Firebird—manned or unmanned by Burt Rutan — Travel for Aircraft

The last official design of Burt Rutan, Firebird is a medium range long endurance reconnaissance aircraft which one ben flown manned or unmanned. Flying since late 2012 it operates as many as four sensor systems in parallel with a crew of as many as two though unmanned as missions require. Endurance is 40+ hours […]

via Firebird—manned or unmanned by Burt Rutan — Travel for Aircraft

Drones are not a new idea – Intermission Story (28) — Pacific Paratrooper

Unmanned aerial vehicles, popularly known as drones, are most often associated with airstrikes in modern warfare, but their history goes much further back than that. While drones came into the spotlight during the early years of the 21st century the idea of a remotely-operated flying machine was developed much earlier. A forerunner of what we […]

via Drones are not a new idea – Intermission Story (28) — Pacific Paratrooper

Flyber or maybe Airber?

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?