Drone near-miss at SFO points to emerging danger for airports

The passenger jet began descending below the 500-foot level toward San Francisco International Airport’s runway 28R when the pilot saw an alarming sight: An apparent drone passing just 20 feet directly below the plane’s nose. The pilot landed the plane safely without needing to take evasive action, according to a newly released Federal Aviation Administration report. But the Jan. 23 incident, one of at least 27 pilot-reported drone sightings so far this year near Bay Area airports, Read More

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Machine gun-toting drone threatens to change combat forever

In 2015, a video showing a semi-automatic handgun being fired from a custom-built drone went viral, raising concerns for authorities, including the FAA. The development of such a DIY device was only a matter of time, as was the commercialization of the technology. Now Florida-based startup Duke Robotics has unveiled the TIKAD, a custom-built quadcopter that can carry and fire various military weapons, including semi-automatic rifles and grenade launchers. Duke Robotics is co-founded by Read More

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JROTC incorporates drone technology in curriculum

Westside High School’s Air Force JROTC program is really taking off with their drone technology this school year. “We got a drone in our program to introduce STEM type education to the class,” said Michael Mcguirt, the instructor. “Then, we obtained a grant for $8,600 to add more drones to the program.” Mcguirt said having this type of technology is both fascinating and helpful for everyone. “This will take place in the future skills set for jobs in the future,” said Read More

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General Atomics targets first big international Avenger drone sale

Fewer than a dozen Avenger drones have been purchased since the product first flew in 2009, but General Atomics believes it may be able to sell about 90 aircraft in the next few years to a single international buyer, its president said Wednesday. General Atomics has struggled to find a major customer for the Avenger, also called the Predator C, since the collapse of the U.S. Air Force’s MQ-X program and the U.S. Navy’s UCLASS program, both of which sought out UAVs that could survive Read More

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New solar drone technology gets funding

An Adelaide company developing capability for the commercial manufacture of solar powered drones will receive $150,000 in support under the South Australian Early Commercialisation Fund (SAECF). Praxis Aeronautics has created a process by which solar cells can be encapsulated into a composite material, such as the body of a drone.While solar power drones are now available, they are less efficient and the design needs to be altered to accommodate solar cells. Currently, petrol powered drones Read More

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Drone, Massachusetts State Police helicopter nearly collide over airport

Authorities say a Massachusetts State Police helicopter nearly collided Wednesday with an unmanned drone near Lawrence Municipal Airport. Air 2 was headed from Holliston to Newburyport around 11:20 a.m. when the frightening incident unfolded. During a training flight, the helicopter passed through the airspace of Lawrence Municipal Airport at about 600 feet when a large drone flew toward the chopper, according to police. The crew on board the helicopter said the large drone got as close as Read More

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Avion Unmanned: Bringing Drone Power to Public Utilities

Avion Unmanned is bringing drone power to local public utility companies. A subsidiary of defense contractor Avion Solutions, Avion Unmanned provides operational support and training to industries adopting drone technology for the first time – and Huntsville Utilities are their latest client. While drones are widely used in Asia for utility applications such as power line stringing, and throughout Asia and Europe to monitor infrastructure for vegetation encroachment or other potential Read More

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The Air Force’s “ThunderDrone” Might Be a Drone Demolition Derby

The Air Force and its civilian contractors have “rented out a big warehouse,” and are planning a vaguely-described competition called “ThunderDrone” in early September. Details are scarce, but it certainly sounds like the Air Force has a giant warehouse in Tampa where it’s about to host a huge military drone demolition derby. On Wednesday, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters the Air Force would participate in an upcoming competition called “ThunderDrone,” Read More

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Safety, privacy concerns prompt drone policy for Georgetown County schools

GEORGETOWN, SC (WBTW) – The Georgetown County School Board is reviewing a new policy to ban drones from flying over school property. Director of Safety and Risk Management for the district, Alan Walters, said his main concerns are student safety and privacy. “We’re just trying to figure a way that it can be done safely,” said Walters. He said some groups use drones to film football or band practice which would only be allowed if the drone operator got permission from the Read More

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How the US, France, Germany, Brazil, and New Zealand are Saving Lives With Drones

The US, France, Germany, Brazil and New Zealand are among the countries adopting a life-saving application for drones this year – as lifeguards at some of the world’s busiest beaches. It’s an application that just makes sense. Lifeguards can stay on shore and monitor a large swath of coastline using a drone, including areas that may be beyond a wave break. When they spot a swimmer in trouble, they can release a life buoy to the swimmer to keep them afloat while emergency personnel Read More

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