Who’s flying your plane?
An app, a click and your ride is ready to whisk you off on your next vacation or business trip at the nearest airport…
Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) as they are called now, have been around for a while. Drones have a long history. Believe it or not, the first drone was flown in 1849, when Austrians flew balloons mounted with bombs. Drones were first used in the US during the Civil War, when balloons were flown by both the confederate and union forces for reconnaissance. For a history on the US drones check out this site.
More recently there has been an increased interest in shipping freight or packages using UAS, with FedeX and Amazon expressing an interest. Amazon envisions a future delivery system which it has coined Amazon Prime Air. They hope to deliver packages within 30 minutes or less once the order is placed. Freight carriers such as FedeX, UPS and DHL have also been researching opportunities to compete with Amazon Air. All are waiting for the FAA to set the guidelines.
This past week, FAA tested the Centaur in Rome, NY. Centaur is a 4,100 lb twin turbo prop, large scale, unmanned aircraft built by Aurora Flight Sciences Corp.
An unmanned ride might be just a matter of 5-6 years, according to Langford, CEO of Aurora Flight Sciences Corp who envisions Centaur to be the Uber for the sky.
What do you think? Will you take a ride?