UAV News and Press Releases

U.S. Court of Appeals says hobby drone owners no longer have to register UAS with the FAA

May 20, 2017 by AUVSI News 

May 4, 2017

 

Northwest UAV begins development on a new UAV engine for 2017 – the NW-88 Twin-Cylinder Multi-Fuel Engine

Northwest UAV is now developing a NW-88 Twin-Cylinder Multi-Fuel Engine for 2017. Using design elements from the NW-44 Engine, the NW-88 Engine will bring the world class NWUAV reliability and efficiency to a new category of aircraft.

 McMinnville, OR: Northwest UAV (NWUAV) has initiated development of their new NW-88 Twin-Cylinder Multi-Fuel UAV propulsion system based on the proven, ground up design of NWUAV ‘s own NW-44. With their NW-44 Engine successfully logging over 1000 combat flight hours, NWUAV is ready to fill another niche in the UAV marketplace. The NW-88 engine will offer the same reliability, endurance and efficiency of the NW-44 engine to larger, heavier UAVs in the industry.

 

 

Built specifically for small unmanned aerial systems (UAS) with approximate weights between 40-75 pounds, Northwest UAV’s NW-44 Engine has seen momentous successes in a short amount of time, solidifying its reputation for reliability, efficiency and ease of maintenance. To build on this success, NWUAV has begun to develop an engine similar in design and quality to the NW-44 Engine with just one big difference – it supports UAVs twice the size. The NW-88 Multi-Fuel Engine will be just as quiet, heavy-duty and easily configured as the NW-44, and it will support UAVs in a weight range between 65-150 pounds.

 

Like it’s smaller brother, the NW-88 (pictured above) will be fuel injected and come with a high output generator and power management system, self-managed cooling system, dual ignition with twin spark and NWUAV’s game changing noise reducing, patented muffler.

 

“Group II UAVs are not the only segment within the industry that are attempting to fly 12 hours or more in extreme conditions with hobby grade engines,” said Chris Harris, President and Owner of NWUAV. “There are quite a few Group III sized UAVs well over 75 pounds that are using hobby grade engines that were never designed for the durability and reliability expected by end customers. Hobby grade engines are typically designed for the weekend flier at the local RC airstrip where they might get 100 hours flight time in 5 years, with no thought on how the engine will perform at 45c at 2000 meters ASL let alone to achieve a 400-500 hour TBO. Compared to a UAV application where 45c and 2000 meters is the ‘Standard Day’ and 100 hours of flight time can be easily achieved in 2 weeks. These two scenarios require substantially different design and engineering considerations and NWUAV understands that.

 

The NW-44 Multi-Fuel Engine has proven itself as a professional aviation grade engine designed for 40-75 pound UAVs,” Chris Harris continued, “Whereas the NW-88 will complement UAV’s in the 65-150 pounds range. And like the ITAR free NW-44, the NW-88 Multi-Fuel Engine will be a complete engine system ready to install with minimal or no development costs for the end customer – making it highly cost effective to incorporate.”

 

The decision to fund the development of the NW-88 Engine is a demonstration of Northwest UAV’s continued commitment to providing the small UAV market with safe, reliable, aviation grade propulsion. It also helps facilitate the rapid growth of the unmanned systems industry by reducing barriers to entry for innovative technologies.

 

“The NW-88 propulsion system is a natural next step for us and for this market,” said Jeff Ratcliffe, Chief Technical Officer at NWUAV. “We have a highly successful engine to build on in the NW-44, and we know that our customers are looking for the aviation grade reliability, durability and fuel efficiency of the NW-44 Engine in the next larger class UAV.”    

 

About Northwest UAV

As America’s leader in UAV propulsion system design and manufacturing, Northwest UAV continues to earn its reputation for reliable, cost effective and innovative UAV engines and support systems through meticulous engineering, rigorous testing, and top notch manufacturing. Founded in 2005 by President and Owner Chris Harris, NWUAV continues to safely and effectively manage all aspects of product development, from initial concept design through production and beyond to maintenance and overhauls. When you need to get in the air and stay there, count on the team at NWUAV. AS9100/ISO9001 (AS9104-1) Certified, DCAA compliant operation.

