About the Author

Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at DroneDJ, where he covers all drone-related news and writes product reviews. He also contributes to the other sites in the 9to5Mac group such as; 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, and Electrek.

Haye can be reached at haye@dronedj.com or @hayekesteloo


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During the last two weeks, the video we reported on earlier, in which a DJI Phantom 2 is ‘fired’ at an airplane wing of a Mooney M20 aircraft during tests performed at the University of Dayton Research Institute’s Impact Physics Lab was picked up by major news channels, including CNN. The tests were designed to mimic a midair collision at 238 mph between a drone and an aircraft, however many people have pointed out that the test did not resemble a real-life situation and made it seem that drones are more dangerous than they really are. Now, DJI has responded to the test video as well and demands the video to be taken down. See their official press release below.

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October 19

Investigations are ongoing after drone near miss at Albury Airport in England last Wednesday afternoon. A passenger jet with 62 passengers on board approached Newquay Airport in the UK when it narrowly missed a drone. The drone incident showed a ‘complete disregard for human safety’ according to the police.

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Two youngsters in New Zealand disturb six endangered dotterels during the breeding season with their drone. Their actions have been labeled ”stupid and foolish”. According to a spokeswoman of the Department of Conservation, the boys were standing a mere 60 feet away from a dotterel nesting site.

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Normally, fixed-wing drones when they have completed a mapping or surveying assignment land on their bellies on the ground. The Aeromapper Talon Amphibious drone ads another option to possible landing sites, namely water.

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The unidentified flying object or UFO that was reported flying over New Jersey was actually a police drone according to law enforcement officials. The drone was used to track down two suspects who robbed a local Home Depot according to the Township of Union Police Department.

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Good morning, today we have a drone video for you of the historic harbor town, Gallipoli in Italy. The old town is built on a limestone island and has a very long and rich history. Be sure to check out the video.

Yesterday, DJI announced that they are running a DJI Care Refresh promotion until the end of October. So, if you didn’t get it when you bought your drone but you still want it then now is your chance. Furthermore, we have the world largest drone as well as a new product announcement from FLIR Systems. They introduced their new DroneSense-FLIR Edition,  a drone flight management software platform designed for public safety applications.

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October 18

DJI Care Refresh promotion until the end of October

DJI just launched a promotion to buy DJI Care Refresh. So in case you forgot or missed your chance to get it, now is your chance. The promotion will run to the end of the month and covers drones such as the Mavic series, Spark, Phantom 4 Pro series, Phantom 4 Advance, and Inspire 2.

Announcing DroneSense–FLIR Edition drone flight control and management software platform

FLIR Systems, the world’s leader in thermal imaging, announced the DroneSense–FLIR Edition, a drone flight management software platform designed for public safety applications. This new offering will be a vital tool in various incident response scenarios, as DroneSense–FLIR Edition is the only software platform to combine thermal and visual imaging processing with flight data planning and management capabilities across public safety organizations.

World’s largest ‘transport drone’ successfully tested by Chinese company

Maybe they should have called this the world largest ‘transport unmanned aircraft’ instead of ‘transport drone’. The aircraft was developed by the China Academy of Aerospace Electronics Technology and SF Express Co. Ltd., China’s biggest delivery service company. It’s a Feihong-98 piston-driven autonomous biplane that had its first successful public flight on Oct. 16. Earlier this year we reported SF Express received a government license to operate drones, opening up the possibility for parcel deliveries by drone.

Good morning, remember the James Bond film ‘Goldfinger’? Well, today’s video shows the Furka Pass, Switzerland that was featured in the movie. The footage is shot in ProRes RAW 6K with the Inspire 2 and Zenmuse X7 (again) camera combo. The 16, 24 & 50 mm lenses were used. The DJI drone video is downscaled to 5K for uploading to YouTube. Very cool footage and well done.

Furthermore, we have news for you about an outdated NYC law that prohibits drone pilots from flying their UAS’s in Manhattan. A review of the Parrot Bebop 2 which we think is currently the best drone available under $300. The Skydio R1 that you can now control from your Apple Watch and Genius NY already has 350 applicants for their competition. Grab your coffee and check it out!

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October 17

Last week, Tech:NYC together with DJI, organized their third edition of Policy Labs ‘Drones 101’ at DJI’s offices in New York. The event brings together industry leaders and policymakers to discuss the implications of emerging technology. This time the focus was on drones and the outdated NYC law that restrict drone use in both the city of New York and the state.

