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Aircraft

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Ghost Drone follows its user, and is controlled via their phone

By - December 31, 2014 6 Pictures
It was just this June that we heard about the HEXO+ and AirDog drones, which were two of the first consumer multicopters to offer a Follow function – that's the ability to track the location of their user, and fly along above them. Since then, models including the Iris+ and Zano have come out with the same feature. Now, Chinese/American company Ehang is successfully raising production funds for its Follow-equipped GoPro-toting Ghost Drone. Developed in partnership with Duke University, not only is the quadcopter able to track and film its user, but it's also reportedly easier to fly than its competitors. Read More
— Aircraft

New frontiers: Drones deliver a raft of surprises in 2014

By - December 24, 2014 12 Pictures
2014 wasn’t the year that drones first entered the consumer lexicon, but it did see the notion of using these unmanned vehicles to our advantage become much more palatable. Package deliveries and carrying out conventional robotic tasks are some concepts that have defined the progress of drones in the past 12 months, but, as is typical of emerging technologies, the more their potential is realized the more they find uses in unexpected new applications. Let’s have a look over some of the year’s more surprising, yet significant, drone projects that promise to shake things up in exciting new ways. Read More
— Aircraft

Amphibious HexH2o drone shoots both aerial and underwater video

By - December 23, 2014 5 Pictures
Readers who checked out our recent article on the Seahorse human-powered airboat may have noticed something at least as impressive in the accompanying video – a camera-equipped quadcopter that can land on the water to shoot underwater footage. It's called the QuadH2o, and is made by a Thailand-based company of the same name. Now, that drone is about to be joined by a companion that sports another two propellers, along with some other extra features. It's time to say hello to the HexH2o. Read More
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X PlusOne drone hovers steady, but also flies nose-first at 60 mph

By - December 16, 2014 5 Pictures
Both Google and Belgium's Katholieke Universiteit Leuven are working on drone-based delivery projects that utilize UAVs which take off and land vertically, but that can also tip sideways to transition into fast and efficient fixed-wing flight. If you're thinking that it would be neat to purchase a consumer drone that could do the same thing – combining the hovering capability of a quadcopter with the speed of a "flying wing"-type plane – a new one may soon be available, in the form of the X PlusOne. Read More
— Aircraft

New aerial firefighting system gulps water faster

By - December 15, 2014 5 Pictures
When you're using helicopters to dump water on forest fires, it goes without saying that the faster you can obtain and deliver water from lakes or other sources, the better. Most currently-used systems are able to gather H2O at rates ranging from 1,700 to 4,000 liters (450 to 1,056 US gal) per minute, which is fairly impressive. A new system developed by Spanish firm Inventec, however, is claimed to be capable of sucking up 1,000 L (264 gal) in just five seconds – that scales up to a rate of 12,000 L (3,170 gal) per minute. What's more, it's also said to be safer. Read More
— Aircraft

Adorama launches camera drone

By - December 8, 2014 5 Pictures
One of the world's largest photographic retailers is now getting into the camera-equipped drone market, with Adorama announcing its Aries Blackbird X10 quadcopter. Among other things, the little copter shoots 1080p/30fps video, captures 16-megapixel stills, and has a flight time of 25 minutes per charge of its 5,300-mAh lithium-polymer battery. Read More
— Aircraft

Micronautix Triton concept aircraft: Passengers get a front seat too

By - December 2, 2014 7 Pictures
Perhaps one of the reasons most people are so blasé about the miracle of human flight these days is that for the most part, we're totally cut off from it. Peering through the milky, scratched glass of a passenger plane window offers just a tiny, claustrophobic glimpse of the world falling away beneath you - what the pilot sees would make the layman's heart sing with joy. And that's the simple thought behind the Triton concept design – to give passengers the most involving and magnificent experience possible, and maybe even inspire them to become pilots themselves. Read More

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