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Spitfire76

2018 Predictions for the Drone Industry

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As we are about to start 2018 what about some predictions for the drone industry ?. I'll make a start....

  1. Electronic ID will be introduced for commercial drones.
  2. DJI will go public.
  3. A company will come up with some new battery technology that makes batteries last 10 times longer (ok that's a wish not a prediction but you can only hope!)

One thing is certain for next year a lot of us will need to renew our Part 107 certification.

Happy New Year everyone.

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Been really busy lately so maybe I missed it, but what's the story on the recurrent exam.  Will we need to go to a testing center again and pay another $150? Will we be able to do it online with FAA or another contractor?  Has anything been announced?

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  1. Drones will gain a broader acceptance in the AEC industry
  2. Security concerns will continue to plague Chinese manufactured products which will result in more non Chinese manufactured drones gaining significant market share. 
  3. Chinese manufacturers will be removed from the FAA’s ARC committees
  4. More systems integrators and resellers of drone related solutions will start to have an effect on the integration of more accurate instrumentation and a better understanding of how to use the data drones collect 
  5. More alternative fueled drones will become available 
  6. Congress will pass an infrastructure bill which will significantly increase the need for inspection and evaluation of infrastructure assets 
  7. Blended Photogrammetry and LiDAR data will become the standard in aerial 3D scanning and will enable the AEC industry to scale to meet this increased need
  8.  More types of drones (other than multirotors) will become commercially viable
  9. 3DR’s decision to partner with DJI with SiteScan just prior to the military ban on DJI will result in 3DR going out of business.  (Irony)
  10. Much larger DoD manufactures will enter the sUAS commercial market

 

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22 hours ago, Ed O'Grady said:

Will we need to go to a testing center again and pay another $150?

That's a good question. The FAA website just states the following.

  • Valid for 2 years – certificate holders must pass a recurrent knowledge test every two years

@Alan Perlman do you have any more information ?

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I created a new topic thread for the discussion of the Part 107 Recurrent Test since this thread was really intended for 2018 UAV industry predictions.

 

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OK @Av8Chuck, here's at least a quick top 5 - 5 more to follow.

1. FAA recurrent testing methodology will be decided upon and announced.  It will require another period of refresher study and an appointment at a testing center.  Plus another $150 fee to the test center. This will reduce the number of certificated remote pilots by 40%.

2. Chinese manufacturers WILL continue to dominate the market, in spite of security concerns.  Like them or not, DJI will remain a powerhouse.

3. Increased Beyond Visual Line of Sight Approvals from FAA.  Railroads will be the main user of these authorizations.

4. LAANC initial test (currently in play) will get bogged down which will delay the National Beta test of LAANC. The program will delay into 2019.  Authorizations through the web portal will come to a snails pace - at best.

5. FAA will review the entire Part 107 rules with an eye towards a rewrite. Real or imagined, the chance of mid air collisions will be emphasized, along with "national security."

There's a quick 5 for now Chuck.  Getting ready for a rare snow and ice storm here in coastal SE Georgia.  Haven't had snow here since 1989!  Wait - I may get some overhead snow shots!

Edited by Ed O'Grady
added thought

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13 hours ago, Ed O'Grady said:

Thanks @Spitfire76.  I didn't mean to hijack the thread! 

It wasn't that but I just figured that the topic of the recurrent test deserved its own thread. Also I'll add another prediction to my list.

  • FAA will require parachutes be fitted to commercial drones as part of an air worthiness certification.

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45 minutes ago, Spitfire76 said:

It wasn't that but I just figured that the topic of the recurrent test deserved its own thread. Also I'll add another prediction to my list.

  • FAA will require parachutes be fitted to commercial drones as part of an air worthiness certification.

Drones don’t require airworthiness certification.  

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1 hour ago, Av8Chuck said:

Drones don’t require airworthiness certification.  

I know that is not a current requirement but I am predicting that the FAA will introduce some sort of airworthiness certification this year.

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"The largest issue facing the adoption of parachute recovery systems is the notion by the large drone manufacturers that their drones don’t need a parachute at all. But the F.A.A. doesn’t feel the same way, and many are bracing for a requirement that drones that fly over people must have a certified parachute recovery system. " 

This is a false narrative.  Most commercial drone manufacturers don't think that at all!  The issue is that there are no parachutes that can be certified.  There is no one sized fits all, no trustworthy way to deploy them that works for all drone plus most of them are weight and cost prohibitive.

 A parachute system for a Phantom is generally a small canopy deployed from a tube with a spring.  For a drone large enough to carry a five pound payload (in addition to the weight of the parachute system) the canopy has to be sufficiently large enough that it has to be deployed with a gas canister adding weight and complexity.  Plus there's the issue of the electronics. 

Its not that parachute systems don't work, if the FAA requires them to work for that application then they have to work on all drones 100 percent of the time to be certified.  The technology to accomplish that is still a ways off.  

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On 12/30/2017 at 3:15 PM, Spitfire76 said:

As we are about to start 2018 what about some predictions for the drone industry ?. I'll make a start....

  1. Electronic ID will be introduced for commercial drones.
  2. DJI will go public.
  3. A company will come up with some new battery technology that makes batteries last 10 times longer (ok that's a wish not a prediction but you can only hope!)

One thing is certain for next year a lot of us will need to renew our Part 107 certification.

Happy New Year everyone.

Apart from the certainty of a lot of folks having to renew part 107 certification none of my predictions for 2018 were correct. Even the word "renew" was not entirly correct as I learnt from this forum that the part 107 certification never expires unless the FAA revokes it for a good reason but of course in order to continue to fly commercially the recurrent test has to be passed if its 24 months or more since passing the initial test. So what about 2019 ?. Maybe need to start a new thread for that but thought it would be good to first see if any of our predictions were correct for 2018.

Edited by Spitfire76

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