As the latest in Parrot's line of smartphone-operated drones, the Bebop boasts a number of improvements over the AR.Drone 2.0 including a better camera, longer range, and an optional joystick-based controller. We put the Bebop in the hands of several quadcopter neophytes, tested it indoors (which is supposedly one of its strengths), and enlisted its 14-megapixel camera to capture some aerial footage. We also powered on Parrot's new Skycontroller, which adds physical controls and a more powerful Wi-Fi antenna for extended big range and potential FPV fun. So how did it perform?
One weekend each July, 1,500 people from rural area of Wise County, Virginia descend on the local fairgrounds for a once yearly medical clinic. Here they seek attention for unique conditions that go untreated for the rest of the year due to lack of access to proper healthcare. In years gone by, medical supplies would be brought into the town by truck, but this year things will be working a little differently. Startup Flirtey has teamed up with NASA to conduct an FAA approved exercise to deliver some of these items by drone. This is a good news for a startup trying to spread its wings, but even better news for rural folk who instead of waiting days for urgently needed medication will have their prescriptions filled in just half an hour. And as Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeney tells Gizmag, it could be the "Kitty Hawk" moment the drone delivery industry has been longing for.
The Solar Impulse team has announced that the completion of its
round-the-world solar flight will now be postponed until next April. The
batteries of the Solar Impulse 2 solar-powered aircraft sustained
damage as the aircraft ascended to an optimal energy-management
altitude of 28,000 ft (8,534 m) on the first day of its
ambitious Japan-to-Hawaii flight. It
is believed that a high rate of climb coupled with over-insulation of
the gondolas resulted in irreversible overheating damage to the aircraft's
It's been quite a month for electric aircraft. First, the Solar Impulse 2 broke distance and duration records when it flew from Japan to Hawaii. Then, two competing teams both claimed to have made the world's first electric flight across the English Channel.
Now, Germany's PC-Aero says that its Elektra One Solar has become the
first solar-electric plane to cross the Alps in both directions.
Newly-designed aircraft cabins for Swiss International Airlines are
aimed at making long-haul flights more comfortable for holidaymakers and
more productive for business travelers. Designed by PriestmanGoode, the
cabins will provide passengers with more space, storage and privacy.
An electric aircraft has crossed the English Channel for the first time. The question is, which one is it? On Friday, Airbus Group announced that its E-Fan technology demonstrator claimed the prize by flying from Lydd, Kent to Calais. However, it soon came to light that French Aerobat Hugues Duval had flown from Dover to Calais 12 hours earlier on Thursday in a Cri-Cri electric plane. Exactly which one gets in the record books may hinge on a technicality.
One of only two Mk.1 Spitfires still able to fly today has sold for a record amount at Christie's auctions. The gavel fell at £3,106,500 (US$4,784,010) on the painstakingly restored RAF Spitfire P9374, far exceeding pre-auction estimates of £2.5m.
Swiss Post and Swiss World Cargo (the air freight division of Swiss International Air Lines) have joined the likes of Amazon, GeoPost and Alibaba
by taking concrete steps toward using drones for deliveries. This week,
the corporations announced that they have teamed up with
California-based Matternet to trial several of its Matternet ONE cargo quadcopters.