Drone News Roundup: World’s First Manned Racing Drones, Backward-Flying Dronie from Brazil, and More!
BY Zacc Dukowitz25 June 2021
This week we’re covering a video featuring manned racing drones—basically souped up single-seater drone taxis—made by an Australian company called Star 8 Green.
We’re also covering a dronie (remember those?) shot in Brazil that zooms backward to reveal a beautiful site, a new impressive Cinewhoop video of a wedding, a U.S. military video featuring a solution for taking out rogue drones that looks a lot like silly string, InterDrone’s news that it has decided to cancel the in-person event for its 2021 conference, and LAANC’s nationwide outages this week.
Now let’s get to the links!
Video Shows World’s First Manned Racing Drones in Action
Despite all the buzz around drone taxis, this is the first time we’ve heard about manned racing drones—flying cars that people use for sport. The video above, created by a company called Star 8 Green, showcases new single-seater racing drones developed by its head of eVTOL (Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing). That person’s name is Kyxz (pronounced “kicks”) Mendiola, and he’s the pilot flying the red racing drone in the video above. Although the video is more of a proof-of-concept than an actual race, the tech is just too cool not to watch.
Impressive Dronie Zooms Backward for Panoramic Reveal in Brazil
Drone pilot Douglas Estevam recently made this eyecatching dronie, starting with a closeup of himself and then flying backward to reveal a stunning view. Wondering what that structure is you see in the video? It’s actually a bus station, located in the state of Parána, Brazil. The piloting is what really makes this video stand out, with Douglas flying in a straight line past trees and a light pole—all while flying backward at a smooth, steady speed.
First Ever FPV Drone Wedding
We’re not sure if this is actually the “first ever FPV drone wedding” as the video’s creators claim, but it sure is a cool video. Smooth single-shot Cinewhoop videos like this one have been going viral left and right to promote local and big businesses. This video stands out not just for its impressive flying but also for the creative tricks the pilot and videographers used to capture all the different aspects, both behind the scenes and public-facing, of this massive wedding venue in the U.K. The creator of the video is Andy Lawrence, the same drone pilot who made the FPV fly-through of Manchester City’s arena that we featured in the roundup just a few weeks back.
DARPA develops counter-UAS solution that shoots silly string at rogue drones
Wondering what the latest and greatest Counter-UAS technology looks like? Well, it has a strong resemblance to a toy many of us played with in elementary school—that’s right, we’re talking about silly string. In a new video, DARPA showcases what looks like a flying can of spray paint deployed from a moving vehicle. The flying can then shoots a cloud of silly string at a drone, and the drone falls from the sky. The focus in creating this solution was on something that would have “a small footprint in terms of size, weight, and power.” Watch the video to see what we’re talking about.
InterDrone cancels live event for 2021
InterDrone recently announced that it would be cancelling the in-person event it had planned for its annual conference this August. Regarding its reasons for the cancellation, here is what InterDrone said:
Our cancellation decision was made in light of COVID-19-related challenges affecting our community, including ongoing restrictions on corporate travel, limitations on international travel, and overall budget constraints . . . In addition, as we examined and listened to our community’s concerns regarding the changing nature of both the drone market and the new opportunities to meet and connect, we have also made the decision to take a step back and re-envision how we best serve our valued customers.
Will other drone conferences do the same? Right now InterDrone is the only conference we know about to make this decision, but we’ll keep you updated as things develop.
LAANC Experienced Nationwide Outage This Week
If you were trying to fly in controlled airspace early this week you may have run into a problem—LAANC was out across the country for almost a day and a half. LAANC is the FAA’s system for providing instant airspace authorizations to both commercial and hobbyist drone pilots. The outage started at 12:47 PM on Monday and lasted until 8:09 PM on Tuesday. While LAANC was down, the FAA asked pilots to request airspace authorizations through its DroneZone portal. The FAA hasn’t shared the cause of the outage, but says that it’s currently under investigation. To our knowledge, this is the first outage like this that LAANC has ever experienced.
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