All posts by Sally French

FAA adds more places where you can no longer fly drones, including prisons and coast guard facilities

The Federal Aviation Administration this week announced new restrictions on places where you can no longer fly drones.

The FAA, in cooperation with Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), on Thursday released a list of new places, primarily coast guard facilities and prisons, where it is illegal to fly drones over.

This is the first time the Agency has placed specific flight restrictions for unmanned aircraft, or “drones,” over Federal Bureau of Prisons and US Coast Guard facilities.

The FAA in the past has placed similar flight restrictions over military installations, as well as over ten Department of Interior facilities, including New York’s Statue of Liberty National Monument, and seven Department of Energy facilities.  Those restrictions remain in place.

Here is the complete list of the newly added facilities where it is now illegal to fly a drone: Continue reading FAA adds more places where you can no longer fly drones, including prisons and coast guard facilities

The most popular drones for mapping in 2018, according to DroneDeploy

Want to start an aerial mapping business? If you’re like most of the competition out there, you don’t need a ton of money to get started.

DroneDeploy mapping drones most popular DJI most popular drones for mapping
These are the most popular drones for mapping, according to DroneDeploy user data.

90% of commercial mapping occurs on drone models that cost less than $1,500, according to a new report from drone mapping software startup Drone Deploy.

The San Francisco-based startup released a report about its usage, and it reveals some surprising insights about what types of companies and use cases are dominating the drone industry.

35% of Drone Deploy customers are using the DJI Phantom 4 Pro. 27% of its user base is on the Mavic Pro, and 16% use the DJI Phantom 4. Just 10% of its users are using DJI’s enterprise drones, such as the Inspire and DJI M200 series.

The one clear commonality in all of these drones? Continue reading The most popular drones for mapping in 2018, according to DroneDeploy

Boeing’s HorizonX invests in Kittyhawk

Kittyhawk, a San Francisco-based drone software startup, has announced a new funding round, and one of its investors is Boeing’s HorizonX — the aerospace company’s investment arm for funding promising next-generation startups.

Kittyhawk today announced a $5 million funding round. The relatively small funding round brings the company’s total capital raised to $6.5 million, and other investors include Bonfire Ventures and Freestyle Capital.

The Boeing investment has already manifested itself in a partnership with Jeppesen, which was acquired by Boeing in 2000. Kittyhawk announced last month that it had landed a partnership with the flight planning company  to integrate Kittyhawk’s drone operation management software with Jeppesen’s navigation data.

Related read: Kittyhawk’s Sonal Baid: ‘startup culture is playing a major role in defining the drone industry’ Continue reading Boeing’s HorizonX invests in Kittyhawk

NASA Ames will reveal their UTM plans for managing drone traffic to the public tomorrow

NASA has long been working on a system for managing drone air traffic, known as UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management).

And tomorrow, NASA is getting the public involved as it demonstrates its new, drone-related technologies and UTM plans on Facebook Live.

NASA will host a Facebook Live event on the NASA Ames Facebook page at 5 p.m. EDT (2 p.m. PDTJune 6 with UTM researchers.

The event will be physically held at the Ames’ UTM Airspace Operations Laboratory,  which is the control center used to support research, testing and coordination during the flight tests, which are conducted at six Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) test sites across the country. Continue reading NASA Ames will reveal their UTM plans for managing drone traffic to the public tomorrow

Want a cheap toy drone? TRNDlabs is having a huge clearance sale

For a long time, my advice has been that before dropping $1,000 on a fancy drone (that you could accidentally drop into a pool), make a small investment in a toy drone.

If you’ve been holding out for a deal on toy drones, now may be the time.

TRNDlabs, which makes a range of toy drones, is offering a massive clearance sale with 50-60% off its drones on Amazon.

A spokesperson said the deal doesn’t have a set end date, but will last until its limited stock is gone. She also added that the sale doesn’t mean TRNDlabs is going anywhere soon.

“We’re always aimed at making innovative tech,” according to a statement from the company. “The drone market has changed a lot during these years, so we plan to sell out our stock to launch a few new products. “fader trnd labs TRNDlabs clearance sale

Some of my favorites are the FADER drone, which was formerly priced at $129 is now just $49, and is one of the easiest to fly, with auto takeoff and land buttons. It’s the perfect mix of an awesome drone that is easy to fly, and also at a great price point. Continue reading Want a cheap toy drone? TRNDlabs is having a huge clearance sale

DJI AirWorks 2018 conference heads to Dallas this year

DJI, the world’s largest drone manufacturer, is hosting its own enterprise drone conference called AirWorks for the third year in a row.

The three-day DJI AirWorks 2018 event is set to include presentations, workshops and training sessions. The workshops will be broken down into five tracks: agriculture, construction, energy, infrastructure, and public safety.

Tickets start at $399 for the early bird “Standard Pass,” or $599 for the “VIP Pass” which offers an additional invitation to a VIP event on Oct. 30 and express access at check-in. Ticket prices rise by about $200 after August. Reserve your tickets here.

Related read: Tello drone review: Ryze’s $99 drone that uses DJI and Intel Tech Continue reading DJI AirWorks 2018 conference heads to Dallas this year

Naming your drone business: here are the most common drone company names

Want to have a completely unique name for your drone company? Something along the lines of “Aerial Drone Media, Ltd.” probably won’t cut it.

Just for fun, the team at The Drone Girl analyzed the list of drone companies as compiled in the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority list of authorized drone service providers. We ran a count of the most common words that come up in company names.

The list has 4,141 businesses total, and no surprise, putting words like “aerial,” “media,” “drone,” “photography” and “services” will instantly make your drone company’s name pretty generic.

Here are the words used in the 50 most common drone company names, according to the list of companies authorized to provide services in the UK (ranked in order of most to least common): Continue reading Naming your drone business: here are the most common drone company names

Drones have arrived at high school graduation ceremonies — but not for the reason you might think

With high school graduation comes pomp, circumstance…and now drones.

Drones seem to be popping up everywhere, and high school graduation ceremonies have become their next stop.

Tethered drone maker Drone Aviation Holding Corp. announced that its tethered drones, which are actually DJI Matrice 200 units, were used at two major high school graduation ceremonies held in southern Arizona so far this year.

The tethered drones, part of the company’s FUSE Tether System, weren’t getting epic aerial shots of the ceremony, though. The drones were put in place by Arizona’s Oro Valley Police Department as part of its security and monitoring efforts. Continue reading Drones have arrived at high school graduation ceremonies — but not for the reason you might think