Drone News Roundup: Commercial UAV Expo Is Just Two Weeks Away, Parasailing Caught by FPV Drone, and More!

BY Zacc Dukowitz
27 August 2021

This week we’re covering the upcoming Commercial UAV Expo Americas conference, which is happening in just two weeks.

We’re also covering a fun FPV video featuring parasailing and some other extreme sports shot by Johnny FPV, an unusual looking drone from a startup founded by a former NASA scientist, tiny drones that could pollinate plants just like bees do, and the new process to get instant airspace authorizations at night via LAANC.

Now on to the links!

Commercial UAV Expo Is Happening in 2 Weeks


Commercial UAV Expo is just two weeks away! The conference will be held from Tuesday, September 7 through Thursday, September 9 in Las Vegas, NV. This year the lineup looks great, with lots of industry talks to help you learn about specific industries where drones are being used, the most exhibitors of any commercial drone show, and targeted networking opportunities. In case you missed it, here’s a post we wrote recently highlighting the top ten reasons to go to Commercial UAV Expo this year. Yet another reason to go is that the UAV Coach team plans to be in attendance, and Zacc Dukowitz (the author of this post) will be leading a panel on industrial use cases for indoor drones—learn more about the panel here.


FPV Drone Video of Parasailing and Other Extreme Sports

Evolve - JohnnyFPV

Lately Johnny FPV has been making a big name for himself as a highly skilled drone pilot, drone cinematographer, and all-around master-of-fun-content in the drone world. In case you missed it, he recently released an incredible video featuring FPV drone footage for Porsche’s launch of its new Taycan Cross Turismo (you can enter to win a trip worth $20,000 by editing his footage from that project—learn more about that here). We’ve been combing through his videos since then, and we really love this one featuring drone footage of parasailing, which also has some other extreme sports action folded into the mix. Hope you like it as much as we do!


A NASA Rocket Scientist Designed a Drone—and It Looks Nothing Like a Quadcopter

Photo credit: Advanced Aircraft Company

A new drone from a startup called the Advanced Aircraft Company (AAC), which was founded by a former NASA aeronautical engineer, looks nothing like the quadcopters we’re used to seeing in the drone industry. AAC’s multirotor is powered by a hybrid gasoline-electric engine. The engine enables it to fly up to 3.5 hours at a time—eight times longer than most multirotors, according to a statement from the company. In addition to the unique engine, the drone’s aerodynamic design helps extend its flight time, giving it longer endurance than other drones its size.


These Tiny Drones Can Pollinate Flowers Just Like Bees

Photo credit: Nitin Sanket

Drones the size of your palm could help make up for the declining bee population by doing the work of pollinating flowers. We’ve known for years now that the bee population is in decline—the U.S. loses 30%-40% of its bee population every year, and the trend shows no sign of slowing down. This is a big deal. Bees pollinate about 35% of the world’s crops, and without them we could be in trouble. And that’s why Yiannis Aloimonos, a professor of computer science at the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, has been working to develop a tiny drone that can artificially pollinate crops. Watch the video above to see how it works.


Instant Nighttime Airspace Authorizations Now Possible with Aloft App


The FAA has started rolling out instant airspace authorizations for flying at night in controlled airspace via LAANC. Right now, the only app where you can use LAANC to get these instant approvals is Aloft, but we imagine more LAANC-supported apps will soon offer these authorizations as well.

Previously, in order to get night airspace authorizations you had to submit a daylight authorization request using an app that gives you access to LAANC and then also complete a National Authorization. The process was still fairly easy, but getting these approvals all within one app without any additional steps definitely makes it easier. Learn more about how the process works in our new post, which is linked below.


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