Rotor Drone – March-April 2020

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Rotor Drone – March-April 2020

Continuing the Rotor Drone Magazine Pro tradition, in this issue we cover the drone portion of the world­famous electronics extravaganza that is known simply as “CES.” Along with more conventional UAVs, this year’s show offered an up-close look at some urban air mobility (UAM) concept aircraft from Hyundai and Bell, as well as industrial hydrogen-powered drones. Also, you will not be disappointed by the high-tech innovations in compact camera drones, which seem to get smaller and smarter in every new rendition. Head to page 24 for our special 14-page feature to get the inside scoop on the all of the exciting new drone tech coming your way in 2020, and don’t miss our Rotor Drone Pro top picks for Best Cool Tech, Top Value, Top Innovation, Best Pro Drone, and Best of Show. Remember, you saw it here first!



As the use of drones skyrockets, so too have the opportunities for commercial operators to create new businesses. If you’re an entrepreneurial spirit who would like to start your own drone enterprise, you won’t want to miss “Starting a Drone Service Business.” In this feature, David Daly-the founder of Vigilante Drones-shares his top 10 tips for successfully navigating through the ins and outs of launching a startup.



When author Greg Horne and his expedition team planned a nearly month-long trek in the High Arctic to search for ivory gull nesting sites, they weren’t sure whether their drones would be able to operate in the extreme conditions or if they’d just end up being extra weight. His story, “Flying Under the Midnight Sun,” shares how the team overcame the sub-zero temperatures, blindingly bright snowscape, and life-threatening crevasses while proving that drones can be a decisively useful tool for exploration and researchers.

Swiss Post Drones

Recently, we made a post regarding the Swiss Post delivery system resuming operations after being suspended following two drone crashes. After a review by an independent board of experienced aviation specialists, review board member Michel Guillaume said, “Swiss Post and Matternet [the U.S. company that maintains the fleet] maintain high safety standards and a high level of safety awareness. The processes that were examined were at a high standard even before the incidents. There are no reasons why flight operations should not be resumed.”

Changes to be made to their operations after the incident were: implementation of the new safety recommendations set by the Federal Office of Civil Aviation and the Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board; establishment of independent oversight for safety-related processes before the end of March 2020; Swiss Post being given more control over the actual drone operations (which are currently run by Matternet), including the ability to audit Matternet’s drone operations; and improving safety protocols for Matternet (including hiring a dedicated head of safety). The two companies have also spent time since the accident running over 2,000 test flights in Switzerland with improved drones that are less prone to failure.

Operating in Switzerland since 2017, the Swiss delivery program has been delivering blood samples via drones between hospital facilities and labs.


Adam Murphy: It’s good to hear about commercial drone use in the EU, especially those helping in the medical fields.

Thomas Jackson: Wow/ I’m impressed they got back up and running so quickly. Usually investigation organizations wrap everything up in red tape for years and years. Let’s hope our FAA and the NTSB take notice.

E Facebook > Fly By Night

Brian Phelps: I have heard about drones delivering medical supplies, and even donor organs before. Drones used for the public good need to be recognized by everyone.

George Jennings: I’m impressed. Improvements on autonomous [beyond line of sight] drones are truly amazing. I am glad the government and local boards are working together to keep the momentum going.


Life-size Rotor Man

And now for something completely different! We had a great response to our post about Ralph Kayser’s life-size RC storm trooper! Ralph built his camo-clad flying man using a bubble wrap core shaped with packing tape all stuffed into a paintball suit. A lightweight, fiberglass helmet and vinyl boots provide the finishing touches. Ralph notes that his 3.5-pound flying man can remain airborne for eight minutes powered by a lOS 3000mAh Li Po battery pack.

Tummy 5everence: OK, now I’ve seen everything’ I’m going to have to try and build one of my own!

Lewis Patton: Really!? That’s just plain cool! Reminds me of the Racketeer!

Erick Rudgers: Hmmm! Now replace the head with a lightweight jack o’ lantern and add some sheer ghost­like webbing and I can scare the heck out of the trick-or-treaters this October!

Jerry Newman: Please! More posts like this! I love it!

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