It's pretty much set in stone that private users have to keep constant eye contact with the drone they are flying, but the future commercial applications of UAVs need a different approach. Flights that extend further than the operator can see - referred to in the aviation industry as beyond the visual line of sight, or BVLOS for short - are currently the subject of comprehensive testing being conducted by a small number of specialist companies. BVLOS flights are set to open up lucrative new fields of business, not just for the commercial drones industry, but for shipping companies, too. However, there are some regulatory obstacles to overcome first.
One of the few companies with the necessary expertise to take a crack at this highly promising but complex process is Microdrones, which is based in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Only recently, the drone pioneers achieved some high-flying results when they successfully completed ten BVLOS test flights. What makes this achievement really stand out is that the flights were completed with a standard configuration of remote control, telemetry and batteries, meaning that the md4-1000 aircraft is ready for BVLOS, as sold today. "We are very excited about the results," said Jocelyne Bois, Microdrones' Flight Operations Manager. "All flights went well and we easily exceeded our intended flight lengths. Our goal was to test the remote control, telemetry and battery endurance for those distances. Both performed beautifully." As a result of these tests, Microdrones' popular md4-1000 drone has now been added to TC's exclusive list of compliant unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). That makes Microdrones one of just eight companies worldwide to have achieved this distinction so far.
Microdrones GmbH (57078 Siegen, Germany)