Thousands of planes that were otherwise grave yard bound, with costs in the hundreds of millions, are now being used as never before. They’ve been transformed into drones – a first for a full-sized jet airplane.
These Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets had been sitting in the bone yard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona for 15 years.
Two South African media outlets are working to provide real-time traffic updates to the community using a drone.
Kagiso New Media and Jacaranda FM have plans to launch a remote-controlled drone over the N1 highway; up-to-the-minute online video feeds will capture images of traffic congestion to enrich on-air traffic reporters, as well as be streamed live online.
“In a metropolitan area with so many traffic issues, this offering will save our audience a lot time and hassle,” said Jacaranda FM general manager Kevin Fine. “We see it as a potential revolution not only in traffic reporting, but also in news reporting. It’s another innovative avenue that keeps us connected to our audience.”
The stations are the next in a wave of journalism organizations embracing the use of drones to improve upon the quality and reduce the costs of journalism. Broadcast stations often deploy helicopters to monitor traffic, so a drone offers a cheaper, more efficient alternative.
“We believe that UAV technology is an integral step into a future of transparent communications and information because it provides real time data when people need it,”said Craig Corte, chief digital officer at Kagiso Media. “We plan to be at the forefront of this technological boom so that we can capitalize on the many opportunities which it will provide.”
There’s a new drone startup in town — Flyspan Systems, a consulting group made up of some of the most well-connected drone operators out there.
The Irvine, Calif.-based consulting agency is made up of a balanced team of seven engineers, business strategies and drone industry experts. Founder Brock Christoval specializes in aircraft systems engineering, while co-founder Vinny Capobianco is more on the mechanical engineering end of things.
And where did they get their experience from? They worked for the United States Department of Defense working on – you guessed it – drones.
“We’re from the military side, but everything is just peeking its way into the commercial market,” Capobianco said.
The BeetleCam Hybrid is an updated version of his BeetleCam, which allows you to position a DSLR camera on the buggy, protected by a strong, light-weight shell and stabilized by a gimbal.
“This gimbal allows the camera to stay perfectly level, even if the BeetleCam is moving over uneven surfaces,” a news release stated. “The operator can also smoothly control the camera pan and tilt without moving the base.”
What started as an innocent post to YouTube by a drone operator of a local mountain biking club turned into a visit by possible fake police officers.
Drone hobbyist Adam Crouchley used a DJI Phantom to shoot footage of the Hamilton Mountain Bike Club, which was shared on their Facebook page and to his YouTube account on Feb. 27.
The next morning, Crouchley awoke to police at his door, informing him someone lodged a complaint about him and that ‘the DJI Phantom is a bad quadcopter.’
“He continued to try and educate me about how the compass and GPS works, by feeding me information that was incorrect anyway,” Crouchley wrote on his blog. “I thought it was really unusual that the police officer was making a point about this particular machine of mine.”
It turns out, the officers that came to his door were not assigned to come to his door, and there was no job lodged with the police department or the Civil Aviation Authority to talk to him.
The National Press Photographers Association launched a new study on the use of drones in news gathering in parternship with the Holland & Knight law firm.
“Many people want to use these devices for newsgathering but are afraid to do so,” NPPA general counsel Mickey H. Osterreicher said. “How media organizations along with individual journalists seek to have the government strike an appropriate and acceptable balance between First Amendment protected newsgathering activities versus safety and privacy concerns are questions we need to answer.” Continue reading NPPA surveys use of drones in news gathering→
Surely you have feelings about drones, and we want you to share them here!
Drone Girl is now accepting article submissions so you can get your voice heard! Maybe you’ve talked your families’ ears off about the wondrous things a drone can do, or perhaps you’ve found some awesome drone video that must be shared.
Maybe you just want to post once, or maybe you’d like to post once a week. Either way, I want more voices on Drone Girl (you don’t have to own a drone, and you don’t have to be a girl…you just have to write riveting content about drones)! Send me a message with the subject line DG Reader Submission and let’s chat about posting it here!
Here are some ideas of posts I would love to see:
Drone News Commentary
They can be serious or silly, filled with GIFs or packed with powerful prose. Either way, if you are interested in joining the Drone Girl team, then I’m interested in hearing from you!