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Discussion in 'News' started by Phantom Flicks, Sep 24, 2014.
I work for DHL and we are planning something similar for urgent drugs deliveries in London between hospitals. This will be a UAV under pilot control I gather, not autonomous flight.
Not sure what the timetable is, but hopefully in the next 12 months.
It's sad that the US is really falling behind on this. In the absence of overbearing regulation programs such as this could be in the pilot stages of testing, if not in their V1 phase. But we have to wait a year + for what will most likely be more overbearing regulation.
The issue in the UK for UAVs in restricted air space is the Detect and Avoid requirement. Essentially, if you want to fly via remote control, you need to demonstrate that your aircraft can detect other airspace users and take avoiding action. Currently there is not a certified system in existence, so flying beyond LOS is all but impossible to get permission to do.
One option with the DHL drug deliveries is to fly from 1 hospital helipad to another, with a pilot at each end to carry out the landings and to fly below 400' on autonomous flight in between. Quite tricky in a city as built up as London!
I think once there is a usable detect and avoid system - basically a 360 degree observation system, a radar transponder and certified failsafe system, this might become a reality. At the moment, it is seriously limited and for publicity purposes only.