Cubes, Ardupilot, Matternet! Making it happen
This worries me more than it excites me. My fear is that when this goes nationwide hospitals and doctor offices will become restricted airspace. Delivering blood is a great way to convince the public that small operations should be restricted for public safety. I think that any package delivery approval will eventually cause painful restrictions on us.
That is a little dramatic! Any company that is using unmanned aircraft for good of any sort, especially if they use our gear is supported by me!
Come on Phillip. I am sorry if i came across dramatic! My concern is how UPS can get a waver that other professional pilots can’t get and that more local air space may be restricted because of a new UAV IFR in the future. Possibly UDS-B will help the decision making. I am glad you have brought that to the table.
They can get a waiver as they have put 7 years of effort in with an incredible redundancy system, a huge amount of testing and a massive amount of reliability testing in massive jigs, and real flights for many thousands of hours.
Put in the same effort and you can get the same results!
It’s like complaining that you don’t have a body like the Terminator, while sitting on the couch!
We work with companies like these, not because it’s profitable (it’s absolutely not) but because it makes things better for everyone.
I am more of a Thor fan, that said I can’t remember the last time I sat on my couch. In 2010 after years of trying I successfully scratch built my first plane. Since then I have countless hours of research & flight logs. I have not had thousands of hours showing redundancy so you are correct that my efforts don’t match up to what UPS flight has accomplished. Mostly my logs show the hardware I have been able to afford is not reliable enough for life or death situations. I know many pilots have had better success and I have listened and learned from many of them. Beyond this small sample of experience I know of thousands of other groups have tried to get the waver here. UPS had the money to change the regulations where others can’t. If I am complaining that’s my complaint. I don’t desire to take from the accomplishment & I applaud you for being a part of it.
Also: Up until now and currently my opinion has been that the regulation was a good one. I supported the restriction based on what I know. Many people want to do this but I think it is currently unsafe for the U.S. and flight restrictions could become intrusive if Amazons & Googles take to the sky’s.
The thing is, there is no rule change for UPS.
They have passed all the requirements for getting the permissions.
Don’t confuse them with Amazon or Google that are trying to change the law.
BVLOS in the USA has been approved on a case by case basis since the 80’s and possibly even earlier.
My question to you… have you approached the FAA and tried to get a BVLOS waiver? Did they say no?
The FAA cares about safety, it’s up to you to convince them that you have mitigation for the risks, these would include redundancy, and flight locations, as well as overall policy and procedures.
This is a big job, and Andreas and team have worked incredibly hard to get to this point.
You have already benefited from this as well, as we have made changes to our methods of manufacturing to improve reliability based on feedback from matternet and their testing.
You are flying the Autopilot chosen by many hundreds of drone OEMs for this reason, we strive for 100% up time for our users.