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Inside Drones (Jun 30th, 2017)

Thank you for reading Inside Drones! Today, we've got an in-depth piece from our own Johan Moreno all about whether or not the lack of drone laws is causing the US to fall behind in drone innovation. This content is only available to our Premium subscribers, so now is the time to join the club. It's only $10 a month and you can subscribe here. If there’s a specific topic you’d like us to investigate and cover, please hit REPLY on this email or reach out to our team at drones@inside.com. It’s the least we can do to show our appreciation!

Facebook announced they have completed a successful second test flight of their solar-powered Aquila drone, which is designed to make the internet available in some of the planet's most remote and inaccessible areas. And unlike the first test in June of last year, the drone did not crash. The first test was, however, considered otherwise successful, as the drone stayed in the air three times longer than expected at 96 minutes. The company has revealed the stats from the second successful test held on May 22nd. On that flight, the Aquila stayed up for 106 minutes, ascending at a rate double the speed of the last test. Facebook says the drone, which is meant to eventually linger in the air for up to 90 days, runs on the equivalent power of three blow dryers. – TC

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Malawi's government has announced the opening of a new drone route designed to test the viability of drone delivery in the area. For the project, the country's government partnered with the United Nations Children’s Fund. Malawi is a landlocked country that is often flooded, with many remote areas often rendered inaccessible by road vehicles. “After a flash flood earth roads can turn to rivers, completely cutting off affected communities,” said UNICEF's Johannes Wedenig. The 25-mile drone corridor will be used for testing delivery and emergency response capabilities, as well as the beaming of an internet or cell phone signal into disaster-affected regions. – RECODE

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Oscar Mayer has added the WienerDrone to its fleet of comical hot dog-centric promotional vehicles. The drone, which will debut in Weiner, Arkansas on July 4, joins the WienerMobile, WienerRover, and WeinerMini, as well as the recently dedicated WeinerCycle as part of the so-called WeinerFleet. The six-pound WienerDrone can fly for up to 15 minutes carrying one hot dog at altitudes of up to 1,200 feet. "We’re going where other hot dogs can’t," says Oscar Meyer head of marketing Greg Guidotti. No word yet on how cost-effective it is to deliver a single hot dog by UAV. – FORTUNE

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With confusion and ambiguity over U.S. drone delivery regulations, technology companies are going elsewhere to innovate.              
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