Wednesday, March 30, 2016

South Dakota dude takes great drone videos

"Toby Brusseau has been flying drones for several years and his footage his been used in both national and international outlets. By using this technology, Brusseau is able to safely achieve beautiful shots for amazing content and various promotional avenues. Most recently, he has accumulated a library of rare imagery, which is available for license, as demonstrated below."

Monday, March 28, 2016

Article on staying safe while flying your drone

There have been at least three recent cases of neighbor-on-neighbor drone violence:

So, don’t be too surprised if a neighbor reacts by destroying your expensive toy for getting too close for his comfort. Inform your neighbors that you’re a drone owner and you’re just partaking in a harmless hobby, and to please inform you if they become annoyed with your UAV. You never know—your unassuming neighbor might be this guy:

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Nice review of flight rules

"If all else fails, you can find a local flight club that can help you with the specifics in your area. You can search the Academy of Model Aeronautics for a local chapter. You may also get lucky and find some active groups on sites like Meetup. Unfortunately, for now finding a place to safely fly is still a bit of a mess until the FAA makes their process for notifying airports easier. In the meantime, if you’re not sure it’s legal to fly (or if you think you might have flown outside a legal fly zone), be courteous and bring your drone down if you’re asked. Especially if that request comes from law enforcement, or from any property owners you may be hovering over."

It's good to remember the rules.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Flying Eyeball

"With its agile but classy and elegant flight characteristics, AEROTAIN's Skye is the Bentley of aerial platforms, offering new horizons in aerial entertainment. Lifted by helium and powered by electrical motors which are merely used for movements, Skye is like an eye in the sky: It can perform any translation while having any orientation. Thanks to this patented technology, astonishing movements such as a rolling football can be flown. No currently available UAV allows such a degree of freedom. Unique safety features enables it to fly over crowded places and closely approach people. The visibility leads to a friendly appearance and can be used to depict a product for advertising purposes and even take its shape. Scaleable payloads enable Skye to carry heavy cameras for live streams and aerial cinematography."

That's pretty cool. and the best part is it's pretty safe.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

airliner reports drone within 200 feet of it's flight path

"The pilot of a Lufthansa A380 approaching the airport on a flight from Frankfurt, Germany, reported that a drone passed about overhead around 1:30 p.m., said Ian Gregor, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.
The plane was flying at 5,000 feet and was about 14 miles east of the airport, over the heavily populated suburbs of Los Angeles. It landed safely."

Some idiot is gonna cause a lot of problems.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

police looking for local drone operator who flew over a crime scene

"Rapid City police are seeking help to identify the operator of a drone that was spotted flying over the scene of an officer-involved shooting on Feb. 28.
Police say the operator may have broken the law by flying the drone in the area outside the Cornerstone Rescue Mission where officers responded to the report of a shooting."

Since the perpetrator flew right over a bunch of cops, I assume he didn't know the rules.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

FAA is overhyping drone threat to planes say researchers

"Much of the fear around drones hitting aircraft has been driven by FAA reports from pilots who have claimed near-misses with small drones. But an investigation last year by the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) found that of the 764 near-miss incidents with drones recorded by the FAA, only 27 of them—3.5 percent—actually were near misses. The rest were just sightings, and those were often sightings that took place when drone operators were following the rules. The FAA also overcounted, including reports where the pilot said explicitly that there was no near miss and some where the flying object wasn't identified, leading the AMA to accuse the FAA of exaggerating the threat in order to get support for its anti-drone agenda.
There hasn't yet been an incident in which a drone has struck an aircraft. But bird strikes (and bat strikes) do happen, and there's a rich data set to work from to understand how often they do. Researchers Eli Dourado and Samuel Hammond reasoned that the chances of a bird strike remain much higher than that of an aircraft hitting a drone because 'contrary to sensational media headlines, the skies are crowded not by drones but by fowl.'
The researchers studied 25 years of FAA 'wildlife strike' data, reports voluntarily filed by pilots after colliding with birds. The data included over 160,000 reported incidents of collisions with birds, of which only 14,314 caused damage—and 80 percent of that number came from collisions with large or medium-sized birds such as geese and ducks."

Makes sense to me. But there should still be good rules because some people are idiots.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Snap quadcopter with camera

"We’ve taken all those amazing aerial shots you see in the movies and made it a snap (sorry, we can’t resist the pun, more of these coming) for you to recreate them without being a geek. Just hold your phone up, tap where you want Snap to go and send it on it’s way."

