Francesco Laurenti - the first human "balloon drone"
In a small remote town in Italy, alongside the Apennine mountain range there were two big factories.
One was specialized in the making of weather balloons while the other produced long range cameras.
They where such big employers that the majority of the townspeople worked there.
When a new financial crisis striked down in Italy it also had big consequences for the town. The two factories had to be shut down and the unemployment rate skyrocketed. Was this small medieval town going to become a ghost town? The youngsters would eventually find a new job elsewhere in a neighbouring town or village or even in a big city. But what about the middle aged employees? At their age adapting to another profession isn’t that easy anymore. That’s where a group of engineers stepped in. Some of them had a lot of experience with designing weather balloons and others with the long range lenses. Was there a way to combine their expertise into something that didn’t already exist? They came up with a suit and the corresponding hardware for a human to fly in the air at low but also great hights and hanging steady enough to take clear pictures. The first human "balloon drone” was a fact!
The first one to wear it was Francesco Laurenti. He was the daredevil of the town and was eager to try it out. He had only one demand: the weather balloons had to have the colours of his beloved country. If he would die, he wanted to be buried with them. Fortunately for him, the whole operation was a succes.
The intention was to make one prototype that would be weared by the middle aged employers alternately so they would have an income by being hired for making pictures. But the possibilities with the “human drone” were so great that the demand for hirement grew exponentially. Aerial photos of a party, wedding , house, company? Aerial surveillance? Spying on the neighbours? National spionage? Check!
Soon a lot more human "balloon drones” were flying through the sky and eventually all middle aged employers of the town had a full time job. Therefore the future of the town was saved for now by the collaboration of the engineers.