Find out more about NWUAV:

 www.nwuav.com

/company-beta/291950/

@NWUAV

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April 24, 2017

  

Northwest UAV NW-44 Engine hits noteworthy milestone of over 1000 combat flight hours

 

The Northwest UAV NW-44 Engine – the only cutting edge propulsion system ever developed for small unmanned aerial systems – has now successfully logged over 1000 combat flight hours, demonstrating its unique value to the UAS community by changing what’s possible with small UAVs.

McMinnville, OR: In just a few years, from concept to first flight, the Northwest UAV NW-44 Multi-Fuel Engine has reached the noteworthy milestone of logging over 1000 combat flight hours. This milestone demonstrates the unique value the NW-44 Engine and Northwest UAV team bring to the unmanned aerial systems community.

Built specifically for small unmanned aerial systems (UAS) that require extreme endurance and high reliability, the NW-44 Engine (pictured) is alightweight, multi-fuel UAV engine that is easily configured to meet mission requirements. Filling a niche in the UAV marketplace, the NW-44 engine supports smaller aircraft, with approximate weights between 40-75 lbs., that need to remain quiet for a long period of time. In other words, it’s a heavy-duty, hardworking, reliable engine for a considerably small UAV.


“Early on we recognized the need to develop professional grade engines for the UAV industry.  Hobby engines are fine for initial UAV development, but when you fly 15-20 hours a day in theater with temperatures exceeding 40c, you will quickly reach the limitations of a hobby grade engine, with very disappointing results,” remarked Chris Harris, President and Owner of NWUAV.  “The NW-44 Multi Fuel Engine was developed with reliability, durability and fuel efficiency at the forefront with low weight and cost of ownership a close second.  Program managers and airframe designers should take note of this COTS engine solution as it is a complete engine system ready to install with little to no development or engineering costs.”

The milestone of 1000 combat flight hours is significant for Northwest UAV and their NW-44 Engine in more ways than one. Not only does it validate for NWUAV customers the promised endurance and reliability of the NW-44 Engine, but it also showcases the expertise of the NWUAV team. As NWUAV’s first small multi-fuel UAV engine, the success of the NW-44 Engine demonstrates the proficiency that Northwest UAV is capable of, with UAV engines and UAS engineering.     

“We are very proud of the team we’ve built over the years and the family-friendly company culture we’ve maintained,” Heather Sorenson, NWUAV Director/Compliance Officer said. “Even as we continue to grow, our entire team – from the engineers and technicians to administrative staff – remains collaborative, and maintains a balance between innovation and pragmatism. That collaboration is what keeps us successful. 


About Northwest UAV

As America’s leader in UAV propulsion system design and manufacturing, Northwest UAV continues to prove its reputation for reliable, cost effective and innovative UAV engines and support systems through meticulous engineering, testing, and manufacturing. Founded in 2005 by President and Owner Chris Harris, NWUAV continues to safely and effectively manage all aspects of product development, from initial concept design through production and beyond to maintenance and overhauls. When you need to get in the air and stay there, count on the team at NWUAV. AS9100/ISO9001 (AS9104-1) Certified, DCAA compliant operation.


Find out more about NWUAV:

 www.nwuav.com

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April 20, 2017

Department of the Interior, Office of Aviation Services, Issues Pre-solicitation Notice for UAS Services 

Synopsis D17PS00349

This pre‐solicitation notice will be posted for approximately 5 days; the solicitation posted for 15 to 21 days. The Government reserves the right to cancel this requirement at any time since funding is not available at this time.

The Department of the Interior (DOI), Interior Business Center (IBC), Acquisition Services Directorate (AQD) in support of the Office of Aviation Services, is issuing a Pre‐solicitation notice for fully Contractoroperated and maintained Call When Needed (CWN) Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) services. These services will be to support wildland fire operations, Search and Rescue (SAR) and other resource missions in the Contiguous 48 States and Alaska. Contractor services include provisions of a minimum of one complete UAS, personnel, servicing vehicles, fuel, and all other associated equipment, as prescribed in this solicitation and/or offered by the Contractor and accepted by the government.

The Government will direct aircraft to support its missions and objectives. UAS services will be used to test and evaluate the capability to operate during dense smoke/inversion situations. Infrared/thermal camera technology will be utilized to penetrate smoke and gather/disseminate information to increase strategic and tactical situational awareness.

The following is an example of the requirements that will be listed in the solicitation:

‐ Be available to fly on the incident for up to 10 hours/day (0400‐2000 typically) for up to 21 days (14 typically).

