The FAA’s September 26 approval of a half dozen exemptions for some TV and film production companies to operate unmanned aerial systems (UAS) stopped just short of complete approval of those operations in the national airspace system. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the UAS to be used in the proposed operations do not need an FAA-issued certificate of airworthiness because they do not pose a threat to national airspace users or national security.
Unmanned aerial vehicle
Airstrikes against Islamic State terrorists in Iraq and Syria this week featured the combat debut of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor stealth fighter, and of the Royal Saudi Air Force F-15S Strike Eagle. The air forces of Bahrain, France, Jordan, Qatar and the UAE also participated, and the Royal Australian Air Force is en route to the fight with F-18s and a Wedgetail AEW aircraft.
Billed as the first military aircraft to be designed and built entirely in Africa, Paramount Aerospace’s AHRLAC (advanced high-performance reconnaissance light aircraft) made its public debut at the Africa Aerospace and Defence show, held last week at Waterkloof AFB, near Pretoria in South Africa. The aircraft had made its first flight on August 13.
Grand Forks U.S. Air Force Base in North Dakota recently managed the simultaneous operation of two unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in unrestricted airspace, the first such feat in the U.S., the Air Force said. Officers at the base said they are now developing procedures that would accommodate simultaneous operation of three or four UAS.
Two sessions at next month’s NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla., will focus on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to provide attendees with information about upcoming regulations governing UAS operations and their potential effects on the business aviation industry. “Unmanned aircraft are a growing part of the business aviation community,” said NBAA senior vice president of conventions and membership Chris Strong.
European regulators are increasingly concerned about the safety risks associated with integrating unmanned aerial systems (UAS) into civil airspace, and they are especially worried about the risks posed by smaller unmanned aircraft operating alongside airliners. This was the key message from the UAS 2014 conference held in London last week.
The U.S. Navy is advancing supporting elements of the planned Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UClass) program as it awaits direction on the air vehicle component of the system. The service had expected to issue a final request for proposals (RFP) for the air vehicle component soon, but release of the document has been delayed.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) planned to conduct functional flight tests of an unmanned aircraft detect-and-avoid (DAA) system early this month in advance of trials on the NASA Ikhana Predator B slated to begin in November.
Operators for the first time successfully launched and recovered a small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) from a U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker, the service said. They achieved the feat on August 18, launching an AeroVironment Puma AE from the flight deck of the Coast Guard cutter Healy, under way in the Arctic Ocean.
Internet-age companies are forging ahead with plans to incorporate small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)—better known as drones—in their commercial operations. On August 28, Internet search engine and services company Google revealed that it is developing a drone delivery service and has already tested a prototype aircraft.
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