Ehang flies their autonomous aerial vehicle with human passengers, reaction to a close encounter with an airliner, drone safety measures at the Olympics, drone video awards, drone package delivery by Airbus, and thoughts on cargo drones.
The Ehang 184 autonomous aircraft is rated for a 220-pound payload, a cruising altitude of 500 meters, and a top speed of 80 mph.
Ehang has conducted over 1000 flight tests, including some with human passengers. Other flight tests include a 300-meter climb test with a 507-pound payload, a 9.3 mile distance test, and tests in high winds. Video shows two variants: a single-seater with eight pairs of rotors on four arms, and a two-seater with sixteen pairs of rotors on eight arms.
Video originally posted on a Facebook group shows a drone flying close to a Frontier Airlines Airbus A320 on final approach to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. The poster says he is a Las Vegas high school student and the video is real, but he didn’t shoot it. The FAA confirmed to Flying that it is taking the video very seriously,
UAS Stakeholders to FAA: Use Full Authority to Apprehend and Prosecute Reckless Las Vegas UAS Operator
A number of UAS stakeholders sent a letter [PDF] to the FAA to encourage it “to use its full authority to investigate, identify and apprehend an operator who recently flew a UAS over an airliner making its final approach at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport.”
DJI is implementing temporary no-fly zones around sports arenas at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Aviation authorities recommended the size of the zones.
Despite precautions, officials are concerned about rogue drones and have taken additional steps. A special drone-detection radar developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology will be used. There are reports of signal-jamming guns and “drone-catching drones” with nets may be deployed.
The 2017 AirVūz Drone Video Awards winners have been announced:
- Dronie — There Is No One Else by Wellington Visuals
- Landscape — Perspective by Jay Worsley
- Racing — Drone Racing Underground by JohnnyFPV
- Countries — “Awaken” Iceland by mikebishop.tv
- People — This is Yunnan by Face du Monde
- Animals — Majestic Beast Nanuk by florian ledoux
- Cities — Moscow Aerial 5K Timelab.pro by Timelab.pro
- Tiny Whoop — エアリアルヨガスタジオ ｙ＋AERO × TINY WHOOP JAPAN by KatsuFPV
- Freestyle — NURK’s Flight of the Year // Trains, Bridges, Rapids, Mountains, Sunsets, Gapping, Perching, Powerlooping by nurkfpv
- Sports — Dream… by PilotViking
- Originality — Cardboard Cadet by chrisxgxc
- Reel — Drones are Awesome by thisistilt
- Photography — Floating in the Unknown by zimydakid
The Skyways UAV completed its first flight demonstration at the National University of Singapore. The drone was launched from the Airbus dedicated maintenance center. It flew to the roof of a specially designed parcel station and used a robotic arm to load a package. It then returned to the maintenance center. Airbus Helicopters’ Executive Vice President of Engineering and Chief Technical Officer, Alain Flourens said, “Safe and reliable urban air delivery is a reality not too distant into the future, and Airbus is certainly excited to be a forerunner in this endeavour.”
Air Cargo World noted the Airbus achievement, but comments that “Drones with last-mile delivery capabilities… require a dense population to justify the typically steep costs from research to deployment.” Additionally, Air Cargo World stated that regulatory hurdles exist in densely populated areas, and residents might be hostile to unmanned vehicles.
Also at the Singapore Air Show, ST Aerospace showed the concept for an unmanned freighter piloted by an artificially intelligent computer. ST Aero was optimistic that an unmanned freighter could be possible in the next five years. The technology is available now, they say, but public sentiment is not there yet.
UAV Video of the Week
This video documents a Beaver Dam collapse and rebuild on private property in Northern Minnesota. The dam was an engineering marvel as it was double-decked, holding back over nine feet of water.
Organizing an upstate New York open team drone competition.