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Autel and DJI Get Into It In This Week’s Drone News Roundup

BY Tres Crow
22 May 2020

It might have been a light week for big industry announcements, but there was still plenty going on in the drone world. From the ongoing legal spat between Autel and DJI to a felony drone incident in Minnesota, we’ve compiled the most interesting drone stories to keep you entertained and informed as you cruise into Memorial Day weekend.

Release the links!

Autel Finds A Propeller-Sized Chink In DJI’s Armor

Mavic 2 flying enthusiastically into the future

Image credit Drone Film Guide

In an unusual but crafty move Autel Robotics had their team of lawyers convince the US International Trade Commission’s chief administrative law judge that the locking mechanism DJI uses on the majority of their Mavic series drones is violating a U.S. patent that Autel holds. In a decision that is sure to be reviewed, the judge recommended that all imports of the Mavic Pro, Mavic Pro Platinum, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, Mavic Air, and Spark models be stopped. If this ruling is upheld it will be an absolute bombshell for the drone industry, so we’ll keep you updated on what happens from here.



FAA Approves Matternet Drone For Next Step In Type Certification

Matternet M2

Image credit Matternet

In a recent press release Matternet announced that they have received approval from the FAA to start Durability and Reliability (D&R) testing of their M2 drone. This is one of the final steps in receiving Type Certification, which will allow Part 135 certified drone airlines like UPS Flight Forward to use the M2 for drone delivery operations.



Man Shoots Drone, Gets Himself Felony Charges

crashed drone

Image credit Time Magazine

When an unnamed drone pilot tried to snap some aerial pics of the Minnesota meat processing facility, Butterfield Foods, one of the company’s employees decided to take matters into his own hands and shot the drone down. The employee is now facing felony charges for criminal destruction of property and reckless discharge of a firearm. As annoying as it can be to have a drone buzzing overhead, it’s never a good idea to just start shooting into the sky, because as far as the law is concerned, shooting down an unmanned aircraft is just as illegal as shooting down a plane.



More On The Detroit Blue Angels Incident

Blue Angels flying in formation

Image credit Wikipedia

Speaking of people doing dubious things with drones, last week the drone world was on fire about a viral video that purportedly showed a drone waaaaay too close to the Blue Angel flyover of Detroit. After watching the video a few hundred times, the gentlemen over at 107 Waivers decided to break down how to investigate drone videos like this one. It’s a really solid peek into the investigatory process when there is little info to go on.



Zoom Through The Mercedes-Benz Museum In Stuttgart

Mercedes-Benz Museum

Image credit Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany is a car fanatic’s fantasyland. With 9 floors and 1500 exhibits the museum covers the history of the Mercedes-Benz brand and its technical innovations. FPV pilots André Jung and Daniel Wagner at MiniDrone Studio were given unprecedented access to fly through this gorgeous building, and the results are unsurprisingly amazing. Check it out for yourself at the link below.



We hope you enjoyed this week’s links and have a tremendous Memorial Day weekend. If you’re looking for more drone news, sign up for our free weekly newsletter at the button below, and every Saturday we’ll drop a bunch of drone industry news right into your inbox.

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