Articles about drone

A British Army Watchkeeper drone lands at Parc Aberporth. Crown copyright

Troubled Watchkeeper drones miss crucial UK flight safety certificate

The British Army's massively overdue Watchkeeper drone project has failed to gain a critical air safety certificate – yet the Ministry of Defence still insists it is "a satisfactory use of public resources". Next month marks five years since the initial planned April 2013 date in which the battlefield drones were supposed to …
Gareth Corfield, 22 Mar 2018
A screenshot of Airmap, centred on Geneva airport

US startup wheels out EU-compliant drone traffic management app

An American upstart says it is the first company to implement the EU's vision of drone air traffic management – over the skies of Switzerland. Airmap, one of many small companies around the world hoping to make a breakthrough in the elusive field of unmanned traffic management (UTM), has joined forces with Swiss air traffic …
Martin's glider on final approach

Sheer luck helped prevent mid-air drone glider prang in Blighty

A drone being flown next to an active airfield on New Year’s Day caused a serious risk of an in-flight collision with a glider trying to land, the UK Airprox Board has ruled. The drone, flying above Dunstable, a market town 50km north of London, came within 4.5m (15 feet) of the glider as it was completing its circuit and …
Gareth Corfield, 27 Feb 2018
A 3D Robotics (3DR) Solo drone with a gimbal-mounted Gopro camera. Crown copyright/AAIB

We've built a 4G drone tracking system, beams Vodafone

Vodafone is working on an airborne drone detection system based on 4G M2M mobile phone technology, the Brit-based network operator said this morning. The “pioneering technology”, as Voda has dubbed it, works by putting a standard 4G SIM card and radio onto a drone. The mobile operator then tracks the drone through a method …
Gareth Corfield, 20 Feb 2018
A Robinson R22 light helicopter. Pic: Shutterstock

Helicopter crashes after manoeuvres to 'avoid... DJI Phantom drone'

A helicopter has crashed after reportedly manoeuvring hard to avoid a "DJI Phantom quadcopter," in what could be the first confirmed aircraft accident involving a drone. The crash was first reported this week by telly station Live 5 News, in South Carolina, USA, which saw a copy of a police report stating that a Robinson R22 …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Feb 2018

See that over Heathrow? It's not an airliner – it's a Predator drone

Military efforts to approve the flying of Predator military drones through Britain’s skies could pave the way for point-to-point drone deliveries, newly disclosed correspondence has revealed. The detailed discussions, held between various Ministry of Defence (MoD) agencies and the Civil Aviation Authority, took place to enable …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Feb 2018
A DJI Spark drone in flight

Bzzzt! If you're in one of these four British cities, that was a drone

Four British cities have been picked as testbed areas for drone operators hoping to work out new business models for their wares. Tech quango-turned-charity Nesta – formerly known as the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts – has picked the cities for its Flying High challenge. London, Bradford, Preston and …
Drones hover above a smart city. Photo by shutterstock

On yer bike! Boffins teach AI drone to fly itself using cams on bicycles, self-driving car

Vid Researchers have taught a drone to fly autonomously through the streets of Zürich, Switzerland, by using a simple neural network. As tech companies toy with the idea of using mini-drones for delivery, monitoring buildings, or surveillance, then figuring out how to fly them without human control is vital if sales are to scale …
Katyanna Quach, 31 Jan 2018
A Parrot Bebop 2 drone. File picture

Buzzzz... gulp. What the heck was that? Drone air traffic app maker swallows $4.5m

Drone safety biz Altitude Angel has swept up $4.5m (£3.19m) in series-A funding, it has announced today. The main backer is the aerial-tech-loving Seraphim Space Fund. Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV) and Frequentis are also throwing cheques at the biz, based in Reading, England. Altitude Angel has been working on its …
Richard Priday, 30 Jan 2018
Github photo via Shutterstock

GitHub shrugs off drone maker DJI's crypto key DMCA takedown effort

Updated GitHub rejected a DMCA takedown request from Chinese drone-maker DJI after someone forked source code left in the open by a naughty DJI developer, The Register can reveal. This included AES keys permitting decryption of flight control firmware, which could allow drone fliers with technical skills to remove geofencing from the …
Gareth Corfield, 25 Jan 2018

Baywatch hero drone saves silly struggling swimmers Down Under from going down under

Video Australian politicians are claiming a world first after a drone saved two teenagers from drowning in heavy surf. At 11.30am on Thursday, passersby alerted lifeguards that two people were in trouble in the sea off Lennox Head beach in New South Wales. The lifesavers just so happened to be in the middle of a training course on …
Iain Thomson, 19 Jan 2018
A 3D Robotics (3DR) Solo drone with a gimbal-mounted Gopro camera. Crown copyright/AAIB

Drone crashes after operator failed to spot extra building site crane

A pilot flying a 3D Robotics Solo drone let his autonomous aircraft fly itself into a crane that some inconsiderate person erected on a building site. The accident, which happened in England in June last year, was revealed in this month's Air Accidents Investigation Branch monthly update. The AAIB investigates aircraft …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Jan 2018

Heathrow Airport's local council prohibits drone flights from open spaces

Heathrow Airport's local council has effectively prohibited the flying of drones anywhere within the borough's public spaces – including parks near airfields. The London Borough of Hillingdon, over on the western edge of the capital, has – through a combination of local bylaws and a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) – made …
Gareth Corfield, 11 Jan 2018
An Airbus A320-series airliner cockpit. Pic: Shutterstock

UK drone collision study didn't show airliner window penetration

Exclusive A British drone collision study used as evidence for the government’s flagship drone pilot registration law found UAVs pose less of a risk to airliners than government officials and trade unions have claimed. The study, which the government refused to reveal in full despite being asked by industry and news media alike, is the …
PHP, image via Shutterstock

Multiple-guess quiz will make Brit fliers safer, hopes drone-maker DJI

Roundup British drone users will have to take a multiple-guess quiz before using their Christmas toys this year, while drone users appear to have, once again, got around pre-eminent drone maker DJI's software-based flight restrictions. These developments and others occurred over the busy Christmas and New Year period, being lost in …

'DJI Mavic' drone seen menacing London City airliner after takeoff

A "DJI Mavic type" drone was flown close to an airliner leaving London City Airport in September, a recently published UK Airprox Board report has revealed. The report [PDF] is unusual in that most drones involved in airprox incidents are not identified so specifically by pilots. A De Havilland Dash-8 turboprop airliner, …
Richard Priday, 11 Dec 2017

Sky regulators brace for millions of Xmas toy drone sales

The Civil Aviation Authority reckons a million and a half consumer drones will be sold over Christmas – and the aviation regulator hopes new dronies will read and obey the law of the skies. The CAA, whose Dronecode app summarises the dense legalese of the Air Navigation Order into plain English that anyone can understand, …
A Boeing 777 airliner on landing. Pic: Shutterstock

Drone collisions with airliners may not be fatal, US study suggests

Updated A ground-breaking US study has shown that while drone collisions do pose a threat to airliners, the odds of a collision causing a crash are much lower than a rival British government study claimed. The American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s drone research divison, Assure, conducted a study into the effects of drones …

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