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DON’T SAY ‘DRONES,’ Beg Drone Makers

Posted by Richard Whittle on


AUVSI: When you read or hear the word “drone,” is your first thought, “killer robot?” The leaders of the drone industry fear it is, which is why they’re hoping to persuade the news media to stop using a nice, clear, five-letter English word and instead clutter their reports with eye-glazing acronyms such as UAS, UAV,… Keep reading →

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Northrop Offers Rental Drones To Air Force, Customs Training

Posted by Richard Whittle on


UPDATED: CORRECTED AUG. 14 AUVSI: Northrop Grumman is pitching a new method of drone pilot training to the Air Force and U.S. Customs and Border Protection based on a business model likely to gain in popularity as the drone revolution expands into civilian airspace: “fee for service.” Rather than training pilots on valuable MQ-1 Predators and… Keep reading →

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Drones Fly Into Postwar Storm: Insitu Faces Shrinking DoD Budget, ITAR, FAA

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


GILLIAM COUNTY, OREGON: This isolated test site in rural Oregon is where Boeing subsidiary Insitu takes its drones “to torture them,” said site manager Jerry McWithey. Temperates soar to 110 degrees in summer and plummet to 10 degrees — with 50-knot winds — in winter. The hot-and-cold ordeal the drones go through is a microcosm… Keep reading →

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How To Catch A UAV And Put It In A Box; One Man Needed

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


GILLIAM COUNTY, OREGON: Sometimes in this business, you get to see something that’s just plain neat. In this case, it was the ScanEagle (one word), a mini-drone built by Boeing subsidiary Insitu. [Click here for more about Insitu’s uncertain prospects as defense spending declines]. ScanEagle is a UAV so compact it launches from a short… Keep reading →

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Drone On A Wire: Marines ‘Land’ New RQ-21 UAV By Snagging It With Cable

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, MARYLAND: Most drones land the same way manned airplanes do, on a runway. But what if you don’t have a runway? Well, with an unmanned aerial vehicle called the RQ-21, Marines can string up a cable and snag the drone out of the sky. The military and unmanned aerial vehicle… Keep reading →

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DoD Tries Buying Pixels, Not Planes, For Flexible ISR; It Ain’t Leasing

Posted by Richard Whittle on


WASHINGTON: The military can’t buy enough unmanned aerial systems to suit imagery-hungry combat commanders. Procurement programs are harder than ever to start in these days of ever-tightening defense budgets. And using a 20th Century defense acquisition system to buy 21st Century technologies often means getting too little too late too expensively anyway. What to do?… Keep reading →

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