FlyLogix is an energy inspections company. The flight was performed round trip from Blackpool to energy company Centrica’s unmanned gas production platform, located in the middle of the East Irish Sea. The drone operator remained onshore in Blackpool during the flight. The FlyLogix drone is a fixed-wing aircraft that looks like a small airplane. , an operator of inspection drones for the offshore industry, says that it has completed the longest-distance civilian drone flight in Britain – a shore-launched inspection of an unmanned offshore platform.
The FlyLogix drone, called Condor, is a fixed-wing aircraft that looks like a small airplane. The mission resulted in high-quality infrared images of the outpost for the purpose of inspections: the UK Telegraph reports that Centrica is “prioritizing the refurbishment of its holdings in the Morecambe Bay.” Given that the platform is unmanned, the drone enabled the inspection to take place without deploying staff to the platform, huge savings for the company.
FlyLogix received special permission from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority to perform the beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flight. The company hopes that the flight will serve as a demonstration of the capabilities of commercial drones.
In the US, BVLOS flight is not permitted, although the FAA says that it will prioritize BVLOS flight in drone regulations. Commercial drone companies in Europe and elsewhere are proving the safety case: leading commercial drone company Delair-Tech established the previous record of 30 miles in BVLOS flight just last month. Delair-Tech is one of the companies currently working with US regulators at a Nevada test site to gather safety data on BVLOS flight. For applications over the ocean, like that demonstrated by FlyLogix, safety and privacy concerns that may arise from drone flights in urban areas are minimized.
For applications over the ocean, like that demonstrated by FlyLogix, safety and privacy concerns that may arise from drone flights in urban areas are minimized – and could offer a first opening for BVLOS flight everywhere.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.