- LAST NEWS: NASA Includes Swedish UAV in BVLOS Testing
- LAST NEWS: Germany Plans New Drone Regulations
- LAST NEWS: Drone World Expo 2017 – Registration Now Open
- LAST NEWS: $1M Prize for Bridge Inspection by Drones
- LAST NEWS: South Korea to Train 1,700 Drone Operators Annually
- LAST NEWS: Leidos Pilots New Service for UAS
- LAST NEWS: First BVLoS Power Line Inspection Flight in New Zealand
- LAST NEWS: DARPA Awards Phase 2 Gremlins Program Contracts
- LAST NEWS: Amazon Patents Drones with Telescoping Landing Legs
- LAST NEWS: US Air Force Buys Drone-Snagging Shotgun Shells
Airbus a Takes Step Closer to Driverless ‘Flying Taxis’
Vahana, an electric, self-piloted vehicle project being developed by A³, the advanced projects and partnerships outpost of Airbus Group in Silicon Valley, recently awarded a Flight Test and Range Services contract to Modern Technology Solutions, Inc. (MTSI), and their partner, SOAR Oregon (SOAR).
Vahana is a self-piloted flying vehicle platform for individual passenger and cargo transport. It seeks to advance automated electric VTOL flight for the emerging on-demand mobility market. The contract covers the prototype Alpha Phase, which seeks to identify and resolve major technical and certification risks, culminating in a flight test demonstration at the end of 2017. MTSI will lead the Flight Test effort, while their partner SOAR Oregon will provide test range support and other services.
A³’s mission is to disrupt Airbus Group and the rest of the aerospace industry. MTSI is an engineering services and technology solutions provider for the defense industry, intelligence community, and commercial markets. SOAR Oregon is a 501(c)(6) non-profit established to make Oregon a leader in the civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) industry, and support Oregon’s three FAA-designated UAS Test Ranges.
“The MTSI Team is proud to be selected as the Flight Test Lead for Vahana. This unique air vehicle will challenge traditional flight test methodologies,” stated Paul Linnell, MTSI Director, Civil & Commercial, and Project Manager. “Vahana sought out industry partners with deep experience in flight test and unmanned aircraft test range services to support this innovative project and they found that in MTSI and SOAR Oregon.”
In August, Airbus released an article claiming the project was making good progress.
“Many of the technologies needed, such as batteries, motors and avionics are most of the way there,” explained Airbus project executive Rodin Lyasoff in the company’s online magazine.
Airbus believes the global demand for the “flying cars” will run in to millions of vehicles and that demand will help reduce development costs.
“In as little as 10 years, we could have products on the market that revolutionize urban travel for millions of people,” said Lyasoff.
Lyasoff added that one major challenge would be to secure reliable technology to ensure the “autonomous taxis” can sense and avoid other objects.
And the futuristic project has public backing from Airbus chief executive Tom Enders:
“I’m no big fan of Star Wars, but it’s not crazy to imagine that one day our big cities will have flying cars making their way along roads in the sky,” Tom Enders said in the article.
“In a not too distant future, we’ll use our smartphones to book a fully automated flying taxi that will land outside our front door – without any pilot.”
2017-03-27Germany Plans New Drone Regulations
On January 18 2017 the German government introduced a draft regulation to create sufficient regulations to deal with these risks by amending the existing fragmented provisions and establishing rules to liberalise the commercial use of drones.
2017-03-27NASA Includes Swedish UAV in BVLOS Testing
Swedish manufacturer SmartPlanes has announced that the SmartPlanes Freya UAV is included in the NASA UAS Traffic Management (UTM) R&D Technical Capability Level 3 (TCL 3) project, at the FAA-designated Nevada UAS test site. SmartPlanes is represented by its US distributor Carbon Autonomous.
2017-03-23Drone World Expo 2017 – Registration Now Open
Registration is now open for Drone World Expo 2017. From October 3-4, the 3rd annual Drone World Expo will once again gather thousands of thought leaders, end-users and decision makers in the commercial drone industry at the San Jose Convention Center.
2017-03-22South Korea to Train 1,700 Drone Operators Annually
South Korea is planning to train 1,700 drone operators a year to meet growing demand in the commercial drone industry, the transport ministry said on Tuesday.
2017-03-22$1M Prize for Bridge Inspection by Drones
AutoModality, whose technology allows drones to automatically conduct close-up inspections of bridges, buildings, power lines and other structures, has won the $1 million grand prize in the Genius NY business competition.
2017-03-21First BVLoS Power Line Inspection Flight in New Zealand
A Taranaki drone company has made history by flying an unmanned aircraft ”beyond line of sight” to inspect power transmission lines in the Rimutaka Ranges.
2017-03-21Leidos Pilots New Service for UAS
Leidos Flight Service has created an unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) service that helps safeguard the airspace by sending automatic notifications of unmanned aircraft operations to relevant groups.
2017-03-20DARPA Awards Phase 2 Gremlins Program Contracts
DARPA recently completed Phase 1 of its Gremlins program, which envisions volleys of low-cost, reusable unmanned aerial systems (UASs)—or “gremlins”—that could be launched and later retrieved in mid-air. Taking the program to its next stage, the Agency has now awarded Phase 2 contracts to two teams, one led by Dynetics, Inc. (Huntsville, Ala.) and the other by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (San Diego, Calif.).
2017-03-20Amazon Patents Drones with Telescoping Landing Legs
A diagram shows how an Amazon drone could land on a sloping surface while keeping its main frame level, thanks to telescoping landing legs. (Amazon Illustration via USPTO)
2017-03-17US Air Force Buys Drone-Snagging Shotgun Shells
US Air Force security forces, as well as other military personnel and federal law enforcement agencies, may soon be getting a new tool to take down small commercial drones: shotgun shells with a net. The special cartridge is just one system the Pentagon has been looking at to manage the growing threat from small and readily available quad-and hex-copter-type unmanned aircraft.
13 Takeaways from The White House Workshop
13 Takeaways from The White House Workshop
2012-04-05 Hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Flies ScanEagle