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When clients learn that Perfect Perspectives Aerial Imaging has been providing Commercial Drone Services in the Midwest (and all across the U.S.) for nearly 15 years, the first question asked is always – “How did you get started in the drone service business?”

In an rapidly emerging business sector, where most players consider one or two years experience significant, how on earth did anyone start this early? Isn’t drone technology a very recent development? To answer these questions you will need to travel back to 1980 and even much earlier.

It Took Over 100 Years To Go From Basic Radio Control to Automated Drone Flight

The very first example of radio control was demonstrated in New York City in 1898 by none other than the prolific inventor Nikola Tesla. The then 43-year-old Serbian immigrant was awarded U.S. Patent no. 613,809 on November 8, 1898. (one of 113 U.S. patents Tesla would receive during his lifetime). Fixed wing drones were being used by the US military, mainly for reconnaissance, beginning shortly following WWI. British-born Actor Reginald Denny developed fixed wing drones during this time and later supplied small drones to the U.S. Army during WWII. Viable radio controlled helicopters didn’t arrive until the early 70’s however thanks mostly to the efforts of a German engineer named Dieter Schluter and followed soon after by Franz Kavan. It just so happens that the greater Cincinnati/Dayton area was the epicenter in the U.S. for the emerging sport of RC helicopter flying starting back in the early 80’s. (The country’s 1000 acre National RC Flying Site is actually located in nearby Muncie, Indiana)

Expert RC Helicopter Designers and Pilots Pioneered Commercial Drone Aerial Filming

In 1988, Belgium engineer Emmanuel Previnaire founded the company Flying-Cam. His company was the first to employ custom-built radio controlled helicopters to fly cinema cameras for Hollywood motion picture filming. Flying-Cam provided drone footage for films such as Harry Potter and James Bond and later won an Academy Award for technical achievement. Flying-Cam was the leading provider of unmanned filming services for over 25 years.

As it turns out, only the World’s best RC helicopter pilots had the technical skills and piloting abilities necessary to safely and reliably fly camera drones without any GPS or other stabilization systems modern drones all employ. Like Flying-Cam, Perfect Perspectives co-founder Wendell Adkins has nearly 40 years experience as a designer, builder and pilot of unmanned aircraft. Putting drones to work was always in the back of Wendell’s mind but it stayed on the back burner as his first obsession was becoming an RC helicopter World Champion. This extensive experience allowed Perfect Perspectives to enter into the drone services industry decades before most others realized the opportunity even existed.

In 2006, Chinese engineer Frank Wang formed DJI and later began offering relatively inexpensive autopilot systems ($3500) for RC helicopter drones. This lead to the development of inexpensive, mass-produced quadcopters, opening the doors for less experienced pilots to safely operate small drones.

Development Timeline For Ohio’s Most Experienced Drone Service Company

The following is a partial list of key events in the history of Cincinnati based Perfect Perspectives Aerial Imaging.

1980 – Wendell Adkins takes up the hobby of flying radio controlled helicopters and later starts flying in national-level competitions.
1993 – Perfect Perspectives Pilot Wendell Adkins wins FAI RC Helicopter World Championship with Team USA in Velden Austria.
1998 – Perfect Perspectives Pilot Wendell Adkins flies RC Helicopter drone in Hollywood film “The Mighty”
2002 – Perfect Perspectives Pilot Wendell Adkins begins flying drones as an aviation consultant/test pilot for General Dynamics and Northrup Grumman.
2005 – Wendell and Leisa Adkins form Perfect Perspectives Aerial Imaging to provide drone services for motion picture/television, industrial inspections, engineering support and high-end marketing campaigns using custom-built RC helicopter “drones”.
2006 – Perfect Perspectives begins providing drone aerial imaging for Dayton and Cincinnati area electric utilities.
2008 – Perfect Perspectives begins providing drone aerial filming for ESPN.
2009 – Perfect Perspectives becomes the first drone service company to complete a flyover of an entire 18-hole golf course.
2010 – Perfect Perspectives begins providing drone aerial filming for NHTSA/DOT Collision Avoidance Metric Partnership (Camp) V2V Testing. These tests by auto manufactures held across the U.S. were the necessary precursor to permitting self-driving cars.
2011 – Perfect Perspectives becomes the first drone cinematography company to fly the RED Epic in a Hollywood feature film (Liberal Arts).
2012 – Perfect Perspectives becomes the first U.S. drone service company to inspect 100% of a electric utility cooling tower.
2013 – Perfect Perspectives becomes the first U.S. drone service company to utilize a drone to perform precision aerial rigging for the electric utility industry.
2016 – Perfect Perspectives expands to offer local drone services to Columbus, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Louisville areas.
2017 – Perfect Perspectives develops a proprietary stabilized camera enclosure allowing high speed (over 80 mph) drone filming with cinema cameras on large heavy-lift drones.

To learn more, please visit – Perfect Perspectives