Folks,

As you know the FAA is midway in a long rulemaking process to figure out how to integrate UAVs in the national airspace, but the bottom line from the inititial recommendations are as follows:

For us (non-commerical hobbyists), you must stay within these limitations:

--fly within line of sight
--under 400' alt
--under 30 knots
--under 4.4lb
--Fly at least 3 miles from any airport

As you're designing your airframes, keep these limits in mind!

Views: 1311


Moderator
Comment by Gary Mortimer on May 15, 2009 at 3:06pm
I think flight duration of less than 30 minutes to avoid posting notams as well might come into the mix.

Along with ground stations measuring in real terms, ie nautical miles.
Comment by Jack Crossfire on May 15, 2009 at 4:59pm
That document is ridiculous. It has eliminating turbines, limiting weight to 55lbs, banning flights at night, 5 minutes of reserve power, banning pilots from moving vehicles, among others. They might as well throw in a minimum coffee strength rule.
Comment by Sentinel on May 15, 2009 at 5:11pm
It's difficult to decide whether these recommendations are such because of genuine safety concerns, or to stifle amateur UAV activities and protect commercial interests; many of which were represented in the "Committee".
Comment by bGatti on May 15, 2009 at 5:36pm
I think solar HALE is one of the likeliest markets for small uav, too bad the 400' limit everywhere shuts that down.
It would be reasonable if there were some airspaces in which private uav operations were less restricted - surely a great deal of "real" america has underutilized airspace.

Finally my pet peeve - there should be a density limit - not a weight limit. A 30 pound dirigible is not a threat to any engine, while a 4 pound bird is probably sufficient to cause engine problem if ingested. Almost any uav task can be designed around a less dense airframe.

Ben
Comment by automatik on May 15, 2009 at 7:20pm
[quote]It would be reasonable if there were some airspaces in which private uav operations were less restricted - surely a great deal of "real" america has underutilized airspace.[/quote]
there is - I have to dig-up exact reference but from memory it's part of some gov't / military installation (so restricted airspace) and it costs around $10k / day to rent :)
Comment by Earl on May 15, 2009 at 7:42pm
I have a 160 acre ranch in NM. My nearest neighbor is 2 miles away. Aircraft around here don't fly lower than 10,000 feet. White Sands missile range is only 150 miles to the south.
And some city slicker wants to say I can't do WHAT ??????????
Come on out west here....we'll straighten ya out.........

T3
Comment by Rory Paul on May 15, 2009 at 10:16pm
You should have seen these rules a few months ago they required anybody acting as a PIC of a sUAV (commercial use) to have a private pilots license...I am currently having a Whisky to celebrate that common sense has prevailed....to an extent... ; )

Moderator
Comment by Gary Mortimer on May 15, 2009 at 11:46pm
Not if you go bigger than 1kg you will need aviation knowledge, might be just PPL subjects.

No commercial flying is permitted.

For most users no flight on any yellow bits of an air chart. etc etc etc
Comment by Dynamic Orbit on May 16, 2009 at 12:55am
For reference, you might be interested in the complete Australian version of the civil regulatory body governing aviation on the large island :) http://www.casa.gov.au/scripts/nc.dll?WCMS:STANDARD:1093291132:pc=PC_91039

In some respects, these regulations represent some fairly advanced thinking. You'll find the 400 feet rule in here as well. Mind you, we don't have as much air traffic congestion in most areas!

It could possibly be future heaven for the civil UAV market?

Moderator
Comment by Gary Mortimer on May 16, 2009 at 4:45am
I think the UK is going to be a pretty good spot as well!!

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