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More than 350 applicants for GENIUS NY. 12 semi-finalists to be announced this fall.

GENIUS NY, a business accelerator program at CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden announced the application period for round three is closed. The program attracted more than 350 applications for this round, the largest number and most competitive in the competition’s history. Round three of the GENIUS NY program will run for 12 months. It is the largest business accelerator competition for the UAS industry in the world. Earlier this year FotoKite took home the one million dollar prize from Genius.

Good morning, have a look at this video that was shot with a DJI Inspire 2 and Zenmuse X7 camera. It’s titled “Headwater” and shows the rugged and beautiful Colorado landscape. The maker of this short film is looking for constructive feedback so if you have any advice be sure to share it with him.

As far as headlines go, we have news for you about the autonomous passenger drone, Cora. Avitas Systems that receives the first-ever FAA approval to fly a drone with a radar but without a spotter. The Austrian company Drone Rescue that introduced their drone parachute system. And Dezeen’s drone documentary ‘Elevation’ winning two Lovie Awards. Grab your coffee and jump right in!

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October 16

Avitas Systems receives first ever FAA approval to fly a drone with radar and without a spotter

Today, Avitas Systems, a GE venture, announced that it received the first-ever Federal Aviation Association (FAA) civil approval to fly an unmanned aerial system (UAS) with the use of radar and without direct human supervision. Currently, the FAA requires approval for individuals to fly their drones out of sight, so long as they have a human “spotter” monitoring UAS. However, thanks to its highly-sophisticated radar technology, Avitas Systems is the first entity to be granted such an approval without this spotter present. This allows Avitas Systems to fly drones completely autonomously to perform inspections and collect data of buildings, and other industrial installations more efficiently and saver. 

A drone falling from the sky not only has the potential to hurt people on the ground but also to hurt your wallet. Especially when we’re talking about the larger drones, such as the DJI Matrice 600. The Austrian company Drone Rescue introduces three new parachutes for multicopter drones during the Intergeo 2018 in Frankfurt today, the DRS-5, the DRS-10 and the DRS-M600.

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Dezeen’s drone documentary ‘Elevation’ receives two accolades at Lovie Awards 2018

The short drone documentary ‘Elevation‘ from Dezeen about how drones may transform cities in the future has received two accolades at the Lovie Awards 2018. The Lovie Awards celebrate the best content on the internet. The 18-minute film shows the impact drones may have on cities, ranging from how people travel, how goods are delivered, and even how buildings may be designed,

Zephyr Airworks, Kitty Hawk’s operator in New Zealand, just announced that they entered into a partnership with Air New Zealand. Kitty Hawk is the company behind the Cora passenger or taxi drone and is funded by Google co-founder Larry Page and CEO-ed by Sebastian Thrun, the self-driving car pioneer who is the founding director of Google’s X lab.

The collaboration between Zephyr Airworks and Air New Zealand aims to bring the world’s first autonomous electric air taxi service to market in New Zealand. Various companies around the world are working to bring air taxis or passenger drones to the market. Other examples are Volocopter, Workhorse, eHang, Airbus and Bell Helicopter.

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SimActive Releases Version 8.0 with 3D Modeling

Today, SimActive, the Canadian maker of high-end mapping software releases a new version of their software, version 8.0. It now includes 3D modeling. SimActive software is used in the following industries; agriculture, surveying, emergency response, and environmental monitoring. Some of their clients are Insitu, Airobotics, Chevron, BHPbilliton and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Good morning, today’s drone video was shot on a Yuneec Typhoon H Pro showing the beautiful shoreline of Paredes de Vitória, in Portugal. The video was shot over two days, using only two batteries in a total of four flights. And the result, as you can see in the video below, is quite stunning. Be sure to check it out.

Furthermore, we have a new product from DJI that was almost a surprise launch. During the European Drone Summit in Frankfurt, Germany, the Chinese drone maker introduced the DJI Phantom 4 RTK aimed at the commercial drone market. Lastly, we have news about a man who pleaded ignorance four times (!) for flying his drones in restricted airspace close to a Canadian Airport.

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October 15

Earlier today, DJI launched the Phantom 4 RTK during the European Drone Summit in Frankfurt, Germany. Of course, regular readers of DroneDJ already knew the RTK version of the Phantom was coming. It makes sense for DJI to introduce the drone right before their own Airworks event later this month in Dallas, TX, during which we expect them to introduce the Mavic 2 Enterprise Edtion.

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