Boeing Develop Phantom Swift UAS Prototype for DARPA’s VTOL X-Plane Competition…

19 Sep 2013

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is looking for a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft that can fly fast, hover efficiently and carry a lot of cargo. Thanks to rapid prototyping, a team of Boeing Phantom Works engineers in Philadelphia designed and built a flying subscale model of the innovative Phantom Swift in time to be part of Boeing’s proposal for DARPA’s vertical takeoff and landing X-Plane competition. The scaled model of the Phantom Swift went from being an idea to a flying prototype in less than a month. It will serve the team as a flying laboratory.  More…


Lockheed Martin & Piasecki Showcase Transformer UAS

August 13, 2013; Woodrow Bellamy III

 Lockheed Martin and Piasecki Aircraft are in phase three of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contract to develop a prototype of what could be the next generation of unmanned military air cargo transportation, the Transformer. Lockheed is showcasing a small scale development model of the system at AUVSI Unmanned Systems 2013 this week. The Transformer is a high-speed self-contained flight vehicle with a turboshaft engines to power its propellers, allowing it to perform a variety of different missions by attaching to transport vehicles. Within its front section, the Transformer has vehicle management system computers that communicate with the ground control station to control its path of flight. Lockheed, along with Piasecki Aircraft, is working on a prototype of the system that is expected to be complete its first flight in mid-2015, according to Kevin Renshaw, product manager for Lockheed Martin’s Transformer development team. More…

Aurora’s Skate® SUAS Supports Military Missions in Afghanistan

18 Sep 2013

Aurora Flight Sciences announced that the Skate® Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS) was recently deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom missions. Aurora’s role in supporting these military missions includes in-theatre training and logistics support. Deployment of Skate® to support operations in Afghanistan is sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). Initial assessment of Skate’s performance by military operational commanders has been exceptionally positive.   More…


Texas Law Gets Tough on Public, Private Drone Use

AUSTIN, Texas September 14, 2013 (AP)
By WILL WEISSERT Associated Press
A hobbyist using a remote-control airplane mounted with a digital camera just happened to capture images last year of a Dallas creek running red with pig’s blood. It led to a nearby meatpacking plant being fined for illegal dumping and two of its leaders being indicted on water pollution charges.

Yet, a Texas law that took effect Sept. 1 tightened rules not on polluters but on taking such photographs, an effort to better protect private property from drone surveillance.

More than 40 state legislatures have debated the increasing presence of unmanned aircraft in civilian airspace, with most of the proposals focused on protecting people from overly intrusive surveillance by law enforcement.

But Texas’ law tips the scales in police favor — giving them broad freedoms to use drones during investigations and allowing them to bypass a required search warrant if they have suspicions of illegal activity — while also limiting use of small drones by ordinary residents.

“Texas is really the outlier,” said Allie Bohm    More…

Chinese Unmanned Helicopter lands in Washington DC


August 20, 2013

The Chinese company Ewatt Technology is introducing its new SVU-200 VTUAV to the AUVSI show in Washington. It is the first time the unmanned helicopter is displayed in the USA. While the VTUAV is claimed to be 100% Chinese, it is based on the design of Dennis Fetters, an American currently living in China.

Ewatt plans to increase its production capacity, from an annual capacity of 200 aircraft today to more than 1,000. Ewatt has teamed with Fetter’s US company – Fetters Aerospace – to invest about US$81 million (500 million Yuan) to build a large production base for unmanned aerial vehicles in the city of Wuhan, China. The deal represents the first venture between China and the US in civil drones. Fetters will provide 10 technical and management experts to support the venture.   More…

Navy chooses multi-sensor electro-optical targeting pods from FLIR for copters and UAVs

August 29, 2013 Posted by John Keller

CRANE, Ind., 29 Aug. 2013. U.S. Navy avionics experts needed multi-sensor electro-optical targeting systems for the UH-1 manned helicopter, the MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned helicopter, and other unmanned vertical takeoff unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). They found their solution from FLIR Systems Inc. in Wilsonville, Ore.

Officials of the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Ind., awarded a $136.6 million contract to FLIR this week for BRITE Star Block II multi-sensor targeting imager for the manned and unmanned helicopters. The contract includes BRITE Star I upgrades, cables, and maintenance.  more…

Drone helicopter made for Navy closer to inaugural flight

MQ-8CBy Toshio Suzuki Share
Published: September 23, 2013

An unmanned helicopter being produced for the U.S. Navy fired up its engine for the first time last week, getting closer to an inaugural flight.

The MQ-8C Fire Scout, made by Northrop Grumman, is meant to be deployment ready for the Navy by 2014, according to a release from the manufacturer.

All of the drone’s blades were turned on at the ground testing Friday at Naval Base Ventura County, Calif., allowing aircraft engineers to collect data on the processes more…

UAV Operations in National Air Space Advance as Privacy Fight Heats Up

Significant progress has been made in integrating two classes of small, unmanned aircraft into the national air space (NAS), an area of considerable interest for GNSS companies whose products provide navigation and guidance for many of the unmanned systems.

Standards have been drafted for the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) weighing up to 55 pounds, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) have formally agreed to work together to help police departments and other government agencies quickly to make mini-drones — UAVs weighing less that 25 pounds — part of their operations.


Drones Prepare for European Skies!

14 September 2013

Early next year Europe could see certified professional usage drones from LiveU and partner Virtual Robotix hitting the skies for sports, news and homeland security footage from the air.

LiveU is showcasing the drone that it created with Italian technology partner, Virtual Robotix, on its stand. LiveU created the LU40 unit for the drone, which contains four modems, a battery with 3.5-hour capacity, and web management control to provide broadcasters with a single mechanism for flight, camera and transmission operation.