Monday, October 15th, 2012 10:00 am GMT -6 Monday, October 15th, 2012 10:00 am GMT -6Monday, October 15th, 2012 10:00 am GMT -6
UAV Quadcopter with camera

The drone revolution is a global phenomenon. Take a look at what is going on outside the United States.




Global Community

More than 50% of the visitors to this website live outside of the United States. I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Once in a long while I run into somebody that is a little confused as to which country New Mexico is located in. Rest assured, I am in the good old U.S.A.

Helpful website members sometimes send me links to interesting news stories. Because of the global nature of the RC community, I get to see what is going on in other countries. As in the United States, the UAV revolution is getting a lot of attention from around the world.

Actually, in a lot of ways, the United States is behind many other countries. Canada, Australia and South Africa have taken leadership roles in the acceptance of UAVs into their airspaces.

What follows is a sampler of the more interesting global UAV stories I have come across lately.

Canadian FPV

Mark Betuzzi is the chair of the Canadian Radio Spectrum Committee. He is the Canadian equivalent of Greg Hahn, the AMA Technical Director. He is also a fan of the relaunched, though we actually met years ago. He was a member of the now dormant AMA Electronics Technology Committee (ETC). My involvement with this group is what led to my Model Aviation magazine article a couple of years back.

Mark is active in FPV education at RC clubs in Canada. He and other knowledgeable individuals travel to clubs and give very informative presentations to the club members. These presentations are done to help promote a high level of safety as others start taking part in this fascinating new dimension to our hobby.

Below is a video of Mark conducting one of the introductions to FPV. It is very well done, and even if you do not live in Canada there is much to learn from the video. As a bonus, I am also including a video of a beautiful FPV flight from the same club where Mark gave his presentation.

The Model Aeronautics Association of Canada (MAAC) as a whole has taken a leadership role in the deployment of UAV technologies for civilian uses. Former MAAC President, Richard Barlow, is also still on the UAV committee working closely with the Canadian department of transportation.

MAAC – FPV Committee (web)

Sky is the limit for use of mini, unmanned planes (web)

Draganflyer X6 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Takes Flight in OPP Police Applications (web)

Australian FPV and UAV Activities

Another country that is very active in UAV uses is Australia. Active RC modeler Tony Obermeit, an Australian resident, is also dabbling with FPV. He has done a super job of sending me links to local UAV stories, and I am grateful.

Asher Moses is the Technology Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald. He reports regularly on local UAV news. I have linked below three of his articles.

Here Comes the Drone Age (web)

Flying Drones a Safety Threat at Airports (web)

Privacy Watchdog Urges Debate on Aerial Drones (web)

United Kingdom UAVs

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees, with about 23,000. They provide public television and radio services to the United Kingdom.

An organization this large has a healthy budget. As part of their charter, they have three Research and Development labs with a total of about 150 engineers and scientists. Since unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are already transforming the profession of photojournalism, they are one of their recent focus areas.

One of their research projects is a UAV developed with the University of Southampton. It is called the iFlyer and it looks quite capable. A fixed wing UAV, it is designed to be used for filming sporting events, for example.

The last video below is from a presentation given by one of their research engineers. It is a good presentation, though I found the speaker a little bit hard to understand.

The BBC’s own ‘drone’ lab (web)

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