atmosphere and studying how metal rods and grounding may rescue buildings from lightning strikes if we take him at his word. Jay Bowles followed Franklin instructions and hooked a long thin wire to his DJI Mini2 while discarding the house key and the kite. He then launched the plane 100 meters into the air. Bowles had the foresight to avoid flying during an electrical storm, but he still generated power.

He received a pleasant surprise. With the electricity he drew from the seemingly empty atmosphere, Bowles could charge a Leyden jar and power two different types of motors. The specifics on how this is accomplished. Attempts to duplicate Franklin efforts in the past have failed miserably. Bowles’ amusing video shows he understands what he’s doing – which is to say, don’t do this if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Although drone photographers have excelled at documenting electrical storms, it still appears to be a wrong choice. Drone pilots are in more demand than dead experimenters, yet extending a long cable into the sky and expecting intriguing outcomes might easily place you in the latter category. We also need you to continue earning and spending your Franklin.

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