Longest drone flight in Europe started in the Netherlands
A drone took off in the Frisian Oranjewoud in the Netherlands on Wednesday that aims to make the longest civilian drone flight so far in Europe.
The goal is for the drone to fly to Copenhagen within four days. The drone traverses the airspace of three different Countries. With the drone flight, Antea Group wants to show what drones can be used safely in the future.
Drone flight postponed
The record flight should have taken place last summer. But due to problems with licensing in Germany, the flight had to be postponed.
In the early morning of Wednesday, October 5, the drone was still able to start its journey. The drone flight is performed by DroneQ Robotics.
AirHub took care of the flight preparations. The most exciting part is on the program on the first day: crossing the border from Eemshaven, in the Netherlands, to Germany.
The drone that is flown is an aircraft from the German manufacturer Phoenix-Wings. It concerns the PW One, a so-called VTOL. That is, the aircraft can take off and land vertically, but it flies like an airplane.
On board the drone is a bottle painted by the Frisian artist Bonny Dijkstra as a symbolic reference to the bottle mail of the past.
The drone has a wingspan of 1.3 m, weighs just under 3 kg and can carry about 0.5 kg of payload.
Drone flight of 611 km
The flight is carried out in stages, covering an average of twenty kilometers. Due to regulations, flying is only allowed during the day.
The flights are operated under the EVLOS regime. This means that observers ride along the way to keep an eye on the airspace. During the flight, they will always move. This way of working was already extensively practiced in May of this year.
The fact that the drone flight does not take place in the summer but in the autumn created an extra challenge. The migration season has started, which means that certain areas where migratory birds rest are not allowed to be flown over by the drone. For that reason, the route has been slightly diverted. In total, 611 km will be covered by the drone.
Mobility solutions of tomorrow
With the drone flight, initiator Antea Group underlines the role that drones can play in the future when it comes to mobility.
“We are convinced that drones will play an important role in the mobility solutions of tomorrow. With this drone flight we bring a piece of that future into the present. We immediately tackle this groundbreaking by flying over three countries. It requires a lot of commitment from all parties involved, but with what we learn today, we will move forward tomorrow,” said Roel Brandt, project manager Drones & Urban Air Mobility.
If everything goes according to plan, the drone will land in front of the entrance to the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen, one of the most sustainable cities in the world, on Saturday.
After receiving the drone-delivered package, the museum includes the bottle mail in its exhibition.
The journey can be followed on Instagram. It is also possible to view live video footage from the drone.
This article first appeared on Dronewatch and is written by Wiebe de Jager, who is also a DroneXL contributor.
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