Drone News Roundup: Paramotor Pilots Featured in New Video Shot on the DJI Inspire 3, TV Show Highlights Police Using Drones, and More!
BY Zacc Dukowitz27 July 2023
This week we’re covering a cinematic video showcasing the insane antics of paramotor pilots shot by Nathan McBride on the DJI Inspire 3.
We’re also covering a new TV show called “Sky Coppers” that showcases how police use drones in the U.K., the use of drones for airplane inspections, DJI announcing the end of life for its iconic Phantom 4, a drone dock from Strix Drones that can be used for almost any drone on the market, and a reminder that the FAA’s annual drone symposium is just one month away.
Now let’s get to those links!
Crazy Desert Footage of Paramotor Pilots Shot on the DJI Inspire 3
This video shot entirely on the DJI Inspire 3 features the wild stunt flying of paramotor pilots. (A paramotor is a simple flying contraption that consists of a harness, an engine, and a paraglider). The footage was shot throughout the Southwest. The combination of wild paramotor flying and the beautiful desert backdrop make for one of the most fun and impressive drone videos we’ve ever seen from creator Nathan McBride. Here’s what McBride had to say about the paramotor pilots he worked with to make this video: “Now we must acknowledge the real pilots in this video. These Paramotor pilots are insane. The reality they are living is truly remarkable so I had to get a taste of it and show you guys . . . ”
On that note, want to see a guy walk on water? Skip to 2:27 in the video. Trust us, it’s worth the watch.
New Show “Sky Coppers” Shows How Police Use Drones
Meet the coppers with tiny choppers.
— Channel 4 (@Channel4) July 7, 2023
A new behind-the-scenes police documentary in the U.K. called “Sky Coppers” follows a police drone unit as it does its work. The department is the West Midlands Police, and the show documents its officers as they “hunt criminals from the sky.” Highlights in the first season, which is live now, include aerial footage of a smoke bomb fired from a stolen car, foot chases, and a suspect climbing a tree to hide, not realizing there’s a drone above tracking their every move.
Drones Being Used for Airplane Inspections
We’ve heard of drone swarms for military applications. But did you know they’re being used to inspect airplanes? Korean Air first demonstrated the capabilities of drone swarms for airplane inspections back in 2021. Since then, the approach has gained momentum, with the government of South Korea investing more in the technology and in AI-trained detection of defects. While drone swarm inspections for airplanes typically take place indoors, inside airplane hangars, a drone company called Mainblades in the Netherlands has been doing outdoor airplane inspections by drone as well, experimenting with the use of LiDAR sensing to create 3D models of planes for inspection purposes.
DJI Has Ended Support for the Phantom 4
DJI has ended service support for its iconic Phantom 4 drone (service officially ended on July 15, 2023). This means the company will no longer respond to support requests, answer product inquiries, or help with maintenance questions for the Phantom 4. The news isn’t a big surprise—the Phantom 4 came out in early 2016, and it hasn’t been in production since the summer of 2017. But it’s still a sad moment. When it came out, the Phantom 4 revolutionized the consumer drone market, quickly becoming a go-to platform for many first time and experienced commercial drone pilots alike. All this being said, if you have a Phantom 4 hankering, the Phantom 4 Pro V2 is still in production and still being supported.
New Dock from StrixDrones Can Charge and Store Any Drone
Credit: Strix Drones
Israeli-based StrixDrones has unveiled a drone dock that can charge and house almost any drone on the market. Called, unsurprisingly, the DroneDock, the company claims it’s the “only universal and fully autonomous drone docking station.” It’s a bold claim—but it also seems to be true. Most drone companies have built docks that only work for their drones–take Skydio’s Skydio Dock or DJI’s DJI Dock, for example. And that’s why a universal dock is appealing. A universal dock can work for drones that don’t have docks yet built for them, or for a fleet of drones that contain drones from a variety of companies, helping you avoid the the need to buy a dock for each type of drone in your fleet.
FAA Drone Symposium and FAA-AUVSI AAM Summit Next Week
Next week, the FAA will be hosting its 8th annual Drone Symposium in Baltimore, MD. The theme this year is “Time to Accelerate,” and it will focus on how the FAA continues to safely integrate drones while creating a regulatory framework to accelerate advanced operations, such as BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) and UAV Traffic Management (UTM). At the same time as the Symposium, the FAA is also co-hosting the first ever Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Summit with AUVSI. The AAM Summit is called “Leveraging the Skies” and it will focus on how air taxis and electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft will change the future of aviation.
The two events will take place from August 1-3 at the Baltimore Convention Center, in Maryland. Here are links to learn more about each one:
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