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The Small UAV Coalition launches, law enforcement using drones, UAVs showcased, a spat over the MQ-9 Reaper, GNSS developments, and logbooks for UAV pilots.
Eight companies have formally launched the Small UAV Coalition to facilitate the entry of small UAVs in the United States and abroad. The Coalition intends to advocate for commercial, consumer, recreational, and philanthropic use of UAVs by removing “unnecessary policy or regulatory hurdles that impede small UAV development, sales, job creation, and services.”
Founding members of the Small UAV Coalition are: 3DR, Aerialtronics, Airware, Amazon Prime Air, DJI Innovations, Google[x]’s Project Wing, GoPro, and Parrot. Attorneys at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP support the Coalition.
When a car was pulled over by the Grand Forks, North Dakota police department for drunk driving, the occupants ran into a cornfield. The police brought out their AeroVironment Qube quadcopter and quickly found several of them hiding in the corn.
Aeronautics has unveiled the Orbiter 3b, offering more range and endurance than the previous model.
The Orbiter Mini UAV System is designed for use in Military and Homeland Security missions such as over the hill reconnaissance, low intensity conflicts, and urban warfare operations, as well as close range ISR.
It is catapult-launched from a vehicle, and recovery is by parachute and airbag.
The U.S. Defense Department Inspector General issued a report critical of the Air Force acquisition program for the MQ-9 Reaper.
The Air Force wants to spend $76.8 billion to buy 401 Reapers, but the IG says Air Combat Command didn’t obtain the proper approval or perform a verifiable analyses of number of Reapers to buy.
The Air Force issued a statement on their website titled, Air Force rebuts report due to outdated data, saying the IG report “is based on data that is out of date.”
A special session at the InterGEO conference and exhibition in Berlin, Germany, “UAVs in Practice,” gave attendees an opportunity to see systems for aerial surveying and mapping, environmental monitoring, and other civil applications.
Manufacturers at the show were mainly from Germany and other European countries.
Applanix Corporation from Canada announced its new APX-15 UAV GNSS-Inertial System. This reduces Ground Control Points (GCPs) and sidelap.
Germany-based Aibotix GmbH showed their Aibot-X6 V2, a six-rotor UAV with navigation by a GPS receiver integrated with gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer, magnetometers, and ultrasonic sensors.
The Hirrus Mini UAV System from Teamnet International can carry CCD or IR video cameras, photo cameras, radiation detectors, and other sensors.
Videos of the Week
14 CFR 61.51 – Pilot logbooks – In the U.S., the FAA prescribes the Federal Aviation Regulations, or FARs, part of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). 14 CFR 61.51 describes the pilot logbook requirements for manned aircraft. They may provide some clues as to what to expect should the FAA ultimately require logbooks for unmanned aircraft.
Going electronic with logbooks – This AOPA article describes some pilot logbook apps.
The Best Electronic Pilot Logbook – Reviews by Pilotman Aviation & Pilots Network
Pilot Pro Logbook – A cloud-based pilot logbook
Pilots of America Forum – A forum thread about electronic logbooks
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Drones and the magical age of aviation