Gary Mortimer's Posts (323)

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A flight time of 42 minutes all hands off around the cube, a wonderful entry from Steve Westerfield.

I did a practice flight near my house with a few seconds at each corner and then I went out and did 3 missions on Mar 26th at my RC flying field Falcon R/C in Lake Dallas,TX. The first was 15 mins and it flew well. I increased the WP times for a 30 minute flight and it went well also. The next attempt was for 45 minutes with at least 3 minutes in each corner but I didn't quite have enough battery. Looked like 41 to 42 minutes would be about it. I went out again on the 5th of April and got a good 42 minute flight. A total of 23 waypoints were used to get each corner and to turn to a heading which faced to the inside of the box.The minimum time at any corner was 196 seconds with many corners having 294 second waits. Any AQ should be able to fly a correctly programmed mission so hopefully bonus points for time will make the difference in winning with the added risk that it has more time to wander around.

Read his full report and enjoy the other entries here

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By Ben Wolfgang -The Washington Times

CROWNSVILLE, Md. - Steve Barnett has been flying unmanned aerial systems for more than 30 years — long before the word “drone” started making global headlines.

But now, the 65-year-old Army veteran and model-airplane enthusiast finds himself answering new questions as his hobby gets dragged into a white-hot national debate.

“At no time has the word ‘surveillance’ ever been used. That’s not the reason for us to be out here,” said Mr. Barnett, an instructor with the 80-member Chesapeake Bay Radio Control Club, as he took a break from flying his craft over the group’s sprawling field near Annapolis.

Even just a few years ago, model pilots such as Mr. Barnett wouldn’t have had to address the issue of drones or the Fourth Amendment. That’s quickly changing because of public distress about anything that flies overhead without a human pilot on board.

Mr. Barnett has kept an eye on the rise of the domestic drone industry; more importantly, he is keenly aware of how the cutting-edge crafts are inspiring new federal legislation, state privacy protection laws and other regulations.

“It’ll eventually impact us,” he said, as one of his students worked on a model plane nearby.

A thin, blurry line

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DJI Phantom Vision


They are certainly trying.

The PHANTOM Vision is the only quadcopter on the market to offer professional-level multi-rotor flight control technology, an intelligent GPS-based autopilot system, an integrated HD camera and an iOS app for full camera control. The PHANTOM Vision also comes with a remote control unit containing pre-programmed autopilot parameters allowing pilots to switch between different flight modes to achieve particular flight experiences. Also incorporated are safety parameters, such as a failsafe feature that will bring the PHANTOM Vision back to its take-off point and land itself if it loses signal from the remote control unit for any reason.

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Something close to my heart, I am currently ramping up for a radio collar trial in South Africa with some new technology. Rhinos are just one animal in great danger. Time to redress the balance. GM

by Abdul Gani

Kaziranga National Park, for the first time is to witness a test flight of the much anticipated unmanned aircraft on Monday in presence of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) Scientist, Dr. K. Ramesh who leads the monitoring programme, said Rakibul Hussain, Minister for Environment and Forests at press conference today. This test is to begin tomorrow and extend till April 11 so as to understand all measures that will be required for implementation of the unmanned aircraft for better surveillance at the national park.

It is to be mentioned that Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has been pressurising the Central Ministry for a CBI enquiry in to the unabated poaching of endangered one horn rhinoceros. The CBI has now accepted the State Government’s request to probe into this matter. Hussain also said that the Chief Minister has welcomed CBI’s gesture and has promised to extend full support to control the illegal activities at this national park. The unmanned aircraft is one of the measures undertaken by the State Forest Department and National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) which could be one effective measure to keep a track of events at the national park. Minister also emphasised that use of this advance technology will help to monitor unwanted movements of the poachers and thus keep a track. Though a clearance is yet to be acquired from the Defence Authority but once the test is cleared the Minister is hopeful for its implementation at the earliest.

The minister ascertained that an unmanned aerial vehicle would also soon be inducted for better surveillance of the park to prevent poaching of rhinos and other wildlife. He also informed about a workshop to be held on April 20 at Kaziranga wherein Keshav Kumar, Joint Director, CBI from Mumbai will train the Field Directors of North East and Central India to combat and sharpen their investigative directives against such poaching.