‐ Provide Strategic Situational Awareness:

a. Pre‐planned reconnaissance missions to determine general incident characteristics.  Command/Overhead personnel will have the ability to view a live feed at the Incident Command Post (ICP) or other known location.

b. Pre‐planned data collection missions to provide near real‐time data utilized by qualified personnel to develop incident planning products (maps).

‐ Provide Tactical Situational Awareness:

             a. Aircraft will be over the incident for up to 10 hours during the operational period and provide real‐time information to firefighting personnel.

             b. Aircraft will be available for unplanned sensor tasking to a specific location on the incident to support tactical decision making by firefighting personnel.

‐ Provide a live EO/IR video feed at the incident command post. Sensor tasking will be requested by government personnel to view points of interest.

‐ Provide the telemetry data required to produce incident mapping products within four hours of request. Data flash or telemetry logs typically contain the required GPS track log information to develop GIS products.

‐ Aerial reconnaissance in the form of electro‐optical (EO, daylight) and infrared (IR) video (day/night/inversion).

For more information or to track this acquisition activity, go to http://www.FedBizOps.gov .

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Big News for Big Bend Community College and Northwest UAS Activities

 

March 21, 2017

Big Bend Community College is expanding its course offerings in Unmanned Systems thanks to state approvals.  Check out the graphic below to see the new offerings that are huge steps forward for professional UAS training in Eastern Washington and across the Northwest region.

BBCC will also be teaching UMS 107 (Part 107 UAS Remote Pilot test prep course) in May of this year. This is different from similar Part 107 courses, in that the course will provide 4-6 hours of safety of flight/hands-on flight training in addition to academic training.  The 2 credit hour course will be provided over five full evenings and one full Saturday.

 

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New drone app in development: helping you fly safe

Released February 10, 2017

Can I fly there mobile App

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has teamed up with specialist company, Drone Complier, to develop a smartphone, tablet and web-based app to help drone flyers fly safely and responsibly.

The app, called ‘Can I fly there?’ is due to be launched in May this year.

The app will allow those flying drones for fun, or under the new sub-2kg commercial category to enter a location where they are proposing to fly. It will then flag nearby ‘no-drone zones’ such as airports, helicopter landing areas and other restricted areas.

It will also flag ‘no-drone zones’ areas where emergency services such as firefighters are operating.
CASA’s Group Manager, Aviation, Graeme Crawford, said that the app would also educate Australia’s drone community on what rules to follow.

‘The app will encourage these drone flyers to operate responsibly and to follow our standard operating conditions each and every time they fly,’ Mr Crawford said.

‘We know people want to have fun with their drones. We want to help them do this safely by reducing the potential for them to fly their drone inadvertently in a way that might cause a threat to aircraft or other people.

‘This app will provide them with the relevant content and services they expect to have at their fingertips when out flying.’

Drone Complier’s Chief Executive Officer, Wayne Rochat, said that they were excited to have been selected by CASA to support the Australian sub 2kg drone category. 

‘Our software is focused on ensuring simple drone compliance, delivering safety and simplicity for both hobbyist and enterprise customers,’ Mr Rochat said.
‘Drone Complier’s new app will provide CASA with a capability to execute on their vision to create safe skies for all.’ 
Drone Complier was selected by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority following a competitive tender process that opened in September 2016.

Media contact:
Peter Gibson
0419 296 446
peter.gibson@casa.gov.au

Drone Complier
Kobus Franck
02 4203 3007
kobus@dronecomplier.com

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AV News: SOAR Oregon

You may not realize it, but across the United States, there are seven test sites for unmanned aircraft. Each site is FAA approved for commercial drone operators to test their products. 

We went to check out one of the test sites located in the Pacific Northwest and run by the group SOAR Oregon. The site features distinctly different test ranges in Tillamook, Warm Springs and Pendelton. It’s that variety that SOAR Oregon Executive Director Earl Bowerman believes makes their site appealing.

“The real differentiator is access to airspace. We feel like Oregon’s positioned really well to showcase because of the variety of terrain that we have, as well as the cost of our operations.”

The Tillamook test range offers a coastal climate stretching nearly the entire western coast of Oregon, the Warm Springs site provides 1,000 square miles of mountain terrain and high elevation while clients needing farm or forest land would use the 14 thousand square mile Pendleton range.

