Read or listen to all of the headlines in one place: excerpts from the DRONELIFE drone news of the week of December 2, 2022. Click on the titles below for the full story.
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Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), one of Europe’s safest and most reliable railways, has signed an innovation partnership with Frequentis for the research of hangar-based automated drone flights in Austria. The partnership will focus on the prevention of railway incidents through the use of routine maintenance flights. These flights will be able to detect damage to infrastructure and potential hazards before accidents occur.
In another version of the Mavic 3, DJI Agriculture has launched the Mavic 3 Multispectral for precision agriculture. DJI Mavic 3 Multispectral carries a multispectral imaging system to collect the data used for crop monitoring. “Mavic 3 Multispectral is a must-have solution for a broad scope of application scenarios in the fields of precision agriculture and environmental monitoring,” says the announcement.
Renewable energy investment group Pacific Group Co Ltd is making a bet on urban air mobility in Vietnam, signing an MoU with Japanese eVTOL manufacturer SkyDrive Inc. Pacific Group has pre-ordered 10 SkyDrive SD-05 passenger aircraft, and have placed a conditional pre-order option for up to 90 flying vehicles. “Pacific Group has also agreed to explore sustainable and easily accessible new mobility solutions, focused on the use case of SkyDrive’s SD-05 flying vehicles, in the Vietnamese market,” says the press release.
Commercial eVTOL operations are moving forward, and the FAA has signed a draft NPRM that will establish a framework for eVTOL and air mobility regulations. The proposed “Update to Air Carrier Definitions” adds “powered lift” aircraft to the current definitions. “This proposed rule would add powered-lift to these definitions to ensure the appropriate sets of rules apply to air carriers’ and certain commercial operators’ operations of aircraft that FAA regulations define as powered-lift…”
ConnexiCore’s UAV and software technology experience are unmatched in diverse industries and locations across the United States and Canada. The company’s pilot operators have flown missions at large construction development sites, mining and aggregates, marine engineering, film and television, highways, disaster response, agriculture, and more.
Volatus is on a major growth and acquisition run. This week, Volatus Aerospace announced its signing of an arm’s length definitive agreement to acquire unmanned aerial systems company Empire Drone. With the commercial drone market projected by Fortune Business Insights to reach $47.38 billion by 2029 at a CAGR of 28.58%, Volatus’s acquisition of Empire Drone in the US positions it to capitalize on the market’s growth through its increasing global presence in the green drone technologies space, including EOLO Drones S.A.C. joint venture Volatus Aerospace LATAM in South America, Omniview Tech in Canada, and the recently acquired iRed Remote Sensing in the UK.
Leading private investment firm Highlander Partners, L.P. recently announced its acquisition of multi-mission defense company Liteye Systems, a developer of C-UAS (Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems). Designed to neutralize hostile drone threats, C-UAS technology is in high demand due to an increase in drone activity. Since it began focusing on this technology in 2015, Liteye has become an industry leader, enabling the integration of its highly customizable and hardware agnostic systems through exclusive strategic partnerships such as multiple long-term relationships with U.S. and international government agencies.
Working for almost a decade to make drone delivery a reality, Amazon has developed fully electric drones capable of delivering packages under 5 pounds to customers in under an hour, from click to delivery. The company also previously announced that customers in Lockeford, California, and College Station, Texas, will be some of the first to receive Prime Air deliveries from the MK27-2 delivery drone later this year.
Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) infrastructure leader VPorts has announced the development of the first international electric AAM corridor between Syracuse Hancock International Airport in New York and VPorts’ vertiport in Mirabel (Québec, Canada). The corridor will allow for the establishment of an AAM ecosystem granting a platform for full commercial cargo transport operations using electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, with initial test flights planned for 2023.
The holiday retail rush is heating up. Covid-19, RSV, and the flu are still keeping some people at home: Forbesreported that online shopping on Cyber Monday was up more than 5% over last year. But as the rail workers threaten a strike and delivery van drivers work overtime, delivery dates are getting pushed further and further out towards Christmas. Drone delivery is still in the trial program stage – but are US consumers ready for drone delivery to scale?
Today, leading drone delivery system developer Matternet announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted it a Production Certificate for its Matternet M2 drone.
This comes after the news of the M2 aircraft’s achievement of FAA standard Type Certification earlier this year, the first of its kind for an unmanned aircraft. The Production Certificate recognizes Matternet as possessing a quality management and manufacturing capability to create aircraft meeting the approved Type Design. The Certificate will allow for the manufacturing, testing and issuing of airworthiness certificates for M2 drones.
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 penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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