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Submission + - $250K police drone crashes into Lake Conroe (

garymortimer writes: “Divers did go down to look for it. They are still looking. It went down in deep water where there is a rocky bottom. Visibility is also a problem because of sediment at the bottom of the lake,” Fitzgerald said.

The mini helicopter which weighs around 49 pounds and, in a military setting, could be fitted with a single- or multiple-shot 40mm grenade launcher, 25mm Grenade Launcher or 12 gauge shotgun, according to Vanguard Defense Industries.

Submission + - North Koreas drone, made in China. (

garymortimer writes: Its no surprise that the UAS found in South Korea is of Chinese origin. The charmingly named Taiyuan Navigation Friend Aviation Technology is in Asian terms just up the road from Pyongyang being 1200kms away in the capital of Shanxi province, Taiyuan.

Submission + - Criminals use drones to find cannabis farms and then steal from growers (

garymortimer writes: One such man, an unnamed 33-year-old, told the Halesowen News that after finding a property with a cannabis farm he and his crew either burgle or “tax” the victim.

“They are fair game,” he said. “It is not like I’m using my drone to see if people have nice televisions. I am just after drugs to steal and sell, if you break the law then you enter me and my drone’s world.

“Half the time we don’t even need to use violence to get the crop. Growing cannabis has gone mainstream and the people growing it are not gangsters, especially in places like Halesowen, Cradley Heath and Oldbury.”

Submission + - Google Buys Drone Maker Titan Aerospace ( 1

garymortimer writes: Google has acquired drone maker Titan Aerospace, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Titan is a New Mexico-based company that makes high-flying solar powered drones.

There’s no word on the price Google paid, but Facebook had been in talks to acquire the company earlier this year for a reported $60 million. Presumably, Google paid more than that to keep it away from Facebook.

Submission + - Worlds largest multirotor makes successful maiden flight (

garymortimer writes: The patented AT Transformer technology combines the capabilities of a helicopter, such as the ability to take off and land anywhere, with the capabilities of an off-road automobile. The AT Black Knight Transformer completed driving tests in December 2013 and completed its first flight tests in March 2014. The Black Knight Transformer is the world’s largest multicopter that is controlled and stabilized with propeller speed. The aircraft has a maximum takeoff weight of 4,400 lb.

Submission + - FBI: Drone-like toy planes in bomb plot (

garymortimer writes: BRIDGEPORT — A Moroccan national who allegedly plotted to turn a radio-controlled model airplane into a drone-like flying bomb and crash it into a school and a Connecticut federal building was arrested Monday by FBI agents.

Wires and tools were found in the High Ridge Drive apartment where El Mehdi Semlali Fahti, 27, had been living since January with an individual he met while incarcerated in Virginia, according to the FBI. It was not known if any explosives were found.

Fahti told an undercover agent in five recorded conversations that he studied the bomb attack operation for months, and had made a chemical bomb while in high school in Morocco, court documents charge. The recordings additionally claim he could obtain whatever else he needed for his plans in “Southern California on the border.”

Submission + - Unfortunate event as Triathlete sustains head injuries from drone (

garymortimer writes: A competitor in today’s Endure Batavia Triathlon has been taken to hospital after an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) otherwise known as a drone, fell from the sky hitting her on the head.

The competitor, Raija Ogden was heading into her second lap of the run leg of the race on the Foreshore when the incident occurred.

The remote-controlled copter struck her head and she fell to the ground.

Raija is the wife of defending champ Courtney Ogden who came in second place in today’s race shortly after the incident occurred.

Submission + - Drone-assisted hunting to be illegal in Alaska after game board decision (

garymortimer writes: A drone system allowing a hunter or helper to locate game now costs only about $1,000, said Capt. Bernard Chastain, operations commander for the Wildlife Troopers. Because of advances in the technology and cheaper prices, it is inevitable hunters seeking an advantage would, for example, try to use a drone to fly above trees or other obstacles and look for a moose or bear to shoot, he said.

“Under hunting regulations, unless it specifically says that it’s illegal, you’re allowed to do it,” Chastain said. “What happens a lot of times is technology gets way ahead of regulations, and the hunting regulations don’t get a chance to catch up for quite a while.

Submission + - World Bank flies drones in Albania (

garymortimer writes: A team from the World Bank used small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) to pioneer a scalable, cost-effective approach to produce spatial data, thereby allowing local and national government, the private sector and international development projects to use the up-to-date and accurate data for multiple purposes. The initial field campaign was conducted in Albania in December, 2013

Submission + - China to test new smog-busting drone to help clear polluted skies (

garymortimer writes: The vehicle will spray chemicals that freeze pollutants, allowing them to fall to the ground.

The tests would be led by the China Meteorological Administration and carried out later this month at airports and ports, Xinhua said.

The drone has been developed by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China and has a paragliding wing, which allows it to carry three times more weight than the fixed-wing version, making it more efficient and cost-effective.

Submission + - Facebook In Talks To Acquire Drone Maker Titan Aerospace ( 1

garymortimer writes: Facebook, one of the primary backers of the initiative, which aims to bring affordable Internet access to the 5 billion people in the world who still lack connectivity, is in talks with a company that could help further that agenda. TechCrunch is hearing that Facebook is buying Titan Aerospace, makers of near-orbital, solar-powered drones which can fly for five years without needing to land. According to a source with access to information about the deal, the price for this acquisition is $60 million

Submission + - Drone pilot reports GoPro camera stolen (

garymortimer writes: Lester Lechleitner, 28, was flying his quad last Friday night in Bradenton, Florida and he had a mishap. He told police that “he saw it start to fall from the sky and land on the street,”

After rushing to the crash scene Lechleitner immediately noticed that a GoPro camera that had been attached to the craft was missing!

Submission + - Force the FAA to issue an Airworthiness Certificate for Beer Drones (

garymortimer writes: A great We The People for a Friday! I am willing to bet it gets more signatures than any of the ones raised by industry insiders ;-) sUAS News readers do your bit for beer! Although I am not sure why they say the FAA have revoked authorisation, they can never have had it in the first place. This story looks more like a well planned media campaign to leverage the Amazon delivery story with every post I see.

It does put yet another spotlight on the FAA who seem busy getting ready to celebrate 1976 and the Montreal Olympics rather than consider technology that is rapidly getting outside of their control.

I would love it if this beer drone really was the cause célèbre for sensible unmanned aircraft regulations for craft weighing less than 10kg in the USA. I like 10kg as a weight because I believe 99% of commercial work will be achieved with platforms of that size and less.

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