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From the shameless plug department..

Join sUAS News podcast host Gene Robinson, technology permitting, live from a Texas controlled burn. Find out what his part in the trials has been. The show starts at 0800 Pacific on Wednesday the 27th of March. As always the shows will be available to listen again afterwards. A list of recent shows can be found on the Podcast Page . Gene will be flying the MLB Super Bat.

We are quite proud of the podcast even though sometimes it can be a little dry and technology often fails us! This will be show number 44 for Patrick and Gene. Running for 10 months now there have been more than 200,000 downloads to date.

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As a harbinger for the Paramount film “Star Trek – Into Darkness”, starting in May in Europe’s cinemas, last night a swarm of 30 mini-helicopters equipped with the LED lights drew the Star Trek logo into the skies over London. The choreography for the show was developed by Ars Electronica Futurelab from Linz (Austria). Quadrocopter maker Ascending Technologies GmbH from Munich (Germany) provided the aircrafts.

30 LED-equipped mini-helicopters, for its four rotors also called quadrocopters, started last night to a spectacular show: They drew the Star Trek logo into the night sky over the city of London. Film producer Paramount had commissioned the flying light sculpture.

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T3 Cube update


I am impressed, three folks have thrown their hats in the ring, Richard, Rob and Randy. Other letters of the alphabet are allowed to compete.

Rob has managed to loiter for two minutes at each corner which is to be commended.

The image above is from Richards first attempt.

Catch up here 

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T3 season two, the multirotor one.


Its been a while so lets try again. Had a hangout with Chris and we briefly spoke about the next T3 round. Chris will work on a top prize ;-)

The mission is simple, get airborne climb to 20m 

Fly a cube with 50m sides, pausing for one minute at each corner, so your flight time cannot be anything less than 8 minutes..... Bonus points if you can stay longer at each corner....

The neatest cube KML wins.

If you can do this with a 3D aircraft I feel you would have a very strong chance of winning!

I will close the competition on April the 14th. I will be looking at where you are flying very closely. Please don't try this in public places or within 500m of any building / road. 

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An sUAS News podcast exclusive, with Gus from IsisCopter. They have petitioned the FAA for an exemption.

Docket No.: FAA–2012–0897
Petitioner: IsisCopter, LLC
Section of 14 CFR Affected: 14 CFR
21.191 and 91.319
Description of Relief Sought: IsisCopter seeks relief to operate small unmanned aircraft systems within
visual line of sight of the pilot in command for commercial purposes.

If you have any questions please send them to

Listen in just under 10 minutes at :-

It will be available for download shortly after is finishes.

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Thought sUAS News ought to catch up with this hangout thing. I will have to talk to Duran again as I did'nt do a very good job. He explains his frames and has people looking busy.

If I am very honest I don't understand Google + yet. I have several people lined up to talk to and in the future would love to have folks join in.

The Shed section of sUAS News should start filling with reviews, I have a couple to do and Myron and Gene are currently flight testing one of those Penguin FPV birds.

If you have a product you want to tell us about then let me know it's pretty low quality, perhaps as a result of my slow connection or maybe that's how it is.

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Australian flyaway makes CASA safety mag


This one is worthy of discussion. At very least as a group we should be taking it upon ourselves to operate away from potential conflict. These guys sort of tried but perhaps could have thought about it a little longer. There is no indication of what AP this was or airframe. 

The operators of a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) were lucky to feel only embarrassment rather than grief after their aircraft got lost near a busy aerodrome. It’s an example of why RPA operators must take them seriously as aircraft.

Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect. So said Captain Alfred Gilmer Lamplugh in 1931, in one of the first attempts to understand the risks of the air.* His words are just as resonant today. They apply even in the almost complete personal safety of operating an unmanned aircraft from a ground station.

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EX faa.jpg?width=150

Today's guest Doug Davis, Director of Global UAS Strategic Initiatives at the NMSU PSL.

