Welcome to the Weekly UAS News Update. We have three stories for you this week. The first one is two new cool drone techs that we found, an update on the agricultural spraying approval – that's part 137 if you're not familiar, and then we have a DJI Air 3 leak that suggests that the drone will be released very soon. So let's get to it.
Cool drone techs
Your first story this week is two cool drone techs that we found online. The first one is a tethered system that allows for unlimited flight time, and you're going to say, “Well, yeah, isn't that the goal of a Tethered drone?” Yes, that's right. But what's unique in this case is a European-based company called Atlas. They released their Atlas tethered system, which not only provides power to the drone, as you see in tethered systems, but also it provides two-way communication. This means that you can eliminate the need for a radio link.
You might ask why this is so important. Well, it's important because in this case, it also eliminates the possibility of being detected. You may have heard of these drones being used in conflict, a war, and being detected because of the two-way communication. In this case, that doesn't happen, so the possibility here would be virtually removed. This company does sell drones actually in Ukraine in the conflict right now. This was released at the Paris Air Show, so it's just an interesting bit of technology.
The second core bit of technology is from a Swiss-based EVTOL company called Dufour Aerospace. They showed the maiden flight of their third prototype. The aircraft is called the X 2.2. They are going to be selling these drones all over the world, but Arizona-based Spright, a company that does delivery, is set to be the launch customer for the Arrow 2. The company committed to buying 40 units, with an option to buy an additional 100, which is really cool.
Now the aircraft is designed as an unmanned cargo transporter. It can carry 88 pounds for about 216 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 92 knots, so that's actually really good specs in this case. The company also plans to have a much larger drone. They want to call it the Arrow 3, and it would be capable of carrying 1650 pounds of payload or having eight passengers on board plus a pilot, which would no longer make it a drone but still an EVTOL aircraft. We look forward to seeing what this company is going to do, and hopefully, maybe we may even see some of these flying here in our backyard in Arizona. It would be pretty cool.
PArt 137 approval process
All right, your next story this week is an update on the Part 137 approval process. Now, if you're not familiar, Part 137 covers agricultural spraying with an aircraft and allows farmers and contractors to carry hazmat to complete the spraying.
Previously, the process was, well, lengthy at best. It took years to complete. But according to the CEO and co-founder of Helio, Arthur Ericsson, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has made changes to Part 137. I verified this; I went on the website because I was curious. The new process seems like it would take only one to two months, according to Ericsson.
The changes to Part 137 include a new subsection for drones specifically, which means that farmers no longer have to apply as a crop-dusting airplane, which was the process before. Therefore, they no longer have to request exemptions for things that don't really apply to them. The applicants will still need to have a Part 107 in this case, but this seems to be a shift in the right direction. It will hopefully allow for more agricultural operations in the future.
DJI Air 3 Leak
Your last story this week is the DJI Air 3. There's been a lot of talk about this but not a whole lot of rumors. According to DroneXL, this may be released as early as June 28th, which would be only a few days from when we released this video.
A few clues about the drone release and possibly a new controller, the RC-N2, have been leaked by DealsDrone, including a box marked specifically with the time and date. That's really the only clue at this stage, so there's not a whole lot of details on the actual specs of the DJI Air 3, or even possibly on the new transmitter, like I said, called the RC-N2, which would be the replacement for the RC-N1, the gray controller that you see with a lot of DJI drones.
Now, keep in mind, this is only a rumor. I have a bit of a hard time actually believing this one that it's going to be released that quickly. There are still no concrete photos that we've seen of the drone, no other leaks on specs or anything. Typically, when these launches are about to happen, we have a ton of pictures already of the drone flying around. So, I'm going to take this one with a grain of salt, but there's movement. I'm sure there's going to be an Air 3 at one point in the next few months. If it's not next week, then it's going to be soon after, I'm sure.
Flite Fest in Malvern, Ohio
And then, the last thing, one more thing: our team is at Flight Fest in Malvern, Ohio. If you guys haven't been, Flight Fest is an RC aircraft convention with people from all over the country. We'll be at the convention. I, unfortunately, can't be there, but the team is going to be there. Jason, Don, Bo, and Ethan are all there. So, you can't miss the tent. We call it ‘unmistakable'. It's bright pink and massive. So, make sure you go out there, meet the team, say hi, get your TRUST certificate completed. That's why we have the big tent. We want people to go and complete their trust exam, and then enjoy the event. There's going to be a lot of flying, and I'm kind of sad that I'm missing it this year. That's it, have a great weekend. We'll see you next week. As always, like and subscribe.
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