There are two things most people know about 18th-century scientist/politician Ben Franklin: He’s prominent on the U.S. $100 bill, and he didn’t get killed flying a kite in a thunderstorm. Would things have turned out differently if Ben Franklin had flown a drone? Amateur scientist and drone pilot Jay Bowles finds out.
There is some controversy about whether Franklin actually did his famous experiment at all. But if we take him at his word, Franklin was interested in extracting electricity from the atmosphere and testing how metal rods and grounding might save buildings from lightning strikes.
While discarding both the house key and the kite, Jay Bowles followed Franklin’s ideas and attached a long thin wire to his DJI Mini2. He then sent the aircraft 100 meters high. Bowles had the good sense not to fly in an electrical storm but still generated electricity. In fact, he got a real nice shock (at 3:47).