Aviation leaders making ‘successful’ progress towards drone integration

Leaders in aviation have made significant progress towards the successful integration of drones into global airspace, according to a new report. A leading US aviation attorney believes the ‘baby steps’ taken by the FAA in August are the right ones to incorporate drones into airspace worldwide. In a column for AviationPros, the LeClairRyan aviation attorney described how the latest trials by the FAA meant the US was heading in the right direction. He said: "Integrating UAS into national airspace may not rank next to the moonshot in the annals of human achievement. However, it is similar in at least one
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MicroMultiCopter uses conference to display products and announce partnerships

MicroMultiCopter Aero Technology (MMC) has held a conference to display a range of drone products and announce new strategic co-operation. MMC showed off aircraft, components flight controlling systems and propulsion systems at the event in Jiaxing, China. Over 200 participants including International ISO authorities from the UK, US, Germany, Italy, Japan and South Korea attended the conference. MMC also announced its strategic cooperation with BSHARK, Artosyn and Alibaba Cloud to promote development of the international drone industry. Lu, president of the MMC, believes it is important that the industry works together in order for it to progress, saying: “I believe
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Drones used as inexpensive alternative to document climate change

Reuters photographer and qualified drone pilot Peter Jackson, has used a drone to document climate change. He went out to Greenland in June this year and spent seven days using a drone as an inexpensive way to record climate change in the region. Reuters has said it sees drones as an emerging tool for newsgathering, but is hesitant as the UAVs can pose several legal and ethical risks. Following the trip, Jackson told Reuters: “People are tempted to use a drone just to use a drone. They should be used to get a perspective at an elevated angle that would
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VIDEO: Researchers develop eye tracking glasses to control in-flight drone

Researchers from Pennsylvania, New York University, and collaborators have developed a system which enables users to control a drone with their eyes. The deep learning system uses NVIDIA GPUs to facilitate in flight drone control by a pilot directing their eyes in the direction they want the drone to travel. The footage shows a drone pilot demonstrating how the system works. In the footage, the researcher said: “We show how a set of glasses equipped with gaze tracker, a camera, and an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) can be used to estimate the relative position of the human with respect to
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IBM applies for blockchain patent to address drone fleet security

Global tech firm, IBM, has applied to patent a blockchain system that would aim to address privacy and security concerns surrounding drones. The system would use distributed ledger technology (DLT) to oversee security issues following an increase in the use of drones worldwide. Documents made public yesterday from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) show how IBM first applied for the patent early last year. The application details how a blockchain ledger would be used to store data associated with UAV flights to ensure that airspace operatives could supervise the increasing number of drones. However, IBM is not the
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Drone racing pilots set to compete for prize worth over £75k

The world’s top drone racing pilots are set to go head to head once again this year as they compete for the top prize in the Drone Racing League. The DRL begins tomorrow evening in California with pilots from around the world competing in the first heat. 18 pilots will compete in the season but only 10 will go to the championship, with each pilot flying on four of the regular season’s six events. The winner of each event clinches a spot in the championship as the remaining slots are awarded to the pilot's with the most season points. 2018
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Drone has near-miss with commercial jet filled with passengers

The UK Airprox board has confirmed a drone's near-miss with a commercial plane containing 240 passengers. Flying out of Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster, the plane had reached a three-mile high altitude but only missed the drone by around 100ft. At 15,500ft in the sky, the close collision with the Airbus A321 happened 40 times higher than the legal flying height for a drone in the UK. The incident occurred at the highest ever recorded altitude for a near-miss between a drone and an aircraft in UK airspace. The report by the UK Airprox Board said the pilot saw a
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Department for Transport sees ‘flying taxi’ drones as possibility in near future

The Department for Transport (DfT) has identified the growing market behind drone technology as a possible step to flying taxis in the near future. In its latest report, the DfT highlighted how ‘drones offer vast opportunities in service industries and air taxis.’ However, despite the optimism for the drone industry surrounding the findings, the report went on to describe how the current aviation scene in the UK needed to be looked at more closely first. The report states: “One of the greatest challenges is operating alongside aircraft and beyond visual line of sight so there is a need to carry
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Fortress UAV launches maintenance program to help drone users

Fortress UAV has launched a preventative maintenance program to help drone users take care of their drones. The program will provide customers with drone maintenance schedules which include industry standard maintenance checklists. Fortress UAV is a provider of drone repair services and hopes this initiative will rival those of manned aircraft maintenance systems. The scheme, named Fortress UAV Protect, has been described by the company as a nose-to-tail preventative maintenance service. It will also provide check points specific to the particular drone model being serviced. Currently, drone models included in the maintenance program are the DJI Mavic Pro, the DJI
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FAA approves long distance drone flight to aid Hurricane Florence victims

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The Federal Aviation Administration has approved long range drone flight to pilots helping victims from Hurricane Florence. According to a report by Bloomberg, insurance company, State Farm Mutual Automobile Association, was the first to be granted permission to fly long distance over a populated area. The FAA approved routine commercial drone operations two years ago, but has since restricted flights to short journeys at low altitudes away from people, all within sight of an operator on the ground. The reason for this exception to the rule this time is due to the destruction caused by the Hurricane, however, it could
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