Welcome to Drone Launch Academy’s May 2018 Drone Wrap Up, where we bring you 5 of the most interesting and “need-to-know” drone stories from the past month.
This month we have a new record for most drones flown at once, a drone saving a dog, a flying pizza, potential jail time if your drone interfere’s with a wildfire, and drone license recertification details. Lots of juicy stories!
Let’s dive in…
Drone License Recertification is Here!
If you are a certified commercial drone pilot in the US, you are required to take a “recurrent knowledge exam” every 24 calendar months in order to keep your license current and valid. Testing centers are now scheduling remote pilots for this exam. We wrote an entire top-to-bottom guide on what you need to do over here…
China’s EHang snatches drone record from Intel
Intel no longer holds the record for the largest number of drones flown simultaneously. This distinction has now gone to China’s EHang Egret, which deployed a host of 1,374 drones, or 156 more than Intel did during the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. EHang’s machines performed over the Chinese city of Xian, flying for 13 minutes and creating various 3D formations, including the words of a popular political slogan.
EHang first attracted media attention in 2016 with the announcement of a passenger drone concept. The vehicle can transport one person and fly at speeds of up to 130 kph. The company completed tests earlier in 2018.
Incidentally, China is home to the world’s biggest manufacturer of non-military drones, SZ DJI Technology.
Drone comes to puppy rescue in India
A drone has helped save a puppy in India, adding to the list of incidents where UAVs have made positive headlines for a change. Milind Raj, an engineer from New Delhi, used his personal six-rotor drone for the rescue operation. The puppy had fallen into a deep roadside drain, becoming entangled in the debris. Raj created a robotic claw and a harness which were attached to the drone and used to scoop the puppy and lift it out of the drain. Luckily, Raj has experience in robotics and artificial intelligence, which allowed him to equip the claw with sensors and ensure the animal did not get squeezed too tight.
Spanish YouTubers create pizza drone
Edible drones may become a thing. English start-up Windhorse Aerospace has spent the last two years working on edible drones to provide humanitarian aid to people in conflict or disaster-hit areas. For two Spaniards running a YouTube channel called deDrones, a pizza drone seemed like something worth trying to create. A yummy idea but somewhat hard to realize considering the weight of the drone components the pizza had to carry. While the experiment aimed mostly to entertain the channel audience, it was a success of sorts: the pizza did take a short flight. However, piloting it proved very hard because of strong vibrations and the drone crashed after co-creator Eric Ponce Rodriguez attempted a roll. Rodriguez still ended up snacking on a pizza drone, just not the original one – he feasted on a replica the pair created.
Colorado lawmakers take aim at drone operators obstructing emergency work
Drone operators in Colorado could get slapped with substantial fines or even do time if their machines interfere with the work of emergency responders. State legislators have unanimously passed House Bill 1314, which aims to stop people from flying drones into or near areas where first responders are working. In recent years, the authorities have repeatedly warned about the threat posed by rogue UAVs, especially in situations involving wildfires. Fighting such blazes can require the use of multiple planes and helicopters, and even a small drone can force firefighting aircraft to land, which has happened on a number of occasions.