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Inside Drones

Inside Drones (Dec 3rd, 2018)

1. Airbus Defence and Space will begin testing its solar-powered Zephyr-S drone over a site in Australia. The new launch site in Western Australia is the drone's "gateway to the stratosphere and will be the main flight base for Zephyr going forward," said Jana Rosenmann, head of unmanned aerial systems at Airbus. An older model of the drone set the record for world’s longest continuous flight without refueling, flying nearly 26 days this past July in Arizona. The new drone, which is considered a pseudo-satellite, can fly up to 70,000 feet. Airbus plans to test the drone with different payloads in the coming months. - AEROSPACE TESTING INTERNATIONAL

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2. India plans to use drones to transport organs between hospitals. The announcement comes as India's new drone policy takes effect, making drones legal to fly there if they are registered. The hospital transport will involve designated air corridors for drones to fly between hospitals, bypassing traffic on the road. “A hospital can have a certified drone port on its roof; another hospital can have another certified port, and then we create the drone corridors that will enable the drone to vertically take off, get into the drone corridor, operate in the drone corridor, and then land in the next drone port, and carry the organ," Jayant Sinha, a junior aviation minister for India, said. - THE TIMES

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3. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos predicted that drones would be delivering Amazon packages by now, the Associated Press reported. After claiming on "60 Minutes" in 2013 that the drones deliveries would happen in five years, safety issues and regulatory hurdles have been a challenge, according to the AP report. Amazon continues to push forward with the idea but hasn't said when it could happen. "We are committed to making our goal of delivering packages by drones in 30 minutes or less a reality," an Amazon spokeswoman said. - AP

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4. American power company Ameren successfully conducted a drone flight beyond the pilot's visual line of site. The St. Louis-based energy company used the drone and LiDAR-based data collection to inspect high-voltage lines across 60 miles. The flight was six times the distance of a 2017 test flight to inspect power lines in Illinois. It marks the project's second and final phase. - UA

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5. Star Wars Propel Drone: Collector's Edition is on sale for $49.99, normally $149.95. The drones, which are modeled after the X1 Tie Fighter, T-65 X-Wing, or 74-Z Speeder Bike, can fly up to 35 mph. 

6. According to Drone DJ, the Force1 Scoot is the best-selling drone on Amazon right now.

7. Shepherd University in West Virginia purchased a DJI Mavic Pro 2 to inspect building roofs on campus. The university also has a Phantom 3 and a DJI Matrice 100 for science mapping and data collection.

8. Ghana's government has awarded a $12 million contract to Zipline International Incorporated to design and operate a drone-based medical delivery system in the country. 

9. The British telecommunications giant Vodafone is conducting 4G drone trials at the BCN Drone Center, a test site, in Barcelona, Spain.

10. Drone pilot Ian Montgomery captured a drone video of a smoke-shrouded San Francisco while wildfires were at their worst in northern California.

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Written and curated by Beth Duckett in California. Editing team: Lon Harris (editor-in-chief at Inside.com, game-master at Screen Junkies), Krystle Vermes (Breaking news editor at Inside, B2B marketing news reporter, host of the "All Day Paranormal" podcast), and Susmita Baral (editor at Inside, recent bylines in NatGeo, Teen Vogue, and Quartz. Runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram).

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