Archive / April, 2015

Next-Generation Gas Turbine Engine Technology for UAV’s

OK, so you’re not about to retro fit your quad with one of these anytime soon. Clearly this is a commercial engine for larger UAV’s, but it does represent a major step forward for engine technology.

UAV_Turbines

UAV Turbines, Inc. (UAVT) announced today the launch of its leading-edge gas turbine technology to the Unmanned Aircraft industry. Ranging in power from 30 hp to 150 hp, UAVT’s engines are designed specifically to address Group 3 and above UAV programs. These engines will increase reliability, flight duration, payloads, and operational ceilings, while greatly reducing noise. Fuel consumption is low, using a variety of heavy fuels.

Peter Bale, UAVT’s Senior Industry Advisor, comments, “For fifteen years UAVT’s predecessor company has been pioneering new, high performance turbine engine technology in unprecedentedly small engines with many potential applications. About three years ago, new management with fresh capital assigned the engineering team the task of creating a family of turbine engines that would be superior in performance and more reliable than any other engine in the UAV marketplace.”

The team looked at the alarming unreliability of internal combustion unmanned vehicle systems actually operating in the field, many of which show mean-time-between-overhaul (MTBO) at less than 100 hours. They have solved this problem, developing engines designed for MTBO in thousands of hours.

“UAVT’s strength has been its extraordinary engineering team,” says Bale, “Many are retired long-timers in the industry, key figures in development of the major military and civilian propulsion systems on which our society relies. They felt that they had more contributions to make, and the result is this remarkable new generation of turbine propulsion technology.”

UAV Turbines is demonstrating to potential qualified buyers prototypes of its family of small, powerful engines that will help meet the urgent demands of the UAV industry.

“This technology is a game changer,” Bale added.

Located in Miami, Florida, UAV Turbines, Inc. (http://www.uavturbines.com), is privately held.

Australian Farmer Uses Drone to Check Cyclone Damage

The use of drones or cameras attached to a remote-controlled pilotless aircraft is becoming more common on farms.

Once thought of as the domain of the military, or science fiction, increasing numbers of people are buying drones for personal use, and farmers are no exception.

Queensland grain grower and technology enthusiast Paul Heit bought his drone with a few ideas in mind.

“We’ve got a share farming block a couple of kilometres away that’s got a lot of cockatoos,” he said.

“We were actually going to buy this thing to shoo them.”

But when Cyclone Marcia and a massive flood hit Mr Heit’s mung bean crops eight weeks ago, he decided to deploy his drone to inspect the damage.

“Because I was isolated… I thought I’d have a look at the damage from a birds-eye point of view and put the drone up in the air,” he said.

“As you can see from the bit of footage I took, the extent of the water, how high it’s gone and also looking from the sky, you can get a perspective on the wash through all that country and the few beans left on the flat.”

Paul’s father John Heit said he never would have imagined his son’s flying camera would have been so useful to their farm.

“I had no idea what a drone was… I do now, I’m amazed.”

Mr Heit senior said he hopes there will be no more floods or cyclone and the drone can be used to keep the cockatoos under control.

“We haven’t got a crop at that stage yet to use it, but we will be trying it.”

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-09/farming-drone/6378146

DJI Releases Phantom 3 Pro and Advanced Quad’s

DJI has just announced the release of the Phantom 3 quadcopter. The new addition to the DJI family will come in two versions, “Pro” and “Advanced”, both of which offer major improvements over previous Phantom releases.

The Pro version, with a US$1,259 price tag, offers 4K video at framerates of 24, 25, or 30 FPS. The Advanced version will retail for US$999 and shoots in 1080p at frame rates of up to 60 FPS. The Phantom 3 can also shoots stills in 12 MP RAW format. The company says its battery will allow for up to 23 minutes of flight.

Quanum XJ470 Folding Quadcopter Frame Review

If you’re after a mid size portable quadcopter frame that can hold a gimbal and fold down to fit into a backpack, this might be the ticket.

While it’s not as cheap as a DJI 450 flamewheel, this airframe has the looks and the practicality lacking in many similar frames it’s size. We also love how the gimbal mount as it’s elevated so your GoPro won’t be dragging it’s ass on the ground (hopefully).

HobbyKing has this for sale at around USD$100. Would make for a nice upgrade to for smaller cheaper setups.

Here’s a video review from HobbyKing.

Features Include

  • Full Carbon fiber and CNC hard anodized aluminum construction
  • Folding design for easy transportation
  • Metal folding and lock system
  • 16mm carbon arms with billet aluminum motor mounts
  • Full forward facing gimbal mounting options for a wide range of gimbals
  • 470mm wheel base for a wide range of power options
  • Unique styling and functional design

For more details, see the HK product page.

The Neo Drone’s X8 Setup is Totally Unique

No, you’re not seeing double. The Neo Drone from Acecore Technologies has an X8 setup where the rotor arms sit one above the other. It’s a pretty amazing looking machine.

The NEO blurs the lines between art and performance with stunning styling and the handling performance to match. This with a large P-Load range of 1.5KG up till 6.5KG.

High Speed FPV Through Carpark

This pilot’s throttle control as he speeds his mini quad through a multi-level carpark is pretty amazing. The carbon frame quad he’s using takes a pounding when he hits one of the concrete columns, but remains pretty much intact.

The mini quad in the video is a “Shredder” from uav-rc.com

FPV Session Through an Open House [Video]

If you’re into FPV flying and live in Australia, then you’ve probably heard of the legendary Juz and seen one or two of his amazing videos. Well, here’s one he posted on YouTube a week ago. Watch as he picks perfect lines and pilots his quad at speed through his house – not to mention the summersault over the river…. crazy skills.

Fiberglass V-4 Quadcopter [Video]

Is there no limit to people’s creativity when designing new air frames for UAV’s? Check out this fiberglass multirotor airframe.

Specs

  • Full Fuselage V-4 (V-Tail)
  • Approx. 640mm motor to motor.
  • Material — Fully painted fiberglass fuselage
  • Removable canopy for accessing electronics and changing batteries.
  • Flying Weight-1200~1400g(Battery excluded)
  • Model net weight-640g

Planting 1 Billion Trees a Year with a Drone

We love it when people come up with a new “friendly” use of UAV technology. Here’s an awesome concept.

We are going to counter industrial scale deforestation using industrial scale reforestation. Destruction of global forests from lumber, mining, agriculture, and urban expansion destroys 26 billion trees each year. We believe that this industrial scale deforestation is best combated using the latest automation technologies. – BioCarbon Engineering