The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum added the Draganflyer X4-ES to its vertical flight exhibit in commemoration of it being the first unmanned aerial helicopter responsible for saving a human life.
May 9th 2013, The Draganflyer X4-ES equipped with thermal imaging technology was deployed to search for a seriously injured victim of a vehicle accident in Saskatchewan, Canada.
After the crash occurred at 12:20am, ground crews and manned helicopters were sent out to search for the critically injured driver. After two hours of combing the area with no success, public safety officials released the unmanned Draganfly X4-ES to assist in the recovery of the lost victim.
Shortly after it’s deployment, the driver was found, making May 9th 2013, a historic moment in history for unmanned aircraft systems.
The success of the rescue mission can be credited to the technologically advanced Draganflyer X4-ES as well as the FLIR TAU camera that was attached to the aircraft vehicle. The FLIR TAU camera was able to transmit real-time aerial footage to the operator as well as locate heat sources in the search area; one of the heat sources being the injured driver.
It was concluded after the driver was rescued that if he had not been located when he was, he would have died from injuries sustained on impact and from environmental exposure.
The Draganfly UAS now joins the permanent collection of The Smithsonian National Aircraft museum where it can currently be viewed.