Doug  has been a long time contributing member of the unmanned aviation community. This will be an excellent opportunity to hear about the Global UAS airspace integration effort past, present and future. He was head of the FAA UAPO department so should have his finger on the pulse of what might be about to happen.

Please email if you have any questions the link above should show the right time zone for whatever one you are in. Its in a couple of hours.

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Drone Journalism one year on


Patrick talks to Matthew Schroyer from as per the picture above questions to the show @sUASNews and the #droneJchat hashtag on twitter

Should start in just over an hour, but I am often rubbish working out the time differences, its should show you the correct time for your region on the blog talk radio link.

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Princeton: Mapping Africa


Slightly off topic for the minute but there is a UA element soon. Lyndon is a friend of mine and it was with him many years ago that this entire UAS interest (pun warning) took off for me. At the time Lyndon was looking for antelope in Kenya and other people were watching Lions we figured their had to be a better way.

Lyndon needs volunteers to look at satellite images and tag them..

Here’s the issue: right now, our understanding of where people are farming is limited. Though we have a pretty good idea of where people are farming in Europe and North America, there is much to learn about the rest of the world. Of particular note is Africa, which is predicted to experience an explosion in agriculture in the coming decades.

The best data that we have so far is not incredibly accurate and relied on outdated satellite images. The data are prone to overestimating and underestimating farmland in various locations. Due to the wide range of error and the unreliability of the data, it is difficult to conduct investigations or make predictions based on this data. As a result, we have launched an initiative in the hopes of getting a better idea of the farmland distribution in Africa. We are trying to map all of Sub-Saharan Africa using the power of the Internet.


So please sign up if you have time.

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By Matthew Schroyer sUAS News

“As soon as I hit the go home mode, because the GPS and compasses were damaged, it went crazy,” Hindi said. “I flipped off the ‘come home’ mode and went into manual control. It wasn’t working right, but we were able to bring it in for a crash landing anyway.”

“I had more control than I anticipated,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it didn’t just drop out of the sky.”

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Geoff Blands joins Patrick and Gene on today's podcast to talk a little about his work at NASA and no doubt the ARC 1.0 committee. (Patrick can't help himself)

Some of you are probably aware of Geoffs work with AEROKATS

The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility is a major collaborative partner with the TwinCamR_sm.jpg?height=132&width=200ICCARS Project. NASA engineer Geoff Bland developed the AEROKATS program and designs low altitude custom remote sensing platforms craft called Aeropods for agricultural and environmental research purposes. Geoff and his technician Ted Miles have worked closely with us to adapt their program to the needs of middle and high school teachers for STEM education.

We will find out what he's up to now.

Listen live here you can try and ask a question via Twitter or Facebook. If the chaps see it or not is another matter! The clock on the link should show local time to you, but I find it hit or miss! I believe Patrick is still our embedded reporter at Whitesands, doing things of which we cannot speak. Means he has to resort to satellite phones to call in sometimes and the audio quality suffers.


Oh whilst here I noticed there was no Multi Rotor Group on LinkedIN so I started one today, welcome one and all.

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sUAS News Search and Rescue podcast,


Starts in one hours time, 2000 GMT (subject to me getting my sums wrong the countdown has started on the timer)

During the episode, we will broadcast live from a SAR training event being instructed by our co host Gene Robinson. Our guest is Chris Onions. He works full time for Rescue 3 (UK) providing training to the emergency services in water and rope rescue in North Wales.

This event represents another historic first coming to you from the sUAS News.

Its been a headline week for our weekly podcast, over 100,000 total downloads. Not as spectacular as the numbers for here but it makes us warm and fuzzy!

To catch up with previous episodes try here if my timing is completely wrong it will be available for download from this link shortly after it finishes.

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France permits UA flight out to 100km


Yep you read it right, historic day for sUAS everywhere. Oh except in America ;-) 

French Civil Aviation Authority, the DGAC, awarded Delair-Tech the first authorisation ever issued to a UAS company in France, for a civil UAS to fly over 100 km in French airspace.

Delair-Tech is based in Toulouse and specialised in the design and manufacturing of long endurance mini-UAS.

Well done Delair-Tech

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