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interesting article future of drone flight


Well-Known Member
Sep 10, 2017
Finger Lakes Region New York USA
below is an excerpt from the linked article, interesting reading if you have time.

Drone Expert
MIT Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Returning Two–Year Sabbatical at Google

The complete article Nick Roy #69

Do you wish the FAA would speed up? They have been under a lot of pressure to get the drone regulations right.

I have a lot of sympathy for the FAA and I think they've actually done a pretty good job. They are the standard bearer for aviation safety without question. The world, to a certain extent, looks to the FAA for the right answer and the FAA has aviation as one of the safest industries. It's one of the safest forms of transport that exists.

They're simultaneously being told to go fast and at the same time go slowly enough to make sure the world is safe and I have to give them credit. They did move a little slowly because the drone revolution happened really fast, but they caught up really quickly and I think they've done a good job.

The real issue is that everybody is showing prototypes and demonstrations of ideas. The technology is not there yet to provide a reliable 24/7 service of any kind. The vehicles that people are talking about building services on – DGI phantom vehicles you order off the web from Hobby King, or whatever, have a mean time to failure of about twenty hours. As a result, drones are literally starting to fall out of the sky. We see stories of drones falling out the sky at football games or sporting events. You often see stories of reporters saying, 'I thought these things were super easy to fly and then I bought one and it flew away and now I'm out $59.'

There are hard technical challenges to get to the level of reliability needed to actually deliver on the commercial promise. The FAA is doing a really good job of holding people to that and they are asking, ‘show me the technology; show me that it's reliable and we will sign off on it.'

When will the new rules go into effect for drone use in the US?

I don't know the answer to that. 2016 seems a reasonable guess.

They've announced that they're going to ask everybody to register their drones, which seems like a pretty good first step and they're going to have that operational in time for Christmas this year, which again is remarkably quick. I say, good for them.
"DGI phantom vehicles you order off the web from Hobby King, or whatever, have a mean time to failure of about twenty hours".... 20 hour? Really? I don't want one of those DGI drones thanks.....
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