garymortimer writes: If you are to judge success in the American RPA industry. The number of commercially licenced platforms each manufacturer has in service might be a guide. Colin Snow makes the valid point earlier in today’s news that forecasts are very often wrong so better to work with the known.
We have a Drone Spotters page, started to monitor where platforms were going and who were buying them after a fatal RPAS incident in 2012
Looking at the civil market several companies, most notably AeroVironment were issued N numbers for aircraft under the old COA system.
But for now lets not try and separate them out, lets take it as a whole. As I write there are 51 manufacturers and 380 N registered sUAS in America. Link to Original Source
garymortimer writes: GoPro take note, the most popular Kickstarter does not use your camera.
Not a day passes at sUAS News where I am not asked to feature a new Kickstarter or Indiegogo crowd funded project.
This made me wonder how some of the higher profile ones are carrying on, top of mind because of the spectacular failure of the Pocket Copter. The platform that managed to burn down nearly one million dollars and leave many unhappy folks. Link to Original Source
garymortimer writes: Ok I have a new favorite drone parody. The campaign launched by A puppy is not a product seeks to highlight the almost exponential growth of puppy mills. An animal welfare issue being helped along ironically by online buying. The very market seeking to use drones. Link to Original Source
garymortimer writes: Airheads, will pit teams of drone constructors against each other in building and flying challenges. Much like Robot Wars, did in the 80s. The program is produced by Graham Nortons SO Television and will take Sunday nights Top Gear slot Link to Original Source
garymortimer writes: To counter the threat of unlawful use of unmanned systems, the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice, together with the Dutch National Police and the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, has selected a number of projects in which concepts are developed that can be used to detect, indentify and/or remove these mobile systems in a controlled manner. Project ‘DroneCatcher’ of the Dutch SME Delft Dynamics, is one of the best ideas that has been selected to carry out a feasibility study.
Last week Delft Dynamics successfully completed a range of test flights, which showed that is is feasible to capture drones in midair by shooting a net from another drone. Link to Original Source
garymortimer writes: I keep seeing RPAS flights that make me cringe, I think Instagram user @yengnasir ( who has pulled his content) is my new winner.
He flew his DJI Phantom Vision 2 at the landing end of the runway at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. KLIA is Malaysia’s main international airport and one of the major airports of South East Asia. It is ranked the eleventh busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic. Link to Original Source
garymortimer writes: DJI will release a mandatory firmware update for the Phantom 2, Phantom 2 Vision, and Phantom 2 Vision+ to help users comply with the FAA’s Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) 0/8326, which restricts unmanned flight around the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
The updated firmware (V3.10) will be released in coming days and adds a No-Fly Zone centered on downtown Washington. Link to Original Source
garymortimer writes: A quite astounding turn around by the FAA on the face of it, if this is allowed to be replicated then it opens the flood gates for farmers as well as many others. Perhaps Jim Williams of the FAA is going to mention it in his CES group discussion.
Looks like the chap needs to get a PPL but that’s not hard. I won’t comment much further, read it all here and some extracts that stood out to me below. If you want to start operating your Phantom commercially I would copy and paste this application and get a PPL ASAP. Link to Original Source
garymortimer writes: Intuitive Aerial AB (publ) is based in Linköping, Sweden and makes the Aerigon – an exceptional multi rotor helicopter system for professional cinema and broadcast use. Aerigon is being used in high-end productions such as “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Into the Woods” by Disney, and “One Planet” by BBC. Link to Original Source
garymortimer writes: San Francisco, November 12, 2014 – DJI, a global leader in aerial photography and cinematography platforms, today announced the release of the DJI Inspire 1, the world’s first flying 4K camera that offers midair transformation as well as a built-in wireless HD video transmitter, stabilization indoors without GPS and more camera control than ever.
This tool bridges DJI’s consumer and professional products that are the aerial platforms of choice for professional photographers and cinematographers worldwide.
“We see this as the perfect combination of the Phantom and Spreading Wings series, being able to take off at the touch of a button while simultaneously giving users fine control of the images they capture,” said Frank Wang, DJI CEO and co-founder.
In addition to incorporating a groundbreaking 4K aerial camera, the Inspire 1 camera maintains stability even in strong wind conditions via an integrated 3-axis gimbal.
The Inspire 1 integrates DJI’s patented wireless HD transmitter, Lightbridge, and comes with a fully redesigned mobile app that runs across both iOS and Android devices, broadcasting 1080p video at a distance of 1.7km. Link to Original Source
garymortimer writes: Military air operations typically rely on large, manned, robust aircraft, but such missions put these expensive assets—and their pilots—at risk. While small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) can reduce or eliminate such risks, they lack the speed, range and endurance of larger aircraft. These complementary traits suggest potential benefits in a blended approach—one in which larger aircraft would carry, launch and recover multiple small UAS. Such an approach could greatly extend the range of UAS operations, enhance overall safety, and cost-effectively enable groundbreaking capabilities for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and other missions.
To explore and expedite the possible development of these potential benefits, DARPA has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking technical, security and business insights addressing the feasibility and potential value of an ability to launch and recover multiple small unmanned air systems from one or more types of existing large manned aircraft, such as C-130 transport planes. Link to Original Source
We receive a glimpse of the potential Phantom replacement in a video released today. Perhaps out in time for Christmas and up against the Parrot Bebop. The internet is currently naming the Inspire 1 as a video link, controller, flying wing or quad! Link to Original Source
garymortimer writes: Virgin Galactic has sold several hundred tickets for future flights to the edge of the atmosphere and there are proposals that SpaceShipTwo will be used to send research experiments briefly into space – all worthy endeavours.
But when we have advanced RPAs, why are we still testing new rocket motor and fuel combinations, with human pilots strapped just metres away from them flying at 45,000ft?
Combining spaceplanes with remote control and automation is not new.
Just a few weeks ago, a US Air Force robotic spaceplane came back to Earth after nearly two years in orbit. Its flight was either totally automatic or partially remote controlled; but we have no idea which, as it was a top-secret program.
In 1988, the former Soviet Union’s space program successfully flew their robotic space shuttle Buran, which performed two orbits of the Earth and landed back on a runway, just like the human piloted NASA space shuttles.
The reasons we still sometimes use human test pilots are complex. The SpaceShipTwo vehicle was inspired from SpaceShipOne. That vehicle won the US$10 million Ansari X-Prize in 2004 when Mojave Aerospace Ventures showed that it was possible to launch a non-government developed or funded spaccraft into space with a pilot onboard, twice within two weeks.
SpaceShipTwo’s core business will be to take passengers into sub-orbital space, so of course having human pilots onboard makes sense as eventually there will be human passengers. Would you be prepared to board a commercial jet now if you knew their were no human pilots onboard? Knowing that the pilot’s own safety is twinned with that of the passengers means we feel safer with experts at the helm.
But the SpaceShipTwo disaster was not a commercial flight – it was the first flight-test of a particular engine and fuel combination. Could the engine and fuel have been tested in a rocket first? Could SpaceShipTwo have been designed with an autopilot capability? Link to Original Source
garymortimer writes: Quite a neat idea from audio streaming company Spotify. Festival goers added their favourite track choice when signing up for tickets for an event. When they were noticed going through the gate the Party Drone pitches up and plays their favourite tune as they walk in. Nice. Link to Original Source