Zacc Dukowitz

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  1. Photographer and all around magic-image maker Reuben Wu has once again found a new way to use drones as a light source to create beautiful works of art. In his ongoing Lux Noctis series, Wu has again reinvented the use of drone lighting to capture incredible stills of nature. But he’s also doing something he’s never done before—using drones as a light source to create “motion pieces.” Check out this post to see what we're talking about—these things really are incredible. Also, here's a still image from the same series: The post has several more images as well as two of
  2. Researchers in Italy recently proposed a new way that drones can help fight fires: using them to drop water or other “extinguishing liquids” onto the flames. A few heavy-lift drone companies have experimented with using a single big drone to carry a firehose or a large bucket of water into the air for this purpose. But these applications haven’t really taken off, primarily because they’re just not that practical. The key distinction between these tests and the new idea is in the size and quantity of drones used. While a single, huge drone with a heavy payload may not make that m
  3. A new study reveals that people living in Christiansburg, VA have a very good impression of drone delivery. 87% of respondents in the study said they like the idea of drone delivery and 89% said they would use drone delivery. The study was conducted by the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP)—a partner in the FAA’s BEYOND program—and Lee Vinsel, an assistant professor at Virginia Tech. Read today's post to learn more about the study, and what it might indicate for the future of public perception about drones.
  4. There are currently only 63 Māui dolphins left in existence. These dolphins live off the west coast of New Zealand, and are in severe danger of going extinct. But a drone could help save them. The drone in question is being developed specifically to find and track these dolphins using visual drone data and A.I. technology. The project to create the drone has been underway for a few years now, with the first tests of the MĀUI63 drone starting back in 2019. Even at that early stage, the drone was able to use A.I. to tell the difference between Māui dolphins and other marine l
  5. UAV Coach celebrated a fun milestone this past weekend—delivering hands-on drone flight training to its 1,000th student. Since its first training class three years ago, UAV Coach’s drone flight training program has grown considerably to include 32 locations in 20 states throughout the U.S. And while UAV Coach trains folks to fly drones in a wide variety of industries like public safety, construction, filmmaking, real estate marketing, etc., its 1,000th student is a 10-year old who wanted to learn how to fly drones for fun with his grandfather. UAV Coach’s on-demand, one-on-
  6. Drone imagery may provide crucial evidence in a case historians are making to preserve the ancient Octagon Earthworks in Newark, OH by making it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The earthworks were built by Native Americans over 2,000 years ago as a way to measure the movements of the sun and moon. They are currently located on a golf course at the Moundbuilders Country Club. The club has leased the land for over 100 years, and preserving the mounds is a priority to its owners and to club members—but people are still permitted to walk on them if they need to make a shot. Aeria
  7. The San Mateo Sheriff’s Office is testing the use of drones as lifeguards. Rather than diving into the water to rescue people in distress, the drones will be used to carry and drop life jackets into the water. In 2019 and 2020 the San Mateo sheriff’s office responded to double the amount of water rescues than it had in past years. And in the first month of 2021, two people drowned. The sheriff’s office launched its drone program about a year ago, but didn’t get the idea to use drones for water rescues until recently, when someone in the department learned of a volunteer fir
  8. How do you know if DJI is about to release a new drone? Because you find it on sale at Best Buy—before it’s officially launched. This first happened with the DJI Mavic Mini 2, which was found accidentally stocked at a Best Buy ahead of any official launch announcement from the consumer drone giant. And the same thing has now happened with the Mavic Air 2S, DJI’s sequel to the Mavic Air 2. That’s right—a drone enthusiast recently found the Air 2S on the shelves at a local Best Buy and promptly bought it. The kicker? It was his first drone! Read today's post to lear
  9. DJI recently shared phaseout plans for several different enterprise products, including five drone series, four Zenmuse cameras, and its Flight Simulator. For many, the biggest news will be that the Matrice 200 series and the Zenmuse XT thermal camera will no longer be serviced after this year. While these kinds of phaseouts are fairly common, the sheer size of the list of products seems remarkable. When taken in combination with DJI’s recent move to bypass resellers and sell enterprise drones directly—a controversial choice with implications for the entire drone industry—t
  10. Hyundai’s luxury line Genesis recently put on a massive drone light show in Shanghai to celebrate the company’s launch in China. Using 3,281 drones, the Genesis logo was formed on the night sky in impressive detail. In addition to the logo, the light show featured other formations, including a hand, a helix, and the names of two of Galaxy’s cars (the G80 and the GV80). Although the light show seems to be the biggest ever performed, it's not clear whether Genesis actually won a Guinness World Record for it. Read today's post to learn more, and to see videos of other rec
  11. Hey @Av8Chuck the Navy has denied that the drones sighted were theirs. Are you saying that the most likely explanation is they belonged to another branch of government and the Navy was unaware of that (or didn't want to disclose that)? Given that this took place almost two years ago, it seems like that information would now be available via a FOIA request, which The Drive made a bunch of for their reporting—what do you think?
  12. Back in July of 2019, U.S. naval ships off the coast of southern California were repeatedly swarmed at night by UAVs. Despite extensive investigations, the Navy still doesn’t know who they belong to or what the intentions were of those flying them. The first cluster of these drone incursions took place over two days in mid-July of 2019, with up to six drones at a time flying over and around the ships. The first hint that these incidents had taken place came from Dave Beaty, a documentary filmmaker, who mentioned a navy ship’s encounter with a possible UAV in a tweet last year. T
  13. Should commercial drone pilots obtain a surveyor’s license to sell aerial photos and videos of a piece of property? This question is at the heart of a lawsuit recently filed in North Carolina. And the outcome could have big implications about the future of commercial drone operations not just there, but throughout the U.S. The trouble started in late 2018, when commercial drone pilot Michael Jones received a letter from North Carolina’s Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors. A picture of Jones taken while flying The letter warned him that the commercial drone
  14. The Port of Antwerp in Antwerpen, Belgium recently announced plans to implement its own Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) system. The big news is that its UTM system will be overseen by the port and not by the Belgian Civil Aviation Authority. In general, flying in the port’s airspace requires permission from the Belgian Civil Aviation Authority, since it is considered a no-fly zone (i.e., controlled airspace). But with the implementation of its new UTM system, the Port of Antwerp will be able to grant these permissions itself, making it the first non-aviation authority in
  15. Feeling bogged down? Need some inspiration in your life? The videos and pictures in this post may be just the thing to lift your spirits. SkyPixel recently announced the winners of its 6th annual Aerial Photo & Video Contest—read the next section to learn about the contest, or scroll straight down to see the winning entries. Here is the Grand Prize aerial photo winner: Read today's post to see all the 1st place winners in the 6 video and 5 photo categories.