Skyfront has successfully performed the first civilian BVLOS flight without visual observers, under the FAA’s Part 107 rules.
The drone used was its Perimeter 4 long-range hybrid gas-electric multirotor.
The team, led by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, said the flight is a step toward gaining more routine FAA approvals of commercial BVLOS unmanned flights.
It said such approval could allow organizations to use unmanned aircraft to monitor pipelines and other infrastructure in Alaska and the rest of the United States.
Watch the footage here:
Operators flew 3.87 miles along the pipeline corridor, starting at a location near the Chatanika River on the Elliott Highway.
During the flight, the team used on-board and ground-based detection systems, instead of human observers, to detect and avoid other aircraft in the airspace .
Tom Barrett, president of Alyeska Pipeline Service, commented: “The ability to use UAVs for surveillance in remote areas of the pipeline increases the tools at our disposal to operate TAPS more reliably and safely and better protect Alaska’s environment.”
Adding: “This innovative step forward will advance safe performance not just in our industry, but in multiple disciplines and workspaces across the country.”