UAV market growth in the Middle East, Piaggio’s Hammerhead, China sends a UAV toward Japan, autonomous drones in Peru, foam drones, and more UAV crashes, including one fished out of the sea.
Driven by border protection concerns, UAV growth in The Middle East is projected to grow to $3.8 billion over the next decade, with that region accounting for 8 percent of the world market.
We spoke previously of the P.1HH Hammerhead based on the Piaggio P180 Avanti II business turboprop. The Hammerhead may challenge U.S. and Israeli dominance in the Medium Altitude Long Endurance category. A successful Hammerhead first flight occurred mid-November at Italy’s Trapani “Birgi” Air Force base.
Similar to the U.S. Predator, the Chinese BZK-005 UAV approached Okinawa airspace in September. Japan responded by scrambling interceptors. The BZK-005 then turned back, but both sides say they’ll shoot down any UAVs that violate airspace.
The density of the Peruvian tropical forrest hampers scientists from studying the 390 billion trees that annually absorb 1.5 billion metric tons of C02. The solution: autonomous drones. Two are being considered, an octocopter with a 20 minute flight time, and a fixed wing drone with a flight time over an hour.
The autonomous iStart UAS is “unfolded, shaken and thrown into the air with a ground control station to log in details about where it’s meant to look and land,” according to UK producer Blue Bear. This makes it more easily used by operators who do not know how to fly drones.
A BQM-74 series target drone manufactured by Northrop Grumman was lost while the USS Chancellorsville was conducting a combat weapons system test. Two sailors suffered minor burns. A few days before that accident, an MQ-9 Reaper crashed into Lake Ontario, about 12 miles from shore.
A Turkish Aerospace Industries “Turna” (crane) drone was netted by fishermen around six nautical miles off the coast of the Türkeli district. This UAV has a wingspan of about 2.5 meters.
Post Photo: The Blue Bear iStart.