“For us to go from eight customers last year to 48 this year, we’re seeing that we have what the customers are looking for in comparison to other places. We also have the airspace that a lot of other places don’t have. And the other part of the thing that’s attractive about Oregon is our test ranges have accommodations right on the test range in most cases.”

Two of the three SOAR Oregon ranges feature control towers and while two offer hangar space. The Tillamook site has both a control tower and a hangar for customers. Tillamook’s range is run by Near Space Corporation, which does plenty of high-altitude testing. The ability to fly at those altitudes is appealing to Tillamook’s clients.

“It’s really about who needs the additional airspace that we’re able to offer here at Near Space. We’re able to operate in Class A airspace, as well as operating at altitudes that you couldn’t at other off-test sites. So that attracts a lot of folks to come here and test their vehicles.”

SOAR Oregon is state funded and Bowerman meets once a month with state legislators to make sure that funding continues. Since its start in 2015, SOAR Oregon has received plenty of support both financially and otherwise from the state.

“The legislators in Oregon early on saw the opportunity for the UAS industry for Oregon and what it could complement other industries already here — super high tech, a lot of resources. A lot of those skillsets on the software and development side and engineering and manufacturing are already here.”

While Bowerman can’t discuss who his clients are or what types of UAS technology are being tested at their sites, he is excited about Oregon’s role in the future of the drone industry. 

“Every time I read a magazine, every six months the projections go up in the billions. Last year it was projected to be about $82 billion. Then it got bumped up to $100 billion, now $127 billion industry. As soon as the FAA is able to coordinate a safety mindset and allow these drones to fly beyond visual line of sight, we’re going to see a huge change in our daily disruptive.”

As drone companies continue to test their products with an eye on the future, companies like SOAR Oregon will be helping them pave the way.

Check out the AirVuz video at:  https://www.airvuz.com/video/AV-News-SOAR-Oregonid=58b72c279f22ce7e44b4796d&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=tweet

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ArgenTech Solutions (AgTS) Plans Pendleton Range Operations 

 24 February 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Pendleton, OR – ArgenTech Solutions (AgTS), a Veteran Owned Small Business headquartered in Newmarket, NH is leaving contrails in the skies of the Unmanned Aircraft industry.  No rookie to the Unmanned Aircraft world, AgTS has logged 62,000+ flight hours and provided expert project support both domestically and abroad for U.S. and NATO troops, maritime vessels, academic institutions, and commercial entities alike.

AgTS continues to shape the landscape with their upcoming operations in support of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) research and development flight testing at the Pendleton Range.  AgTS spent the last year working closely with the University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF) and the Pan-Pacific UAS Test Range Complex (PPUTRC) to obtain Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight approvals and build the Concept of Operations for the newly developed ArcticShark, manufactured by Navmar Applied Science Corporation (NASC).  The ArcticShark is a 640 pound aircraft (max), capable of reaching 20,000 feet MSL.  The ArcticShark will be used as a tool to collect atmospheric data and advance the scientific research for the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).  This new tool will advance their aviation department and Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program to study cloud formation processes and their influence on radiative transfer.  

AgTS is a leader in advancing the unmanned aircraft industry and integration into the National Airspace System (NAS).  AgTS established the processes, procedures and programs that brought the Pendleton UAS Range to Initial Operating Capability (IOC) during an evolving drone regulatory environment.  In 2016, AgTS also provided contracted services and support for five different customers performing operations at the Pendleton Range.  “We are pleased to support PNNL with their Class D operations, assisting in their test objectives as well as that of PPUTRC and the FAA,” stated Jen Armstrong, VP AgTS Commercial Services. 

Keep your eyes in the sky!  Flight operations, testing and training will be conducted at the Pendleton Range throughout March from the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport under visual meteorological conditions, during daylight hours.  Flights will be conducted above unpopulated areas, in accordance with FAA regulations and a strict adherence to Safety Risk Management.  

ArgenTech Solutions is a VOSB headquartered in Newmarket, NH: www.argentechsolutions.co/

Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Proudly Operated by Battelle since 1965: www.pnl.gov/

Pan-Pacific Test Range Complex – University of Alaska, Fairbanks:http://acuasi.alaska.edu/pputrc

Please find out more information at the Pendleton UAS range website:  www.pendletonUAS.com