Litchi app for DJI UAVs

Posted by on Sep 8, 2015 in Application | 0 comments

Litchi Logo

Just found a new app called Litchi. This is an app for DJI UAVs that features several methods of flight beyond basic control. This gives you follow, circle, and waypoint missions. It supports the P2 Vision, P2 Vision +, Phantom 3, and Inspire 1.

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The first commercial paper airplane UAV has been certified for commercial use.

Posted by on Aug 28, 2015 in UAV News | 0 comments

PowerUp 3.0 from PowerUp Toys

PowerUp 3.0 from PowerUp Toys – Image from PowerUp Toys

John Goglia broke the news on Forbes that the FAA has certified a paper airplane for UAV operations. The PowerUp powered paper airplane has a 180′ range and and a 10 minute flight time. Unfortunately, the individual that got the 333 exemption is not legally allowed to fly it commercially, since his helicopter pilot’s license is out of date.

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A “Cheap” way to get a pilot’s license for 333 exemption?

Posted by on Aug 27, 2015 in Gen-Info | 0 comments

Hot Air Balloon in flight | Credit: Kevin Rank

Flying over a road in a Hot Air Balloon.

It seems that Alon Sicherman has found a loop-hole of sorts, for getting a pilot’s license to fly a UAS. It costs 1/2 to 1/3 of a pilot’s license, and just like flying a plane, has very little to do with flying a multi-rotor for photography purposes. The article does point out that Alon has learned a lot of background information about flight, that will help him with his UAS flying. I would think Balloons (and possibly gliders) would be the closest to flying a UAV since they are greatly affected by the weather and small changes in the atmosphere.

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Air Trespassing bill approved in California.

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 in UAV News | 0 comments

Phantom 2 Vision - Photo by : Kevin Rank

Democratic Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson in California has written a bill that has passed the assembly, leaving only 50′ of airspace for UAV operators to fly in. This new bill calls a UAV flying under 350′ trespassing, leaving only a 50′ window in which to fly UAVs in the state, legally. You can fly over businesses, though, it seems.

Here is another article that shows the level of paranoia involved in legislation. Here is the best quote: “It makes no sense that a drone should be able to look in your window and the operator should not be guilty of the same trespass.” I am not sure if this assemblyman has heard of voyeurism laws or not. The article says “if you are looking on someone’s property to break in, you are trespassing.”

It seems that law should apply to UAVs, too, instead of just making it trespass if you are under 350′. With this article, I question if their elected officials have seen any SCOTUS laws over the years dealing with this, and how their laws break the constitutional protections of the 1st amendment.

All in all, this seems like a knee-jerk reaction to a non-issue.

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The “Drone” backlash

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in UAV News | 0 comments

Phantom 2 Vision - Photo by : Kevin Rank

Mike Elgan from Computerworld has posted a very interesting article about the “drone” backlash. He goes into the problems we, as enthusiasts, are seeing, and some of the “reasons” no matter how unreasonable they are. Then, he goes on to refute the problems, and brings light to many of the falsehoods.

I find it interesting, that the measured / non-inflammatory story has gotten 12 comments, while a much more inflammatory one would solicit FAR more comments. Of course, when a site lives on the number of clicks they get, those stories that generate the most eyeballs are the ones that get run. Is it any wonder why the inflammatory stories get posted infinitely more than articles like this?

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A call to ground all drones…

Posted by on Aug 23, 2015 in UAV News | 0 comments

Phantom 2 Vision - Photo by : Kevin Rank

Everyone has heard of trolls on the internet… USA Today just allowed a troll into their newspaper. Under the guise of safety, this so-called expert uses examples that are downright false (as has been pointed out on this blog, the Fresno incident was not a consumer drone, but something 4 – 6′ wide. He talks about the upper limits of drones (the 55 pound variety) which again, are not consumer drones. The guy is trolling and attempting to destroy a hobby and business that thousands of people enjoy, and make a living on.

So, now, we have to worry about people being published as “experts” that are nothing more than fear-mongers.

We have idiots in all walks of life. Not just UAV operators. Why come down on all of the law-abiding, common sense following operators, instead of those that are breaking the laws? Those that break laws are not going to follow new ones.

Yet, the so-called expert is asking to ban all UAVs. 99.99% of the sky is free from manned aircraft. A little common sense will keep you out of their way. Seems a wasted resource if only a privileged few can use it.

As it is, RC planes and helicopters have flown for years, without problems.

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Cops commandeer a Phantom.

Posted by on Aug 23, 2015 in Gen-Info | 0 comments

Here is a pretty cool video from GARETH MAUDE. He was flying his UAV when police officers asked if he had seen someone on a Motorbike. For the rest of the story, head over to the video.

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