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Drone 360

Drone 360

October 2017
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Drones already film our favorite movies, keep watch over our neighborhoods, and wage our distant wars. Someday, they might save our lives. Find out more about these versatile unmanned aerial vehicles in ALL-NEW Drone 360, including: • How UAVs are changing law enforcement and warfare. • Where and how high a drone can fly — and who makes the rules. • When it’s illegal to fly a drone over private property. • How UAVs might revolutionize emergency response. Order your copy today and take a closer look at this emerging technology!

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United States
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
Back issue only

in this issue

1 min.
drone’s-eye view

THE MIGHTY BLUE RIVER Award-winning photographer Mike Bishop captured the rugged beauty of this waterfall in the Canadian Rockies. With the right setup, you can capture similarly stunning colors. Find out how, starting on Page 42. FANTASTIC VOYAGE Though it chugs along at a modest 2 knots, Liquid Robotics’ Wave Glider can navigate thousands of nautical miles and is powered only by solar and wave energy. Read about other drones that break the mold on Page 38. NOW YOU SEE IT The drone’s-eye view reveals valuable information that might be impossible to see from a terrestrial vantage point. Find out how drones are changing the game for mapping and surveying industries, starting on Page 74.…

2 min.
editor’s welcome

FLIGHT LESSONS I flew my first model airplane as a sophomore in high school. I had convinced my woodshop instructor that because the kit was mostly made of wood, it counted as a viable project. So, while other kids made clocks or bird houses or whatever it was they did, I built a model plane. It was just a simple 3-channel job — rudder, elevator, and throttle. I was proud to have bought a 4-channel FM radio transmitter (no 2.5GHz spectrum back then), and I remember taking care to get all the servo throws just right. I went out, never having flown before (but having plenty of people around me who had), and took off. For seven glorious minutes, I circled the field behind the school with my plane. Then it was…

8 min.
foia request reveals trends in part 107 waiver denials

WHEN THE FAA ANNOUNCED its Part 107 framework for commercial drone operation, many drone users immediately embraced the changes. One of the perks of Part 107 is its flexibility of allowing for waiver applications. Various operational restrictions can be waived, including flying from moving vehicles, flying extended or beyond visual line of sight (EVLOS and BLVOS), and flying at night. Drone360 filed an FOIA request through the FAA to access a sampling of denied Part 107 waiver applications. We received 1,656 unique waiver denials, submitted over the span of 247 days (that’s roughly 7 applications a day). Now that the program is more than a year old, there are clear trends determining the fate of most waiver applications. The FAA maintains a public database of all approved Part 107 waivers. While useful,…

8 min.
dji spark

NEW TECHNOLOGY is difficult. And for most people, consumer drones are a very new technology. To go from being a difficult, new technology to mass consumer product is a challenge that drone makers are racing to meet. Undeniably, creating a drone that anyone can fly looms large over many drone manufacturers. Hence the recent popularity of personal or “selfie” drones — small, easy-to-use, and relatively affordable. The Yuneec Breeze led the way in this arena, but competitors quickly began to hit the market. The Spark is DJI’s first foray into this particular class of consumer drones. Based on DJI’s marketing of the Spark, the company wants this quad to be a drone for pretty much everyone. And the Spark’s unique features definitely make it seem like a contender: gesture control, obstacle avoidance, a…

2 min.
missed connections

Just because I think it’s telling of my challenges with the Spark’s Wi-Fi connection and because it shows that no one’s immune to such issues, I’ll retell the story of my scariest drone moment. Drone360’s chief designer, Drew, and I were at the shore of Lake Michigan flying the Spark for the cover photo shoot for this issue of the magazine. These shoots are usually pretty straightforward in terms of drone operation — for the most part, you just kind of hover and let the photographer snap away. This was precisely the scene as I hovered the Spark about 5 or 6 feet above some rocks on the shore of the lake. Drew was snapping photos of the drone as I looked down at my screen to find my FPV feed blacked…

4 min.
zephyr drone simulator

MOST FLIGHT simulators let you do almost anything you want with a drone. Open the software, plug in a controller, and you can fly as crazily as you want, without worrying about those pesky FAA regulations or basic safety considerations. Zephyr, a drone training simulator by Little Arms Studios, is not like that. This software is designed to be a training tool, and scores your flying depending on how well you can fly while obeying basic safety rules. You can buy an individual license and use it as a personal training tool, but the software is designed first and foremost for drone schools and commercial drone pilots. The program comes standard with more than 40 training scenarios, ranging from free flight to complex flight training exercises. The software will not only help…