3DR IRIS gets approved in France by DGAC (french FAA).


After a few weeks of administrative processing it is finally here, the "Attestation de conception de type" (Type certificate) allows the 3DRobotics IRIS to fly legally in France in scenarios S1, S2 and S3. S3 meaning it can fly in urban areas as well !


We're working with the DGAC on revision 2 of the type certificate to get the IRIS+ approved.
The IRIS+ looks like a great enhancement of the 1st version and we can't wait to receive ours to try it out. Along with the Gopro 3, this is a great setup, looking more and more like a tool than a toy.

Working out of the box, easy to fly and carry, capable of 4K video and benefitting from all the features of the Pixhawk controller, no doubt the IRIS+ will be a great machine for numerous jobs.

With more lightweight sensors coming up (multispectral and thermal cameras, LIDARS, etc) the IRIS+ may also proves to be pretty versatile.

Now if Teradek or Paralinx could make a 4K, sub-milliseconde latency, lightweight wireless video transmitter... (providing that the GoPro does indeed output 4k over HDMI).

Here's a quick recap of S1, S2 & S3 scenarios :

Max altitude : 150 meters (490 feet)
Max horizontal distance from pilot : 100 meters (330 feet)
Max Take Off Weight : 25kg (55 lb)
Outside of urban areas
The pilot must maitain visual contact with the UAV at all time

Max altitude : 100 meters (330 feet)
Max horizontal distance from pilot : 100 meters (330 feet)
Max Take Off Weight : 25kg (55 lb)
Outside of urban areas
FPV flight allowed

Max altitude : 150 meters (490 feet)
Max horizontal distance from pilot : 100 meters (330 feet)
Max Take Off Weight : 4kg (8.8 lb)
Over urban areas (as defined by OACI maps)
The pilot must maitain visual contact with the UAV at all time

Max altitude : 150 meters (490 feet)
Max horizontal distance from pilot : unlimited
Max Take Off Weight : 2kg (4.4 lb)
Outside of urban areas
FPV Mandatory

french-drone-scenarios-english.png?width=750More informations about the scenarios can be found here (french) : http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/tableau-synthese-aeronefs-telepilotes.pdf


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  • @Gary McCray : Thank you for pointing out my mistake, i've updated the post.

    @John : The guys at DGAC read the technical documentation (dossier technique) that you send along with a user manual and the certificate of compliance. The technical documentation includes all kind of specifications about the UAV : radio range, telemetry power, motors max rpm, weight breakdown, 3 view drawings, emergency procedures, etc. If you use a parachute (above 2kg for S3) they also request a demo of the deployment. They check everything so if you use a 1W video transmitter it will be rejected (25mw limitation). It is approved for specific batteries. As Julien said, software was also certified, for version 3.0 and above of APM:Copter and Mission Planner 1.3.5 and above.

    @Dan Murray : Exactly, there's a lot of paperwork but at least we are allowed to fly. Looks like it's going forward in USA as well.

    @Fabien Deregel : Thanks for the clarification. Here's the link to Fabien's website, you can see what the documentation for the DGAC looks like. Thanks for sharing, it's interesting to see others technical documentation.

    @Antonio V, Julien, Mathieu & Jethro : Many thanks !

    Voici les dossiers techniques et manuel d'entretien et d'utilisation pour le S1000.
  • I am so glad to live in France at this time! Major thanks to the folks at Escadrone for going ahead and just 'doing it'. Great job!

  • Félicitations Escadrone :)
    Thanks for paving the way for us arducopter users!
  • Hi,

    Escadrone registered the IRIS as an aircraft with a " Certificat de Conformité au Type" , which makes the Iris eligible for any of Escadrone customer to receive a certificate of conformity to the type ( registered), simply :)

    These documents allow then a customer of Escadrone to be able to include their aircraft in their " Particular Activity Manual" as commercial aircraft for commercial purpose ( aerial video / photo works) without the need to create and register the full documentation by themselves, but just with a serial number provided by Escadrone in that case and the user  maintenance manual(still provided by Escadrone) , as the Aircraft is already registered at the french DGAC ( equivalent to FAA) then the process time is much shorter than when you need to make the flu documentation by yourself.

    But it should be possible to register the Iris and Iris +, RTF from 3DR, to be also registered, in a very easy way as Iris + only has the " follow me" function added.

    You can find on my website in the " how to" an example of the (simple) technical documentation necessary to register an aircraft, this is the documentation we wrote to get the certificates of conformity of type, allowing us to build and deliver certificates of conformity in the serial of the type ( complicated words but smile process)...

    BEst regards,

  • Rip on France all you want, but what I see here is a concise and clear framework for UAS operation. The FAA is stuck in the dark ages.

  • Very good news and great job Escadrone!!

    I'm just a bit skeptical about the software condition:

    "APM Copter 3.0 ou ulterieure" which means every new feature and automatic flight mode that could come out since 3.0 would be accepted by default... that is not logical but, anyways, writtent on the certificate!

    Take care of the approved specifications, especially motors kV (850) when your IRIS presentation shows 920kV. Even if this kind of details (70kV dif.) is not so important for flight performances, it could be for administration (which is more formal than technical).

    I hope that will promote AC in France!

  • I'm probably way outside my comfort zone on this one, but I imagine it's like car type approval; they approve the basic model, and tolerances are accepted around that - ie you don't need to re-approve because you can fit leather, AC or a sunroof. As long as the car is recognisably the same model as the one being approved, it's ok.

  • Also was the software certified as well?
  • Administrative processing? Did it have to go through any kind of certification testing, analysis, etc? It has a type cert so does it also need a production certification? Just curious how airworthiness was approved and if it was approved with specific batteries because that will change its airworthiness.
  • Great job, congratulation. 

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