This has good features.  I don't see how to upgrade software for more features. Is this part of it?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Anti-drone gun uses a net

 "A shoulder-mounted, parachute-enabled anti-drone launcher has already attracted interest from the Metropolitan Police, its makers have said.
OpenWorks Engineering's SkyWall100 launcher uses compressed air to fire a net into the rotors of an offending aircraft. The Northumberland-based startup says the tangled net will be enough to put a drone out of operation, before returning it to the ground with a built-in parachute."

Ok, now THIS looks like a realistic defense against drones.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

You can't weaponize your drone in Connecticut soon

"ow a pair of proposed laws being considered in Connecticut would put an end to arming recreational drones.
A proposal on the 'weaponization of drones' would prohibit using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to release tear gas, remotely control a weapon or “explosive or incendiary device.”
Both bills (one submitted in the Connecticut House of Representatives, the other in the state Senate) use the same language in reference to armed drones."

Seems ok to me.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Snoopy Doghouse

"Of course taken from the cartoon Peanuts where snoopy the dog would pretend to sit on the top of his doghouse and fly it like a plane, the doghouse quadcopter is located on the side of the house so that it takes off completely sideways, but once you get the thing moving it starts to level out. Perfect for any drone collector..."

I'm surprised this works because Snoopy offsets the weight so much. But pretty cool!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Is the new FAA registry illegal? We'll find out

"Not everyone is pleased about the requirement. Some drone owners say it’s illegal, and they’re challenging the FAA in court. Leading the fight: John Taylor, an insurance attorney and drone hobbyist in Silver Spring, Maryland. When the registry launched in December, Taylor says he waited for an appropriate lawyer to file a suit. When that didn’t happen, he did it himself. 'I truly believe,' he says, 'the FAA has no real defense.'
Taylor bases his argument on a half-page clause in the FAA’s Modernization and Reform Act, which explicitly prohibits the agency from making new rules and regulations regarding model aircraft. In launching the registry, Taylor claims, the FAA has technically created a regulation as well."

This will be worth watching.  If the FAA loses, it gets punted to Congress.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

top drones in the US 2016

Parrot, then DJI

Aerial photography business in Arizona

"Working for directors, Producers, Cinematographers composing that perfect shot is demanding, challenging and highly rewarding. It is what we live for! - Understanding your footprint on set, composing the right shot, ensuring your footage is perfectly exposed, balanced and graded in flight so time in post is reduced is what we understand and strive for - not everything is done on the first take - but we listen, we challenge ourselves and now with our new live streaming technology we give the directors a whole new lease on getting that 'perfect shot' live and in flight."

I hope to eventually get this good before I die.
It is what we live for! - Understanding your footprint on set, composing the right shot, ensuring your footage is perfectly exposed, balanced and graded in flight so time in post is reduced is what we understand and strive for - not everything is done on the first take - but we listen, we challenge ourselves and now with our new live streaming technology we give the directors a whole new lease on getting that "perfect shot" live and in flight.

New, improved Phantom avoids obstacles

"The world’s biggest drone maker is back with its smartest compact quadcopter yet: The Phantom 4 automatically dodges obstacles, takes amazing video, and makes you look like a drone pro—even if you’ve never touched one before.
The new Phantom 4 is available for preorder today for $1400, and if you’re at all interested in drones, you need to check this thing out. Yes, it’s $150 more expensive than the starting price of the Phantom 3, but for the extra money you’re getting a lot of smart features."

I'm still waiting to see what GoPro has to offer before my upgrade.

Expendable drones launched from mother ship

"One of the first such expendables is the Coyote drone, originally designed for the U.S. Navy. The Coyote is fired from the tubes on a P-3 Orion aircraft normally used for dropping sonar buoys. The drone uses a parachute to slow down, then releases it as it unfolds five-foot wings. An electric propeller drives the Coyote for up to 90 minutes at a cruising speed of 60 mph. The drone can be recovered and reused, but it's cheap enough to be expendable."

"In fact, Special Forces Command already has a drone developed for exactly this mission. Built by RC helicopter makers Lite Machines Corporation and known as Tiger Moth, it is a curious twin-rotor craft weighing just three pounds. According to the developers, it can provide high-resolution video imagery to the sensor operators of current and future gunships and aircraft systems..."

As drones get smarter they can do more and more things. I envision the release of clouds of little guys gathering info, protecting their mother ship, etc.