Man Directing Drone

New Drone System Developed For Long Distance Delivery

Civil drone operators are currently restricted to line-of-sight operation of one drone at a time to avoid collisions. Satellite operator, Inmarsat Group Holdings, has partnered with Altitude Angel LTD to operate drones over long distances safely by integrating a backup satellite connection for areas with no land-based communications . If they can prove safe operation to regulators, fleets of remotely operated drones could be deployed to transport tons of goods. Read more about this development at:

Read more about this development at:
https://www.ttnews.com/articles/satellite-firm-develops-long-distance-system-delivery-drones

(Photo Credit: Chip Chipman/Bloomberg News)

Woman in field with one of Flash Forest’s prototype drones

Startup Aims To Plant 1 Billion Trees By 2028 Using Drones That Transport And Plant Seed Pods

We are losing the oldest species on earth at the rate of 7 billion trees per year. Flash Forest came up with a drone technology that can transport and plant up to 20,000 seed pods per day and access sites that human planters cannot reach. The drones transport the pods and plant them faster and at a lower cost than humans with trucks and shovels. It won’t stop deforestation but it will slow climate change and narrow the gap in the race to restore the planet’s breathing mechanism.

Read more at:

https://www.fastcompany.com/90504789/these-drones-can-plant-40000-trees-in-a-month-by-2028-theyll-have-planted-1-billion

(Photo credit: Flash Forest: One of Flash Forest’s prototype drones. )

Airplane taking a flight over New Mexico

NASA And Virgin Galactic Join Forces To Advance Supersonic Travel

NASA has signed a space act agreement with Virgin Galactic and its subsidiary, The Spaceship Company, to develop high-Mach aircraft for potential use in the commercial aviation industry. The team will apply their combined know-how and advances in sub-orbital and space travel to explore new solutions for supersonic flight. The potential for a paradigm shift in high speed passenger and cargo transport is enormous.

Read more at:
https://www.space.com/virgin-galactic-nasa-superfast-flight.html

(Photo: Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity performs its first glide flight over Spaceport America in New Mexico on May 1, 2020. Image: © Virgin Galactic)

Fixed-wing drones that are launched by catapults and recovered using this arrestor system (from Zipline)

Drone Manufacturer Asks FAA To Approve Unmanned Medical Supply Flights In Response To Pandemic

Zipline is offering to setup a drone-based supply chain across the US for distribution of emergency supplies such as medicine, PPE gear, test kits and even blood to ease supply chain blockages. The drones are launched by catapult and recovered by an arrestor system. The company has been operating the drones to deliver emergency medical supplies to remote locations in Africa for several years.  Medical supplies are dropped by parachute to healthcare workers and rushed to areas suffering severe shortages.

Read more at:
https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2020/april/13/zipline-pitches-drones-for-us-coronavirus-relief

(Photo credit: From Zipline via AOPA: Zipline created these fixed-wing drones.)

Man Wearing Face Shield, with Aircraft in Background

Piper Aircraft Applies R&D Ingenuity To Build Superior Medical Masks For Hospitals Faced With A Shortage Of PPE

The engineers at Piper Aircraft came up with a unique solution to the current shortage of masks for healthcare workers. Using a plastic stamping machine and materials normally used in the production  of aircraft interiors, they found a way to utilize in-house equipment and materials for the production of face shields for hospitals on the front line.

Read more about Piper’s engineering turnaround at:

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2020/march/30/piper-joins-fight-for-coronavirus-relief

(Photo credit: Piper Aircraft via AOPA/Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association)

Cargo trucks on a road with cars behind them

Trade Continues Despite US Border Closures with Canada and Mexico

Recent announcements of US border closures with Canada and Mexico state that the borders remain open for trade. Canada’s Transport Minister Marc Garneau explained that truck drivers, train and airline crews are exempt from the restrictions.

Read more about the border closures at: https://www.ttnews.com/articles/us-canada-agree-close-border-remain-open-trade
&
https://www.ttnews.com/articles/us-mexico-border-close-amid-spread-coronavirus

 

(Photo credit:Trucks on the road. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

Back of aircraft being loaded. Aircraft marked "Polar"

Passenger Travel Ban From Europe Causes Severe Disruption Of Air Freight Industry

Some US importers are unaware that the travel ban for passenger flights from Europe will impact their air cargo shipments. The reality is that over 60% of air cargo is carried by passenger aircraft. As a result of the travel ban from Europe to the US, shippers are competing for space on a handful of freighter aircraft, pushing up rates, delaying cargo and diverting traffic through non-European airlines.

Read more at:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-travel-ban-is-expected-to-snarl-trans-atlantic-airfreight-11584040963

Flying Car concept - Aeromobil VTOL concept via breakingdefense.com

Air Force Comes Up With Ingenious RFQ To Expedite Development Of Flying Cars

To promote the development of EVTOL cars, the Air Force will issue an RFQ for a program named Agility Prime, soliciting proposals from commercial developers to design a flying car for troops and cargo. The benefit to commercial developers is that military airspace will be made available to the winning bidders to test their aircraft. Access to military ranges will reduce the time required for certification by the FAA by creating a faster track to proof of airworthiness. Developing the technology for both military and commercial applications at inception would prevent the loss of an entire supply chain to early commercial investors, as was the case with the drone market, now controlled by Chinese investors. Uber and Nasa are working on similar concept vehicles for commercial applications.

Read more at: https://breakingdefense.com/2020/02/air-force-pushes-ahead-on-flying-car-challenge/

Uber’s Flying car concept via breakingdefense.com

(Photo credits:
Above: Uber’s Flying car concept via breakingdefense.com
In header: Aeromobil VTOL concept via breakingdefense.com)

Rendering of High speed aircraft - the Boom Supersonic XB-1

Boom Supersonic Will Test the XB-1 Supersonic Aircraft in a Military Zone in the Mojave Desert

Boom’s XB-1 is an experimental aircraft used in the development of Overture, a supersonic commercial aircraft with speeds exceeding Mach 2. The aircraft will be tested in protected military airspace, creating a supersonic corridor. This new breed of supersonic aircraft is expected to revolutionize the commercial aviation and cargo industry.

Read more at:

https://www.flyingmag.com/story/aircraft/boom-supersonic-xb1-mojave-test/

Overture - from Boom Supersonic

(Photo credits: Flying Magazine & Boom Supersonic)

Air Taxi with people standing by

Unmanned Air Taxi Demo Takes Flight

The first ever demonstration of an autonomous air tax  in the US took place January 7 in Raleigh, NC, just 200 miles from the site of the Wright Brothers first powered flight. Although the demo was unmanned, the taxi can carry 2 passengers or cargo.

Read more about the demo at: https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nc/charlotte/news/2020/01/07/north-america-s-first-autonomous-air-taxi-demonstration-takes-flight-in-raleigh

(Photo credit: From Governor Roy Cooper on Twitter – via Spectrum News’ site)